Message From The Texas PTA President How Well Did We “Build For Success”?
by Sharon Goldblatt, Texas PTA President
Congratulations to all the local Two new award categories were 2012 Membership Themed Recruit-
Warmer has resources and information for all. Part of the new beginnings in PTAs who received one of the 3,133 added this year: The Membership ing Kit. Members will be credited
temperatures, spring is the search for new PTA lead-
ers. I hope you are always looking membership awards distributed Chair Challenge and the Applause to the 2010-2011 membership year
brighter I hope that you were able to attend
colors, fresher the Texas PTA Rally Day and An- for members who want to take an through January. This is compared award (for newly chartered PTAs and if reported by March 15 and will be
smells, new nual Convention. If not, we missed active role in PTA. I know you will to 2,617 awards at this time last year. schools with at least a 25% decrease credited towards the Spring Member-
beginnings … you! We know that many of you had encourage all to become engaged Texas PTA led the country with the in enrollment). These PTAs were ship Increase Award. Membership re-
these are the planned to attend but were forced to in their children’s education. Make most successful back-to-school cam- recognized with 223 and 106 awards, ported after March 15 will be credited
parts of the stay home because of the weather. sure you are inviting all – parents,
grandparents, teachers, neighbors, paign and was recognized by Nation- respectively. All award criteria and for the 2011-2012 membership year.
new year that However, with the Texas Legislature
I love. A new in session, your continued attention community leaders, business partners, al PTA President, Chuck Saylors. deadlines can be found at http://www.
year brings new opportunities. Just to what is happening at the Capitol etc. – to become involved. Read your txpta.org/recognition/membership- Next year’s theme, “Team Up”,
as the new flowers begin to bud and is more important than ever before. bylaws for the basics of nominating Unfortunately, membership report- awards/. was revealed at the 102nd Texas PTA
bloom, so do the ideas for ways to Read the information in this issue, committees and elections, but, for ing slowed down after the fall push, Annual Convention in Austin. Re-
make our PTAs successful! and be sure that you are signed up at more information, refer to the Texas
PTA Handbook under “Nominations and it is actually decreasing from last The current Membership Chair cruiting resources are available now
the website to receive the legislative
As you read through this issue, you updates so that you can be ready to and Elections,” beginning on page year. We need each PTA to confirm Challenge is from February 1-April on the membership theme webpage
will see, through the broad range of email or telephone your senator or 90, and the website under “Forms and that all membership dues collected 30 and challenges you to recruit 25 http://www.txpta.org/intranet/mem-
topics, how Texas PTA is working representative when necessary. Of Documents.” The future of your PTA have had the state and national por- brand new members during your bers/membership-theme/. We can’t
to meet the various needs of all of special note is the Fund Texas’ Future is in your hands! tions submitted to Texas PTA. Look campus spring open house/orienta- wait to see all the creative ways this
our members. The subject matter Day on March 2. We need you to over the “building plan” one more tion for incoming students. Attach the theme is used.
ranges from membership campaigns email your state representative, ask-
to healthy lifestyles to safety while ing him or her to make funding Texas time to make sure no one has been Membership Chair Challenge coupon
walking or driving to legislative pri- public education a priority! If they missed in the recruiting efforts. Dues on top of membership roster and
orities. When you go to our website, do not hear from you, they will not postmarked by March 15 will be in dues report. One submission will be
make sure you notice the new buttons have the reason to vote in the best this year’s membership numbers. randomly selected to receive a 2011-
on the top right-hand corner, where interests of our children. Go to http://
information has been divided into www.txpta.org/legislative/legislative-
categories for parents, educators and school-finance/ for more information.
students. From cradle to career, PTA
New Membership Theme - Team Up!
Parent Involvement – What Goes Around
by Kyle Ward, CAE, Executive Director
So often walk or run. The highlight is award- when I thought about how I not only TeamTA p!U Team Up!
we talk about ing the “Silver Shoe” to the class contributed to his class winning, but Join P
how parent each month that achieves the most that this program promoted exercise
involvement laps overall. and healthy lifestyles. Now I really Team Up!
impacts our understood what parent involvement Join PTA
children. Re- I was fortunate to be able to par- truly means!
cently I saw ticipate. Not only did I need the
firsthand how exercise, it was so much fun seeing So while parent involvement results
being involved at my son Bryce’s and talking to students and faculty. in academic achievement for our
school made a difference in my at- For me, the big news was that Bryce’s students, it also makes a difference
titude at work and as a parent. class won. I did not know this until in parents. That walk was only about
the end of the day when my cell 30 minutes, and the impact it made
Once a month at our elemen- phone rang. Bryce called and was so on my child, his class and me as a
tary school, our physical education excited that Ms. Ramsey’s class won parent will last forever! I encourage Download graphics from the Membership Theme page of
teacher, Mrs. Ayers, hosts a “Silver the Silver Shoe and that my participa- us all to get involved, not only for the Texas PTA website, or purchase your fliers and post-
Shoe” event. The purpose is to pro- tion helped make a difference. our children, but as a booster shot for ers in the Texas PTA online store! Watch for the new 2011
mote healthy lifestyles by engaging parenthood. Membership Recruiting Kit!
students, faculty and parents to either After he hung up, I just glowed
Student Page Introduced On Website Talk of Texas - Best Practices
Texas PTA is proud to unveil our new “student” page on the Texas PTA website as a resource for students and PTSA leaders. by Kris Vaughn, Texas PTA Membership Chair
The page, http://www.txpta.org/programs/resources-for-students/, includes resources, articles and links on issues affecting
today’s students including bullying, dating violence, scholarships and community service. Access is also available through Bridlewood Elementary PTA in Flower Mound customized the membership theme to best fit their campus and needs.
a “FOR STUDENTS” button in the upper right hand corner of each page on the Texas PTA site. They used “Bridlewood PTA is Building a Foundation for Success”, utilizing books as graphics and the foundation of
Parent Teacher Student Associations (PTSAs) are PTAs with the added component of students who may serve in leader- knowledge. Did you enjoy the ideas provided through Bridlewood Elementary’s membership campaign? Want to see
ship positions. Any high school PTA may convert to a PTSA by adopting a motion from the membership and amending your great ideas spotlighted on the Talk of Texas-Best Practices page? Share you story with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
their bylaws. PTSAs allow students to be part of the decision-making body of the PTA. Michaela, a high school freshman
says, “I’m excited about the chance to be a part of something that makes my school better.” Other students feel the same
and enjoy the chance to be included.
An additional new resource on the student page is the PTSA bro-
chure. The new student brochure is “teen-targeted” and can be used
Bridlewood PTA Built Successful Foundation
to recruit students as well as to inform adults about a PTSA. Scroll
down to the Resources section for a direct link to the brochure and Bridlewood PTA tweaked the global PTA theme of Building Success and adopted the slogan: Bridlewood PTA is Build-
download for free. Brochures can also be pur- ing a Foundation for Success. They utilized books as the visual model, noting that books are the foundation of knowledge.
chased in full color from the Texas PTA
online store. As always we welcome Posters:
and look forward to your feedback.
The membership bulletin board dis-
plays book die cuts with a teacher’s
name on each book. The numbers
on the books represent the number
of students in the class and the
number of families in the class that
have joined the PTA.
PTA President Spurs Membership
Published in the Mansfield News-Mirror, February 16, 2011
Janet Brockett Elementary school’s In the past year Brockett has been to attend.
Parent Teacher Association president received several awards, including the
Rachel Williams sees volunteerism in Mansfield school district’s Early Bird “We had never seen the fathers of
all of the parents at the 600-plus student Achievement award, which is given to some of these girls since they’ve been
campus. PTAs whose membership rosters and at the school,” said assistant principal
dues reach 25 percent of the student en- Deborah Maybry. “And here they were
Even if that participation means just rollment, and the Golden Apple Award, all dressed up and looking good.”
visiting the Mansfield school’s campus which recognizes campuses for 100 Once a class reaches 100% mem-
for lunch. percent participation among faculty. Williams, a former banker, began bership, they are presented with a
volunteering with her kids’ PTA in 2004 membership cone and the class is
Since taking over Brockett’s PTA Brockett’s Watch Dads of Great when the family lived in Las Vegas. She
a year ago, Williams has doubled the Students program was also recognized has three children in Mansfield schools, rewarded with a popsicle party.
school’s membership and has received with the Men Are Really Super Award, an 8-year-old daughter and 6-year-old
100 percent participation from teachers which recognized PTA’s that have at son at Brockett and a 13-year-old at
at the south Arlington campus. least 50 men in the group. Coble Middle School. Bridlewood tracks the check drive donations via colored book spines.
