In This Section

Notes from the Backpack Podcast

Learning Opportunities

The 2019 National PTA Convention & Expo will include numerous ways to engage with your peers nationwide, gain new knowledge about our advocacy issues, and strengthen your leadership skills.

This year’s education mix includes:

  • Interactive & Informational Workshops – Access 45+ workshops in three tracks spanning educational topics that interest you most:
    • State PTA Leadership Institute Workshops (5 sessions)
    • Local PTA Boot Camps (5 sessions)
    • General Workshops (35+ sessions)
  • Local PTA Boot Camps – Designed for the local PTA leader or those who train them, these workshops will give you the basic information you need for leadership, finance, family engagement, membership, etc.
  • Urgent Issue Symposia – Choose one of two sessions that will feature national experts sharing the latest information and specific ways you can amplify your voice as a child advocate: equitable public school funding and foster care (Advocating for Robust and Equitable Funding for Public Schools and How PTAs Can Support Students in Foster Care).
  • State PTA Leadership Institute – Experience a curriculum full of workshops designed specifically for supporting State PTA Officers. Pre-conference State PTA Leadership Institute events will be limited to State Presidents, State Presidents-Elect, Incoming State Presidents-Elect and First Vice President who are preparing to take on the role of State President in the next year or two.
  • Meet-Ups – Connect with other leaders in a similar role as you, or around a topic that you care most about. Hosted in the Expo Hall, you can stop by or stay for a deep dive dialogue. Check out the schedule.
  • First-Timers’ Orientation – Start your first National PTA Convention off right by connecting with other first-timers from around the globe. You will gain an inside view of key activities during National PTA Convention & Expo, as well as make a plan for your education and networking experience -- all while making new friends! Join us on Wednesday, June 19 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in Convention Center Room C150-151.

Educational Workshops

Brainstorming Solutions

Urgent Issue Symposiums

Workshops at Convention

Use the links below to jump to a specific date and time.

Workshop Session 1

Explore the Business of Your State PTA and Understand National PTA's Standards of Affiliation

Location: C150-151
Speakers: Dorothy Gardner (MO), Heather Gillette (WA), Kim Henderson (TN)

State Leadership Institute—What does the business of PTA have to do with membership growth? Come find out! First, we’ll review some key nonprofit legal concepts, including IRS requirements, state laws and other relevant agency guidelines. Then, we’ll explore hot topics, such as missing money, scams/frauds and cases of trademark infringement, and learn from the experience of other states. Finally, discover how fostering a solid understanding of legal requirements can support PTA growth and retention by enhancing trust and demonstrating the value of a well-run PTA. Leave with more confidence in your ability to:

  • Convey the legal requirements and fiduciary duties of a nonprofit business to your Board and other PTA leaders in your state
  • Use the National PTA Standards of Affiliation to identify key opportunities to improve your state PTA’s organizational effectiveness
  • Build membership by helping local PTAs navigate the requirements of their nonprofit status

Advocacy 101 – Practice the Basic Steps of Advocacy

Location: C160AB
Speakers: Rose Acerra (NJ), Marques Ivey (CO) & Bonnie Russell (NY)

Local PTA Boot Camp—PTA has a long, proud history of advocating for all children. There are many ways to create change in your school, community and beyond. Learn the basics of advocating for a cause you believe in. You will leave feeling prepared, empowered and energized to work for change in your own school and community! Together, we will:

  • Build a shared language around advocacy and organizing
  • Share the basic steps for effective advocacy
  • Practice applying the basic steps to real-world PTA scenarios in your school, community and district

Success Speakers – Train Local PTA Leaders to Be More Effective

Location: C161AB
Speakers: Renata Witte (NM), Polly DeLucia (FL), Nofila Haidar (MI), Julie Kluthe (TX)

Workshop #101—Hear from a panel of leaders who have used innovative strategies to train, support and engage local PTAs and emerging leaders to advance the mission, goals and values of PTA in schools and communities. These leaders will share their approaches to:

  • Infusing fun into training, tracking and supporting PTAs in complying with state PTA Standards of Affiliation and nonprofit requirements
  • Inspiring local PTA leaders to expand their leadership skills and engage with PTA beyond the school building

