Springfield Council of PTAs Monthly
Volume 3, Issue 2/February 2019
Please Make Every Effort to Attend Our SCPTA General Meeting THIS WEEK!
Wednesday, Feb. 6th, 9:15am
West Sunshine Street
Our meeting will be in the WOLF classrooms at the John A. & Genny Morris Conservation Education Center at 600 W. Sunshine. WOLF is a partnership with the Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Bass Pro Shops.
Proposed Resolution Supporting the April 2, 2019, Bond Initiative as Recommended by the SCPTA Executive Committee
A Letter from Your Council President
By Becky Volz
February – Love is in the air…that’s why we serve our kids and schools and work with other parents and volunteers in our PTA units. It’s a good month for a special teacher appreciation "show ‘em your love" treat.
And, we love our history. We’re proud of the work PTA has done for over 100 years in our local schools. So, we celebrate with our Founders Day Banquet on Monday, February 11th. You don’t want to miss this.
I must say I am very proud of our unit officers who have worked hard to get their unit in good standing. We have a lot of first-time-doing-this-position officers, and you’ve pulled it off! Your head may be spinning, but we can help with that. We have training sessions, and experienced officers ready to walk you through it. Don’t be shy, ask for help. Trust me; next year will be easier!
Congrats to our Principals who applied for the CARE & McBride Funds. Again, we are honored as a Council to provide some extra funds to support and encourage your kiddos!
From now to April 2nd we will have a lot of opportunities to discuss the upcoming school bond. It is critical that you get correct and accurate information. Watch for dates at schools who will be hosting these community conversations. Remember this bond is strictly for the use of taxes in the District’s capital improvements area. Building construction and improvement are what we will be voting on.
Please join our SCPTA President's Network on Facebook. Officers have questions; we have answers. This is a ‘pilot program’ to strengthen our PTA/PTSA leadership team around the city. I’d appreciate your thoughts.
I am excited to be hosting our February council meeting at one of our Choice Program school sites, WOLF at Wonders of Wildlife. This is our opportunity to hear directly from the educators who are developing these programs for our students. Thanks to Dana Hubbard, Director of Summer Learning and Student Experiences, and Kelsey Brabo, Coordinator of Choice Programs & Student Experiences.
Also, those of you who drive your students around the city to their school, for events, and of course PTA meetings, have an opportunity to hear from the City of Springfield’s Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, Cora Scott. I’m pleased to have Cora educate us on upcoming major city initiatives that could impact areas around our schools.
We have lots of important information in this newsletter to grow and build your PTA so don't miss a thing. And don't forget, Missouri PTA Convention workshops will be right here in Springfield too!
So as always, Share the PTA Love!
PTA Proud ~ We're Part of the Largest Child Advocacy Association in America
The PTA is the oldest and largest child advocacy association in America. Today’s PTA is comprised of more than 4 million parents, teachers, grandparents, caregivers, foster parents and other caring adults who share a commitment to improving the education, health, and safety of all children. We speak with one voice for every child.
Today, the issues that affect our children extend beyond their individual schools. The PTA’s nationwide network provides parents with the forum and tools to collectively influence the decisions that affect children not only at their schools, but also throughout their districts, within their states, and across the nation. This mission is unique to the PTA.
Many of the benefits our children receive today, such as universal kindergarten, the National School Lunch Program, and a juvenile justice system, were accomplished as a result of the PTA mission.
MOPTA to be Recognized at National PTA Legislative Conference in our Nation's Capital
Just one more reason to be proud of our state organization! National PTA has honored Missouri PTA with its 2019 Outstanding State PTA Advocacy Award for taking action to make a difference for the education, health, safety, well-being and long-term success of every child. Missouri PTA was selected to receive the award among PTAs from across the country. National PTA will honor Missouri PTA with the award at a reception during the association’s 2019 National PTA Legislative Conference, Wednesday, March 13, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va.