“From the start, I let all of the parents Recently, Williams raised funds and Part of the allure of joining the They offered a tiered level of contributions this year, and the book spines
and teachers know that there’s a role organized a Daddy-Daughter Dance, PTA in Las Vegas was that campus represent each donation made at each level (platinum, gold, silver, and
for everyone in the PTA,” Williams where more than 250 people partici- fundraisers and field trips sparked her bronze). They are also coloring in their Bronco (school mascot) to show
said. “You can do as much as you like. pated. interests, she said. But after moving to progress towards their goal.
And for some, their membership dues the Mansfield school district in 2008,
may be their only contribution. But “We were able to create a moment in she was introduced to a much bigger
I let them know that their dues go a these young girls’ lives that they will educational world. They had a wonderful time launching the campaigns and building support
long way.” never forget,” Williams said. “They’ll for their school. They are looking forward to announcing the final results
Brockett is a Title I campus, which know how a man is supposed to treat “Children lean more when they are of the campaigns on October 1.
means there is a high percentage of them for the rest of their lives.” exposed to a lot,” Williams said. “There
students who are eligible for free or are some things you can’t really appre-
reduced-cost lunches. But that hasn’t Several men came as stand-in dads ciate inside of a book.”
discouraged participation, Williams for the students who didn’t have a
said. father in the home or were unavailable
ARISE Colonia Residents Form PTA Secret Life Of The American Pedestrian
by ARISE E-Newsletter, February 2011 by David C. Hancock, Director/Editor of “The Road Beacon”
When I get home from work each day, I look forward Each of us, whether
ARISE colonia residents formed of our PTA is that the meetings be to ask questions, most of which are to getting in my daily exercise by walking or running on foot or in the
the first community PTA in the conducted in Spanish. The informa- answered. We invite school board around my neighborhood in the suburbs of Denver. I driver’s seat, have a
nation. Now in their second year, tion sent from schools to parents is members, and other speakers to our get home, change into my running or walking clothes, right to get to our des-
ARISE S. Tower Community PTA mostly in English, and at times the meetings. They use simple terminol- stretch out my sore muscles and open the door to the tination safely. Here
has more than doubled their member- Spanish version is not translated ogy that we, as housewives, under- fresh air. As I start to walk, I breathe deeply for the are a few tips to get us
ship to 75. In an effort to empower correctly. It’s important for us to stand. This has helped us tremendous- first time as I take in the afternoon air. Step by step is a all there:
more immigrant parents, the women have access to information regarding ly. Schools send us information with release from the day’s work activities. As I approach the
have extended leadership to other our children’s education in Spanish. vocabulary that we don’t understand, end of the sidewalk, my worries start to increase, I look • If a car or a pe-
parents interested in starting their Another one of our basic challenges because we never or rarely ever use around for cars and watch the eyes of drivers as they destrian has the right
own PTA. is transportation. The majority of those words. drive by to make sure they aren’t about to turn. I walk of way, give each
families in the colonias have one car, into the crosswalk wondering if the drivers will stop, do other their designated turn;
Proyecto Juan Diego and Mano and the husband usually takes that With the support of this PTA, the drivers see me and will I make it to the other side? • If a pedestrian is at a cross walk in front of you, it is
a Mano showed their support for car to work. How can we make it to mothers have begun to support their As I make this both relaxing and stress filled journey the law in most states and a courteous gesture to stop and
families from Brownsville colonias the meetings when most of us live far children in a way that wasn’t possible each day, I can’t imagine my life without those walks but let pedestrians walk safely across;
by having ARISE facilitate this work- from the schools? for them before. The state offers so realize what an ordeal it is to cross a high traffic street • If you’re a pedestrian or a driver, never enter the
shop. ARISE S. Tower PTA traveled many programs that we are either not as a pedestrian. You have what it seems like 100 feet to crosswalk until you see the pedestrian or car stop. You
to Brownsville to share the steps in- Our PTA has been very successful aware of or simply don’t understand cross and only a few seconds before the “orange hand” can’t be too careful;
volved in creating a community PTA. in our community for the following very well. We want to know and starts blinking at you, warning to indicate the impend- • It is a good idea at night for pedestrians to wear
Eva Carranza, president of ARISE S. reasons: The meetings are conducted understand all the changes in state ing rush of traffic in your direction. You hurry across, reflective clothing to be more visible;
Tower PTA, spoke on the importance in Spanish, they are located in our and federal laws in regards to educa- just hoping the right-hand turning drivers don’t hit you • As you walk across any intersection, make sure the
of a PTA and why other communi- neighborhoods (ARISE provides tion. That is a necessity for us. It is as they make their turn swerving around you, just barely driver sees you before you walk in their path. Even give
ties need to organize and have their transportation to women who live in also important for us to support other missing your legs as you walk by. Whew...I made it! I them a little wave to make sure their eyes catch your
voices heard. neighboring colonias), and are sched- communities so that they too have realized after making these almost “risky” walks each movement.
uled at a time that works for us (in the these tools in their hands.” day, that there’s got to be a better way for drivers and • As winter weather continues, be careful of ice on the
(translated) “The main requirement mornings). We have the opportunity pedestrians to co-exist in this asphalt paradise. streets and slow down around intersections. You never
know when you might slip.
I did a little research on the U.S. Department of Trans-
portation website, and found out thousands of people in All of us are in this together and we all want to arrive
the U.S are hurt each year in car and pedestrian crashes home safe. Watch out for each other, be courteous and
on our nation’s roadway.s This was way more than I think about your own safety – we are one community!
would have ever thought.
Sources: U.S. Department of Transportation
ent Eva Carra nza speaks to a grou
ARISE PTA Presid
A resident from the co parents in Browns
mmunity voices her
community PTA is ne thoughts on why a
eded in this area.
ARISE is a grassroots organization of women for women. It is about building on strengths and respecting the dignity of each indi-
vidual. It’s about spirituality, cultural values and personal growth. It’s about connecting women with each other and strengthening the
fabric of their communities. It’s about teamwork and putting personal ambition aside in favor of common goals. It’s about inspiring
hope and a sense of possibility. For more information, visit http://www.arisesotex.org/ARISEProfile.asp
New PTAs National PTA Healthy Lifestyles Award Winners
Area 1: Area 7:
Nolan Richardson Middle PTA, El Paso Jim G. Martin Elementary PTA, San Area 17: National PTA has announced the winners of the 2010 PTA Healthy Lifestyles Grant. Twenty-two PTAs will receive up to $1,000
- President, Fadia Champlain Antonio Young Women’s Leadership Academy, to support good nutrition and physical activity to address the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic. Currently, one third of American
Mission Early College PTSA, El Paso - President, Lucy Gonzalez Ft. Worth children and youth are either obese or are at risk of becoming obese. Further, the reduction and often elimination of recess during
- President, Betty Bradford - President, Sandra Hernandez the school day has limited the amount of physical activity that students receive throughout the school day. In response to this, PTA’s
Riverside Rebels’ PTA, El Paso Area 10: Hazel Harvey Peace Elementary PTA, Healthy Lifestyles Grant program is working to emphasize the important role that families can play in keeping their children healthy
- President, Mercy Baeza McDonald Junior High PTA, Katy Ft. Worth and ready to learn.
- President, Tosha Jefferson - President, Toni Johnston
Area 5: James M. Steele Accelerated High School Texas PTAs that earned the grant award were:
Troy Community PTA, Troy Area 12: PTA, Roanoke Howe Independent School District (ISD) PTA – Howe, TX (President: Carolyn Cherry)
- President, Agostine Trevino Burley Primary PTA, Lufkin - President, Bryan Buchleiter Howe ISD PTA will use the grant funds to let students and their families sample a variety of fruits to introduce them to the dif-
Clarke Elementary PTA, Ft. Hood - President, Amanda Henson ferent healthy snack options available. The PTA will pilot a Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. In conjunction with the Fresh Fruit
- President, Paula Kemble Area 18: and Vegetable program, the PTA will host the Howe PTA Health and Fitness Fair in the spring which will showcase health and fitness
S. C. Lee Junior High PTA, Copperas Area 13: Grand Prairie ISD Special Education professionals, the local health department, local fitness clubs, and the Grayson County Agriculture Extension. Portable kitchens will be
Cove J.L. Everhart Elementary PTA, Longview PTA, Grand Prairie set up in order to demonstrate how to cook
- President, Angela Gunter - President, Heidee Lail - President, Alexandra Flores healthy meals and snacks.
