Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Reflections coordinator meeting preceded the opening of CCPTA's first meeting of the 2016-17 school year on Monday, September 26th.  The new Reflections Coordinator is Edgar Tolentino, parent at Barcroft Elementary School.

CCPTA kicked off the year with a packed agenda to include information from the Virginia PTA summer workshop, a presentation by Dr. Tara Natrass about the State of Virginia's work on the profile of a high school graduate and diploma requirements, and a presentation by Lisa Stengle and Linda Erdos about Arlington's current high school boundary refinement process for 2017 and APS' 3-5 year action plan.  Minutes from the September 24th meeting will be posted as soon as possible.

Superintendent's news and highlights provided by Cintia Johnson on behalf of Dr. Murphy:

September 29th: promoting literacy community book conversation with County Board Chair Libby Garvey and School Board Chair Nancy Van Doren

October 5th: Walk and Bike to School Day

October 14th: "Harvesting Dreams for Our Children" event at Kenmore Middle School

From the CCPTA President:

CCPTA President, Chris Ditta, will join school board member Dr. Barbara Kanninen and Superintendent Patrick Murphy as a panelist at the Committee of 100 meeting on October 19th.  The topic will be high schools and solutions for providing additional secondary seats.  If you have any thoughts or comments, please forward to Chris so that he can represent CCPTA's school community on this panel.

Thank you to all who came out for our kick-off meeting.  We look forward to seeing all new and returning CCPTA representatives at next month's meeting on October 24th.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

CCPTA Meeting Dates 2016-2017

*All meetings are at 7:00 p.m. at the Education Center by W-L High School in Rooms 101a-b unless otherwise noted.

Monday, Aug 29 
Monday, Sep 26 - Reflections pre-meeting at 6:00 p.m.
Monday, Oct 24
Monday, Nov 21
Monday, Dec 19
Monday, Jan 30
Monday, Feb 27
Monday, Mar 27
Monday, Apr 24
Monday, May 22

APS 101 Information and Training for PTA officers:  
Monday, June 12 at Wakefield H.S. cafeteria

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Congratulations to our new officers!

On May 23, 2016, the CCPTA elected the new officers for the 2016-2017 school year:

Chris Ditta, President
Lisa Sockett, Vice President
Evan Thomas, VP Communications
Don Weinstein, Vice President
Maura McMahon, Secretary
Lilly Mancilla, Treasurer
Lavonne Stewart, Dues Chair

We look forward to an exciting year!

Monday, April 11, 2016

How Are We Doing?

With the arrival of Spring, and as the third quarter of the 2015-16 School Year comes to a close, it is time to assess where the CCPTA is in terms of meeting some of the goals we have set for ourselves this year.

In July 2015, the new CCPTA Executive Board, under the leadership of new President, Chris Ditta, met to discuss the main focus of the coming year. We wanted to build on the strengths of past initiatives, and provide a real opportunity for sharing ideas and success stories between and among the PTAs in Arlington.

At that meeting, we set the following goals for the 2015-16 School Year:

a) Facilitating successful school-school and school-community partnerships;

b) Communicating PTA best practices and success stories regarding the use of technology and differentiated learning;

c) Promoting family engagement and inclusive parent leadership opportunities; and

d) Continuing to support CCPTA and APS activities in the arts, after-school enrichment, summer opportunity, and fundraising for scholarship awards.

We changed how we open our meetings, asking a specific question of the PTA representatives around an area of success - in March, the question was what new idea or method have PTAs used to communicate better with parents? A trend was the growing use of social media; PTAs have taken to twitter, and Drew Elementary has been a pioneer on Periscope. Swanson indicated that they email the daily school announcements to parents, which is a way for them to hear the school news their students hear each morning. The APS Communications team talked about Peach Jar, the new electronic method of distributing backpack mail to parents.

This year was our second year promoting Family Engagement initiatives. We continued to help fund the training program run by APS coordinator Dr. Rosa Briceno to build capacity and identify leaders from among our minority parents in the schools. Thanks to such programs, we have had strong leaders emerge to start Latino Parent groups at Claremont, Kenmore and Washington-Lee High School, and one Latina leadership graduate now serves on the CCPTA Executive Board!

