Maryland PTA

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Celebrating 100 Years of Advocating for Children

 Banneker Middle School Parent Involvement Committee with Governor O'Malley.



Maryland PTA took part in the Maryland Task Force convened in 2014 to make a recommendation on when the school year should start.  The Task Force met for nearly a year and the final report suggested that it would have little impact on education. We don't agree.

As parents who work closely with local school systems, Maryland PTA supports preserving and protecting the rights of local communities and their respective boards of education to adopt school calendars that meet their unique needs. Local boards serving the needs of parents, teachers, school children and the community is the wisest choice in our opinion.

We also disagree that the change to a start date post-Labor Day will have little impact on education.  While those individuals who are able to prolong their summer vacations will enjoy the additional time, there are many children who need school facilities for every day needs, like school lunches and a safe environment to learn and play, and who look forward to the start of school to have a routine that includes socializing with fellow students and teachers. Adopting a school calendar that takes into consideration teacher and employee contracts, as well as meets the overall needs of ALL students would be a wiser choice.  Now, many students may be faced with a school calendar that will impact the observance of local traditions such as winter breaks, religious holidays and Spring break so that families who can afford a trip to the shore can prolong their enjoyment. 

I would feel differently, if the Governor indicated that the reason for the post-Labor Day start time meant that he would earmark the additional funds for education but unfortunately, we have seen only cuts to date.  Providing full funding for education is also a "family issue", Maryland's children need the resources for their schools so that they can have a 21st Century Education.

Elizabeth Ysla Leight



Sent on behalf of Laura Bay, President, National PTA

Dear National PTA Governance Members, National PTA Past National Presidents, and PTA State Presidents,

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Denitra Jones, Family Involvement Facilitator at Irving Elementary School and National PTA Resource Development Chair.  We ask that you please keep their family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.


Denitra T. “Dee” Jones, age 57, of Hammond, IN, passed away on Sunday, September 4, 2016. She leaves to cherish her memory Mr. Walter Jones, husband of 29 years; son, Brandon Jones of Kouts, Indiana; and a host of extended family and special friends.  She was preceded in death by her parents, John Taylor and Betty S. O’Neal. Dee’s second family was made up of the staff, students, and parents at Irving Elementary School.  She was a part of this community for over 20 years.  By serving at the local, state, and national levels of PTA, she worked tirelessly to strengthen the home/school connection at all of the schools within the School City of Hammond.  In addition to the PTA, she also served on the Board of Directors for the following organizations: Hammond Education Foundation, Hammond Hispanic Community Committee, and the Community Center Development Corporation.  Dee also served the Team Hammond Robotics organization faithfully.  


Dee was an integral part of PTA.  Among many of her PTA contributions, she served at the local level as the Northwest Region Vice Chair, Indiana NLDC Chair, Diversity Committee Chair, member of the Executive Committee, Budget & Office, Legislation, Convention, Awards, Resources, and State and Local Relations.  At the National PTA level, she was the current Resource Development Committee Chair and served with the Board of Directors and various other committees for many years.  Dee served as the first African American Indiana PTA President from 2005-2007.  She will undoubtedly be missed for her contributions, her kindness to many of us, and her love for children.


Friends may visit with family members on Saturday, September 10, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at Irving Elementary School.  A celebration of life honoring her memory will immediately follow.  Irving Elementary is located at 4727 Pine Ave, Hammond, Indiana 46327.  


A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Dee Jones Memorial.  The page can be accessed here:

 Please let me know if you have any questions.  Thank you.


 Laura Bay

 President, National PTA

 National PTA

1250 North Pitt Street

Alexandria, VA  22314

(703) 518-1251


Press Release: Dr. Karen Salmon Named Next Maryland State Superintendent
State Board Selects Dr. Salmon After National Search; Term Begins July 1                                        

Baltimore, MD (May 24, 2016)

The Maryland State Board of Education today selected Dr. Karen B. Salmon as the State’s next State Superintendent of Schools, effective July 1. 

Dr. Salmon will begin serving as Acting Superintendent on June 1, and take the helm as State Superintendent one month later.  She will succeed Interim State Superintendent Jack Smith, who earlier this year was named the next Superintendent of the Montgomery County Public Schools. 

The State Board voted unanimously to elevate Dr. Salmon to the State Superintendent position, pending final contract negotiations. 

"I am committed to collaborating with all of our stakeholders to ensure a world-class education for every Maryland public school student," Dr. Salmon said. "I want to build on Maryland's past accomplishments, streamline programs at the Maryland State Department of Education, and articulate a shared vision for educational excellence." (Click here to read the entire press Release).

Advocacy and the ESSA

As you continue to advocate on behalf of students in our state, Maryland PTA wants to bring to your attention the following information. 

