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October 4, 2016
Reflections Cha irs  
Email List
Are you a Reflections Chair at your school?  Send an email to to be added to the Reflections email list and receive important updates!
This year's theme is "What Is Your Story?"  Visit for more information.
Webinar: Federal Appropriations 101

 Wednesday, Oct. 5
Time: 3 p.m. EDT

Every year, Congress must pass a budget to fund the government for the next year. This congressional requirement has become more complex over the years, but no less important, as the budget decides what federal programs should be funded.
National PTA's government affairs department will guide participants through the appropriations process with updates on the funding levels for certain education programs.    
Participants will learn:
  • How the annual federal appropriations process works
  • Ways to effectively advocate for investments in education
  • National PTA's federal funding priorities
  • Joshua Westfall, Government Affairs Manager, National PTA
  • Jacqueline Thomas, Legislative Assistant, Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)

There's Still Time to Enroll in School of Excellence
Enrollment has been extended to Oct. 15! National PTA invites you to enroll this school year to demonstrate your continued commitment to building strong family-school partnerships and positively impacting your whole school community. Enroll today at  
Then join our webinar Wed., Oct.  26 at 2 p.m. EDT, to help you get started on the path to excellence. We'll dive deeper into the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. Guest speakers include School of Excellence award recipients will share how their PTA and school achieved excellence status.

Go Back-to-School With PTA E-Learning


National PTA e-Learning offers new micro-courses designed to explain specific topics in just 8-12 minutes. 
Looking to find out more about 501(c)(3) requirements? Take the Quick Guide to 501(c)(3) Basics Course! Are you looking to help support local unit secretaries with specific training on how to record minutes properly? Take the Quick Guide to Taking and Approving Meeting Minutes! 
If you are looking for more information regarding all of National PTA's e-Learning courses, visit our Facebook page to see our most recent PTA Live with e-Learning Manager Jonathan Baker. He covers a wide range of e-Learning topics from translated Spanish courses to why using e-Learning as a tool for your Local Units is most important during Back-to-School!

STEM + YOUR Family
What are your thoughts on STEM education? How do you incorporate STEM activities at home? We want to hear from you!
Please take a brief survey to share more about your perceptions of and engagement in STEM education. Your insights will help to inform National PTA's STEM + Families initiative.
Everyone who completes this survey will be eligible to win one of five Panera gift cards-courtesy of Bayer, National PTA's STEM + Families Founding & Presenting Sponsor.
This survey will close on October 14.

Attention APS PTA's

Reflections Theme Search Contest

The next Reflections theme could come from your PTA!  Every year National PTA holds a theme search contest where students from all PTAs can submit their ideas.  Visit our web page for details and the entry form: The student who submits the winning theme will receive $100 and their theme will be announced at the 2017 National PTA Convention in Las Vegas, NV.
Contribute to the success of NM students, and ultimately our state's future, by joining us at a community meeting near you this fall. 

At the community meetings you will learn about the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and share with the NM Public Education Department (PED) your concerns, priorities and expectations about our state public education system helping to guide our system to better support our students and teachers, and to provide an innovative plan for all children that is reflective of your community.

Meeting Locations:

Gallup - Oct. 12
Farmington - Oct. 14
Santa Fe - Oct. 17
Albuquerque - Oct. 18
Roswell - Oct. 27
Las Cruces - Nov. 15

Who Should Attend?
  • Teachers, principals and district administrators
  • Parents and families
  • Community, tribal and civic leaders
  • Business and economic development leaders
  • State and local elected officials
  • School board members
  • Anyone interested in the future success of New Mexico students
The Every Student Succeeds Act is the primary law governing K-12 education in the United States. Passed in December 2015, the new law replaces the previous federal education policy known as No Child Left Behind. Throughout the country, states are holding public meetings about ESSA - providing an opportunity to engage with students, educators, district leaders, families and the community for input on how to continuously refine education systems to better support our educators and students. The New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) will convene a series of six regional meetings throughout the state to solicit input from communities about the development of New Mexico's ESSA plan to support schools and student learning.