Connecting local PTA leaders in fun and meaningful ways so that they feel the greatest value of PTA—all the like-minded and deeply committed people collectively focused making every child’s potential a reality

Know the Basics of Parliamentary Procedure for Effective Board Meetings

Location: C162AB
Speaker: Mary Remson (National Association of Parliamentarians)

Workshop #102—Don't let Robert’s Rules of Order intimidate you. Following parliamentary procedures ensures PTA accomplishes its goals fairly while protecting members' rights. You will learn the basics in parliamentary procedures from an expert trainer representing the National Association of Parliamentarians. This session will help you to:

  • Understand and apply basic principles of parliamentary procedure
  • Create productive agendas
  • Facilitate fair debate and effective decision-making

Make Every Child's Potential a Reality – Advocate for Special Education

Location: D180-181
Speakers: Chase Thomas (IL), Lizeth LoCicero (TX), Denise Stile Marshall, M.S. (MD)

Workshop #103—Like all children, students with special needs deserve access to opportunities that will help them become college and career-ready. Get an overview of current federal policies that impact these students, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Then, get answers to some of your toughest special education questions. You will leave this workshop with a better understanding of:

  • How federal, state and local policy impacts special education
  • How you can advocate for your student and all students

How your PTA can improve the educational experience for students with special needs

Market Your PTA/PTSA

Location: D182-183
Speakers: Bonnie Cannon (MO), Sharilee Griffiths (UT), Dawn Watson (TX)

Workshop #104—Imagine your PTA was truly supported by the entire school community. Who would be at your meetings? What would your partnerships make possible for your school and students? Discover new ways to engage local businesses and family-focused organizations to strengthen your PTA. Get ready to think beyond the traditional requests for funds or donations. You will leave with a neighborhood-specific plan, tools and resources to:

  • Communicate with and engage parents and your entire community in fun, new ways that will lead to growth and sustainability
  • Recognize the good things being done at your school by youth, teachers, PTA leaders and parents
  • Involve local businesses in supporting PTA programs
  • Build strong collaborations to support families and education

Support the Mental Health of Your Child and Every Child

Location: D280
Speakers: Mary Alvord, Ph.D. (MD), Laura Bay (WA), Jenna White (VA)

Workshop #105—Early detection and treatment of mental health concerns is critical to student success. Working together, families and schools can help all students receive the mental health services they need to achieve their goals and experience a full life. Experts will help you learn to:

  • Understand the impact of trauma on student mental health
  • Recognize when a student is in distress and what to do
  • Advocate for students’ mental health rights at school
  • Connect with resources that can provide support

Achieve a S.H.A.R.E.D. Vision: Show How Activation Results in Everyone Driving the Vision

Location: D281-282
Speakers: Lisa Mack (OH)

Workshop #106—Does your PTA have a SHARED vision? Too often, PTA leaders struggle to get members excited about supporting the association’s goals. This session will provide concrete tools and techniques leaders can use to activate members’ talents and interests in service of a shared vision. Through interactive activities, you will learn methods to:

  • Gain buy-in for PTA plans
  • Engage members in projects and move tasks forward
  • Create finished products about which everyone feels a sense of shared ownership and pride

Grow Your PTA Calendar with STEM + Families

Location: D283-284
Speakers: Jacqueline Gibbs (NJ), Paul Post (WI), Diane Damon (PA), Melissa Wolfe (OH), Tonya Szalay (OH)

Workshop #107—Try a hands-on STEM activity and hear valuable tips from PTAs that have hosted successful STEM events. Learn about National PTA’s STEM + Families grant opportunities and the free materials available to support you. Finally, reflect on how STEM + Families could best thrive in your community. You will leave knowing how to:

  • Locate and use National PTA’s STEM + Families toolkit and other resources
  • Apply for future STEM + Families grants
  • Design a creative STEM night for your community that will inspire, empower and educate families about STEM education and careers

Workshop Session 2

Know When to Go Beyond Robert’s Rules When Chairing a State PTA Meeting

Location: C150-151
Speaker: Mary Remson (National Association of Parliamentarians)

State Leadership Institute—You know the basics of parliamentary procedures but hosting a state PTA general meeting takes more than that. Likely, you’ll have to facilitate an election process, as well as chair the debate for resolutions and a bylaws revision. Get the tools you need for the job. A certified parliamentarian will help you to:

  • Understand the connectivity of your parliamentary procedures, bylaws and standing rules when chairing a large meeting
  • Grow your confidence among your peers, especially those who love to cite Robert’s Rules
  • Connect to the resources available from the National Association of Parliamentarians, including a directory of certified parliamentarians

Membership 101—Create a DIY Membership Growth P.L.A.N.

