How Can You Honor That Special Volunteer
By Bruce Butz, Maryland PTA Scholarship Committee Chair
Every year, PTAs around the state begin to think of ways to honor that one special volunteer. You all know the one; they give countless hours, are there whenever you need them, and look for nothing in return. How will you say “Thank you for your outstanding service to our children”? Give the award of a lifetime. Give the Maryland PTA Lifetime Achievement Award, which supports the Maryland PTA Scholarship Fund.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor Maryland PTA can bestow to the person who daily lives out his or her commitment to children. Recognize and thank that special person you know who goes above and beyond for all children and youth.
The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award will receive a certificate of recognition and a congratulatory letter from the Maryland PTA president. The award will be sent according to the direction on the application and a sample press release will be provided for use in your local media.
The $50.00 fee (less the $5.00 processing fee) for presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award supports the Maryland PTA Scholarship Fund. Since the early 1950’s, Maryland PTA has designated that the fees received for the Honorary Life Membership Award be used to support the fund. The scholarships provide the opportunity for seniors across the state, who wishes to pursue a career in education, a chance to make their dreams a reality.
If every local/council honored one member each year, Maryland PTA would have the potential of awarding over $40,000.00 in scholarship money.
GIVE THE AWARD OF A LIFETIME AND SUPPORT THE SCHOLARSHIP FUND. PRESENT A MARYLAND PTA LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD TO THAT SPECIAL SOMEONE IN YOUR PTA.
Maryland’s New Common Core State Standards
(Information provided by MSDE)
The Common Core State Standards are a set of high-quality academic expectations in English/language arts and mathematics that define both the knowledge and skills all students should master by the end of each grade level to be on track for success in college and careers. They were created through a state-led initiative and have been adopted by more that 40 states, including Maryland, which is revising its Curriculum to align with the Common Core State Standards.
The standards establish consistent learning goals for all children – regardless of where they live – so that children will stay on track in school when moving from one state to another.
The standards are relevant to the real world, focusing on the knowledge and skills students will need to succeed in life after high school, in both post-secondary education and a globally competitive workforce.
For more information visit our website at www.mdpta.org and click on news and events. Maryland PTA is working with the Maryland State Department of Education to ensure parents are informed about the standards and their implementation.
The Road Ahead – The PARCC Assessments
(Information provided by MSDE)
Maryland is a Governing State in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a consortium of 24 states working to develop an assessment system aligned with the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts and mathematics. The PARCC assessments will track student progress over time and will report status on a trajectory toward college and career readiness. The assessments will be computer based and will utilize a mix of constructed response items, performance based tasks, and computer enhanced computer scored items to measure higher order skills such as critical thinking, communications and problem solving.
PARCC will replace the Maryland School Assessment (MSAs) in school year 2014-2015.
2013 National Association of Secondary School Principal Nominations
The Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals is seeking nominations for Principal of the Year. If you are a middle or high school PTA and would like to nominate your principal please contact Scott Pfeifer, Executive Director for MASSP at email@example.com for an application. One middle and one high school principal in Maryland will be honored at the MASSP Spring Conference on April 12, 2013.
American Education Week
The National Education Association’s 91st annual American Education Week – November 11 – 17, 2012 – presents all Americans with an opportunity to celebrate public education and honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring every child receives a quality education.
Invite Parents to School Day
Schools across the nation will invite parents into the classroom for a hands-on experience of what the day is like for their child. This day is designed to spotlight the importance of parental involvement.
Parents need to take an active and assertive role in their children’s education on a daily basis for optimal success at school. We know that parental involvement in schools improves student achievement and reduces absenteeism. Parent involvement means reading to your children, checking homework every night, developing a relationship with his/her teacher and simply asking children about their school day. Whatever the level of involvement, it is important to be consistent in order to make a difference in your children’s live
The Advocates for Children and Youth is working with PTA and several other partner organizations to improve the student disciplinary process and keep more kids in the classroom by promoting best practices in smart discipline policies for the state, school districts, and schools. In order to inform our work, we want to get a pulse of what parents and students think about current disciplinary practices and optimal practices. The two links below will take you to a survey for parents and a survey for students to complete by Thanksgiving. There is also a teacher and principal survey. Questions can be addressed to: David S. Beard Education Policy Director Advocates for Children & Youth, 410-547-9200 x301, 410-547-9200 x3018 , firstname.lastname@example.org .
PTAs that Promote and Support Parental Involvement
How often is you school PTA communicating with parents? Do parents know what your PTA does on behalf of children each and every day in school communities? Parent involvement spans a broad range, from the parent who makes sure that their child is dressed and fed, to the parent who comes into school to volunteer, to the parent who takes it upon himself to learn all of the school system’s initiatives and programs. Research has shown that when parents are involved in their children’s schools their child is more successful in school. Schools benefit by partnering with parents to have needed support for all children. It is a win-win situation for all. PTAs should encourage and support all parents in volunteer efforts for children in their school communities each and every day. Each day make it your PTA goal to ask at least one person to join and support your PTA advocacy efforts on behalf of all children. Parent involvement encourages children to be more engaged in their school communities as well as to support the academic success of children.
The benefits of family-school-community partnerships are many: higher teacher morale, more parent involvement, and greater student success are only a few. That is why PTA developed the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships Implementation Guide, a tool for empowering people to work together with an end goal of building family-school partnerships and student success.
For each of the six National Standards for Family-School Partnerships, this online guide provides:
Who should use this guide?
Anyone with a stake in improving schools and student achievement can use this tool: PTA leaders, parents, school administrators, school board members, community organizations, and more.
How to use this guide:
This guide can assist organizers with implementing programs and policies that encourage these family-school partnerships. Used with the supporting resources, it can help organizers educate their communities about the importance of family involvement and direct the development of effective partnerships. These materials are best used after the formation of an action team focused on promoting family involvement. This team can include parents, other caregivers and family members, school staff, community members, and even students.
Dear Maryland Parents and Teachers,
McDonald’s commitment to education is rooted in the philosophy of our founder, Ray Kroc, who believed in teamwork, giving back and supporting our community.
Ray Kroc’s motto "None of us is as good as all of us," continues to be the foundation for who we are, what we do, and how we operate.
Today, there are 272 McDonald’s restaurants across Maryland, 75 percent of which are franchised and run by local business men and women. We take our responsibilities seriously to make sure we are a good neighbor and a good corporate citizen. Our mission is not only to offer great, quality food and fast service at a great value, but also to support local programs that make a difference to the lives of Marylanders.
For over 25 years, McDonald's has served as a proud sponsor of the Maryland State Department of Education, and continues to partner with community organizations and schools to raise funds locally. We offer a variety of fundraising programs designed to benefit the great communities we serve.
As part of our commitment to education and our local communities, we would like to take this opportunity to invite you and your school to participate in a McDonald’s McEducator Night. Our McEducator’s Night Program provides an opportunity for your school to raise funds. Friends and families of the school are invited to visit McDonald's and a percentage of sales from the event will be donated to the school.
Please stop by your local McDonald’s restaurant if you are interested in discussing partnership opportunities for the 2012-2013 school year. You may also email email@example.com for assistance in reaching your local McDonald’s. We would be happy to coordinate you with the appropriate contact. Our hope is that we can continue to grow our relationship with you in the future and we look forward to helping you support your school and community.
- Your Local Maryland McDonald’s Franchisees