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99th Annual Maryland PTA Convention

July 11-12, 2014

Baltimore Sheraton North

Towson, Maryland 21204

1st Annual Emerging Minority Leaders Conference

Thursday, July 10, 2014

12 - 4pm

Baltimore Sheraton North

Towson, Maryland 21204


 

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Welcome to the Maryland PTA Website

 

 
A Word From Our President

 

                                                                        Save the Dates!

99th Annual Maryland PTA Convention

July 11-12, 2014

Baltimore Sheraton North

Towson, Maryland 21204

Interested in being an Exhibitor or Sponsor?

Exhibitor Packet                     Sponsorship Packet

1st Annual Emerging Minority Leaders Conference

Sponsored by BB&T Insurance Company

Thursday, July 10, 2014   12 - 4pm

Baltimore Sheraton North

Towson, Maryland 21204

Online Registration

 

Spring has finally sprung! Winter certainly hung on for quite a while. Spring means many things in PTA. For Membership, it’s another chance for growth. It’s also time for your Nominating Committees to be diligently working on slating the best choices for next year’s officers. It’s time for elections, personal property forms, spring fairs, yearbook sales, and graduation plans. Please remember that we are here to help with what you need. If you are in one of one of the following counties, remember you also have Council folks to help you as well. Those counties are Allegany, Anne Arundel, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Calvert, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Prince George, St. Mary’s, Montgomery and Wicomico. If your PTA is in one of the counties that we do not currently have a council, the MDPTA office is your primary source of information and answers to your questions.

Our advocacy efforts this legislative season have been very positive. We supported legislation on Common Core, and PTA representation on the Implementation Task force. We also supported delays in using test data for Teacher and Principal Evaluations. Other wins included Pre-Kindergarten Expansion, and Expansion of Maryland Meals for Achievement by 1.7 million dollars. We had mixed success in defending the use of Public Funds. The Capital budget will include over 6 million dollars for Non-Public Aging schools. We will look at options for next year to partner on making sure the next Governor knows that this is not something PTA can support when the public schools backlog for aging schools is over 15 billion.

As the end of the year approaches, there are many great opportunities to connect with training and workshops. In a few short weeks, you will be receiving the 99th Annual Maryland PTA Convention Registration Packet. There will be over 20 great workshops to choose from.  Coming up on May 6th at Towson University is the 2014 Hate Summit. This year, they are talking about Mass Violence in Public Places (Schools, Malls, and Movie Theaters). If you register before April 14th, as a PTA member, you can get in for free (otherwise it’s $35). The link to register is:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cove-2014-hate-crimes-summit-tickets-10885772639?access=COVEGENACCOMPTKT

We have also started taking registrations for our 1st Annual Maryland PTA Emerging Leaders Conference, on July 10th at the Sheraton Baltimore North. It’s the day before our Convention! See EML Conference Online Registration above for details!

 

http://www.maec.org/conference/schedule.html

The deadline to register for the Mid Atlantic Equity Conference is fast approaching,  this looks to be a phenomenal day event, well worth the money.  May 6th 2014.

It’s going to be a busy spring, but that’s PTA and we wouldn’t want any other way. Would we?


Ray Leone

President

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                       Visit our New Maryland PTA Online Store!

                             Encourage, Motivate and Inspire!

Maryland PTA is pleased to offer our new Online Maryland PTA Store! Just click on the link below and browse through our merchandise!  New Spring Merchandise has arrived!

                                     Maryland PTA Online Store

Check out our Special Sales below!

January ~ May - Volunteer Recognition
As the Spring begins, many PTA Units are looking at the end of the school year for
specific items to recognize board members and volunteers. We offer several traditional
PTA officer lapel pins, appreciation certificates, Thank You greeting cards and
more, so showing your PTA gratitude is a snap. With our Custom Shop awards, we
even offer individualized plaques or gavels.

 

Many items can be customized to reflect your PTA's name and mascot! Be sure to check out the customized department for school spirit wear, including tshirts, sweatshirts, jackets, etc!

 

Top 10 Things Parents Need to Know About Testing in Maryland!

National PTA Update on Common Core State Standards Assessment and Accountability Guides for Maryland!

