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*This is an edited February Newsletter.*

PTA's mission is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.

PTA is committed to supporting students, families, schools and communities to ensure that all schools provide a safe and inclusive environment and positive school climate. This commitment includes our students with disabilities. We apologize that these students were not included in the opening paragraph below, it was unintentional.

Thank you,
Portland Council PTA
Hello Portland PTA members and leaders,

The PTA includes members with diverse political opinions, united around the core belief that every child deserves to realize their full potential. This requires that parents, teachers and administrators ensure that all students know they are safe at school, both physically and emotionally. PTA is committed to supporting students, families, schools and communities in creating a positive school climate and we believe that every child deserves an inclusive school environment -- regardless of race, national origin, economic status, religion, immigration status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. PTA is more committed than ever to making sure that ideal is a reality in all of our schools. Thank you for the work you do in your own school buildings to ensure that all of our students are safe and reaching their full potential.

~Portland Council PTA

Member News:

Student Health & Safety
February is American Heart Month:
This month is the perfcet time for the entire family to learn more about one of the most important organs in our bodies and how good heart health is essential for a healthy life. Teaching kids healthy habits when they are young can help them as they grow into adulthood and start making their own choices. Everyone can make small lifestyle changes that make a huge difference for heart health. Here are some resources for the entire family about the heart, how it works and how we can improve or safeguard heart health:

February is National Children's Dental Health Month:
A smile is one of a person's best asset and children's dental health is really important. Children without proper dental care, may miss school often, due to pain and chronic issues with their teeth. Here are some resources to promote good oral health:

What do you do if you can't afford to have your kids be seen by a dentist? If your student is enrolled at PPS, your child has Oregon Health Plan (OHP) insurance through ODS, Capitol Dental, or Advantage Dental, or is uninsured and receives free or reduced lunch at a PPS school, they can be seen at the Friends of Creston Dental Clinic in SE Portland. Find more information about this non-profit organization serving the dental needs of Portland students here.

Safe Routes to School:
Interested in Safe Routes to School? Find out what is new in the program, how you can help provide testimony to ensure that every kid has a safe route to school, why safe streets matter for all generations and more at the Safe Routes to School Town Hall in East Portland on February 7, 2017 at 6:00-7:30 pm. Find more information on this event here.

School Wellness Resources:
Research shows that healthy kids are better learners and healthy staff are more engaged school and community members. A school wellness policy is a great first step towards creating a healthy, supportive school environment. Oregon Department of Education has a School Wellness web-page with lots of tools to assist school districts, families and partners to create a culture of health in schools.

Children's Clean Water Festival:
The Children’s Clean Water Festival is a free, day-long environmental education event held on March 14, 2017 at the University of Portland. It engages about 1,400 fourth-grade students from throughout the Portland, Oregon metro area. Each year, students from 20-25 schools come to a college campus for a day of learning and fun that includes more than 40 hands-on, water-focused activities, classroom presentations, and stage shows that reinforce STEM, Common Core, and Next Generation Science concepts. They are currently looking for volunteer Class Guides. See this information sheet for more details on volunteering. Contact Amy Geerling for more information on volunteering. To register to take your students or for more information, click here.

    Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
    Portland Council PTA held a city wide meeting on October 20, 2016 to share how STEM education can inspire student learning and how PTAs can play a role in engaging all families to create positive STEM identities for their students. It was a great evening with hands on activities and information on how everyone can play a substantial role in supporting STEM in their schools.

    Portland Council PTA is proud to announce an exciting new partnership with OregonASK where we will bring training to PTA leaders so that they can hold family engineering nights at their schools. Six pilot schools are a part of this project with hopes to expand next school year to include additional schools. We are happy to say that Boise-Eliot/Humboldt, Creston, Faubion, Hayhurst, Scott and Vestal were selected to participate in this pilot program and we've completed the group training, giving leaders the tools to create events that engage all families in a meaningful way. We look forward to sharing this opportunity with additional PTAs next school year.
    PTA Education Advocacy
    Lobby Day for School Funding: President’s Day February 20, 2017: PTA volunteers, teachers and other critical K-12 funding allies will be meeting with legislators to say a legislative “cuts budget” is not right. Increasing class size and cutting programs in a solid economic time is reckless and hurts our kids’ and state’s future. Join us in Salem at the Convention Center for a brief training and then at the Capitol Building where we will meet our own legislators as well as legislative leadership to insist that revenue be created this session that guarantees a full school year, reasonable class size and all that our students need to succeed. Make plans to join us at the 2017 Legislative Engagement Training and Lobby Day, February 20, 2017 and Register Here.
    PPS News
    PPS Bond to Address Modernization and Health & Safety Issues:
    PPS is proposing a May 2017 capital construction bond to continue the long-term plan to modernize and improve the health, safety, and learning environments at every school through a series of capital construction bonds. This bond would modernize Benson, Lincoln, and Madison High Schools, and potentially repair and reopen Kellogg Middle School to reduce overcrowding in Southeast Portland.
    This bond will also invest in critical health and safety issues that need to be addressed in schools with the most need, before they can modernize every school—including lead in pipes, fixtures, and paint, exposed asbestos, fire safety, and access for people with disabilities.

    Our facilities’ needs are extensive, but funds are limited. Community feedback is needed to shape the priorities of the next round of investments. Please share your feedback on the proposed bond options with the Board of Education. The Board will vote in late February to refer a bond package to voters. Additional engagement opportunities, including a public hearing and four Town Halls, are scheduled in early February; details on upcoming dates can be found here. Additional information on the proposed Bond can be found here.

