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Notes from the Backpack Podcast

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National PTA Virtual Convention 2024

Schedule of Events

Tuesday, June 25

Available On Demand

Convention Orientation

National PTA leadership helps you get familiar with the Convention schedule and provides an overview of what to expect each day.

Wednesday, June 26

4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. EDT


7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. EDT

State Presidents’ Club Meeting (By Invitation Only)

Thursday, June 27

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. EDT

General Meeting 1: Opening Session, Remarks from National Teacher of the Year

National PTA leadership welcomes you to virtual Convention, gives an overview of business to be conducted and explains the process for voting and elections. We’ll get an update on the state of the association, hear from the Executive Director and celebrate the powerful work of our PTAs over the last year.

2:00 p.m. EDT

General Meeting 2: Annual Meeting Business

Business of our Annual Meeting is conducted, including elections, installations, debate and voting.

Friday, June 28

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. EDT

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Celebration

Recognize and celebrate our Jan Harp Domene Diversity and Inclusion awardees, who have taken their work around advancing diversity in their communities to the next level. Get inspired about how you can transform diversity in your community!

12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. EDT

LIVE Succession Planning: Developing Your Successor

Get a breakdown of the skills needed to train, develop and educate leaders in your state as well as an understanding of the needs to attract and retain future leaders.

Beyond Surviving: Building a Foundation for Mental Well-Being

When it comes to mental wellness, the kids are not okay. With a severe shortage of mental health professionals and with 80% of parents of minor children concerned about their child's mental health, what is the path forward? Discover pathways to prevention and what we can do today to mitigate the continued crisis tomorrow. Acknowledge the challenges our youth face and delve into practical solutions for prevention to get equipped with the tools necessary for fostering mental well-being and advocating for policy moving forward.

Father Figures and Leadership in Education

Take advantage of the resources we have at our schools, including the many dads throughout the districts. Learn about the importance of father involvement, help provide educational opportunities for fathers to develop practical parenting skills and create a supportive network among fathers. Leave with resources to address the specific needs of fathers and their families and collaborate with community partners to enhance father-friendly policies and programs.

Why Do You Need Insurance, Supported by AIM

Cover your assets. Your event is decorated, everyone has arrived, the fundraiser is making money, everyone is happy. But then someone gets hurt and you realize that you forgot to purchase what? What if you discover some of the fundraising money was stolen? Don’t put yourself in that situation. Come to this learning workshop to find out how to protect yourself and your PTA. Discuss the liability our PTA’s face, what coverages are available and get guidance on what you need to do to protect yourself.

1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. EDT

LIVE The Business of PTA—Managing Your PTA as a Nonprofit Organization

We’re PTA members to advocate for children, volunteer in our schools and build community. But membership is more than book sales and advocacy position statements—we also have to manage our PTAs as nonprofit entities with ethical and legal requirements to ensure the livelihood of our association.  Review the basics of nonprofit management with attention to PTA’s volunteer structure and mission. Assess your PTA for strengths and opportunities, including personal strengths and areas of growth as a board member. Explore financial management, program planning for diverse communities, board member expectations and developing a diverse and inclusive board.

The Art of Writing a Resolution

Learn how to clearly articulate a problem; craft logical and persuasive whereas and resolved statements; and use reliable sources to evaluate and synthesize relevant information to support resolutions. All while citing sources properly and adhering to ethical research practices. Receive guidance from committee members, engage in discussions with peers and receive constructive feedback to practice the skills and apply the knowledge gained in real-world scenarios, fostering a deeper understanding of how to write resolutions effectively.

Prioritizing Your Mental Health

Gain insight about mental health and mental illness through a relatable first-hand struggle with mental health. Hear experiences from a woman who is not ashamed to proclaim, “I deal with mental illness in my life.” Examine how prioritizing mental health can positively impact your life and learn about prevalent mental illnesses and how they can show up in our lives. Become empowered to continue having conversations about mental health in meaningful ways.