PTA Maryland Assessment Guide 2013

These new resources will be a valuable tool as we begin to transition to the new Common Core aligned assessments in the coming years, and is an important companion to the original Parents’ Guide to Student Success which goes more in depth on the standards. National PTA grants permission for the above to print and distribute these guides for the purposes of educating parents and the public about Common Core and the new assessments and accountability plans.

 

Your Child and the Maryland School Assessment (MSA)

By Lillian Lowery, Ed.D., State Superintendent of Schools

This school year, Maryland implemented higher standards for student learning in all schools across the State. The Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards are based on the Common Core State Standards, which were adopted by Maryland and over 40 other states. The new standards provide students with the relevant, real-world knowledge and skills needed for success in college and careers.

In order to measure student mastery of the new standards, next year Maryland will implement new State assessments developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). These assessments will replace the current statewide tests, including the Maryland State Assessment (MSA). The MSA in reading/English Language Arts (ELA) and math will be given for the last time in grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 in March.

The final administration of the MSA will provide a snap shot of achievement that is disaggregated by racial and student services subgroups.  For example, if English Language Learners at school A are doing better than those particular students at school B, we’d like to know about it and understand why. Teachers can use this information to target instruction, ensure students are proficient in reading and math, and address any gaps in learning during the transition to higher standards.

Routine and regular assessment for all Maryland students in the tested grades has served our State well and we will continue that policy in this transition year.  In addition, the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), requires all students in grades 3-8 be tested every year in reading and math. Annual testing is important to help ensure that all students are making progress.

As we give the MSA this spring, we will simultaneously field test the new PARCC exams in a classroom or two in nearly every school. The field test is an opportunity to “test the test” – to see how well the test works, determine the quality of questions, and make any necessary adjustments before it is given to all students in school year 2014-15. Those students participating in the subject-area field tests will not take the same subject-area MSA tests.  For example, if a student participates in the PARCC field test for fourth-grade mathematics, that student will not take the MSA fourth-grade mathematics test,   In other words, Maryland has adopted the “one test-one child” assessment model to ensure that students are not being assessed twice in the same subject area.  Those students who do not participate in the PARCC field test will take the MSA.

Maryland’s focus is on maintaining our educational progress, boosting improvement, and continuing our transition to a more rigorous curriculum designed to strengthen college- and career-readiness.  Keeping the MSA test for one more year is not a perfect solution, but it is a sensible one.

Finally, I encourage all parents to support their students by encouraging them to tryout the sample questions for grades 3-5, grades 6-8 and high school by logging onto www.parccconline.org

PARCC test questions measure deeper learning, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Compare existing test questions and see the difference for yourself. I invite you to make this transition year a family learning opportunity. Thank you for all that you do to support Maryland students.

 

                                                 Maryland’s New Tests: The Next Step in Measuring Student Learning

By Kristin Addleman

What an exciting time for education!  As a teacher with a deep passion for teaching and learning, I truly believe Maryland’s College and Career-Ready Standards, built on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), will ensure our students are ready for success after high school.  The Standards, being implemented this year throughout the State, establish clear, consistent guidelines for what every student should know and be able to do in math and English language arts from kindergarten through 12th grade. As a result of these new standards, a group of states have come together through a shared commitment to develop an assessment system that accurately measures college and career readiness.

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a major topic of conversation for anyone with an investment in the educational system.  Every newspaper and website has reported their version and highlighted the positives and negatives to this new assessment.  Since field-testing of the PARCC has begun, many of the misconceptions and questions circulating through the public are being clarified and answered.  As a reading specialist and a parent of school-aged children, the direction of education is extremely important to me.  Having the opportunity to be trained and administer the PARCC Field Assessment was a priority for that reason.

Preparations for the PARCC Field Test began in each Anne Arundel County public school building in January when homeroom classes were randomly selected to participate.  Throughout the months of January and February, teachers, students, and administrators have been preparing for this field test “practice” assessment.  This included the school computer tech that worked very hard to install the necessary systems and test our network capabilities.  Updates and new information became available as testing ensued to further promote a smooth administration.  Any issues were solved and all questions and the PARCC testing were answered quickly.

