Huntsville Council 
of PTAs
June 2020 Newsletter


      It is with sheer excitement that I introduce myself as the new Huntsville Council PTA President!  Serving in this role is incredibly important to me as I believe in and support the work and efforts of the National PTA past and present.  It's indeed a privilege to represent the organization as a local leader and share in the camaraderie of other PTA members locally and nationally who are compelled to help all students succeed, make their schools great, and engage families in the educational experience of their child.  

     Of late, students and families have had to endure challenges amid COVID-19.  Hopefully, as the summer months approach, many of you will have a chance to take a breather, spend quality time with family, or embark upon those adventures you had to put on hold.  Although we are still faced with a bit of uncertainty, we will remain PTA strong for our students, parents, educators, and schools.  We hope to be the anchor that provides ongoing support throughout the year for the success of the local PTAs and for what they will accomplish this upcoming school year for their school community. 

     For some PTAs, summer is a time of transitions as new officers come on board.  We understand there is a lot to learn as you become familiar with your new role.  Fortunately, to get you started there are resources available for you via links within this newsletter.  Remember that we are always here to support you!
      Have an enjoyable summer and we look forward to engaging with you soon!

Thank you for all you do,

Chasity McMillan
HCPTA President

18  Board of Education Meeting, Special Session (Zoom Meeting) 5:30 p.m.
25 - 26  In-Person Graduation Exercises (Von Braun Center)
09  Board of Education Meeting, Special Session (Zoom Meeting) 5:30 p.m.
16  Board of Education Meeting, Special Session (Zoom Meeting) 5:30 p.m. 
27 - 31  Virtual Cyber Camp (Online) 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 

06  Board of Education Meeting, Special Session (Zoom Meeting) 5:30 p.m.
20  Board of Education Meeting, Annie Merts Center 200 White St., 6:00 p.m.

Welcome to our 2020-2021 Officers:
President - Chasity McMillan 
VP of Leadership Development - Shonnelle Cummins   
VP of Programs - Amy Jones  
VP of Membership - Jovonne Foster 
VP of Legislative Affairs - Katherine Courter  
Treasurer - Deb Stern 
Secretary - Lisa Hudson   
Technology Chair - Mark Torstenson 

National PTA Virtual Annual Meeting & Leadership Convention

The National PTA will present its convention virtually this year.  Registration for this event will open in mid-June.  Here's a unique opportunity for you and your fellow PTA officers and members to connect with others from the comfort and safety of your home and learn virtually from informative session leaders.  What a great way to become more informed of the latest trends and issues affecting children.  Moreover, it's a chance to fortify and enhance your leadership skills or simply be inspired by what's taking place in the lives of children because of the collective efforts of PTA members.  

The keynote speaker for the event is Jose Hernandez, a former astronaut who flew aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 2009.  

Here's what participants can expect:
  • July 20-21: Convention begins with a message from national president, Leslie Boggs, the keynote speaker, and the annual Reflections celebration
  • July 27-31: A week long virtual education and leadership development, "Summer School" series
  • August 6-7: Official business meetings and elections
Visit National PTA Convention for additional information. 

Newly elected (or returning) PTA board member?
Now what?

Congratulations on your recent election and thank you for stepping up to serve the students in your school!  Now what do you do?  That's the beauty of being a part of PTA, the nation's oldest and largest child advocacy organization that's 120 years strong.  We are here to support you!
  1. Summer Leadership Training will be held virtually this year thereby making it easy and convenient for you and your fellow officers to learn from the comfort of your home.  More information regarding SLT will be provided soon.
  2. Make sure someone on your board - usually the president or secretary - has uploaded your officer list on MemberHub.  This is how Alabama PTA and our Huntsville Council of PTAs will be able to send you information about meetings, events, and more!
  3. Read your bylaws.  Don't have a copy?  Contact us at [email protected].
  4. Check out the National PTA website for resources and training.

Register for the 2020 National PTA Bootcamp
Whether you're a new or seasoned PTA leader, the PTA Boot Camp has valuable information that will equip you with essential tools and resources to expand your knowledge of your leadership role, boost your confidence, and ameliorate your ability to effectively manage your PTA.  An abundance of information awaits you.   Register for the  Local Leader Kit  and start learning today!