George Washington Carver Elementary
Area 6: PTA, Marshall Mesita Elementary PTA – El Paso,
Barrington PTA, Austin - President, Susan Beene TX (President: Silvia Ortega)
- President, Joanne Diaz Waskom Middle School PTA, Waskom Mesita Elementary PTA is plan-
Hutto High School PTA, Hutto - President, Brandy Johnson ning a Fitness Week. During this week
- President, Deanne Andersen the school will encourage students and
Ralph Pfluger PTA, Buda Area 15: families to Walk to School. They will also
- President, Teresa Garcia Anna Middle School PTA, Anna have a Fittest Class contest, in which the
Coupland PTA, Coupland - President, Ann Goade entire school will compete, and a nutri-
- President, Amy Schroeder tion seminar to help show families that
important changes in these meals can
help their children avoid future health
Million Hours Of Power issues. They will also invite parents to
participate in PE time, so that they can be
To combat historically low male participation in parent involvement groups, National PTA’s MORE (Men Organized to physically active with their child. Other
Raise Engagement) Alliance and the National Fatherhood Leaders Group have teamed up to launch A Million Hours of Fitness Week activities will include a park
playdate and a sports night.
Power, an initiative to inspire 350,000 American men to dedicate three hours of service to the education, health and well-
being of children.
For more information on this grant
program, visit http://www.pta.org/pta_
Three hours of service—truly a small amount of time to invest—from 350,000 men totals more than 1 million hours of healthy_lifestyles_grant.asp.
true power to the lives of children, resulting in educational, social and physical benefits to kids across the nation.
DINOSAURS TO YOUR
“Give a little, change a lot” will be the rallying call to action for the Million Hours of Power grassroots campaign. Re-
search proves that parent involvement leads to student success in school and life. Children perform better in school when • PTA Healthy Lifestyles Awards
both the mother and the father or a male role model are both involved • Event Ideas from Past Award
in the education of their children. Winners - National PTA
• PTA Healthy Lifestyles - PTA
Great Idea Bank
The Million Hours of Power campaign will encourage men to dedi-
cate three hours of their time to the health, education and well-being
of children in their families and communities during the 2010-2011
school year. Working with the National Center for Fathering, PTA
will provide a tracking tool so you can log your hours and watch the
campaign’s progress toward 1 million hours (see link above).
The hope is that once men see how much reward they get for so
little effort, then they will develop greater habits of engagement and
responsibility to children and families. Visit http://www.pta.org/4197.
htm to contribute your three hours of power. Contact us today!
To Pray Or Not To Pray To Pray Or Not To Pray (cont.)
by Elizabeth Campbell, Texas PTA Inclusiveness Chair by Elizabeth Campbell, Texas PTA Inclusiveness Chair
In response to the title of this ar- ees, volunteers and partners as we ences is to start with our Mission. Of you cannot imagine that praying is expression of religion in “public” The good news is you are still read-
ticle, you might think: What? When? work collaboratively to achieve our course, we must remain true to the inconsistent with our Mission. How- contexts. ing, which means that you are inter-
Where? And “Of course, I can if I association’s goals. Mission of our Texas PTA, which ever, how do you know that no one ested in finding a solution.
want to.” is to make every child’s potential a objects or feels excluded? He or she For example, the website for the
Thus, in order for our members to reality by engaging and empowering may simply be embarrassed about Bellingham Herald reported on Janu- As Inclusiveness Chair, my practi-
Perhaps you have attended a PTA work collaboratively and to respect families and communities to advocate questioning your approach to organiz- ary 12, 2011, that Michael Newdow, cal recommendation to PTA leaders
meeting or other function with a for- each other -- including those who for all children. ing the meeting. And, how are you a California attorney who is an (again, not intended as legal advice)
mal agenda or program. And perhaps have different backgrounds and demonstrating the ability and desire acknowledged atheist, is bringing is to follow our committee agenda
the meeting/program leader -- which perspectives--we must be mindful If someone has an objective that is to advocate for all children if you several U.S. Supreme Court chal- template for meetings -- which does
could be you -- started the event of the unintended consequences of inconsistent with our Mission, that appear to embrace some (those who lenges to the reference to “God” by not include an agenda item for prayer.
by offering a brief prayer or asking seemingly harmless gestures. objective should not be pursued. pray) and exclude others (those who the federal government His separa- The Texas PTA Handbook, page 219,
someone else to say a prayer. do not). tion of church and state challenges Please visit the Texas PTA website for
Another area of interest from a Thus, leaders within our PTA or- include: (1) objecting to “In God We more information.
Sound familiar? Sound plausible? context perspective is the fact that ganization should start with carrying Now, consider this perspective. Trust” as the national motto, espe-
Sound inappropriate? we are trying to grow Texas PTA as out our Mission and move from there You are an active member of your cially because it appears on our U.S. For other events and programs,
an organization. In order for us to to affirmatively make every effort to Local PTA, and you want to stay currency; (2) objecting to the phrase limit the agenda or program to the
It is certainly true that some or- expand our membership, we likewise include people and their differences involved. However, your Local PTA “So help me God” in the presidential business elements of the event.
ganizations and some events rou- must be mindful of practices that (except, as I said, as to the Mission it- president starts each meeting, pro- oath of office; and (3) objecting to the
tinely incorporate prayer or words might cause existing members to drop self). Our members, likewise, should gram, event and school visit with a phrase “under God” in the Pledge of As the richness of society grows,
of inspiration into most, if not all, of out or discourage new members from be committed to the Mission and to few words of prayer. You are not ac- Allegiance. our children will benefit by hav-
their sponsored events. Here is the getting involved. embracing other members and leaders customed to praying in private, much ing our members focus on ways to
challenge: Not all participants pray. with differences. less having your volunteer member- In addition, there are many lower be more inclusive in our PTA ef-
Plain and simple. But, sometimes, it is not easy to ship organization incorporate prayer court challenges to prayer or refer- forts. Mistakes will occur along this
embrace differences -- that is, people The Praying Leader into every activity. “Why can’t we ence to religion in public school journey. A sincere “I am sorry” is an
The issue is not one of separation who come from different back- What if, as a PTA leader, you feel just go about the business of PTA?” districts, and the dispute can become appropriate response, and then we
of church and state. The Texas PTA grounds or have different beliefs than comfortable starting a PTA meet- you wonder. You feel isolated and rather contentious. resume our journey.
is neither. But the issue can become the “majority.” ing with a brief prayer? After all, uncomfortable. You are too afraid
complicated, especially if public that’s the way other meetings you to speak up for fear of having your Choose Option “I” for Inclusive-
school premises are used for PTA One way to cope with the tension attend start off, and the other PTA beliefs rejected or ridiculed. ness
meetings and teachers are present. that can be created by these differ- members do not seem to mind. And, Maybe you are cautiously read-
However, this article is not intended On-Going Legal Challenges Raise ing this article and not feeling so
to be an analysis of legal issues nor Awareness good. No worries. Moving toward
is this author expressing a legal opin- inclusiveness is a journey with a few
ion -- one way or the other. For many years, there have been bumps to be expected along the way.
highly publicized challenges to
The issue I would like to address is
one of inclusiveness -- and the ten-
sion created by the exercise of prac-
tices which may appear to promote or
Texas 8th Graders Earn Top National Rank-
embrace certain religions and, in fact,
exclude or alienate people who do not
embrace those religions.
ings On Science Exam
According to test results recently released by the Na- 36th. Texas Hispanics and African-American subgroups represent
The Texas PTA values diversity and a substantially larger percentage of kids than in most other states
inclusiveness: tional Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP),
and therefore their results, which are influenced by higher percent-
every major ethnic group in Texas scored higher on the
ages of economically disadvantage and Limited English Proficient
Diversity: We acknowledge the po- redesigned eighth-grade NAEP science test than did their kids, lower the overall average scores for the state. This is why it
tential of everyone without regard to peers nationally, and white students earned the second- is important to break down the results by subgroup to reveal an
at least the following characteristics: highest score in the country. Hispanic students in Texas accurate picture of where our Texas students really rank. This is a
age, culture, economic status, educa- phenomenon known as Simpson’s Paradox if you’d like to Google it
tional background, ethnicity, gender, rank 7th in the nation and African-American students
and learn more.
geographic location, legal status, rank 8th. Fourth graders also did very well on the NAEP
marital status, mental ability, national science exam. White students earned the third highest Source: Friends of Texas Public Schools e-newsletter, February 15,
origin, organizational position, pa- score in the nation; African-American students rank 4th 2011.
rental status, physical ability, politi- in the nation among the 50 states; and Hispanic students
cal philosophy, race, religion, sexual For more on this story, visit http://www.tea.state.tx.us/
orientation, and work experience. rank 19th.