Every year, I see students entering elementary school with major proficiencies in technology.  Our students need a new assessment to test them the way their brain works, with movement, pictures, and even typing.  It is our responsibility to give that to them!

Once I administered the PARCC Field Test and witnessed the students manipulating the assessment and associated tools, my anxiousness about their capabilities of typing proficiently, reading and scrolling through text, and manipulating the online tools were relieved.  The students had no problems and knew exactly what they were doing!  They were actually motivated and excited to take the assessment on the computer.  As part of the field assessment, students were asked a few survey questions at the conclusion of the assessment, including if they preferred the computer-based assessment over the traditional paper and pencil format.  Every Marley Elementary student emphatically stated they preferred the computerized format.

The PARCC Field Test is doing exactly what it was created to do - test the test.  Educational stakeholders hold some concerns of the feasibility of a computer-based assessment.  Anne-Arundel County Schools implemented a paper and pencil format and a computer format so the PARCC consortium and test vendors have as much information necessary to guide them as states fully implement the PARCC assessment to all third through eigth grade students in the upcoming school year.

Kristin Addleman, NBCT

Anne Arundel County Reading Teacher

Marley Elementary School

 

  

                                                     A Step Forward for Maryland’s Student Assessment Program

By Amanda Hughes

While no standardized test can ever truly measure all that a child has learned or can do, the new Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment represents a vast improvement over the Maryland School Assessments (MSA).  Both teachers and students are ready for this welcome shift.

As a middle school English teacher in Baltimore County, I participated in the PARCC English Language Arts field test this year.   Students were adequately prepared for the PARCC assessment.  All year, the English teachers have been delivering curriculum that is fully aligned with Common Core and designed to prepare students to be successful on PARCC.  In addition, students participating in the field test completed a PARCC tutorial, which allowed them to familiarize themselves with the format of the test and the resources available to them.  Teachers involved in the field testing were fully trained on how to administer the test.  The field test allows test developers to make changes and receive feedback before PARCC is fully implemented next year.

The test itself is a more authentic measure of student achievement.  Each multiple choice question on PARCC has two parts – one which requires students to select an answer, similar to MSA, and a second which requires students to select the evidence that supports their answer choice.  This addition of a second part helps measure students’ thought processes rather than their ability to simply fill in the correct bubble, regardless of whether or not they know why that answer is correct.  In addition, the PARCC assessment includes interactive technology items which require students to actively manipulate text, such as dragging and dropping details to form a coherent summary.  These tasks demand more critical thinking than the traditional multiple choice questions.

The MSA did not include much writing.  PARCC also involves extended written responses, including questions requiring synthesis and narrative writing.  Students are no longer confined to a small box in which they must develop an answer; the answer box on PARCC has no limit.  This allows students to demonstrate more sophisticated thinking and writing than was ever allowed on MSA.

In addition to the question types, PARCC makes several resources available to students on the computer based test, such as a highlighting tool, incorrect answer strikeout, a glossary of terms, and a read aloud function.  In today’s world where students have almost unlimited access to resources such as these in their daily lives, it does not make sense to deny them access to these aids in a testing environment.  In fact, the ability to use such resources appropriately is an important skill that standardized tests should measure.  Again, PARCC improves on MSA, which did not offer all resources to students unless they were enrolled in a special education or ESOL program.

The more rigorous nature of PARCC will mean that results will not be comparable to those of the MSA.  The percentage of students scoring in the proficient range on PARCC is likely to be lower at the outset of implementation.

It is my hope that this does not cause people to give up on the test or write off the Common Core standards.  Ultimately, this test is a more authentic assessment of student learning which requires critical thinking, allows for divergent thought processes, and provides students with appropriate resources.

While students are ready to show what they know, we need to give students and teachers time to rise to these expectations.  It is a step in the right direction for our education system, and this teacher welcomes the change with open arms.

Amanda Hughes is an English Language Arts(ELA) teacher at Lansdowne Middle school. 

                                                                                                                                    


Breaking News

 

Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week Planning Starts Now!

Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week is May 5th -9h and the time to plan your events is rapidly approaching. This Week of gratitude for our teacher/staff comes at a time when the school year is winding down and momentum has begun to slightly slow down. This is why it is so important to show our teachers/staff how much we appreciate the impact they have on the lives of our children. Regardless of your approach to Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week, be sure to start outlining your plans now so that you are ready. Ideas for celebrating Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week can be found online at National PTA’s website, www.pta.org.