Space is limited, so please register as soon as possible at
Honoring Veterans During National U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Month

This November your students have the opportunity to learn from, celebrate and support your local Veterans in a fun and interactive way.
The National U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Month Committee is sponsoring a program that partners U.S. Navy veterans, who have served aboard aircraft carriers with your elementary school to talk about their life aboard a carrier, teach lessons on the advances in flying and the unique value of these technologically advanced ships.
National U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Month is filled with historic anniversaries, including the birth of naval aviation on November 14, 1910 and the successful mission to provide necessary supplies in the Philippines following Super Typhoon Haiyan on November 14, 2013.
These events are only a couple examples of the important role aircraft carriers have played in defending our country and providing medical assistance, water and food to the victims of disaster.
November has always been a time to thank those who serve or have served for their commitment. It is also a time that many of our service men and women are missing Thanksgiving at home as they serve to protect our nation. Participating in National U.S. Aircraft Carrier Month allows your students to support these brave men and women at a time that they may be missing their family and their homes the most.
Learn more about the month at and email to find a veteran to speak at your school.
National PTA and Guitar Center Team Up to Spark Student Creativity

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Sept. 29, 2016)-National PTA® and Guitar Center have teamed up to bring resources to families, schools and PTAs across the country to inspire students' creativity through the National PTA Reflections arts in education program.

"Participation in the arts enables students to explore their talents and express themselves while building their confidence and sense of accomplishment. Involvement in the arts is also closely associated with students' social and emotional development and civic engagement," said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. "National PTA is thrilled to team up with Guitar Center to provide more students the opportunity to experience the joy and important benefits that come from participating in the arts."

As part of the collaboration, Guitar Center will donate musical instruments to a number of local PTAs across the country to support their arts education efforts, inspire students to participate in the National PTA Reflections program and spark students' interest to create music. Local PTAs will also have the opportunity to tap into a wide range of support from Guitar Center locations in their areas, such as having Guitar Center instructors serve as judges for their Reflections programs. With studios in nearly 100 stores, Guitar Center Lessons provides a world-class music education in many genres for musicians of all ages and skill levels.    

"Learning to play music can be an amazing, life-changing experience that can help improve a student's self-confidence, but also boost their academic performance over time," said Krista Shue, national director of Guitar Center's Lessons program. "We're excited about the opportunity to collaborate with National PTA to introduce more children to learning music and fostering the skills necessary to think creatively."

National PTA Reflections is a recognition program through which students are encouraged to explore their creativity and be involved in the arts-in the classroom and at home. National PTA and PTAs nationwide urge students from preschool through grade 12 to create and submit original works of art in the medium of their choice-dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography or visual arts-that reflect on an annual theme. The 2016-2017 National PTA Reflections theme is "What Is Your Story?"

Submissions are reviewed by visual, literary and performing art experts, and students are recognized each year at the local, state and national levels for their artistic ingenuity in bringing the theme to life. Guitar Center will make it possible for a National PTA Reflections award recipient to travel to the nation's capital in January to participate in a special ceremony at the U.S. Department of Education.  

"The National PTA Reflections program has inspired millions of students to explore their talents and be involved in the arts for nearly 50 years," added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. "National PTA and Guitar Center share a commitment to ensuring all students have the opportunity to experience the arts, as it is essential to helping them reach their full potential and preparing them for long-term success."

2016-17 Reflections theme: 
What Is Your Story?

Reflections - For Students
You'll find some great info below or at this link to share with students who are considering participating in the Reflections program.
Reflect on the Theme
Think about the 2016-17 theme: What Is Your Story? We want to know who you are and how you see the world around you.
Get Creative!
This is your chance to express who you are as an individual through one or more of the following:
*           Dance Choreography
*           Film Production
*           Literature
*           Music Composition
*           Photography
*           Visual Arts
Your work will be reviewed by experienced arts and education volunteers. Judges look for the following:
*           Interpretation: How closely the piece relates to the theme, based on the artwork itself and the artist statement.
*           Creativity: How creative and original the piece is in its conception of the theme and its presentation.
*           Technique: The level of skill demonstrated in the basic principles/techniques of the arts area.
For inspiration, visit our nation award-winning Art Gallery.
Tell Us About Your Work 
In your artist statement, tell us about your work and what it means to you.
*           How does your work relate to the theme?
*           What is your personal connection to the theme?
*           What did you use to create your work (e.g. supplies, technology, instrumentation, props, etc.)?
*           What/Who was your inspiration?
Win Awards & Prizes!
Be recognized as an artist and enter to win awards and prizes provided by your local, state and National PTA!
Follow your school's PTA deadlines and instructions on how to enter. Additional guidelines and forms may be available by your state PTA. Awards and prizes will vary by PTA.
Don't Miss this Special
CESDP 25th Annual Family Institute

Please follow this link to the schedule and pdf version .

Go to for more information.