Location: C160AB
Speakers: Rob Acerra (NJ), Dani Carver (NM), Greg Dollak (NJ)

Local PTA Boot Camp—Strengthen your creative mind with a series of exercises designed to help you train for the ultimate mission—leading your local PTA board in a planning process to increase membership. You will leave with a DIY Kit for Membership Growth and a preliminary P.L.A.N. to:

  • Picture ways to reach and attract possible PTA members
  • Listen to what matters most and align PTA’s efforts
  • Ask possible members to join PTA by linking PTA’s focus to what matters most to them
  • Nurture relationships year-round by communicating the impact PTA is making for students, school and community

Become Effective School Safety Stakeholders

Location: C161AB
Speakers: Greg Johnson (OH), Shari Nacson (OH), Bruce Adelson (MD), Barb Varley (OH)

Workshop #201—No parent should fear for their child’s safety every time they leave for school. Join us for this timely workshop to hear how leaders, families and community members are working together to ensure that all students have a safe and supportive learning environment. In this workshop, you will:

  • Explore the current political climate around school safety
  • Learn how you can play a key role in making communities, schools and students safer

Be the Public Speaker You Want to Be

Location: C162AB
Speaker: Larry Goldsmith (Toastmasters)

Workshop #202—As a PTA leader, you inform, persuade, train and inspire through your communications. You speak in public every time you give a committee report, advocate at a school board meeting and debate a motion during a state PTA convention. But do you make the impact you desire? Learn from the best—an expert from Toastmasters International will provide tips that will:

  • Overcome fear and help you to grow your confidence when speaking in public
  • Give you new techniques to enhance your own personal style
  • Increase your value in advancing your PTA’s organizational goals

Create a Strategic Plan – A Toolkit for State PTAs

Location: D180-181
Speakers: Sharon Goldblatt (TX)

Workshop #203—Creating and implementing a strategic plan takes thought, time and energy, and the final product cannot be completed in one short session. We’ll help you simplify the process and point you toward a clear path for success! Gain a wealth of information including templates, samples and instruction, as well as interactive discussion with other state PTAs of similar size and capacity. Expect to walk away with:

  • Planning tools to help you chart a course for action and success
  • A head start on your PTA’s strategic plan

Guide PTAs with Missing Money

Location: D182-183
Speakers: Julie Haase (WA), Janice Kutzera (WA)

Workshop #204—Theft, misallocation of funds or other missing money in a PTA can be unnerving—for local PTA leaders and the state leaders who support them. Hear real-life disaster and success stories and learn a proven, step-by-step process for supporting local PTAs with missing money—from the first phone call through the process of rebuilding long-term support. Discuss common causes of missing money; develop skills for active listening and thoughtful, empathetic questioning and practice answering common questions from the media. You will learn to:

  • Use a proven step-by-step process for assisting local PTAs with missing money
  • Avoid common missteps that can make a situation worse
  • Efficiently gather necessary background information from a local PTA
  • Demonstrate empathy and support for local PTA leaders

Know the Facts—America's Opioid Epidemic

Location: D280
Speakers: Travis Bornstein (KY), Carmen Carr-Williams (OH), Kim Moser (KY)

Workshop #205—Get the facts about the current opioid epidemic, including how to prevent, recognize and address substance misuse and abuse. Panelists will include a child psychologist and a parent advocate with personal experience of a child’s substance abuse. Discussion and audience questions are encouraged. You will learn:

  • The value of open communication about drugs, with students as young as middle school
  • How to properly store and dispose of prescription drugs
  • How to recognize the signs and symptoms of substance misuse and abuse
  • Where to find help for a substance abuse problem
  • What your PTA can do to help

Build a Cohesive Team—The Five Dysfunctions 2.0

Location: D281-282
Speakers: Dawn Stastny (GA)