Have you elected your new officers?

Want to accept dues online?  Want to spotlight sponsors? 
Want to create a newsletter?  MemberHub is the answer!  Alabama PTA requires all officers to be updated in MemberHub every school year.  It is the responsibility of the newly elected or outgoing President to ensure this is completed.  For assistance, please contact Shonnelle Cummins, VP of Leadership Development  here.  Alabama PTA also requires all members to be entered into MemberHub.  For assistance, please contact Jovonne Foster, VP of Membership here.

MemberHub Features
*Streamlines communication between your school's PTA members
*Helps your local unit stay in good standing
*Create professional fundraising experiences such as Read-a-thons
*Easily stay connected to pertinent information from the Alabama PTA and HCPTA
*Set up an e-store to offer memberships, accept donations, and sell paraphernalia
*Seamlessly engage your PTA community through hub set-up for activities and events
Want to learn more about MemberHub?   Click here for a short video.

Each year, over 300,000 students in Pre-K through Grade 12 create original works of art in response to a student-selected theme. The theme for the 2020-2021 program year is 
I Matter Because.... Students submit their completed works of art in one or all of the available arts categories: Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography, and Visual Arts.

PTA Reflections 50th Anniversary
PTA Reflections 50th Anniversary

If you have questions or would like to learn more about the Reflections program,
visit the National PTA Reflections page.  You can also send questions to  [email protected].

COVID-19 Relief Grant Opportunity
The National PTA is providing an opportuity for local PTAs to apply for COVID-19 relief funding.  The grant is giving PTAs around the country the chance to meet the vitally important needs of students within school communities.  The goal of the National PTA is to distribute $1.25 million dollars in COVID relief funds to PTAs.  Funds will be awarded to awardees who develop projects to address specific issue areas as listed below:
  1. Food Secuirty
  2. Mental Health/Social Emotional Support
  3. Distance Learning
  4. Internet and Device Access
The grant process is being rolled out in three phases and it's currently in phase 2.  The phase 2 application process is open to all local, district, council, and regional PTAs.  The application window is June 1 - July 12.  Local PTA recipients will receive an award amount of $5,000.  Phase 3 funding will provide phase 1 and phase 2 awardees additional funding to continue their projects through the winter and spring months.  We know that the COVID pandemic has affected the lives of students and their families.  In what ways has it impacted the students at your school?  Plan to ask as many stakeholders as possible for potential grant ideas.  Scheduling and having a conversation with your school principal is a great place to start.  Determining the area of need is important when applying for the grant, in addition to pinpointing the impact and changeability your project will have on the individuals for whom its intended.    

Eligibility Requirements:
  • Local unit must be in good standing, as determined by the State PTA.
  • Partner with members of the community to identify and support maximum impact of relief funding.
  • Submit an ACH form for disbursement of funds via direct deposit to your PTA.
  • Participate in a grant recipient community of practice.  This includes attending a minimum of two support training calls.
  • Submit two project reports (one mid-way and one final).
  • Complete the grant application online by July 12, 2020.

For additional information, visit  COVID-19 Relief Grant

For questions, contact  National PTA Grants

HCS News

Hats off to the Class of 2020!
Congratulations to all the district's graduating seniors.  We wish you all the best and much success in your future endeavors.  

Graduation Ceremonies

The district will host in-person graduation ceremonies at the Von Braun Center next Thursday, 6/25/20 and Friday, 6/26/20.  The Von Braun Center is located at 700 Monroe Street, Huntsville, AL 35801.  The district understands many students and their families look forward to this day with great anticipation.   Although this is an extremely exciting day and time for seniors, the district is conducting the event with specific guidelines and safety precautions to follow.  Each graduate will receive 8 non-transferable tickets and their guests must present tickets to be admitted.  Families and guests can begin entering the VBC arena one (1) hour prior to the program start time. The ceremony will air live on ETV and the Huntsville City Schools Facebook page.  Below is the schedule of ceremonies and times.

