September 2020 Issue
Welcome to FCCPTA's newsletter, Top 10 on the 10th, where we'll bring you no more than 10 PTA-related news items on the 10th day of every month.
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In this Issue

  1. President's Message
  2. FCCPTA General Membership Meeting
  3. Kick-start a New Reflections Program
  4. The Power of Inclusion
  5. Technology Resources to Support Learning at Home
  6. ACE Interface
  7. Virginia PTA FAQs
  8. Update Your PTA Officer List
  9. New PTA for Your Child Membership Campaign
  10. Protecting Children During COVID
President's Message
It Takes a Village, Not Just One Person
 
As a child, fall was always my favorite season because it marked the beginning of something new. With the start of each school year, there was an opportunity to reinvent myself! This would be the year that I would get straight As, or make new friends, learn algebra, or even develop a new personality trait. As I grew older, I realized I was really drawn to the opportunity for change and growth. I am still drawn to fall, and my excitement rings anew each year as I watch a new chapter of school through my child’s eyes.
 
But this year is different. We have been home with our kids since mid-March! We are all trying to balance so many things including our partners, our families, our work, our household, our pets, and now – virtual learning. Despite all these other commitments, you have decided to add another ball to your juggling act – your PTA volunteerism. I am in awe of each and every one of you because this is truly a labor of love.
 
It takes a village to raise a child, and you, my friends, are the heart of that village. Yes, you are the heart. Just as with a human body, the heart is vital to life, but it still requires collaboration from other body parts. Simply put, you cannot do it all. You cannot be everything to everyone. This proverb states that it takes a village, not just 1 person. 
 
As you are balancing your many commitments while remaining the heart of your village, please make sure you are taking time to take care of yourself too. When the air masks drop on an airplane, you are instructed to place a mask on yourself first, then to assist your child or seatmates. This is because you need to be well before you can help others. Take this way of thinking and apply it to your volunteer work. Set boundaries and accept that what you are doing is enough. Allow others to tend to the village and for you to create time to nurture yourself – whether it is curling up to read a good book, going for a run, walking your dog, meditating, or watching a good movie, make sure you carve time for YOU.
 
Take care, be well, & stay healthy,
Kara
FCCPTA General Membership Meeting
PTA Leaders are invited to join FCCPTA at the first general membership meeting for the 2020-2021 school year, Wednesday, October 7 at 7 pm.

Connect with other PTA leaders, hear from your county council & Dr. Brabrand, and share ideas for building an informed and engaged membership in your PTA.


REGISTER HERE for the meeting.
You'll receive the meeting link before October 7th.
Kick-start Your Reflections Program
Here are some tips for if your school is offering Reflections for the first time or is coming back from a hiatus:

  1. Trust yourself! You do not need a big committee to get started.
  2. Let students (and their parents or guardians) know about this opportunity as soon as possible. Have your PTA/PTSA call for entries, ask to have teachers call for entries, announce Reflections at your PTA/PTSA meeting. Do what it takes to get notice out through multiple communications channels.
  3. Share this VIDEO call for entries; FLYER [English]; FLYER [Spanish] and LOGO to make your own materials.
  4. If you need a way for students to submit submissions digitally, request online forms and a repository by going to REFLECTIONS FORMS . Ten PTAs have used this free and easy service so far!
  5. As the entries come in, let the volume of entries drive your efforts to recruit judges. Only one entry for a particular division and category? Great! As long as all entry qualifications are met, you have a winner! Did you get 100 entries in a division and category? Also great! With that kind of interest from students, you WILL be able to find judges to help select a winner.

Questions? Contact VP Programs, Larry Mills at vp.programs@fccpta.org or Reflections Chair, Jason Morgan at reflections@fccpta.org
The Power of Inclusion
We are proud to announce the launching of “The Power of Inclusion”. This article comes from our Diversity and Inclusion Chair and will address topics that for most of us are challenging to approach in our daily life. Here, we will find the tools to move without the tight and constricted political correctness that roams our lives and will help us have candid and honest conversation about these hard-to-talk topics with poise and grace.

We understand that this month acknowledges critical topics, and they will be covered in other areas of our FCCPTA.

September celebrates 132 holidays. So, in “The Power of Inclusion” we celebrate the Hispanic culture. We will talk about the richness of this culture and we will post it during this month in our “FCCPTA en español”, and “Fairfax County Council PTA (FCCPTA)” Facebook pages. We highly encourage you to visit and give a “Like” to these pages. There you will find more information about this month’s celebration that you can share with your units.