Respect: We value the individual news_release.aspx?id=2147495390&menu_id=692.
contributions of members, employ- EDITORIAL NOTE: When scores of these subgroups are averaged
together Texas 8th graders rank 26th and Texas 4th graders rank
Texas PTA Legislative Priorities 2011
tion and health education
Reinstate physical educa
ments at secondary levels
y habits learned in childh
Research shows health s and
pment of children’s bodie
proper growth and develo ood.
health outcomes in adulth
brains and promote better to learn-
physical health are linked
Because good mental and l predictor of
health is a critica
ing ability and because good ls provide
essential that Texas schoo
future productivity, it is that support
students with access to
projected enr g levels for public school
ollment gro s, which incl
grams. school and
• Loan Sta library pro-
• K-12 dat
Fight Obesity - Suppor
that promote moveme
• Texas PTA
healthier food choices
and promote school,
there is no s ller
pecific, single class sizes for students. Texas PTA supp
orts a compreh
guarantees class size tha While
to protect the
students, we t automatic
ally health of workers ve statewide smoke-free law
erally lead to kno dangers of seco , especially our
especially wh greater studen w that smaller ndhand smoke. youth, from the
en paired wit t achieveme
involvement h quality inst nt, Secondhand smo
. ruction and
Pursue an parent ke
children and yout causes more than one milli
adequate In tough bud h each year, inclu on illnesses in
solution fo and equita get times we lower respirato
ry tract infection ding 150,000
r school fu ble scalpel rath
er than a buz
akers will use ma. Exposure
s and 26,000 new 300,000
nding whi cases of asth-
Every Child’s Potential
get cuts and
z saw when
con a and impairs lung smoke decrease
accountabi to maintain class size sta sidering bud- function in child
ren and youth
s lung efficienc
responsibili lity and directly tied
its strong bus tute
iness and eco . Texas’ ability of all ages.
ty for educ to its commit nomic climate Food service emp
ating the children. ment to the is 50% higher risk of them 18 and
whole child education of
its public. These
of dying from
lung cancer than
under, have a
. Incentivize ronment, free
deserve to wor the general
schools and from second-h k in a healthy
cus on educat school district and smoke. envi-
Is A Reality
ing the whole s to mainta
local level for child through in a fo- Just as the state
arts instruc support at the regulates the
tion and phy should be serv temperature at
sical activity ed in which food
. Texas should regu restaurants in order to prot
late smoking in ect consumers,
Pass statewide ers. workplaces to
Law – Pursu While forty-five
percent of Texa
protections fro e a comprehensi
ns are currentl
y covered by
m second-han communities with ordinance, man
smoke for yo d out the ability y Texa
to pass ordinanc ns live in
uth and youn these localities
are at the mer es. Workers in
working in se g adults to set smoking
cy of individua
l business own
rvice industry ers
. The legislation
will be modeled
smoke-free laws after
passed in 29 othe comprehensive statewide
including restaura r states, covering
nts and bars. worksites
rate rooms for Legislation will
smokers and non not allow sepa
ances in public -smokers or vent -
worksites. ilation allow-
are the greatest
related diseases adequate
Obesity and diet- part, by a lack of
today caused, in
children’s health -to-school programs
consumption. Farm ses by serv-
uct which fruit and vegetable r diet-related disea
and chemical prod ity and othe
abis is an herbal n by the brand help combat obes s and providing nutr
Synthetic cann . It is best know in school cafeteria for
cts of cannabis Dascents, ing healthy meals child preference
mimics the effe known as Genie, rtunities to increase
Spice. It is also synthetic tion education oppo rams also help incre
names K2 and r names. When Farm-to-school prog
ck Out and othe that they healthy foods. uce and help local
Zohai, Sage, Kno , it was thought locally-grown prod
first went on sale s. Laboratory ,
cannabis products ure of legal herb the demand for fresh
ct through a mixt under vari-
farms have economic
achieved an effe not the case. Sold
showed this was e gas sta- Force,
analysis in 2008 shops and at som l Coordination Task
es, online, in head but the prod- ncy Farm-to-Schoo and
ous brand nam
“not for human
consumption,” The Interage for schoolchildren
tions, it is marked ked by users. Although synthetic
cannabis ote a healthy diet and ranches,
established to prom sized local farms
smo cannabis, it ll to mid-
ucts are usually in drug tests for the business of sma availability of local
positive results e. plan to facilitate
does not produce its metabolites in human urin has developed a ols. The plan seek
is possible to dete
ct ucts in public scho
abis grown food prod tives that have simi-
d in synthetic cann tries, with existing initia
abinoids containe coun coordinate efforts the health of scho
The synthetic cann made illegal in many European lar objectives to
been the USA. Several farm economy. By new but
l und er federal law in rgia, Alabama, stimulate our local by implementing
but remain lega ding Kansas, Geo e programs, and the stan-
e it illegal inclu elements of thes opportunity to set
states have mad nsas, Oregon,
Michigan, Arka s, Texas has the econo-
a, Mississippi, iders synthetic
d choices for proven strategie
food systems, sust
and Illinois. The
ent Agency cons
to the National
– Pursu e healthier foo dard for vibrant local
a “drug of conc r states are also te awareness, mies and healthy
cannabis to be
res, several othe children, promo
Conference of Jersey, New
ana, and Ohio. opment.
York, Florida, Indi
Dallas, Wylie, economic devel
and distributio Texas cities to
ban K2 thus far
, McKinney and
Frisco, Plano, Allen
of synthetic cann public
d educate the
K2 or Spice an
about their ha
Texas is hom
Cyber-bullying is bullying using electronic means including, but not children to and over 35,000 school bus
limited to, telephones, cellular phones, computers, pagers, elec- from school es that transpo
trips and athl every day, as rt
tronic mail, instant messaging, text messaging, and websites. A etic events. well as for field
posed to high Children ridin
2006 survey by Harris Interactive reported that 43% of U.S. teens concentrations g school bus
substances not of fine particle es are ex-
having experienced some form of cyber-bullying in the past year. only while boa s and other
but also insi rding and de- toxic
de the bus bec boarding bus
own emissio ause of the es,
Cyber-bullying can occur on or off school property. If the conduct ns into the bus intrusion of
tinue to be the cabin. While the buses’
interferes with a pupil’s educational opportunities or substantially safest way to school buses
sions from thei transport chil con-
disrupts the orderly operations of a school or school-sponsored ac- r diesel engines dren, the emi
tivity or event, the school should be able to take action to resolve effects, includin contribute to s-
g a host of hea
the conflict. severity of asth dizziness, nausea, increas lth
ma attacks, ed incidence
and chronic and
Parent and student education and staff training are key to ad- Maintain fu To clean up
dressing this newest form of bullying. nding for th state, with fun than 35,000
School Bus e Clean Environmen
d by the Tex the
Program, th tal Quality, has as Commission
A 2004 survey of 1,500 students between grades 4-8 conducted program fo e grant the Texas Clea
n School Bus
funded a gran
t program call on
by I-Safe.Org reported: r school dis retrofits for Program. The ed
• 42% of kids have been bullied while online. One in four has assists in re tricts that ogy to clean
buses using program fun
Strengthen bullying statute to trofitting die up diesel exh advanced filte
engines so aust.
they emit fe sel bus
had it happen more than once.
• 35% of kids have been threatened online. Nearly one in five
incorporate a clear definition of has had it happen more than once. inside and wer toxins
cyber-bullying, and to provide tools • 21% of kids have received mean or threatening e-mails or outside the
other messages. bus.
and resources that enable schools • 58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things
to deal with all forms of bullying. to them online. More than four out of ten say it has happened
more than once.
Identify student, staff and parent • 58% have not told their parents or an adult about something
mean or hurtful that happened to them online.