Your 2019-2020 SCPTA Slate of Officers
President ~ OPEN
1st Vice President of Organization & Development ~ Jennifer Penny
Vice President of Promotions ~ OPEN
Vice President of Health & Public Services ~ Mandy Mitchell
Vice President of Programs ~ Christi Matthews
Secretary ~ OPEN
Treasurer ~ Leslie Norman
Tips from The Treasurer
By Leslie Norman
As we are on the halfway point of our financial year, now is a good time to look at spending thus far versus your budget. We should all be working on a forecasted starting point for next year and starting the budget setting process. I know from experience as treasurer that it is hard to add this on your to-do list for May. So, start now and work on presenting to your PTA prior to the school year ending. By doing this, you will have one less thing to try to fit in over the summer break when everyone is vacationing at different times!
ALL Schools to Receive CARE & McBride Scholarships
We are pleased to announce that all 31 eligible elementary schools are receiving CARE Scholarships at our February general meeting. And, all 12 eligible middle and high schools are receiving McBride Scholarships today. Congratulations to the following elementary, middle and high schools:
Major Saver Fundraiser 2019 ~ Are You In?!
By Jennifer Penny, VP of Organization & Development
It's that critical time of year again when we need everyone to band together for the yearly fundraiser to support SCPTA! We've teamed up again this year with Major Saver, a company that continues to live up to their promises and go above and beyond for our schools and PTAs. This fundraiser, which is our only to support SCPTA, allows us to continue officer training and School of Information, school and student scholarships and Reflections, legislative representation and perhaps most near and dear to our hearts--our PTA Clothing Bank!
Would you please consider hosting a Major Saver Fundraiser at your school?
The beauty of this program is that it requires very little time and work for our school staffs, teachers and PTA units. Even so, your school will make money, your unit will make money, your Council will make money, and our students will benefit from all of it in some fashion. And new this year, Major Saver has added a link for students to sell cards online to friends and family!
On top of that, every year Major Saver donates $200 to the Clothing Bank for every school that participates! And hopefully, after the business portion of our February 6th meeting, we might be able to give participating schools' PTA units a direct and added incentive!
Founders Day Banquet -- Make Your Mark on History
Monday, Feb. 11th, 6pm
423 East Central Street
Founders Day Banquet ~ Celebrating our 106th Year
Our Founders Day Banquet is an annual opportunity to celebrate our volunteers both past and present. This year’s theme is Make Your Mark on History.
Doors open at 6 p.m.
Banquet starts at 6:30 p.m.
Cost is $16 per person
Founders Day Guests: please park in the north parking lot and enter through the north doors by the gardens
4th Graders to Enjoy The Little Mermaid Jr. in March
Springfield Council of PTAs invites each 4th-grade student to experience a play free of charge at the historic Landers Theatre--Springfield Little Theatre. Principals will soon receive information about busing and permission slips. This year's play is Disney's The Little Mermaid Jr. on Tuesday, March 26, and Wednesday, March 27, at 9:30 am and 1 pm.
We thank all the cast and staff at Landers Theatre-Springfield Little Theatre for creating these special performance times that will allow over 2,000 Springfield 4th Graders exposure to great artistic culture in our community!
Key to Success Membership Incentive Drawing
Attention All Units!!
Each unit that increases their membership by 10% over their 2017-2018 membership total, will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $250 Missouri PTA Store Gift Certificate!!
Four winning units will be drawn during the 2019 Missouri PTA Convention in Springfield to receive one of these valuable certificates that can help provide resources that are
KEY TO SUCCESS!!!!
News from the PTA Clothing Bank
By Allison Lawson, VP of Health & Public Services
The PTA Clothing Bank has had 1,890 student visits so far from August 2018 through January 2019! It has been a touching and rewarding experience to serve our SPS students and assist their families. As the polar vortex chilled our area, 764 warm winter coats have been provided to SPS students and thanks to our amazing PTA units our racks are full of winter coats and the hoodies that all our kiddos love. The Kiwanis Shoe Bank also put 992 pairs of shoes on feet, and The PTA Clothing Bank offered an additional pair of used shoes at each of the 1,890 student visits. We have heard heartbreaking stories of homes without heat and received innumerable heartwarming smiles of joy from kids who are excited and proud to have appropriate and stylish clothing and shoes to wear to school.