Workshop #206—Genuine teamwork can be challenging sometimes—even as we work toward the same mission. Find out if you have fallen prey to the five common pitfalls when working in a team. We will build on last year’s successful Five Dysfunctions of a Team workshop and dig deeper into how to actively engage teams to avoid these pitfalls. Whether you attended last year’s session or are a first-timer, expect to receive:

  • Practical applications of the five dysfunctions
  • A team assessment activity to reveal likely areas of dysfunction in your own PTA
  • An exercise designed to decrease team misunderstandings and improve cohesion

Get PTA Connected

Location: D283-284
Speakers: Kyle Belokopitsky (NY), Vanessa Richardson (IL),  Collin Robinson (OR)

Workshop #207—Discover how this innovative program provides tools to help families balance the time they spend with their devices and better connect with one another. Hear from local PTA leaders who are actively working on the five pillars of the PTA Connected initiative. Learn how you can use these programs to support your own community’s digital safety, security, wellness, access and equity. By the end of this workshop, you will know how to:

  • Locate and use PTA Connected toolkits and resources
  • Apply for future PTA Connected grants
  • Design a digital event that engages all members of your community

Workshop Session 3

Use Your State PTA's Finances to Make Strategic Decisions

Location: C150-151
Speakers: Denise Sultz (KS), James Thomasell (VA)

State Leadership Institute—Take your finance skills to the next level! Develop a shared understanding of what state PTA officers should be tracking and how to look at data in a new way. You’ll examine key performance indicators that will guide necessary short-term decisions and long-term strategic planning. You will:

  • Discuss what you can expect from your state PTA treasurer and how you can support their efforts as an elected state PTA officer
  • Explore key financial performance indicators that communicate the short- and long-term health of your organization
  • Practice using financial data to make strategic decisions in real state PTA scenarios

School of Excellence 101 – Engage and Empower Families to Support Student Success

Location: C160AB
Speakers: Nicole Lesnick (OH), Sean Arthurs (VA)

Local PTA Boot Camp—National PTA Schools of Excellence are recognized for their commitment to building an inclusive and welcoming school community where families are engaged and empowered to support student success and school improvements. Find out what it takes to achieve this designation. In this session, you will:

  • Learn how to use this program to build strong family-school partnerships
  • Explore the steps to becoming a School of Excellence
  • Make a plan for achieving School of Excellence in 2019-2020 school year

Success Speakers – Grow Your PTA Membership

Location: C161AB
Speakers: Sarah Davis (AZ), Megan Klein (WA), Michael Morgan (CA)

Workshop #301—What does running a business have to do with growing PTA membership? Everything! Hear directly from state PTA leaders who have successfully applied proven business principles to achieve membership growth. You will also learn and practice ways to apply these concepts to connect meaningfully with other parents and PTA leaders, inspire people with the PTA mission and improve their branding, marketing and recruitment efforts. State, regional and local PTA leaders will leave feeling:

  • Highly motivated to change the way you approach PTA membership
  • Excited to learn more about what potential members need
  • Confident in your ability to use business principles, theories of human behavior and a customer-service approach to increase membership growth

Reach for What’s Next – Run for School Board

Location: C162AB
Speaker: Marques Ivey (CO), Betsy Landers (TN), Chuck Saylors (SC), Deborah Seelinger (MN)

Workshop #302—PTA advocacy is your passion and you want to take your efforts to the next level in your community. You are not alone. PTA has a rich history of great volunteers advancing to other civic leadership roles, often starting with a position on their local school board. Hear from long-time PTA volunteers who also serve as school board members. They will:

  • Define the various roles of school board members
  • Share how PTA experience paves the way to becoming a school board member
  • Describe the skills and professional preparation necessary to be an effective school board member
  • Confess their “I wish I knew” tips for being a school board candidate and member

Demystify Your Bylaws – A Key Tool for Successful PTAs

Location: D180-181
Speakers: Stephanie Gray (MA), Tina Hartman (IN), Latha Krishnaiyer (FL), Sandra Zelno (PA)

Workshop #303—Do your members’ eyes glaze over at the mention of bylaws? Let our expert panel help change that! Although some consider bylaws to be complex, the truth is, clearly written bylaws are an important tool to eliminate confusion and disagreement. Members of the National PTA Bylaws Committee will show you how bylaws can be a strategic tool for your PTA. We will focus on the importance of mission, privileges and responsibilities, format, terminology, and other details relevant at each level of PTA. You will leave understanding:

  • How to draft and review bylaws properly
  • How bylaws can serve as a key tool for leader recruitment, quality involvement, and fairly-conducted business
  • The place and importance of bylaw “companions” such as standing rules and Robert’s Rules of Order

Become an Expert on Any Advocacy Issue

Location: D182-183
Speakers: Marne Usher (CT), Hannah Engle (VA)

Workshop #304—Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to advocating for our children and youth. We will walk you through how to use national and state PTA position statements—along with legislative research resources—to inform yourself about critical issues. You will also learn how to identify legislation at the state and federal levels. Walk away with:

  • An arsenal of technical tools you can use to research local, state and federal legislation and policies
  • The ability to independently gather relevant policy information for your advocacy efforts

Create an LGBTQ-inclusive School Environment

Location: D280
Speakers: Lynne Bowman (Human Rights Campaign), Sophia Arredondo (GLSEN), Samantha Phillips (MI), Taryn Gal (MOASH), Frank Kwan (CA)

Workshop #305—Equip your PTA with the knowledge and tactics necessary to create a more inclusive environment for all families. Learn from two leading LGBTQ organizations—the Human Rights Coalition, GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), and MOASH—as well as Michigan PTA about ways to empower parents, students, teachers and school staff to advocate for an inclusive school environment that allows all students to thrive. You will leave able to:

  • Empower parents to be advocates for their children at school and at home
  • Make LGBTQ+ parents feel more included in PTA meetings and events
  • Equip students with the skills they need to be advocates for LGBTQ+ rights
  • Find resources on LGBTQ+ inclusion that can be used by parents, school staff and students

Expand Your Potential – Leadership 101

Location: D281-282
Speakers: Leslie Boggs (TX), Michelle Humphreys (TX)

Workshop #306—Are you a new PTA leader or still wondering whether you have what it takes to assume a leadership role? Get the confidence you need to say an enthusiastic “yes” to PTA leadership! Some leaders may be born, but most are developed. We can all take inspiration from this session to become the leaders we want to be. You will:

  • Identify the traits of a successful leader
  • Explore the five levels of leadership
  • Determine how to develop a capacity to lead, in yourself and others

Kick Off the Next 50 Years of Reflections

Location: D283-284
Speakers: Joyce Heideman (MI), Teresa Williams (CO), Ellie Miller (VA)

Workshop #307—For 50 years, the National PTA Reflections program has spotlighted the critical role that arts education plays in student success. We will share resources and best practices, so you leave inspired and prepared to:

  • Administer a great Reflections program with new theme materials
  • Set (and then crush) program goals for engagement and participation
  • Celebrate the arts while sharing your successes with other Reflections leaders

Workshop Session 4

Develop Your State PTA Board – Create the Dream Team

Location: C150-151
Speakers: Leslie Boggs (TX), Sharon Goldblatt (TX), Michelle Humphreys (TX)

State Leadership Institute—“Dream teams” do more than just work together effectively today—they plan for sustainable success, long into the future. Building a board that can learn and grow together in this way requires thoughtful planning, implementation and evaluation. During this workshop you will work through a variety of templates and exercises and receive a booklet of activities you can use to engage your board and build a stronger team. Leave feeling confident in your ability to:

  • Build an ongoing matrix of leadership skills
  • Assess the developmental needs of your board
  • Create and implement a board development plan
  • Promote meaningful activities for individual and group development
  • Evaluate your plan’s success

Family Engagement 101 – Make Family Engagement Transformative at Your School

Location: C160AB
Speakers: Helen Westmoreland (VA)

Local PTA Boot Camp—Are you a local PTA leader looking to amplify your reach and impact? Learn how you can use the “4 I’s” of transformative family engagement to engage ALL families to make their child’s potential a reality. You will leave feeling better prepared to:

  • Collaborate with other PTA leaders to generate practical tips for the 4 I’s of transformative family engagement
  • Promote equity and effectiveness through your own PTA’s family engagement efforts
  • Identify one “ask” of your school or district administrators, to make their family engagement approach more transformative

Success Speakers – Engage Youth, Families, Educators and Community Partners in Advocacy