Healthier Lifestyles: A New Year’s Resolution! Student 2 Student Training Recently Held in
by Carey Dabney, Texas PTA Healthy Lifestyles Chair
We Americans love to make a hefty price tag. Currently, obesity teach them are the habits they learn by Ed Veiga, VP for Strategic Communications, Military Child Education Coalition
New Year’s Resolutions. It must be and its related expenses cost Texas and follow for a lifetime. Teaching
because of that sense we have that $10.5 billion a year. If we don’t them healthy habits begins at home, From as far away as California to her get through the lunch madness. adult advisors, attends an extensive
anything is possible; that we are the figure out how to stop the rate of but must be reinforced and supported as close as the city next door, thirteen three and one-half day, highly inter-
architects of our own destiny. So overweight and obesity from increas- at school and in the community. Na- schools attended the Military Child Dan finished up by reporting, “Our active training to develop the skills
what if we decided that our New ing, by 2040 Texas will spend an tional PTA and Texas PTA are com- Education Student 2 Student (S2S) kids are great and your training al- needed to train other students. It is a
Year’s Resolution was to become as estimated $40 billion a year to pay for mitted to helping parents and schools training in Dallas, Texas, February lowed us to show that to the other curriculum-based program aimed at
healthy as possible? Could we do it? chronic diseases that are preventable. create healthier home and school 10-13. Teams converged from seven 12 schools. We’re very proud of our making new students feel welcome
environments that support healthy different states for the long week- students and look forward to a strong and accepted. Students are mentored
There is growing awareness that That is money out of everyone’s children and successful students. end to learn how to plan in ways to assist stu-
the health status of our children and pocket to pay for higher health insur- and implement the S2S dents as they transi-
thus of America is in sharp decline ance premiums; higher cost of goods For more information go to: www. program at their own tion in or out of the
due to poor dietary habits and a due to increased cost of production txpta.org/programs and click on schools. school.
sedentary lifestyle. The impact diet because of an unhealthy workforce; Healthy Lifestyles.
and physical activity have on a child’s higher medical bills to pay for both Each school delegation Audience: Area
weight and resulting health prob- the insured and the uninsured, and included two students, school district guid-
lems is obvious. Less obvious is the higher social service costs to pay for two school sponsors ance professionals
impact poor nutrition and fitness have those too sick to work…the list is and two representatives and other professional
on a child’s growth, development, endless. What can we do? of the Navy. Through educators identified
and learning ability. the use of icebreakers, as faculty advisors;
We could resolve to become games, and individual student advisors.
Thirty years ago only about 5% of healthier in 2011; to use that “can action plans, partici-
children suffered from obesity. Type do spirit” we are all so proud of to pants learned the three Terminal Learning
2 diabetes was unheard of in children. help us make the kinds of changes research-based modules Outcomes: 1. De-
Today, overweight and obesity in we know we have to make if we are taught in the training: scribe the challenges
Texas affects 60% of the population going to lead healthier, more produc- Academics, Relation- faced by students as
and continues to rise dramatically. tive lives. ships and Finding the they transition in or
Type 2 diabetes is showing up in ever Way. and vibrant S2S club on campus.” out of school 2. Apply
increasing numbers in children as There is no better place to start The Student 2 Student program data from the Secondary Education
young as 5 years old. What hap- than with our children. The habits we “This was a life-changing experi- is an initiative of the Military Child Transition Study 3. Create a school-
pened? ence for me,” said a tenth grader from Education Coalition. The program specific Student 2 Student™ program
Kaufer, Texas. “I’ve experienced is focused on successful transitions based on academics, relationships,
Our eating patterns changed. In new things and met new friends. I for highly mobile students. To date, and “finding the way.”
the last thirty years, cheap, abundant, can’t wait to take this program back nearly 260 high schools have been
tasty food high in calories and low to my school!” trained throughout the world. For About the Military Child Educa-
in vitamins and minerals, served in more information on the S2S pro- tion Coalition: The Military Child
enormous portions and available all The benefits of the program are gram, contact Joyce Hodson at 254- Education Coalition was established
day long became the norm. At the often realized quickly. Dan Bogdan- 953-1923 or joyce.hodson@military- in 1998 to help military-connected
same time, appliances from automatic ski, a counselor at Murietta Mesa child.org. children meet the challenges that
garage door openers to riding lawn High School in Murietta, California, frequent transitions pose during
mowers became affordable. TVs, reported: When we returned to Mesa About the MCEC Student 2 Stu- their educational years. The MCEC
computers, video games and the inter- High School our students had three dent Program: provides transition services for stu-
net replaced active play. new students to welcome. Two of our Course Description: Believing that dents, parent workshops, information
S2S students met the new students in the best support for a transitioning resources, and counseling resources
Advertising married both eating the morning and just before lunch and student is from another student, the to help military children and families
and sitting into a multi-billion dollar took them through the lunch process. Military Child Education Coalition™ thrive in challenging times. For more
industry whose bottom line means Later that day one of the new students created a unique initiative called the information: www.MilitaryChild.org,
bigger bottoms for consumers. was asked how her experience with Student 2 Student™ (S2S™) pro- or contact Laura Campbell at 254-
S2S went. The girl was brimming gram. A school team, consisting of 953-1923.
Those bigger bottoms come with with thanks, especially for helping two students and two sponsors or
Publishing The Family Directory In The Digital Publishing The Family Directory In The Digital
Age Age (cont.)
by Tracie Oken, MyDirectoryMaker Co-Creator by Tracie Oken, MyDirectoryMaker Co-Creator
Everyone looks forward to receiv- tion is in it as well. (Ironically, at our security options for the desktop direc- contact information (without the ogy there are now more options for
ing their family directory and with the school the only abuse we have had is tory. One is a PDF encrypted with While this doesn’t prevent the ability to change or download data). publishing a family directory than
ever expanding digital environment one parent, who was in the directory, Digital Rights Management (DRM). directory’s re-distribution it acts as Searching can be done from any de- just traditional printing. Your PTA
(smart phones, iPads, etc.) there are sending spam emails to solicit his real DRM is the technology used to a significant inhibitor since you can vice with a browser, including smart needs to consider the security, ease
new publishing options and security estate business.) protect music and eBooks. Using this trace copies back to the family who phones. A good search program will of publication, ease of distribution
concerns for your PTA to consider. method the directory file is licensed improperly re-distributed it. The only display the contact details for and ease of usability by their families
The good news is that these options Printing to a single computer so that it can’t password also limits unauthorized one family at a time thereby making when deciding how to publish their
can save your PTA both time and Paper printing is still the most be passed on to another user. While access should the file find its way it difficult to “farm” the database by directory.
money and provide better security common form of directory publish- this is probably the most secure into unwanted hands. As with stan- cutting and pasting information dis-
than a paper version. This article ing. However, with today’s easy to publishing option it is also the most dard DRM there is also the ability to played on the screen into another ap- Finally, these options are not
will explore the following publishing use, and readily available, scanning cumbersome to install and manage disallow printing (although, as noted plication. A useful feature of online exclusive of each other and can be
options and their security implica- tools it is actually the least secure. for both the directory coordinator and above, most families want the option search is the ability to provide active used in combination. For example,
tions to both your PTA and member When you print on paper you cannot the family. The family has to install to print). A protected PDF provides links where users can click an email our local high school provides both
families: prevent families from giving a copy a reader, then a license key and then security, is easier to use than standard address to initiate an email or click a a protected PDF and online search.
• Printing – a printed copy of to a friend or scanning it to a PDF download the protected PDF file. I DRM and also allows your families to phone number to initiate a call (think This gives their families the ability to
the directory with physical and then re-distributing it (in fact have found that many families have have a copy on multiple computers. smart phone). The main drawback to print and also provides instant online
distribution. we have heard of this happening at a difficulty navigating the process and online search is the lack of a printed and smart phone searching while on
• Desktop – a directory file that couple of schools). Most home print- dislike the restrictiveness of DRM. Online Search copy. However, most people are ei- the go.
resides on the reader’s com- ers now come with features which Some are also reluctant to install a Online search is an easy to use, ther at their computer or smart phone
puter. make it easy to scan a document in new program on their computer due secure, low cost publishing option. when they need to look up informa- Tracie Oken is the co-creator of MyDirec-
• Online – the directory data is minutes. Another drawback to the to the potential of introducing a virus. Each family can be provided a unique toryMaker, the leading Family Directory
tion in the directory.