We are thrilled to report that the second distribution of socks and underwear during the second semester is going very well. Students and families are so grateful. Our inventory is holding up. If anyone is looking to donate to this effort, our greatest need is men’s or boy’s boxer briefs in packages of 5-7 pairs.
We received another donation of 1,000 socks from Bombas.com, an excellent company that gives a pair of socks away for every pair purchased. The first donation of 2,000 Bombas socks were bright colors. This second donation of another 1,000 socks is all black crew socks, which we requested for the winter months.
This is all possible because of the funds raised by our PTA units and schools during last year’s Major Saver card sales through the Springfield Council of PTAs. We think that sometimes principals and PTA members don’t realize that the sock and underwear purchases are directly funded by this fundraiser, so please help spread the word! We are so hoping to be able to offer socks & underwear again twice next year – every kid needs more than just five pairs of socks or undies in a year! The PTA Clothing Bank receives an additional donation direct from Major Saver for every school that participates in the SCPTA’s Major Saver card sales, so it is worth it even if you are doubtful of the number of cards you can sell.
Of course, we are always looking for additional opportunities….the jewelry sale at the General Council Meetings generated $890 for socks and underwear! And some friends of the Clothing Bank are working right now on another idea to participate in The Big Hat Fundraiser that we will be excited to share in March.
Please join anytime you can at The PTA Clothing Bank. It is PTA members that make this effort possible for the last 44 years! Volunteering for even one hour is so helpful. We would love to see you any day we are open. Thank you to our PTA units which make sure that we have at least a couple of people every day!
Here are the February work assignments, but please join us anytime:
7: Parkview, Jarrett, Carver, Cowden, Sherwood, Holland, Sunshine, Delaware, Rountree, McGregor, Twain, and Portland
14: Hillcrest, Reed, Pleasant View, Robberson, Bowerman, Williams, Watkins, Fremont, and Truman
21: Glendale, Pershing, Hickory Hills, Sequiota, Field, Wilder, Pittman, and Bingham
28: Kickapoo, Cherokee, Wilson’s Creek, Mann, Jefferies, Disney, Harrison, McBride, and Gray
Central Students Lend a Hand
Central High School’s Coach Mara Vaile brought her Learning Lab students to volunteer at The PTA Clothing Bank in January.
Our Wonderful Volunteers
Sherwood’s Jessica Rosa, Glendale’s Paul Elmer, Central’s Julie Moore, and many, many other awesome PTA members helped sort and organize the tremendous donations received over the Winter Break.
5th Graders Jump In to Help
Springfield Public School’s 5th grade Academy of Exploration class visited The PTA Clothing Bank and donated items from their clothing drive in November.
Central Students Lend a Hand
Our Wonderful Volunteers
New Contest for Best Reflections Promotional Video
Students, to help us promote the Reflections 2019-2020 program, the Springfield Council of PTAs is offering a $200 award for the best promotional video! The video must explain the Reflections program, describe the categories, share about creating original artwork, instructions about filling out the form and submitting the entry. Video submission deadline is Wednesday, May 1. Submit your video to Jessica Rosa at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Finding Your Passion in PTA
By Amy Unser, Sequiota Elementary PTA President
I feel like I have been a part of PTA my whole life. My mom was a stay-at-home mom for most of my childhood, but based on her schedule you would probably never know it. I am pretty sure that she spent more time volunteering at the school than some teachers did. While I may not have told her back then, I loved seeing her in the halls and having all the teachers know me before I was ever in their class, because I was “Deb’s daughter!” She was a behind-the-scenes type of volunteer, quietly sneaking into classrooms to pick up a project left by a teacher, but always making sure not to disturb the lesson in progress.
Her involvement at school when I was growing up is the reason I am involved in PTA today. When my daughter started kindergarten, the first thing I did was join PTA and sign up to volunteer because it is just what you do, right?