Location: C161AB
Speakers: Sheri Doss (TX), Beth Graves Meyerhoff (CA), Carla Wiese (MO)

Workshop #401—Advocacy wins are fueled by diverse voices amplifying a specific message. Hear from a panel of state PTA leaders who will share how they successfully engaged youth, families, educators and community partners to achieve their mission objectives. Learn how to:

  • Inspire youth through a Youth Rally during your state PTA Advocacy Day
  • Collaborate with community partners, such as the Chamber of Commerce, for city ordinance change
  • Leverage social media to distribute messaging that attracts other like-minded, cause-driven advocates

Create Teams Committed to Healthier Eating – PTAs, Schools & Families

Aetna FoundationSponsored by Aetna Foundation
Location: C162AB
Speaker: Francelia Burwell (NC), James Keaten (NC), Carmen Settles (NC) Erica Taylor (NC)

Workshop #402—Learn how to draft a winning team of parents, students, food service personnel and school administrators enhance healthy eating in your community. Hear preliminary results of a pilot project, funded by the Aetna Foundation, to improve healthy eating for K-12 families at home and at school. Discover how to:

  • Create “healthy eating teams” at their schools, including developing collaborative relationships with community partners
  • Assess eating habits and behavior change by conducting school-wide needs assessments and family surveys
  • Host fun, engaging family “taste test” nights
  • Make healthy recipe and menu suggestions to families and district-level school administrators

Connect and Engage with Hispanic/Latino Families

Location: D180-181
Speakers: Madeleine Plumey Cruz (FL), Natalia Suarez (NJ), Cynthia Mejia (DC)

Workshop #403—Would you love to find ways to successfully attract and involve Hispanic/Latino families in your local PTA? Come be among the first to see National PTA’s new resource: Conecta, Aprende, Crece con PTA, developed using some of the best practices and lessons learned during the 2018-2019 National PTA Hispanic/Latino Outreach Initiative. Walk out of this workshop ready to lead your PTA’s efforts to:

  • Connect PTA with Hispanic/Latino community values
  • Increase membership and volunteerism among your local Hispanic/Latino community
  • Implement or promote Conecta, Aprende, Crece con PTA in your PTA

Take Steps to LEAD: Listen, Engage, Attitude and Delegate

Location: D182-183
Speakers: Kris Denison (UT)

Workshop #404—Through discussion, role-playing and team-building activities, you will experience the four keys to LEADing the PTA way: Listen, Engage, Attitude and Delegate. Get practical tips for assessing needs, working together, delegating tasks and thanking volunteers. You will also learn:

  • Why the key to successful leadership is influence, not authority
  • The art of delegation: Getting volunteers to want to do what you need them to do
  • How to successfully “pass the baton” to incoming leaders

Navigate Your Nominations Process: The Good, the Bad and the Best Practices

Location: D280
Speakers: Maricela Arias-Cantu (VA), Harold Dixon (NC), Alvin Gainey (FL), Angi Gonzales Carver (NM), Melissa Nehrbass (VA), Anita Smith (TN), Dawn Stastny (GA)

Workshop #405—Think you have open positions but no one to fill them? Think again! Great leaders are out there, but you need to recruit them and keep them engaged. Learn how to increase your PTA’s credibility (even if you have never experienced controversy) and build membership and influence through the nominations process. Leave with an understanding of:

  • Basic rules for PTA nominations
  • How your PTA can make nominations based on competencies
  • Best practices for building stronger boards

Make a Plan to Increase Membership in Your State

Location: D281-282
Speakers: Anna King (OK), Linda Johnson (NV), Suzan Yungner (VA)

Workshop #406—Get ready to be inspired by the specific steps successful state PTAs took to turn around years of membership decline. You will gain access to sample marketing products and proven training tools and discover concrete solutions to common barriers to growth. Leave prepared to:

  • Develop a membership plan based on best practices and lessons learned
  • Avoid reinventing the wheel and get started immediately
  • Grow membership across your state

Build Leadership Capacity, Membership, and Family Engagement in Your Schools

Location: D283-284
Speakers: Dianna MacDonald (CA), Lea Darrah (CA)