The U.S. Department of Education recently posted an updated set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) concerning the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  The Department has prepared these FAQs to support states and school districts in understanding expectations during the transition to full implementation of the ESSA.  They recognize there are questions that are still not addressed in this document; but will continue to update and add to these FAQs over the coming months.

The FAQs are posted on National PTA’s ESSA webpage – along with other materials to help you, PTAs, and parents understand the law and how they can be involved in the implementation process moving forward. 



PTA Leader Named Family Ambassador for U.S. Department of Education


ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Sept. 28, 2016)—National PTA is pleased to announce that PTA leader Frances Frost has been named the U.S. Department of Education’s first Family Ambassador. This position is made possible by a grant from the Kellogg Foundation and an agreement with The Campagna Center of Alexandria, Va., to support family engagement in education and increase family engagement in education policy.


“Frances is a leader in family engagement and a strong advocate for quality education and equitable opportunities for all students and families,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “We are proud that Frances has been named the U.S. Department of Education’s first Family Ambassador. Her leadership, dedication, passion and experience will be tremendous assets to the Department and to students and families nationwide.”  


As the Family Ambassador, Frost will bring the voice of families to national conversations impacting children and education. She will also facilitate discussions with the Department of Education, families and family engagement stakeholders to create effective solutions to the issues affecting education and children’s well-being.


In this role, Frost will share her extensive knowledge of meaningful family engagement and strong family, school and community partnerships to inform and impact Department of Education policies. Additionally, Frost will communicate with families on behalf of the Department of Education to increase their understanding of and encourage their engagement in the development and implementation of policies.


“Parents and families should have meaningful opportunities to both contribute to and understand the policies and programs that impact them and their children, schools and communities,” said Ann Whalen, senior advisor delegated the duties of assistant secretary of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. “The Family Ambassador will help bolster our efforts to ensure that parents and families are meaningfully engaged and represented in every step of their child’s education.


Frost has been active in PTA for many years and most recently served as president of Montgomery County Council of PTAs (MCCPTA) in Maryland. Through her leadership of MCCPTA, which encompasses 192 PTAs, Frost worked to ensure more parents of color and low-income families were included and engaged in their school community. In addition to her work with PTA, Frost volunteers with several other youth- and education-related organizations, including Girls on the Run and the Girl Scouts of America.


U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. announced Frost as the first Family Ambassador during a stakeholder forum on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). National PTA Executive Director Nathan R. Monell, CAE, was a featured panelist for the forum.


“Family engagement is essential to the successful implementation of ESSA. It is critical that families are at the table to make certain that the law—and all policies—make a difference for education and our nation’s children,” said Monell. “National PTA applauds the Department of Education for establishing the Family Ambassador position and for its commitment to the importance of family engagement.”


About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.

Is Your Local PTA Unit in Compliance with Maryland PTA Standards

of Continuing Affiliation?  


1) Are the local PTA unit's bylaws on file with Maryland PTA? 

2) Is the local PTA unit up to date on membership dues payments to Maryland PTA?

3) Has the local PTA unit paid their 2016-17 insurance? 

4) Has the local PTA unit filed the Annual Renewal of Registration Form for Maryland

Charitable Organizations?

5) Has the local PTA unit filed a Form 990 with the IRS? 

6) Has the local PTA unit completed an audit for the 2016 year and sent a copy to Maryland PTA? 

7) Does Maryland PTA have the current officer contact information for the 2016-2017 school year? 

If you can say, "yes," to items 1-7 above, Congratulations!  Your local PTA unit is in good standing with Maryland PTA Bylaws!

If your local PTA unit has not completed each of these Maryland PTA requirements, they are not in good standing according to the Maryland PTA Bylaws. Please call our office 1-800-707-7972 or e-mail, for assistance.


We are excited to share with you the story on Beverly Cleary running on the TODAY Show this morning at about 8:30 a.m. You’ll find at the end of the clip, Brock Bridge Elementary is featured to show the unveiling of the E-readers and a couple shots of students using the devices.


It has come to our attention that effective February 29, 2016, the IRS launched a new website for submitting the Form 990-N (e-Postcard) filings.  Any Form 990-N filings that was not completed and submitted by 11:59 pm (ET) on February 28, 2016, will need to be re-entered into the new IRS system.  To access the new IRS website please click:  You will be required to create an account and profile.  Please contact the MD PTA office if you have any questions. 


The Maryland State Education Forum sponsored an Education Policy Forum in Annapolis to discuss education topics, policy and the upcoming Legislative session.  President Elizabeth Ysla Leight was part of the first panel which helped to set the tone for an excellent forum with educators, legislators and PTA members. 

The education policy forum can be viewed using the link below.