We have continued our traditional activities, like running the County-wide Reflections contest and awards ceremony, putting on the Summer Activities Fair with APS and participating in the Go Gaga for Green Operation Rainbarrel event with George Mason University (coming up on April 30th at 5:30 pm - see the events calendar). The latter two events raise money for the scholarships that the CCPTA funds jointly with the Arlington Retired Teachers' Association, and awards annually in May to graduating seniors who plan to enter the teaching profession (awards this year will be on May 16th).

Perhaps the most significant development this year is our CPCI program, which recognizes and attempts to address the disparities in fund-raising capacity among our PTAs. This program is designed for PTAs from around the County to donate to a central CCPTA fund, and other county PTAs can apply for grants to fund specific initiatives at their schools. Our intent this year is to promote literacy initiatives, but we are willing to fund any activity that supports learning for a group of students. We have had four generous schools contribute to the fund this year, and are please to announce we recently awarded our first grant to Hoffman-Boston Elementary, to help fund buses for the 4th grade trip to Jamestown in May. Participation in this program is strictly voluntary, but we encourage other PTAs to donate, if they can.

How do you think the CCPTA has been doing this year? Are there some things we can do better? Please contact one of the board members - we want to know what you think.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

April Newsletter from the School Board

The Arlington School Board has started producing a monthly newsletter!

Read the April 2016 issue.

Pictured at right are the APS School Board members (from left to right): Mr. James Lander, Ms. Nancy Van Doren, Dr. Emma Violand-Sanchez, Dr. Barbara Kanninen and Mr. Reid Goldstein.

Photo courtesy of Arlington Public Schools

April is Autism Acceptance Month: Movie Screening on April 6th at Wakefield

April is Autism Acceptance Month

Don't miss our FREE film screening of the HBO Documentary HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO on April 6, 2016 from 7pm-8:30pm at Wakefield High School.
Register for your FREE tickets now - bring your friends and family.

April is Autism Acceptance Month. This is a time to learn about autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and how they may affect people. It is also the perfect time to learn about strategies for including children and adults with autism in a positive and meaningful way. Autism is a developmental disorder that may impact the way someone learns, communicates, uses their senses, and interacts with other people. Currently, 1 in 68 children in the United States has a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder, according to the Centers for Disease control (CDC). Accepting autism means appreciating individuals with ASD as valued members of our schools and communities.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Introducing the CPCI Program

This year, the CCPTA, under the leadership of President Chris Ditta, has decided to highlight solutions within our schools. Our goal is to identify and elevate PTA practices that work well in our schools, and share them broadly for others to adopt and modify to meet the needs of their families. As part of these conversations, we have been asked by PTAs who sometimes have excess funds how they could share their funds with schools who may not have the PTA infrastructure to fundraise to cover their initiatives.

Last fall, the CCPTA Board discussed the idea of creating a fund with Dr. Murphy, and asked what existing APS initiatives we could support through pooled funding. Together, we agreed to try creating a central fund, built from donations by PTAs, to support literacy initiatives in our public schools.

At the December meeting, the CCPTA board announced a new initiative: the CCPTA-PTA Collaboration Initiative, or CPCI.  Through this collaboration, PTAs and community organizations may contribute to a central fund. The fund will provide assistance to school PTAs that may not be in a position to pay for schools events or class trips. The initiatives funded through this program in 2016 should support literacy initiatives at our schools.

Donations to the CPCI fund may be made in the form of money or in-kind resources. The CCPTA leadership has asked each PTA to earmark a donation for this initiative, and provide their donation by January 26, 2016. If a PTA does not have the ability to donate funds, it is encouraged to donate excess goods, assistance or expertise to another PTA. The CPCI initiative was discussed at our December 14th CCPTA meeting.

To date, the CCPTA has received some donations, but it is not too late for your PTA to give! If you have questions on the initiative, please contact one of the CCPTA Board Members. If your PTA would like to make a donation, please contact our Treasurer, Linley Mancilla.

For additional information about this program, or information on how to apply for funding, please see our PTA Resources page.