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National PTA Recognizes Schools Across the Country for Excellence in Building Family-School Partnerships

Media Contact:
Heidi May
Media Relations Manager
703-518-1242
hmay@pta.org

170 schools designated as 2014-2016 National PTA Schools of Excellence

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Aug. 28, 2014) — As part of its ongoing efforts to increase family engagement in education, National PTA® is pleased to recognize 170 schools from across the country as 2014-2016 National PTA Schools of Excellence for their achievements in building strong family-school partnerships. Research shows that when families and schools work together, student achievement increases, schools improve and communities grow stronger. Being recognized with the National PTA School of Excellence designation demonstrates these schools’ leadership nationwide and their commitment to partnering with families to support student success and continuous school improvement.  

“The efforts of these schools to engage and involve families are making a substantial, positive impact on student success and well-being, and we are pleased to recognize their hard work and achievements with the National PTA School of Excellence designation,” said Otha Thornton, president of National PTA. “As a new school year gets underway, it is an important time for schools nationwide to commit to partnering with families to ensure students have the support they need to succeed throughout the year. National PTA Schools of Excellence are true examples of what can be accomplished when schools and families work together.”

National PTA launched its National PTA School of Excellence program to help strengthen family-school partnerships across the country and make measurable progress in the areas of education, health and safety, and arts and cultural exploration. Through the program, a PTA partners with its school at the  beginning of the school year to examine how families feel the school measures up to the research-based indicators of the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. After evaluating their current family engagement strategies, the PTA and school then work together throughout the year to address barriers and open up new ways for families to support student success. The National PTA School of Excellence designation is awarded when families feel the school has achieved a high level of engagement or when the PTA and school have made substantive, positive improvement in families’ perceptions since the beginning of the year.  

National PTA has released a report summarizing outcomes for the schools designated as 2014-2016 National PTA Schools of Excellence from their participation in the program. The outcomes, which were determined from family surveys administered at the beginning of the school year and then again at the end of the year, demonstrate improved family-school partnerships. During the course of the school year, the National PTA Schools of Excellence achieved:

  • 46% increase in families that always feel empowered to support student success,
  • 53% increase in families that feel they always share power in decision-making related to student success and school improvements,
  • 78% increase in families that feel their school and PTA always collaborate with the community, and
  • 102% increase in families that feel their school and PTA always speak up for every child.

Among the 2014-2016 National PTA Schools of Excellence, 51% are Title 1 schools and two-thirds have greater than 30% of their student population that qualify for free and reduced-price lunch. Together, the schools serve more than 122,000 students. View the complete list of the 2014-2016 National PTA School of Excellence recipients.

In addition to being designated as 2014-2016 National PTA Schools of Excellence, two schools also have been honored with the 2014 Phoebe Apperson Hearst Awards for Innovation in Family Engagement. Eden Central PTA in Eden, N.Y., has been recognized with the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Outstanding Family-School Partnership Award. Mountain View Elementary PTA in Purcellville, Va., has been recognized with the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Family-School Partnership Award of Merit. Named after National PTA co-founder Phoebe Apperson Hearst, the awards are the highest honor presented by the association to recognize local PTAs that have effectively implemented the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. Eden Central PTA and Mountain View Elementary PTA were selected to receive the awards from among the 2014-2016 National PTA Schools of Excellence.  

For more information about the National PTA School of Excellence program, visit PTA.org/Excellence.

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 parent involvement 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.