Publishing software. She can be reached at
hosted online and accessible printed directory is the lack of ability username and password with the op- Tracie@MyDirectoryMaker.com.
through the internet. to track where unauthorized copies In addition, if you allow print- tion to search for family and student With the progression of technol-
came from. ing (and we have found that almost
A primary concern we all face is everyone wants the option to be able
keeping the directory from falling Desktop to print) many DRM systems have is-
into the wrong hands (both for priva-
cy reasons and to make sure that the
A desktop directory is a file (typi-
cally a PDF) that resides on your fam-
sues on the Mac operating system that
can limit the effectiveness of DRM How Does PTA Make A Difference?
directory is not used as a marketing ilies’ local computer. The file is not security.
tool). Keep in mind that your families on the Internet and doesn’t require the “PTA is awesome because when I would see my mom Dr. Benita Ashford, Principal
have a vested interest in guarding the family’s computer to be connected to The second primary security op- help kids read, I think that is what inspired me to read Pearl C. Anderson Middle Learning Center
directory since their own informa- the Internet to view it. The desktop tion is a Protected PDF with “social to younger students and also to volunteer in my commu- Dallas ISD
directory is DRM.” While an unprotected PDF nity!”
easily distrib- has no security, and DRM has very “The Austin School District values very highly our
uted via email. restrictive security, there is another Kyrea Eubanks, 4th Grade partnership with parents and educators through our
In addition, option called “social DRM” which is Mom - April Eubanks, PTA Vice President PTAs. We are working to make sure we have strong PTAs
parents can becoming popular. This consists of Mireles Elementary, Corpus Christi, TX in every school. Their ongoing support for students and
print just the password protecting the PDF (us- campuses, their role connecting families with schools,
pages they ing either a single password for the “PTA is like a monument that represents the entire and their grassroots understanding of the challenges
need (class school or unique passwords for each community of learners. Partnership with parents and facing public schools provide an important foundation
lists, phone family) and then watermarking the teachers could only lead to the continued success of for the success of public education in Austin and around
numbers, etc.) directory pages with the family’s our children. Surely there are challenges in these times the country. “
thereby saving personal information (typically their with participation in secondary schools, but there are
paper and the name plus either email address or safeguards for all to be a part of a professional orga- Dr. Meria Carstarphen
environment. phone number). The PDF can be nization that foster partnerships with parents. When I Superintendent
opened and viewed with a standard think of school and community, PTA is always an avenue Austin Independent School District
There are PDF viewer and doesn’t require any to assist schools with building support systems for our
two primary special software. children to become successful citizens.”
In The Name Of PTA
by Karen Slay, Texas PTA First Vice President
Many times, a PTA leader may not or present title) or a PTA plat- resumé. Another example is
be sure when to speak on an issue and form (newsletter, website, etc.). that you would not use your
when not to. Or can they speak at
all on a particular issue? And when
- Events/Activities – If the in-
formation deals with a PTA
PTA title when sending an
email that is partisan in nature
to Create Healthier and Safer Communities
should one use their PTA title? All function, activity or event, to close friends. PTA leaders
of these are valid questions which such as an upcoming parent may never use their titles when
deserve clarification. education program or the fall supporting or opposing candi-
• Who is the spokesperson for carnival, the appropriate dates. I SUM DE
Bringing Together Spheres of Inﬂuence: EW MARCH 1 – 2, 2011
our PTA? spokesperson would be the - In the event of a local elec- Building on the success of previous Texans
- The PTA president is auto- appropriate chair. But the PTA tion in a community where Standing Tall Statewide Summits, our 2011 March 1st:
matically the designated media president should be the final a PTA leader is so closely linked Summit marks a two-day event that will 9:00am Registration Opens
spokesperson unless otherwise editor of the information with PTA that community mem- bring national and state experts together (pre-registration required)
with participants, centered on merging the
designated by the board or the (newsletter, website article), bers will associate that leader 10:00am – 12:30pm Morning Presentations
social sectors that inﬂuence students and
membership. The president and the principal is always in- with PTA regardless of his/her their community. We will build our statewide capacity to establish 12:30pm – 2:00pm Luncheon/Networking
may choose to delegate this cluded in this pre-approval use of title, that PTA leader a community prevention system that delivers and implements the
responsibility to a more knowl- process. must use particular care in their 2:00pm – 6:00pm Afternoon Presentations
latest proven alcohol and tobacco prevention strategies.
edgeable or more qualified • When should the PTA title be decision whether or not to pro-
member, when appropriate. used? vide their endorsement. Inﬂuencing Your Community: March 2nd:
Only one person should speak - A PTA leader’s title should - A PTA leader is not prohib- Participants will learn about evidence-based community
8:00am Doors Open
with the media on a topic or only be used when dealing ited or prevented from running (environmental) prevention strategies, take part in strategic planning
activities, and mobilize to take action on statewide and local 8:30am – 9:30am Morning Plenary or Keynote
situation, in order to prevent with PTA issues that have for or holding a public office.
strategies. Speciﬁc strategies and presentations will be geared to 9:30am – 10:00am Break/Visit Agencies’
information contradiction. Be been approved by the member- To ensure the nonpartisan re-
campus-based prevention. Resource Tables
certain to follow any school ship, or when dealing with quirements placed on PTA, the
district procedures before normal PTA operations (in- PTA member must, when cam- The Statewide Summit will take place as Texas’ legislative session 10:00am – 11:30am Strategy Breakout Sessions
speaking with the media, and, cluded in the leader’s duties). paigning for office or serving in is underway giving participants the opportunity to visit the Texas 11:30am – 12:30pm Lunch
always, keep the campus prin- This includes use of past titles the office, sever his/her identity Capitol and observe and learn how legislators address substance
12:30pm – 5:00pm Capitol Activities:
cipal informed. as well. For example, a past with PTA as it relates to that abuse prevention.
Tour of the Capitol
• When can the PTA speak on an school board member would public office. Observe Committee Hearings
Leveraging Research for Results: Observe Floor Debates
issue/event? not write a letter to the editor Presentations and breakout sessions are based on recommended Greet Local Representatives
- Issue – The PTA can only about an issue and use the title Bottom line, perception is every- evidenced-based prevention strategies as outlined by the National
speak on issues where the “Former School Board thing. In order to protect the PTA, be Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in their report, A Call to
PTA membership has voted on Trustee.” Doing so could give mindful of the light you shine on your Action: Changing the Culture of Drinking at U.S. Colleges; Surgeons Location:
the position, or the issue is the impression to the reader PTA when choosing to speak and General reports, including a Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Wyndham Garden Hotel
covered by a Texas or National that the school board supports when using your PTA title. Underage Drinking; and the Institutes of Medicine and Centers for 3401 South I-H 35, Austin, TX 78741
PTA position or resolution. A the statements represented in Disease Control.
PTA leader cannot express their the letter to the editor. Past Purpose:
Making a Meaningful Impact through Collaboration:
personal opinion on an issue titles may be used only in a list- Learn about practical and effective steps for statewide community Bringing together anyone interested in preventing
when using their PTA title (past ing of experience, such as a action to prevent and reduce youth and student access and youth substance abuse through collaborating and
implementing evidence-based prevention strategies.
availability to alcohol and tobacco. Engage in discussions and
become equipped with practical tools to help create and implement
local, regional, and state plans for environmental prevention. Registration:
The knowledge and skills that participants will take back to their Attendance is $50 and meals are provided.
communities can make a meaningful impact in creating a healthier Register at www.TexansStandingTall.org.
and safer environment for our youth. Limited scholarships are available.
C Look for this icon Summit agenda, speaker details and updated information
on the agenda
to reﬂect campus
will be posted online. Visit www.TexansStandingTall.org
for all Summit information. Questions? Call 512-442-7501.
T focused topics.
Texas PTA On Class Size Texas PTA
No doubt the topic of class size is on the minds of parents, educators and legislators. That is why Texas PTA feels it is On Class Size
important we communicate with our members so that you know where our association stands on this issue.