 Washington County Board of Education Proposed Policy Change May Impact Washington County PTA (Click Here)

 Testimony of the President, Elizabeth Ysla Leight (Click Here)

 Maryland PTA Structure and Function (Click Here)

PTA parents, want to know how to help your child and about the changes happening in classrooms across the country? Do you want tips to help your child prepare for the upcoming state test?  Learning Heroes can help! Learning Heroes just released their Family Playbook which is designed to ensure that parents have the information and resources at their fingertips to get ready for the upcoming state test. The guide provides basic facts on what to expect, tips and tools for helping your child prepare and links to the practice test so you can become familiar with the types of questions that will be asked. Learning Heroes mission is to equip parents with the information they need from partners such as National PTA to support your child at home. For more information and personalized tools visit
This is an article from Ed Week: ESSA May Offer Megaphone for Parent, Community Voices. The article highlights National PTA and family engagement provisions in ESSA.  National PTA is a supporter of the Testing Bill of Rights.   We are asking that people sign the Testing Bill of Rights.



Understanding Assessments

The provides an explanation of the skills and content in both math and English, broken down by test categories. For example, to better understand a 5th grade math score, a parent can unpack the score by selecting their child’s grade, state and subject and reading about the types of skills that need to be mastered in each of them. Easy and parent-friendly language is then used to show ways to support your child's school success. 

·  The Learning Heroes Skill Builder is a search engine that parents can use to uncover learning activities specifically tailored your child's area in need of improvement.  Just like the GreatSchools tool, parents can select a state, grade, subject and category.  The search engine then finds targeted exercises and resources you can use with your child to help improve those skills.  


Score Report Support

Last spring, your child took a new state test focusing on the critical thinking, problem solving and reasoning skills that students need, which replaced the previous test taken in your state.  Results from the new tests are important because they will help teachers better understand where your child does well and where he/she may need some help.  


As parents, we all have lots of questions about what score reports from the test means for our children. That’s why in this month’s newsletter, we’re focusing on resources to help you understand your child’s score report, and learn how to use it to support their growth. We hope these resources are helpful to you, and we're here to help!

What's different about the new tests?

Click here for some introductory information on how the new state tests work, and what they are measuring. If you’re not sure which test your child took last spring, select your state from the drop down menu at the bottom of the page for more information.

How can I help at home?

On our site, we’ve developed two new one-stop-shop pages (one for Smarter Balanced and one for PARCC) packed full of useful information for parents from trusted partners such as GreatSchools, National PTA and Scholastic.  And we’re very excited to share new tools, including GreatKids State Test Guide for Parents and Skill Builder, which allows you to search by grade, subject and scoring category to find information and resources tailored to the areas where your child needs support..
Click here for our new page for parents: About the Smarter Balanced Test
Click here for our new page for parents in PARCC states: About the PARCC Test
Click here if you’re not sure which test your child took last spring.

How are they helpful to my child's teacher?

In this video, 2010 National Teacher of the Year, Sarah Brown Wessling, shares information about the new tests, and how they are helpful to your child’s teacher.   This video focuses on the Smarter Balanced test, if you live in a PARCC state, click here.


National PTA received a request from PARCC.

If you could find time to take the survey it would be greatly appreciated.


The PARCC states are seeking feedback to ensure they are delivering score reports and other information in a way that is both understandable and useful to parents and students. The answers parents give will provide the consortium with valuable information, and will help enhance the score delivery process for next year.







Hey fourth graders!

A new White House youth initiative to get all 4th graders and their families to experience the places that are home to our country’s natural treasures, rich history, and vibrant culture FREE OF CHARGE! 

To help engage and create our next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates, the White House, in partnership with the Federal Land Management agencies, launched the Every Kid in a Park initiative. The immediate goal is to provide an opportunity for each and every 4th grade student across the country to experience their public lands and waters in person throughout the 2015-2016 school year.

Beginning September 1st all kids in the fourth grade have access to their own Every Kid in a Park pass at This pass provides free access to national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, and more!

The Every Kid in a Park pass is good for the 2015-2016 school year, until August 31, 2016. Information on obtaining the pass is available by visiting


Have you checked the status of your unit's incorporation? 

If you are not considered  "In Good Standing" by the Maryland Department of Assessments, you need to contact them (410-767-1350) to find out what is required to bring you into Good Standing. Not being in good standing can result in the loss of your incorporation and the protection it provides.  It will cause your local to not be in good standing, and thus not be able to participate in several of our programs and benefits.  This loss of standing by the MD Dept of State is usually a result of not filing your property tax report. 


Check your status at

  • Click on Business Data Search
  • Click on Business Entity Search
  • Then enter either the PTA name as originally submitted OR enter the Incorporation number for your PTA.
  • When you see your PTA, click on general information
  • This will give you an overview of the status of your PTA.        



What's going on.......

      Maryland PTA Newsletters

         April 2013


         September 2013                 

         October 2013

         February 2014

          April 2014










March 2015

April - May 2015

                              .....good things are happening in Maryland!



Maryland PTA

5 Central Avenue
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Phone# 1-800-707-7972