I was excited to get involved; however, my situation is a little different than my mom’s situation was back then. I work full time in a job that I love, so I didn’t have the ability to be at school during the day. Early on I learned that I had to find a balance that would allow me to do both. It is not an easy task, and I am still working on it every day.
What I have learned is … you cannot do it all! I have found that it is important to take a step back and determine what is your passion when it comes to volunteering? Once you figure that out, then you can focus your time, talents and energy in that area and really feel like you are making a difference.
I have been on the Sequiota PTA Board for five years now, as well as, managing their social media and newsletter communications. These are duties I can do from my home computer after my kids go to bed. As a working mom, that is what I needed to feel like I was contributing. This involvement allows me to have a connection to what is going on in my children’s school and to share that information with our school community. I have found my passion in our PTA and love that I can serve our community in this manner.
The idea of finding your passion in PTA is not just an internal mission. It can be used to involve other volunteers in your school community as well. Towards the end of the last school year, our Board started discussing ways to get new parents involved:
- We discussed the idea of allowing them to find their passion with regards to PTA.
- We determined that our communication of committee leadership opportunities needed to be more specific.
- We updated the Volunteer Opportunities form, which includes a description of all committees within our PTA.
- Along with the description of the committee, we also added a column that states how often the commitment is (weekly, monthly, one-time) as well as where the duties can be completed (at school, at home or both).
- Lastly, we added a line item for “skills needed.” Here is where we matched the volunteer to those projects or duties that fit their personality. Some of the “skills” we included were planning, organizing, love of art, confidentiality, accountability and most importantly … a willingness to serve.
We hoped that as a potential volunteer is reading through these opportunities, they can find a place where they can use their passion and love their time and effort spent helping our school community.
Finding volunteers for PTA is an ongoing mission. As our kids grow and move on, so do the parent volunteers that are so vital to our PTA. I encourage you to continue to find your passion in PTA and look for ways to match your volunteers with opportunities that utilize their passion as well.
Also remember, that passion lives on in all of our volunteers! Don’t forget to reach out to those grandparents, aunts, uncles and other loved ones who may be willing to lend a helping hand. To this day, my mother is still a homeroom mom…now she just sneaks into my sister’s classroom and tries not to disrupt the lesson she is teaching.
The 2018-2019 Reflections Showcase was a huge success at the Springfield Art Museum! We were very excited to hear how everyone loved the new location. We are also looking forward to utilizing them again next year as we hope to continue growing the Reflections program.
For those unfamiliar with Reflections, it is a national PTA program to promote art in the schools. Each year a theme is given, and students (Kindergarten through 12th grade) are invited to submit original artwork in 6 categories: literature, music composition, dance choreography, film production, photography and visual arts.
A big shout out goes to all of the Reflection Chairs for another awesome campaign! Without your voluntary support, the students in your school would not be able to participate in this incredible program. As an artist, it was a contest like this that gave me the confidence and courage to pursue a career in the arts. Truly, this is where it starts!
If you have any comments, suggestions or you would like more information on volunteering for the 2019-2020 school year, either as City Council of PTAs helper or a PTA Reflections Chairperson in your child’s school, please contact me at email@example.com.
The theme for next year is "Look Within."
Legislative Update on Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program
SB 160 would establish the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program.
The Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program is a particular concern for PTA because this program would create an account that would allow taxpayers to make a qualifying contribution to an educational assistance organization and claim a tax credit, as described in the act. The tax credit is for one hundred percent of the amount of the contribution. The tax credit may be carried forward for four years and may be transferred, sold, or assigned. The scholarships will be used in private schools effectively creating a voucher system in Missouri.
Please contact your Missouri Senator (for most of the SPS district, this is Sen. Lincoln Hough) and voice your concern for this bill.
Here is a sample email from Missouri PTA:
Dear Senator Hough,
The Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program is not good for students and parents, taxpayers and Missouri’s public schools for the following reasons:
Irresponsible expansion of tax credits when the state is facing massive shortfalls in the current budget.