Texas PTA’s first legislative priority is: Pursue an adequate and equitable solution for school funding while maintaining
accountability and responsibility for educating the whole child.
districts greater flexibility when they
This Texas Legislative Session is shaping up to exceed the dire predictions about budget shortfalls we have been hearing are faced with budgeting for the next
about for the last six months. The base budgets released by the Texas Senate and the Texas House of Representatives il- two years with fewer dollars. Of all
lustrate quite clearly the consequences to public education, to services for our most vulnerable Texans, and to the on-going the unfunded mandates that districts
maintenance of our state’s infrastructure of a $26.8 billion shortfall. have, the class size cap of 22-1 is
the most costly. Ideas that legislators
Most of us are hopeful that these two versions of the budget are a “floor” rather than a ceiling, and that policymakers are exploring for “helping” school
will come together to find solutions that will enable us to lessen the impact to Texas citizens. Even with all lawmakers districts weather the next two years
working together and a combination of fee increases, loophole closings, business tax adjustments, and use of part of the include:
rainy day fund, we will likely see cuts to public education. • Doing away with the class size
How will this impact Texas children? Once the money is sent to districts, the decisions about how to use it will be made • Raising the cap to allow more
at the local level. Mandates on school districts influence some of these decisions, but your voice will be needed to help than 22 students in a class in
direct your school board and administrators so that they maintain the focus on our children, making cuts and adjustments grades K-4
as far removed from students as possible. • Requiring an average of 22
students in grades K-4 on each
Texas PTA supports smaller class sizes for students in elementary grades. While there is no specific, single class size campus or on each district
that automatically guarantees success for students, we know that smaller classes generally lead to greater student achieve- • A two year moratorium on class
ment, especially when paired with quality instruction and parent involvement. Texas PTA understands that these are tough size caps
budget times and that we are all being asked to tighten our belts. While Texas PTA is fighting to maintain current funding
levels, unless something dramatic happens, it is likely that school districts will receive less state funding for the next two Texas PTA is opposed to eliminat-
years than they received for the current two year budget cycle. It will be the task of local school boards and administra- ing class size caps in grades K-4.
tions, with parent input, to decide how to allocate fewer dollars.
Texas PTA believes any adjustment 12th and Trinity
Texas PTA has con- to the current law must not eliminate
sidered its position on class size caps, must contain a parent
class size caps within notification piece, and must be very
the context of the cur- carefully constructed to give districts
rent budget crisis and some flexibility without losing the
Texas PTA’s goal is benefits of smaller class sizes.
to educate the whole
child. It is impossible Texas PTA expects to be at the table
to look only at class for any discussions about adjusting
size; Texas PTA must the class size caps and will fight, if JOIN US to demand that our lawmakers put education first!
consider what may changes are to be made, to minimize
happen to fine arts their impact to students. Our future depends on it!
classes and secondary
class sizes, for exam- Texas’ ability to maintain its strong
ple, if school districts business and economic climate is
do not have some flex- directly tied to its commitment to the
ibility, within tightly education of its children. In tough
drawn parameters, to budget times, we hope policymakers
adjust to reduced fund- will use a scalpel rather than a buzz
ing. There are many saw when considering budget cuts
ideas being considered and revisions to class size statute.
that will give school
Green Ribbon Schools
Green Ribbon Schools’ (GRS) vision is to foster healthier, happier and smarter kids. One of the program’s four corner-
stones is promoting healthy lifestyles at home and school. To become a Green Ribbon School requires the involvement of
parents, administrators, teachers and students.
Web Sites for Parents, Kids and Teachers*
GRS’ goals are to:
• Promote Nutrition, Fitness and Health Texting While Driving Video - http://www.txpta.org/programs/resources-for-students/
• Promote Environmentally-Friendly Campuses AT&T documentary on the dangers of texting while driving. Available on the Texas PTA web-
• Promote Outdoor Physical Activity and Nature Play site’s new student page.
• Integrate Nature in Education
X the TXT - http://www.allstate.com/auto-insurance/teen-text-pledge.aspx
GRS provides schools with resources and ideas, allowing schools to create projects based on their needs. The GRS web Allstate’s “X the TXT” campaign encourages teens not to text and drive. Check out their Face-
site supports teachers and students in establishing and collaborating on projects, including publishing their results with book page where they encourage teens to take the pledge and offer campaign thumb bands. Over
photos and videos. 125,000 people have taken the X the TXT pledge.
PTA’s can leverage GRS to support healthy lifestyle programs both during and after school. As an elementary PTA
president said, “I really like your Green Ribbon Model! While I suspect there are thousands of schools doing things, this
Post-It Activity Center - http://www.post-itteachers.com/
gives a recognized framework and a thoughtful goal for campuses to pursue.” Who knew post-it notes could be so much fun? Check out these teacher-submitted lesson plans
that utilize post-its to teach about things like multiplication and pollen.
Green Ribbon Schools has been created in partnership with the 60+ members of the Texas Children in Nature Coali-
tion, including the Texas Education Agency, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas Depart-
*Texas PTA does not endorse nor recommend any vendor, their services, or their products.
ment of State Health Services, the Texas PTA, and the Texas Association of Student Councils.
GRS was launched in the spring of 2010. Already over 180 schools have registered from across Texas. Green Ribbon
Schools is provided free to schools by the support of partners such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas.
Teen Dating Violence
Please check out the program at www.greenribbonschools.org and consider working with your parents, teachers and
administrators to develop healthy lifestyle programs at your school that make learning both fun and engaging! Dating abuse isn’t something anyone wants to talk about, sure report they are afraid the relationship would end
but as long as we’re ignoring it, the problem will never if they did not give in.
go away. • Nearly 1 in 4 girls who have been in a relationship
For more information, please contact Steve Amos at email@example.com. (23%) reported going further sexually than they
Did you know that:. wanted as a result of pressure.
• 1 in 4 teen girls say they have been concerned about People (girls AND guys) can experience several different
being physically hurt by their partner. types of abuse which can include:
• 1 in 4 teens who have been in a serious relationship
say that a boyfriend or girlfriend has tried to prevent • Physical abuse: any intentional use of physical force
them from spending time with friends or family; the meant to cause fear or injury, like hitting, shoving,
same number have been pressured to only spend time biting, strangling, kicking, or using a weapon.
with their partner.
• Half of teen girls who have experienced sexual pres- • Emotional abuse: non-physical behavior such as
threats, insults, humiliation, intimidation, isolation,
• Sexual abuse: any action that forces undesired sexual
behavior on you by another person. This includes mak-
ing you do anything you don’t want to do sexually,
refusing to have safe sex, aggressively pressuring you
to go further than you want to sexually, or making you
feel badly about yourself sexually.
Source: http://www.stayteen.org/ or visit the new student page on the
Texas PTA website.
Your Opinion Matters...To Your Teen Fight For Quality Pre-K Education
by David C. Hancock, Director/Editor of “The Road Beacon” by Kara Johnson, President and CEO, Texas Early Childhood Education Coalition
The 82nd Legislative Session As the President and CEO of the within Texas PTA, I encourage you to
brings a whole host of challenges to Texas Early Childhood Education take this opportunity to contact your
education advocates. As legislators Coalition (TECEC), and a passionate legislator to tell them your story of
grapple with a multi-billion dollar supporter of quality education reform why education is critical to the future
shortfall, teachers, parents, adminis- programs for children ages birth of Texas. If you do not know who
trators, and advocates fear what may through college, I am calling on all represents you, please visit http://
remain after the education budget is Texans to set aside time this legisla- www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/.
slashed. One of the many programs tive session to advocate for high qual-
advocates fear will go away is Texas’ ity education. Finally, if you haven’t done so
pre-k reform program. already, I encourage you to spread
Study after study has demonstrated the word about the incredible new
In 2003, legislators from both sides that the future of our great state is in Early Childhood PTA initiative that
of the political aisle came together to jeopardy if we do not invest in the the Texas PTA recently launched. It
implement what is now a nationally education of children now. This same encourages early childhood education
The first few months of a new year What can I do to set guidelines? teens want their parents to set bound- recognized pre-k reform program that research points out that the earlier programs, located in child care and
always represent a new time in our You have driving safety laws on your aries and actually emulate what their has been proven to prepare Texas’ you invest in the education spectrum, Head Start centers, to get engaged
lives. For many of us, that means side. Many states have laws that parents do behind the wheel. Help most at risk children for school readi- the greater your return on investment. early in the PTA. Please visit http://
starting new projects at work and make driving while using a cell phone your teen to stay safe and you’ll make ness upon entry into kindergarten. www.txpta.org/ for more information.
the start of a new school term for for 16-18 year olds against the law. a difference not only in their life; but As a result, Texas legislators now Texas legislators have gone on
our kids. This is also an important If you want something more “set in for your whole community have a proven solution to the growing record this session asking for proven Now is the time to get involved! I
time of the year in our lives when stone,” you can ask your teen if he achievement gap in our state. solutions to achieving short-and look forward to working with you.
many teens are learning how to drive. or she has any concerns or questions long-term economic growth, better
Yikes! That big step in a teenager’s about driving. Then establish rules Source(s): National Safety Council and the Despite two federal reviews of the prepared children for school, in- Texas PTA Early Childhood Bro-
life comes with a lot of freedom, but and consequences based on you and Colorado Department of Transportation program, multiple peer reviewed creased high school graduation rates, chure
it also comes with a responsibility to your teen’s concerns in a Parent-Teen journal articles, and a report on the and a solid workforce of the future.
practice safe driving habits behind the Driving Contract. cost effectiveness of the program by Texas’ proven pre-k reform program
wheel. As we all know from growing the Bush School of Government and and other innovative K-12 education
up, driving requires a lot of practice Your input and example matter to Public Service at Texas A&M Univer- programs can do just that.
and it can be a bumpy road when we your teen. Even if your teen says it sity, the pre-k reform program is still
first get behind the wheel. In fact, doesn’t at times; surveys indicate that one of many programs that may be on As you consider the best role for
16-year-old drivers are nearly three isn’t the case. Overwhelmingly, most the chopping block this session. you to play as a member and leader
times more likely to be involved in
a crash than other drivers. While
this statistic may sound frightening,
it reinforces the critical role parents
can play in keeping teens safe on our
roadways. MyDirectoryMakerTM is used by over 500 schools nationwide.