PTAs Celebrate Gifted and Talented Education in Maryland!                                                            

Maryland State Advisory Council for Gifted & Talented Education award recipients with School PTAs or PTSAs. On February 27, 2014,state and local officials came together at North County High School to celebrate Gifted and Talented Education in Maryland. Celebrating our Gifted students was the theme and we congratulate everyone!

Winners included:

Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) Schools:

        1. Central Elementary, Anne Arundel County, Janice Haberlein, Principal

        2. Capital Heights ES Prince George's County, Herman Whaley, Principal

        3. Greenbelt Middle Prince George's County, Warren Tweedy, Principal

        4. Westside Intermediate Wicomico County, Jason Miller, Principal 

Business and Community Partnerships that support G & T Education

        Michelle Gluck, Montgomery County Council of PTA's 

Student Accomplishment in G & T Education

        1. Stephen Duranske, John Hanson MS ,Charles County

        2. Alyssa White, Edgewood MS, Harford County

        3. Caitlyn Audrey K. Singam, Montgomery Blair HS, Montgomery County

        4. Abiola Akinwande, Dwight C. Eisenhower MS, Prince George's County 

Outstanding Educators in G & T Education: School Administrator

        1. Cindy Alvarado, New Market ES Frederick County

Outstanding Educatore in G & T Education: Teacher as Leader

              Baltimore County

                            1.Tara Greenwood, Battle Grove ES

                            2. Alexandra M. Clough, Vincent Farm ES

                            3. Matthew Jochmans, Towson HS 

              Frederick County

                            1. Lawrence Paul, Parkway ES

                            2. Candace Desonier, Thurmont MS 

              Harford County

                            1. Karen Benson, William S. James ES 

              Howard County

                            1. Christal Cutwright, Veterans ES 

              Prince George's County

                            1. Wendy Frederick, Capital Heights ES

                            2. Tracey Thisse, Greenbelt Ms

                            3. Christina Eberwein, Glenarden Woods ES

                            4. Rena Shylanski, Rockledge ES

                            5. Jean Lowd, Rockledge ES

                            6. Linda Ronniger, Lettie Marshall Dent ES

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Treasurer’s Corner - Fall Responsibilities

by Bruce Butz, Treasurer

 

You are past the half way point and it’s now time for a quick follow up to what has hopefully taken place over the last six or seven months.

All local PTA units were required to complete one of the 990 forms for the IRS, This should have been submitted to IRS by November 15. Be sure you send a copy of either the 990, 990EZ, or the 990N to Maryland PTA.

Local PTAs with income of $25,000 are required to register, or annually renew their registration, as a charitable organization with the Office of the Secretary of State and have submitted the fee by the end of December.  For those locals who filed the e-postcard for the 990N, but had income of less than $25,000, Maryland PTA and the State’s Comptroller are strongly encouraging you to complete the Exempt Organization Fund-Raising Notice.  Those locals filing a 990N with gross incomes of $25,000 but less than $50,000 may elect to submit a copy of their 990EZ or complete the COF-85 located on the Secretary of State’s website. Please be sure to provide Maryland PTA with a copy of your submissions to the Secretary of State.  

According to Maryland PTA Bylaws, you are required to submit the treasurer’s annual report reviewed by an auditor or auditing or review committee to Maryland PTA. This annual financial report should accompany the Financial Review Report document found in Maryland PTA’s Sample Reports booklet. This should have been reported to Maryland PTA by October 31.

You should have received the 2014 Personal Property Report form in mid-February.  These are mailed to organizations who have not forfeited their incorporation in the state of Maryland. They have a return due date of April 15 and can be completed online and mailed.  In order to maintain your good standing with Maryland PTA, you must submit a copy of that report to Maryland PTA.  You can view your status by searching the website of the Department of Assessments and Taxation at www.dat.state.md.us.  If you have forfeited your incorporation, contact Maryland PTA.