This is a voucher in a bad disguise. This bill attempts to funnel public funds to private schools and home schools. It also allows these funds to be spent on for-profit schools, including virtual schools, with no oversight. This bill is not about seeking quality education for students. This bill is not about choice but about killing public education as we know it, with no assurances that education will be delivered at all.
Lack of financial oversight of the schools receiving the funds. There is no accountability required of the schools receiving these funds. These entities are not required to be located in Missouri or governed by Missouri residents. These entities can be for-profit institutions created solely to earn money off of the backs of Missouri students. They could be fly-by-night organizations that deliver no actual education, but profit at the expense of Missouri taxpayers.
Lack of educational oversight of the schools receiving the funds. These schools are not required to administer the MAP, identify or educate students with disabilities, or be accredited by any organization. Missouri tax dollars will be spent for students to be taught by teachers without certification or the specialized knowledge to identify learning disabilities, dyslexia, etc. The teachers and education providers receiving the funds are not even required to undergo a criminal background check. Missouri tax dollars could be spent on services and therapies that are not educationally sound. The bill states that a school “shall not be required to alter its creed, practices, admissions policy, or curriculum in order to accept students” under a scholarship, which means students with disabilities could be denied enrollment and students with disabilities can be refused specialized education. Schools could deny enrollment based on economic status or grades.
Expands education beyond the age of 21. Unlike free public education, which expires once the student turns 21 or graduates high school, parents and students may continue to receive these scholarships indefinitely as long as the student does not complete high school or passes a test for admission to college. 166.705.2
Please oppose SB 160 by voting no.
You name and PTA
Your contact information including address and phone number
National PTA is requesting feedback about a proposal to increase dues:
Find out which bills in Congress National PTA supports, opposes, or monitors at this link:
Notes from RIF
By Mary Christiano, RIF Chair
Thank you to all the schools and PTAs that bought cookies from RIF this December. It was a successful fundraiser that we used to purchase books for the second and third distributions. The third distribution and thank you reception for RIF volunteers will be Wednesday, April 17, at National Audio. We will sort and package the books on Tuesday, April 16, so if you would like to help sort and choose the books for your school, please join us on April 16, at National Audio 601 Water St. at 9 am.
From the Parliamentarian
Frequently Asked Question – How can we get rid of officers we don't like or who are not fulfilling their duties before their term ends?
The answer is, it depends.
Most PTA unit bylaws establish the procedure for removal from office, and that procedure must be followed. Common wording (as recommended by Missouri PTA) in most PTA bylaws state that “If any officer shall cease to meet the qualifications or fulfill the duties of the position, that person may be removed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the executive board.” Sometimes that officer, who is not fulfilling their duties, may resign if asked. If this happens, that officer should submit their resignation in writing to their PTA board. Any changes in your PTA unit’s leadership should be reported to the state PTA office.
Another frequently asked question (FAQ) is: Is an officer able to serve more than the number of terms prescribed in our bylaws?
The answer is no.
This question usually arises when the nominating committee has trouble finding candidates for all offices. It is the duty of the nominating committee to nominate one candidate for each
office. If the nominating committee is having difficulty filling an office by the prescribed deadline, then the nominating committee should keep working until all offices are filled.
The committee should report the candidates they have at the time and in the manner, as prescribed in their bylaws, and an election should occur as scheduled, at which time nominations will be accepted from the floor. If for some reason an office is unfilled after an election, the nominating committee will continue to work toward filling that office, and an election would continue to be on the agenda of each subsequent meeting of the association until that office is filled.
Remember that a good reference for your PTA is Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief. This book is available for order from the online store of the National Association of Parliamentarians, www.parliamentarians.org.
If you have parliamentary questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. You can reach me at 417-887-6821or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Springfield Council of PTAs
- To provide leadership development for local units and council board members
- To serve as a resource for education, parenting information, and legislative issues
- To encourage parent and public involvement in Springfield Public Schools