When we speak about the Hispanic community, we may think of Cinco de Mayo, tacos, or margaritas. There is much more to know about the Hispanic ethnicity than this stereotype, and we will talk about the richness of the culture during this month in our Facebook posts and the rest of our social media.

We will know about the origins of the culture, the countries in which Spanish is spoken, and we will even learn how to make one typical dish of each of those countries. We will spark new ideas for your units so your Hispanic families can feel the appreciation we have for their countries of origin and how the contribution of the Hispanic culture has enriched our American culture throughout the centuries.


Monica Vilpors
Diversity and Inclusion Chair
Fairfax County Council PTA

Technology Resources to Support Learning
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As the school year begins with virtual learning, FCPS has developed resources that can help with basic technology issues. FCPS’ YouTube channel has videos on basic technology topics that highlight some of the key FCPS tools, such as Google and Blackboard. These videos are designed to provide solutions for quick, simple questions. 

Additionally, there are tip sheets available on the FCPS Parent Technology Resource page in multiple languages that provide answers to basic questions about FCPS technologies. These resources will continue to be updated throughout the year; we encourage you to check that page first.

If you can’t find answers in FCPS’ online resources, there are several places to seek help. Below is a guide to help you get information quickly:

  • For a child’s schedule or classes, school events, or programs, checking out an FCPS laptop, or updating your information, contact your child’s school directly.
  • Broader inquiries about FCPS programs or resources for families may be directed to the Parent Resource Center at 703-204-3941, or use one of our eight Parent Information Phone Lines for information in multiple languages. 
  • Technical support questions about your online parent accounts, your student’s FCPS laptop, or your student’s online applications, contact the Parent Technology Help Desk (toll free) at 833-921-3277 or enter a support request ticket via the Parent and Student IT Portal.
ACE Interface
Planning your programming for the year? FCCPTA has joined FCPS, the Community Services Board (CSB) and Neighborhood and Community Services (NCS) to offer ACE Interface.

This program is presented by a team of 30 trained community members, including FCCPTA's Jenna White. The program is available to your PTA at no cost, and covers types of childhood adversity, the research on the impact of childhood adversity, and ways to mitigate adversity through resiliency strategies. A special emphasis is placed on COVID-19.

To schedule a presentation or for more information, please contact:

Jenna White, Representative to the Fairfax Trauma Informed Community Network at ticn@fccpta.org.

Click on flyer for printable version
Virginia PTA FAQs
Our state PTA organization, Virginia PTA (VAPTA), is committed to sharing the most up-to-date information on conducting PTA business and providing distance/virtual learning resources.

VAPTA has provided several resource guidelines. Please review these guidelines and information as your PTA/PTSA prepares for the 2020-21 school year.


Please stay tuned for more information via the VAPTA FAQ newsletters.



Interested in receiving VAPTA newsletters?
Please update your PTA officer contact information below.
Update Your PTA Officer List
Update your PTA's officer list with VAPTA even if there were no changes this year. The update is required each year to ensure you continue to receive PTA communications. More information can be found HERE.
National PTA for Your Child Membership Campaign
Today, PTA’s role is more important than ever in connecting parents, teachers and administrators, and supporting critical school needs. We want every family in our schools to join PTA, because we can do more together than apart.

Our new membership campaign—PTA For Your Child—is designed to engage and excite new members and existing members by making the work of the PTA more visible and highlighting the value and impact of PTA.

To bolster your membership recruitment activities, we have developed a suite of materials, including a campaign toolkit that outlines how to effectively communicate the value of PTA membership, a suite of dynamic visuals and collateral materials, and a campaign rollout checklist.


Protecting Children During COVID
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As PTA leaders we have been rightfully concerned about the safety of children at home during COVID. Some communities are seeing spikes in cases reported, others are seeing cases under reported as caring adults like teachers don't have "eyes on" children.

Fairfax County has created a new campaign to increase community awareness and detailing how we can all respond. Please share this important information with your members and entire community- via PDF or by sharing this link: Fairfax County Family Services
Need anything? We’re here to help!


Kara Jenkins, president@fccpta.org
Shawna Garrett, vp.outreach@fccpta.org
La Guardia Myers, vp.advocacy@fccpta.org
Larry Mills, vp.programs@fccpta.org
Hamid Munir, vp.training@fccpta.org
Brett Fox, secretary@fccpta.org
Jaime Yarussi, treasurer@fccpta.org

Please share this newsletter with your PTA community