Thursday June 25 
*10:00 a.m. - New Century High School
*2:00 p.m. - Lee High School
*5:00 p.m. - Grissom High School (Ceremony 1)
*7:00 p.m. - Grissom High School (Ceremony 2)

Friday June 26
*10:00 a.m. - Jemison High School
* 2:00 p.m. - Columbia High School
* 5:00 p.m. - Huntsville High School (Ceremony 1)
* 7:00 p.m. - Huntsville High School (Ceremony 2) 

For additional information regarding graduate arrival, entrance locations, permissible items, ceremony duration, etc., visit  In-Person Graduation Exercises.

For the upcoming school year, the school district will offer the Huntsville Virtual Academy.  The enrollment window for the 2020-2021 school year is June 5 - July 29.  The online academy is available to any student zoned for HCS.  The requirements for student enrollment are below.  

  • Student must be enrolled in a Huntsville City School
  • Student must be in grades Kindergarten - 12th grade
  • Student must have consistent and daily access to the Internet

New families to the district who are interested in having their child attend the virtual school must first enroll their child in the district by visiting the 
HCS Website.   Families with children currently enrolled in HCS, can enroll their child by visiting the  Huntsville Virtual Academy Enrollment Page.  Additional information about the academy along with FAQ can be viewed at 

HCS Connect         
Download the app today!

HCS Connect is the mobile app that connects parents and community members to what is going on across Huntsville City Schools!
HCS Majority to Minority Transfers
Late applications for Majority to Minority transfers are being accepted until 11:59pm on July 15, 2020.  Utilize the link below to begin your application.  

red_apple_blackboard_books.jpg 2020 Summer Reading
The purpose of summer reading is to encourage students to practice reading skills and develop an enjoyment for reading. This year the focus is student choice. Therefore, a list of suggested novels has been created.

  • Students will read one of the suggested novels from the list for their grade span or a book of their choice.  The book should reflect quality young adult literature to include the following:
    • descriptive or figurative language
    • character development
    • plot development
    • thematic depth
    • substantial length (100+ pages)
  • Students enrolled in Honors English and English AP will have an additional reading assignment (see below).
  • Students will complete a "Book Talk" by Friday, August 28, 2020.  
  • Visit the How to Give a Book Talk page to learn more. 
Reading Lists:
HCS - 2020 Summer Feed Program

HCS is providing FREE MEALS to children
  • Age 18 and younger:  NO FEE - NO REGISTRATION
  • Summer Feeding Program menus can be found in the menus section of the main  CNP Department Page.

  • Six Meal Service Locations & Times
      Students will receive both breakfast and lunch together

    • Chaffee Elementary (7900 Whittier Road) 11am - 2pm 
    • Lakewood Elementary (3501 Kenwood Dr.) 11am - 2pm
    • Morris Schools (4801 Bob Wallace Ave.) 11am - 2pm
    • Lee High School (2500 Meridian St.) 11am - 2pm
    • Dr. Richard Showers Splash Pad (4600 Blue Spring Rd. NW) 11am - 12:30pm
    • Brahan Springs Splash Pad (3771 Ivy Ave. SW) 1pm - 2pm

    Students may walk or ride with their families to curbside meal locations.
For more information visit: HCS Summer Feed Program  
All Summer Feed locations will be closed Friday, July 3, 2020.   

Free2Teach store equips teachers with the tools they need so their students can succeed.

Free2Teach is committed to easing the personal financial burden of teachers by providing free resources for their classroom and students. Free2Teach offers essential supplies at no cost to full-time classroom teachers in Huntsville City, Madison County and Madison City public school systems.

Students need supplies to learn. Teachers need tools to teach. Free2Teach is the store that connects teachers with the essential tools and supplies, all for free.

Visit for store hours and schedule a visit!  If you would like to support Free2Teach, they gladly accept donations and appreciate volunteers!

Check out our Huntsville Council of PTAs Facebook Page
Great way to learn more!

Local education stories, parenting tips, meeting notices, district news, summer camp information, scholarship opportunities, and so much more is posted on our Council FB page.  If you haven't already, like our page today!