October 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. PTA Roundtables
  3. Spelling Bee
  4. Military Families
  5. Reflections
  6. Get Out the Vote
  7. Special Session - Last Call to Action
  8. NOVA District PTA Learning Seminars
  9. ACE Interface
  10. Secure Zoom Meetings
President's Message
You are amazing. Full stop. YOU ARE AMAZING! Lifting your communities, nourishing the food insecure, expressing gratitude to our educators, and turning children’s potentials into realities, this work is simply invaluable. That you are accomplishing all this during virtual learning and a public health crisis is commendable. Thank you for being the heart of your village.

You are not alone. The wonderful gift of PTA is belonging to a network of support that is so much bigger than you can imagine. Plan on joining FCCPTA representatives and other local leaders for PTA Roundtables on October 19 or 21 (or both!). Additionally, please consider joining NOVA District PTA on Saturday, October 24 for training and an opportunity to get some PTA questions answered by local experts.

Worried about the impacts of screen time during virtual learning? October is National Arts & Humanities month, and what better way to honor that plus get kids away from screens by participating in our FREE National Reflections Program? Also consider participating in our Spelling Bee program, especially if you’re worried about too much use of auto-correct.

Virtual learning is hard. We know educators are working harder than ever, and even when our kids experience success- the truth is, it is still hard. We struggle to see our kids not being able to interact (in-person) with their classmates and friends. But what if your kid is new to FCPS? What if they have no friends? That is the reality for many of our military families, and I am happy to share that our Military Families Chair is hard at work to help those military families both adapt to FCPS but to also help those kids make friends.

Finally, we all know that virtual learning is not the ideal solution. It’s especially frustrating when we see local private schools or school districts across the country open. The truth is- public education in Virginia is chronically underfunded. Did you know that we rank 43rd in the country for per-pupil spending? One of the single biggest challenges preventing a more robust back-to-physical school plan is a lack of funding. Virginia PTA is currently hard at work advocating for more money for schools. The more members we have, the stronger our voice. When your members ask why join PTA, especially now - this is the reason. When we lobby state legislators, it makes a big difference if we say we have 100 members, or we have 100,000 members.

Keep reading to learn more!

Take care, be well, and stay healthy,
PTA Roundtables
Join local PTA leaders to discuss membership and other topics of need for their local units. Share what's going well, what needs work, and brainstorm ideas for the fall and winter.

Elementary School Roundtable: Mon., October 19, 2020 @ 7 PM

Middle/High School Roundtable: Wed., October 21, 2020 @ 7 PM

Pre-registration required
Spelling Bee
Military Families
Hello Fairfax County PTA leaders and Supporters of Military Families,

I’m Julie Shepard, FCCPTA Military Families Chair! I’ve been collaborating with several local organizations in support of our military families. FCCPTA and NOVA District PTA are proud to announce this initiative in support of our military families in this region.

For our PTA leaders who aren’t as familiar with the needs of our military families, one of the main issues military families express is a lack of feeling connected to their community. COVID-19 has only amplified this. Many of our military families who have moved (we call it PCS) during COVID are feeling even more disconnected to their community. Our students are not making friends or having the opportunity to meet other peers due to the pandemic. I encourage you to review this infographic, specifically page two where it shows local community support, civilian-military divide and issues of military children’s education. Blue Star Families

As such, we are kicking this partnership off with a Town Hall on Tuesday October 13th from 7-8:30. This will be a an opportunity for our military family chairs/liaisons to their school PTAs to share needs in their communities.

Northern Virginia District PTA Military Family Town Hall
Tuesday, October 13th 
7:00-8:30 pm EST
Virtual Meeting

Please join Blue Star Families for a special Town Hall meeting of the Northern Virginia District PTA. The purpose of the meeting is to explore opportunities for collaboration to support military students in the NOVA region. Blue Star Families has agreed to sponsor a Welcome Event for our military-connected students and families. Please join us to discuss details.
Registration is required. RSVP for Military Family Townhall

Students throughout Fairfax County are busy submitting their PTA Reflections entries. Make sure your local unit Reflections leaders evaluate entries in time to submit top entries in each division and category to the FCCPTA. Instructions on how to submit top entries will be out mid-October. The deadline for submitting to the FCCPTA is October 31, 2020, at Midnight.