    Take the online Bond Survey today.

    There is still time to be part of the PPS Principal Hiring Comittee:
    Portland Public schools is seeking interested and available volunteers to serve on the district-wide Principal screening interview committee. The purpose of the committee is to provide an opportunity for community representatives to participate in the 2017-18 principal hiring process. They are looking for a total of 8 community representatives (including 2 alternates) that represent a cross section of the PPS clusters (Benson; Cleveland; Franklin; Grant; Jefferson; Lincoln; Madison; Roosevelt & Wilson), and who reflect the racial and linguistic diversity of our students.
    If you are interested please submit the self-nomination form and the confidentiality agreement to John Blanck in care of Human Resources by one of the following no later than January 31, 2017. You will find full information and the form here.
    Portland Council PTA Clothing Center
    The Portland Council Clothing Center has served 1027 students so far this school year and over 3300 volunteer hours have been logged! The Clothing Center cannot do it alone and we appreciate everyone who makes this a successful program for our PPS students. Several companies in the area assist us by sending volunteers to help at the Center. If you work for a company that donates time to organizations, we'd love to be considered.

    Thank you to all the individuals that have donated financially to the Clothing Center this past month! We sincerely appreciate your donations and value your support. We use financial donations to purchase warm winter coats for students, as well as new socks, underwear and jeans. If you'd like to make a financial donation to the Clothing Center, you may do so online here.
    Earthquake Preparedness Information
    Mercy Corps, in partnership with PPS, American Red Cross, and the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) is sponsoring a presentation on Earthquake Preparedness specific to our region. The presentations are free and open to anyone in your school community and can be done in Spanish or English (or both, on two separate occasions). The goal of these presentations is to promote awareness and preparedness around a Cascadia Earthquake in our region.
    If you are interested in having a presentation at your school, the first step is talking with your Principal or Assistant Principal to get their support. This makes the planning so much easier! The second step is reaching out to Holly Cook of Parents for Preparedness, to let her know you are interested in having a presentation for your school community. Contact Holly via email to talk about next steps. You can also find out more about the presentation here.
    Leader News:
    News to Enhance Your Leadership
    Conference & Convention:

    The Oregon PTA Conference and Convention is coming up in April. Make plans now for April 21-22, 2017 at the Holiday Inn @ Wilsonville.

    Portland Council PTA will be holding our spring meeting and elections for our 2017-2018 Board during the Convention. This meeting will be held on Saturday, April 22nd 10:30-11:45 am. All members and leaders in Region 2 (Portland) are invited to attend and participate in the meeting.

    Registration Fee: $185.00 per person, $295.00 Buddy Rate

    Limited $100 scholarships available: Download the application
    Hotel: $119.00 per night including tax and fees
    Registration is now open.

    Engaging speakers, educational workshops, exciting themed meals as well as honoring Oregon’s Students for their achievements in athletics, art, community service, projects and more.

    Some of the Workshops:

    • Connect Safely: National nonprofit dedicated to children and youth internet safety with programs for parent and child interaction. Learn how to establish best practices.
    • STEM family experience: Learn more on how your PTA can promote and engage families in STEM education.
    • SMART: Promoting equity and inclusion through children's literature.
    • Creating a Healthy School culture together: How PTAs can advance school wellness policies.
    • Earthquake Preparedness: how PTAs can help their schools prepare.
    • AIM, your Liability Insurance Carrier
    • Innovation in Education
    Please see the Conference Registration Book for more details on this engaging and educational weekend.

    Do you need help with grant writing?
    Students that are enrolled in PSU’s grantwriting class need community partners! The benefit to you is grant research and writing leading to a template proposal. Your part as a partner is to provide students with access to information and be available to the students to answer questions and assist them in understanding your organization and its programs. All of our PTAs are eligible! Students are ready to begin work now so please contact Linda at lagola@pdx.edu if you are interested.

    Portland Council PTA Principal and Teacher of the Year Award:
    Do you have an outstanding Principal or Teacher that you would love to see recognized? Nominate them for Principal or Teacher or the Year! Find nomination materials here and contact President Lisa Kensel if you have questions.

    Safer Internet Day, February 7, 2017:
    Schools, PTAs and communities around the world will be celebrating Safer Internet Day on February 7, 2017. Our very own King PTA was chosen to participate in this event as the designated Portland satellite location. They will be celebrating Safer Internet Day and hosting a Smart Talk Event at their school that night. King PTA received $1000 from National PTA to fund their event as well as materials and information to give parents about internet safety. Congratulations King PTA!

    Leadership Resources:

    Follow our Blog here for guidance and information as you lead your PTA.
    Consult our website for up to date information and news.
    See our Monthly Leadership Checklists here- we currently have President's checklists available and will be adding additional leader checklists soon.

    Follow us on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter for resources and information you can share with your communities.

    Leaders, are you interested in getting involved with PTA at the Council Level? Do you want to further the mission of PTA and help other local units with your knowledge? We are currently accepting applications for upcoming openings on our Board. If you are interested, please contact Portland Council President, Lisa Kensel via email for more information.

    Have you seen our latest blog entry on delegating? Are you an effective delegator? Find some good tips here.
    Lisa Kensel
    Portland Council PTA
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