Workshop #407—Family-school partnerships are a no-brainer, right? Maybe not. Understanding the National PTA Standards and putting them into practice can still be challenging. Get hands-on practice on how to ensure these standards are being implemented in your schools and/or state. Through group activities and storytelling, you will see how this standards-based, research-proven framework can support your PTA’s goals. This workshop will help administrators, local, district and state PTA leaders:

  • Better understand PTA’s National Standards for Family-School Partnerships
  • Implement the standards at any PTA level
  • Use the PTA National Standards Assessment Guide to build capacity within your PTA

Workshop Session 5

Advance Your State PTAs Role on Family Engagement

Location: C150-151
Speakers: Helen Westmoreland

State Leadership Institute—How can your PTA ensure that all families in your state are being engaged in their child’s education in meaningful ways? Whether your state wants to foster more statewide connections or build its brand on family engagement issues, you will:

  • Hear from other state leaders about how they are building capacity for advancing transformative family engagement with their local PTAs, teacher unions, and education policymakers
  • Get insider knowledge on how to better work with your State Education Agency and learn what characteristics the first cohort of federally-funded Statewide Family Engagement Centers have in common
  • Self-assess your state PTA’s areas of opportunity and strength in family engagement leadership

Nonprofit Management 101: Oversee Your Finances

Location: C160AB
Speakers: Denise Sultz (KS), James Thomasell (VA)

Local PTA Boot Camp—Walk you through your first steps of overseeing your finances so you can ensure your PTA’s nonprofit compliance and fiscal management is efficient and effective. Learn the basics on finance and local PTA treasurer responsibilities. You will leave ready to tackle:

  • IRS compliance
  • Budgeting, handling and managing money
  • Delivering a treasurer’s report

Success Speakers – Empower Families Through PTA’s Programs

Location: C161AB
Speakers: Wayne Bauman (IA), Donald Barringer (NC), Jacqueline Gibbs (NJ), Charles Everett (TN)

Workshop #501—Learn what it takes to execute PTA programs with excellence! Hear from panelists who share a common passion for programs that engage and excite families in supporting student success. Gain and give ideas from your own experience implementing PTA’s programs. Join us as we:

  • Celebrate programmatic successes
  • Discuss how to create a vision, framework, and roadmap for engaging families in programs
  • Learn best practices in promoting programs and how to support local PTAs as they implement programs

Inspire New Leadership

Location: 162AB
Speaker: Sheri Doss (TX), Suzi Kennon (TX)

Workshop #502—Looking for an opportunity to engage the next generation of leaders in PTA? Host an Emerging Leaders Academy to equip dedicated volunteers from diverse backgrounds with the skills to succeed! You will work in small groups to identify key leadership skills needed in your own community and brainstorm activities you could use to develop those skills. You will come away with:

  • An understanding of how to create a series of one-day Emerging Leaders Academy sessions
  • A list of key leadership skills relevant to your own community
  • Creative activities to develop critical skills

Define Your PTA Standing Rules—Strengthen Your PTA

Location: D180-181
Speakers: Jeffery Corbett (OK), Brenda Heigl (OK)

Workshop #503—Standing rules help a PTA function better by removing personal bias from the business. They also ensure that situations are handled based on the will of the full membership, not the board or a single officer. Learn how standing rules expand on and provide guidance for situations not included in the bylaws. Speakers will share best practices and sample rules on a variety of topics. You will leave understanding:

  • How bylaws and standing rules differ
  • How to create effective rules for your PTA
  • Proper procedures for changing standing rules, when needed

Create an Awesome PTA Customer Experience

Location: D182-183
Speakers: Rob Acerra (NJ), Jesus Holguin (CA), Darlene Sanchez Harris (PA)

Workshop #504—“Customer experience” is more than customer “service”—it is the total of all local PTA leaders’ interactions with your state or regional PTA. We will reflect on your state PTA’s customer approach and hear what other states, districts, regions and councils are doing to motivate volunteers and create a better experience by building strong relationships with local PTAs. Individually and as a group, we will identify areas of improvement that could have the greatest impact on membership growth and retention in the years ahead. Leave feeling better prepared to:

  • Respond to local PTAs’ needs and enhance their experience
  • How customer experience can affect membership
  • Build and strengthen relationships at all PTA levels
  • Retain volunteers and grow new leaders

Activate the Power of Education Data to Support Your Child’s Education and Advocate for Change