A reminder also that payment for memberships sold should be made to Maryland PTA ($3.75/member) by the end of each month.  There are still local units who have not submitted dues for the school year.  Please do not pay Maryland PTA for any membership that you do not sell as there will be no refunds issued.  You must remit your membership dues promptly.  Not reporting to Maryland PTA the portion of the dues you collected on their behalf is withholding money that rightfully belongs to them and is considered fraud by IRS.

If you needed to submitt an IRS 1099 MISC for those individuals for whom you paid $600 or more in the calendar year 2013, you should have ordered this form and the accompanying IRS 1096 Remittal form as the 1099 must go to the individual before the end of January.  This form is not downloadable.  Penalties for late reporting to individuals are quite stiff.  Check Cash Encounters to determine who qualifies.

Now is an excellent time to review your budget to see if any amendments are necessary.  Remember that IRS requires that you use a gross budget.  This means that you cannot just report the profits from your fundraisers as income.

And finally, the latest on the sales tax law ….

HB0232: “This bill exempts from the State sales and use tax sales made by a parent-teacher organization or other organization within an elementary or secondary school in the State or within a local school system in the State.”

First Option:  For now, in lieu of paying sales tax to the vendor, issue them a Blanket Certificate of Resale (located in Cash Encounters and the Sample Reports booklet). The use of the Certificate is limited to a $200 minimum purchase from the vendor. It is required that you have a Sales and Use Tax License. You will need to continue filing zero on your scheduled sales and use tax reports.

Second option:  Pay the vendor the sales tax and then request a refund of that sales tax from the State on Maryland.  This option would only be used for purchases under $200 or for businesses that will not accept the Blanket Certificate of Resale and only for items that the PTA is going to re-sell.  You will need to continue filing zero on your scheduled sales and use tax reports.

The State Comptroller's Office has posted some Frequently Asked Questions about Sales by Parent-Teacher Organizations and Other Organizations. Questions regarding these FAQs, or questions in general should be directed to the Comptroller's Office Taxpayer Center by calling 410-260-7980. See link below....

http://taxes.marylandtaxes.com/Business_Taxes/Taxpayer_Assistance/Business_Tax_FAQs/Sales_and_Use_Tax/Parent_Teacher_Organizations_FAQs/

To clarify the Third Party section of the FAQ, the State Comptroller’s office states if the PTA is the point of sale, they are selling the items and the money is going into the PTA account, no sales tax would need to be collected.  If the company is the point of sale and is collecting the money directly from the consumer, sales tax should be collected....The company, in this case, would be making a "donation" to the PTA with the % of sales agreed upon. The PTA should continue to use the Blanket Certificate of Resale until the State Comptroller has something more tangible to offer 

Third Option:  Apply for your own Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate.  You are not permitted to use the School’s Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate.  This exemption will eliminate any necessity to pay sales tax in the state of Maryland. 

To obtain the Sales and Use Tax exemption, PTAs have to complete the current year Combined Registration Application (CRA), which you may find here: http://forms.marylandtaxes.com/13_forms/CRA.pdf.  After January 1, 2014, the 2014 CRA will be required and will be available at www.marylandtaxes.com.  PTAs should complete all required sections and follow the Sales and Use Tax Exemption Certificate (SUTEC) checklist on page 4 for additional information required. 

The checklist will help guide you in completing the application.  Subordinate organizations, such as PTAs covered by Maryland PTA's group determination letter must also provide a copy of the group determination letter and a letter from the parent organization on letterhead specifying that the particular organization is covered by your group determination.  These letters can be obtained by contacting Maryland PTA.   In addition to the 501(c)(3) letter and letter from holder of IRS group determination (mentioned above), the following information is also required:

                                                   -The completed CRA

                                                   -Articles of Incorporation

                                                   -Bylaws

The exemption will take approximately 6- 8 weeks to review and will be valid until 2017 when it will be up for renewal.  Also, please note that two individual officers will be required to provide their social security number for the application and will have to remember to have that number removed from the application when their term expires.  This can be accomplished with a letter to the department.

 

Maryland PTA Welcomes our 2012-2013 Sponsors!

 

                                                                                          

                                                                

 

                                                                                

                                                                                              

 


 

Maryland PTA
5 Central Avenue  Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061
800-707-7972    410-760-6221    410-760-6344 Fax