Please be sure to reach out to potential judges. FCPS teachers, private instructors, independent writers and artists, college students (particularly in the fine arts or humanities), and more can all help make Reflections a success at the county level. We have a particular need for judges for Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, and Music Composition.

Forward this link (https://tinyurl.com/fccpta-reflections-judges-2020) to potential judges and make sure they understand how important their involvement is and how much it is appreciated.

Contact Jason V. Morgan, Reflections Chair, reflections@fccpta.org, with any questions.
Get Out the Vote
As a trusted community voice our PTAs/PTSAs can help educate our communities about the voting process and help 'Get Out the Vote' to close participation gaps. 

As parents, we can show our children the power of their voice by helping them register to vote, making voting a family outing and showing our children that community engagement has the power to drive change. 

Special Session - Last Call to Action
The General Assembly Special Session to address COVID-19 and police reform is swiftly coming to a close. We need YOUR help to protect school funding in the final state budget negotiations!

State funding for schools is tied to student enrollment. An estimated 35,000 students unenrolled this fall which is expected to result in a $146M decline in basic aid to schools. This is in addition to the $490M that was cut from the state budget as the COVID pandemic started and an estimated $95M loss due to a decline in sales tax revenue.

It's critical that schools have enough funding to implement robust safety standards for in-person instruction as well as provide technology to support distance learning.

Both the House and Senate Budgets contain language that addresses the loss in sales tax revenue and allocate $200M ($159/student) of CARES Act funding to mitigate the cost of reopening schools. The Senate budget offers to restore some of the $490M in cuts IF revenue growth rebounds. However, only the House budget has critical language that holds school divisions harmless for the decline in enrollment. This language ensures that no school division receives less state funding this year than they did in the 2019-2020 school year. More details HERE

TAKE ACTION - TODAY: Contact Senate leadership and ask them to adopt the Virginia House Budget language that protects budgeted funding by holding schools harmless for the decline in enrollment due to COVID.
NOVA District PTA Learning Seminars
ACE Interface
ACE Interface: What 30 Years of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study Can Teach us About Resiliency
Oct 26, 2020, 7:00 PM   

Free and open to the community, pre -register here. Space is limited to first 100 attendees in the room. Register for ACE

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study started in the mid 1980s. The results were profound, yet this information is still getting into the hands of the general public. The results of the survey along with ongoing efforts to understand adversity can help us all as parents and school leaders especially during COVID, distance learning, and the racial justice movement.

Learn about the original study that started it all, the science behind the results, and how to help combat adversity in our day to day lives and our communities.
Presented by Jenna White, FCCPTA Representative to the Trauma Informed Community Network and Virginia PTA Health and Safety Chair.  
Secure Zoom Meetings
Zoom is a popular program to use for PTA meetings - it's convenient, accessible and there is no registration involved. While Zoom definitely has its perks, the public links we share with our PTA members also invite unwanted guests.

To ensure some measure of internet safety for your Zoom meetings, please make sure to take a few steps to prevent unwanted guests.

1. Don't use your Personal Meeting ID (PMI) to host public events. Generate a random meeting ID when you share links.

2. Check out the Zoom’s settings and features so you can prevent an unwanted guest from trolling your event, such as using the Waiting Room feature, disabling private chat, or muting or removing the unwanted participant.

3. Dedicate a couple of volunteers to monitor the chats so they can remove the unwanted guest while you are presenting (it's really difficult to be simultaneously presenting and monitoring the screen). 

For more information about how to protect your Zoom meetings, take a look at the following blog: https://blog.zoom.us/keep-uninvited-guests-out

Questions? Feel free to contact Caren Lee at legislation@fccpta.org
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