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children drive safe is to set a good
example for them. Do you buckle up
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every time? Do you allow your cell www.mydirectorymaker.com
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drive? Your kids will emulate your
driving habits, so teach them well. Use code TXPTA0411 and get 10% OFF by 04/30/2011
Texting - R U Concerned? Texting - R U Concerned? (cont.)
by Scott Brown, Texas PTA Youth Protection Chair by Scott Brown, Texas PTA Youth Protection Chair
or texting devices while driving. In We have posted the link to this
How fortunate we are to have a relatively new me- basic can we get and how simple it should be to con- Texas we do have several regulations Additionally, there are at least 10 documentary on the Texas PTA web-
dium to provide entertaining outtakes, video clips and clude that if you are engaged in texting while driving, that go various lengths to address bills that have been filed in this 2011 site at http://www.txpta.org/programs/
stories to share with our friends at various social events. you simply cannot keep your eyes on the road. We must the use of wireless communication legislative session that are intended resources-for-students/. I would
I am not talking about a new sport, a new fashion item, put a stronger emphasis on this and make it clearly un- devices while driving, and there is a to add more teeth to existing regula- encourage all to watch this with the
or even a new recreational activity, although this could derstood that this is a socially unacceptable practice. growing trend in cities and munici- tions. Although regulating the use time and energy that is due and think
be categorized as any of the above. I am talking about palities to take stronger action. Here of texting devices is something that about sharing this with your friends,
the increase and proliferation of “texting” and the result- A 2009 study by Virginia Tech Driving Institute is a list of the current regulations in we need to work toward and actively students and family. This is not just
ing distractions. Many of us, I am sure, have gotten revealed that those who resort to texting while driving Texas governing the use of handheld support, stronger influence can be a teen issue; it is a societal issue with
a chuckle over the woman falling in the fountain at are 23 times more likely to meet with an accident than wireless devices: achieved and additional effort needs increasing frequency and growing
the mall while being distracted by texting and numer- those who focus on the road. A comparative study of • Learners permit holders are to be placed on personal responsibili- consequences. We all need to be
ous other clips, blurbs and stories of our neighbors and texting while driving versus drunken driving statistics prohibited from using hand- ty. Parents, peers, friends and societal more responsible and accept our role
friends running into fixed objects while engaged in the published in a leading car magazine in the United States held cell phones in the first six influences will have additional and in curtailing this practice. The truly
same activity. Because of the increasing frequency of revealed that texting while driving is even more danger- months of driving. perhaps greater impact and could do sad element in this is that, almost
these events, we can relate all too well and find a level ous than drunk driving. Studies reveal that a person • Drivers under the age of 17 much to minimize the needless trag- without exception, these incidences
of entertainment in this while still being able to sym- who is texting while driving at the speed of 35 mph will with restricted licenses are edies associated with texting while are 100% preventable.
pathize with individuals finding themselves in those cover significantly more distance before bringing the prohibited from using wireless driving. If you are parents engaged
situations. car to complete stop as compared to a distance which a communications devices. in this practice, please remember We need to ask ourselves if one
drunken driver would cover at the same speed. Accord- • School bus operators are pro- that you are leading by example and life, one injury, one accident is worth
There is a far more serious side that has emerged in ing to the texting while driving death statistics compiled hibited from using cell phones showing the younger passengers in someone being distracted for just a
the past few years concerning the advent of texting. by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration while driving if children are your vehicle that this practice is okay. few seconds to view or send a mes-
For many, texting while driving has moved from an (NHTSA), 5,870 people died in car crashes in 2008 present. sage -- LOL, MISS U, THXS, C U
infrequent occurrence, to a habit, and, unfortunately for alone. The same statistics revealed that 515,000 people • Drivers are prohibited from us- Recently I came across this link to SOON. These are not life or death
many, to an obsession. A basic understanding that this were injured in various car crashes in the United States. ing handheld devices in school a documentary that was created by messages, and, yet with increasing
is an unacceptable distraction to an individual operat- Around 28 percent of all crashes in 2008 were caused by crossing zones. AT&T. There are many resources frequency, they are becoming just
ing a vehicle should not even be a point of discussion. drivers in the age group of 18 and 29, who admitted to • Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, available to all, but I found this one that.
It should be obvious to everyone that when you violate texting while driving. Galveston, El Paso, Missouri of particular merit and worth the time
one of the fundamental principles associated with the re- City and Stephenville have to review: http://www.youtube.com/
sponsibility of driving, serious issues are going to arise. We would like to believe that this is primarily a teen enacted local distracted driving watch?v=DebhWD6ljZs.
The fundamental principle of which I speak is driving issue and teens are where we need to focus our aware- laws.
rule #1: Keep your eyes on the road. How much more ness and education efforts. Recent studies show that
the facts do not support this. The
assumption that the number of teen-
agers texting while driving is higher,
when compared to adults, was called
into serious question in a study of 2010
driving statistics compiled by Pew Re-
search Center. That study showed that
47 percent of the adults resort to texting
while driving as compared to 34 per-
cent of the teenagers. The same study
revealed that 75 percent of the adults
resort to phone conversation while
driving as compared to 52 percent of
the teenagers. These numbers could be
argued on many fronts, but the simple
truth is that the issue is not solely with
our teen drivers.
Currently there is no national regula-
tion that governs the use of cell phones
Texas PTA On Funding
Texas PTA urges lawmakers to consider ALL available funding sources, in-
cluding but not limited to the Rainy Day Fund, in order to maintain adequate
funding, including enrollment growth, for public schools. Adequate funding
for public schools must be assured for the long term -- not just today in this The Voice
Spring 2011 • Vol. 102, No. 2
emergency, and not just from emergency resources like the Rainy Day Fund.
We must pursue an adequate and equitable solution for school funding while 408 West 11th Street
Austin, Texas 78701-2113
maintaining our duty to educate the whole child. www.txpta.org • firstname.lastname@example.org
Texas PTA Board of Directors:
Texas PTA is hosting a “Fund Texas’ Future” email event on March 2, 2011. President - Sharon Goldblatt
For details on how to get involved, visit www.txpta.org/events/future-events/. First Vice President - Karen Slay
Second Vice President - Leslie Boggs
Secretary - Karen Martin
Today’s family is online...
Treasurer - Lisa Holbrook
Historian - Christopher Salerno, Ed.D.
Region Vice Presidents:
Kerry Bowdry, Region I
Tonita Franklin, Region II
Kari Blocher, Region III
Larriann Curtis, Region IV
Chris Zimmer, Region V
Lois Buford, Region VI
Terri Bieber, Arts in Education Chair
your PTA be Lois Pearson, Board Development Chair
Chris Lloyd, Councils Chair
Lindsay Satterwhite-Preston, Environmental Chair
Carey Dabney, Healthy Lifestyles Chair
there too? Elizabeth Campbell, J.D., Inclusiveness Chair
Renee Walker, Leadership Chair
Leah Filzow-Perez, Legislative Action Chair
Kris Vaughn, Membership Chair
Heather Ashwell-Hair, Parent Education Program-
Scott Brown, Youth Protection Chair
www.ptanetwork.txpta.org Virginia Randal
Executive Director - Kyle Ward, CAE
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