Location: D280
Speakers: David DeSchryver (Whiteboard Advisors), Jen Martinez (FL), Shelby Edwards (OH Department of Education), Hannah Engle (VA)

Workshop #505—We all know that test scores and other data don’t tell the whole story of our child’s day-to-day school experience. However, school, district and state data provide important information about how well our education system is serving all children. Understanding this data can level the playing field, enabling parents and PTAs to engage in more powerful conversations with school professionals about what changes are needed. By the time you leave this session, you will:

  • Recognize why education data is important for parents
  • Understand the reporting requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), including how to access and interpret state and school district “report cards”
  • Be prepared to advocate for more transparent and meaningful education data

Improve Diversity in Your PTA: Where Have All the People Gone?

Location: D281-282
Speakers: Shaton Berry (MI), Anna King (OK), Frank Kwan (CA)

Workshop #506—Are you wondering why your PTA is struggling to grow membership, reach underserved populations and recruit new leaders? Through individual and group activities, explore how unconscious biases and micro-aggressions can prevent your PTA from reaching its goals. Discover your own identity and discuss the differences between diverse populations. We will also reenact a PTA meeting, with an eye toward identifying common micro-aggressions. You will leave this workshop with:

  • A greater understanding of how unconscious bias affects PTA membership growth and recruitment of potential leaders
  • The ability to identify and address micro-aggressions in a variety of situations, including PTA meetings
  • Concrete tools to eliminate these barriers, in order to recruit and retain a more diverse membership and leadership

Leverage All Things Tech: Free & Low-Cost Tools to Improve Organizational Efficiency

Location: D283-284
Speakers: Naomi Frierson (FL)

Workshop #507—Work smarter, not harder! Discover a plethora of free and low-cost technology products (and a few non-tech options) designed to improve productivity, increase efficiency and minimize your volunteer workload. Presenters will offer live looks at select products and use your specific questions to guide a lively group discussion. Bring your favorite device and get ready for an informative, hands-on experience. Leave feeling prepared to:

  • Define desired outcomes for organizational technology
  • Identify potential resources, compare product features and costs, and communicate their value to stakeholders
  • Develop an action plan for efficient and effective deployment
  • Transition effectively from current systems to technology-driven systems


At the Meet-Up Classroom in the Expo Hall, you can connect in a meaningful way with other PTA leaders who have a similar position or are focused on similar issues as you. Each Meet-Up is a 45-minute facilitated dialogue.

Friday, June 21

Location: Expo Hall B

11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Meet-Up: Membership Chairs
Facilitated by Sergio Chavez (AZ) and Michael Morgan (CA)

Come to what is sure to be a lively session, full of valuable and creative ideas that will help you grow and diversify PTA membership in your school, community or state.

12:15 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Meet-Up: PTA Council, District and Region Leaders
Facilitated by Donna Clifton (VA) and Marni Kaner (TX)

Come swap ideas and brainstorm how to better connect, cultivate, start, support and train local PTAs—all while amplifying PTA’s message in your district(s) and community.

1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Meet-Up: The T in PTA – Teachers and Other Educators
Facilitated by Donald Barringer (NC)

Join us as share what educators need, and compile a list of wants and desires to share with National PTA leaders about how to add value for the T in PTA.

Saturday, June 22

Location: Expo Hall B

10:15 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Meet-Up: Diversity & Inclusion Chairs
Facilitated by Members of the National PTA Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Come hear the major findings of this year's PTA diversity survey and network with other leaders who are building strong, diverse and inclusive PTAs at all levels.

11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Meet-Up: Local PTAs
Facilitated by Paul Post (WI)

Join your fellow local leaders in a safe space to discuss whatever challenges your PTA/PTSA is facing and hear from others who have overcome them.

12:15 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Meet-Up: PTA & Community Engagement
Facilitated by Stacey Bateman (UT) and Sharilee Griffiths (UT)

Examine some common milestones and events through the eyes of struggling students and their parents. We’ll discuss ways to better serve the students who need us most.

1:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Meet-Up: Early Childhood Education & PTA
Facilitated by Nicole Lesnick (OH)

Join us and discuss the importance of PTA outreach in early childhood, and how you can meet the unique needs of families in early childhood centers and schools.