Addressing Youth E-Cigarette Use: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know, Supported by Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids

Youth e-cigarette use remains a serious public health problem in the U.S. Over 2 million kids still use e-cigarettes and over a third of them use e-cigarettes daily or most days, a strong indication they are addicted to the high-nicotine products now on the market. We must protect our kids from a lifetime of nicotine addiction. Hear from parents, young people and health experts about current youth tobacco use, the efforts underway to address it and how parents and teachers can get involved.

2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. EDT

Facilitated Networking Time

3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. EDT

LIVE The Nation’s Report Card: Your PTA Can Take Action

Identify areas on the Nation’s Report Card that your PTA can use to connect with the community and advocate for students, teachers and schools. Build a plan on how to engage with families, schools, communities and leaders on the Nation’s Report Card and local learning recovery efforts.

Advocacy 101:  What Does it Mean to Be a PTA Advocate on the Local, State and National Levels

Most of our members on the local level and even on the state level feel they need to be more comfortable using their voices to advocate for their members and their community. Gain the tools, resources and leadership skills needed to be a strong advocate on all levels of PTA. Discuss what PTA Position Statements and Resolutions are and how they can help in advocacy work on both the legislative and grassroots levels.

Exploring STEM + Families: Interactive Experiences That Engage and Inspire

Exploring STEM + Families: Interactive Experiences That Engage and Inspire National PTA’s STEM + Families initiative provides access and hands-on exposure to science, technology, engineering and math to engage families and inspire students to pursue career opportunities in STEM fields. Come and learn about the history, partnerships and goals of the STEM + Families initiative as well as the different STEM program options available to PTAs of all shapes and sizes.

We Are the Champions: Becoming the Champion Our Youth Need, Supported by Active Minds

Did you know that youth with even one safe and responsive adult in their lives report significantly fewer mental health-related concerns? Active Minds is dedicated to helping ensure that all youth have a champion. Have conversations about strategies for youth engagement, discuss methods that encourage the growth of youth social-emotional skills and build mental health literacy and advocacy skills to strengthen your ability to support youth well-being. Investigate the core competencies adults need to create safe spaces for the healthy development of youth.

4:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m. EDT

LIVE The Perfect Advocacy Storm: When Family Engagement and DEI Collide

While we all understand the importance of family engagement in education, sometimes we can face challenges when attempting to implement necessary change. Especially concerning marginalized and underrepresented groups, we see patterns of adverse and even harmful behaviors. Identify ways to address barriers to successful strategies embedded in DEI and enhance family engagement.

Procedures, Policies and Protocols...What is Really Needed

What are the various types of documentation necessary for governance? How much of what you are doing is based on “the way you’ve always done it” versus what makes sense for your association? Are the expectations of board members—at all levels—in writing? State PTA leaders will gain expertise and guidance for today’s and tomorrow’s leaders.

Understanding Mental Health in the Black Community

Hear a personal testimony around the effects of mental health and how to utilize personal experience to improve public education for minority students.

PTSA Youth Spotlight Part 2: Activating, Engaging and Empowering Youth to Drive Change, Supported by Uber

Spotlights youth PTSA voices. Hear from an inspiring group of youth PTSA members about how they are driving change in their communities, and gain insights into how PTA leaders can effectively activate and engage youth in communities. This session is part two in a series of National PTA youth-centered panel discussions funded by Uber.

Saturday, June 29

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. EDT

LIVE Engaging and Leading Your Volunteer Team

All volunteers are welcome! Identify your leadership style to empower volunteers and learn to identify your volunteer style to galvanize your leadership! Explore effective ways to engage volunteers and discover what works (and what doesn't) in volunteer leadership. Participate in hands-on activities to introduce and hone servant leadership skills. Leave with tools to inspire and guide your team toward lasting success.

Plugging in with PTA Connected: Navigating the Digital Ecosystem with Parents and Families

Parenting in the digital age can be challenging, and today’s families are faced with many tough decisions surrounding technology use and navigating digital spaces. Online safety is top of mind in households across the country as families seek expert guidance and resources to make informed decisions about their digital habits. Through the PTA Connected initiative and related programming, National PTA empowers PTA leaders and families with tools and resources to strengthen their digital health, online safety and digital citizenship. Learn more about PTA Connected programs and resources.

Bylaws 101: Understanding Your Bylaws and Standing Rules

Become comfortable using your bylaws and standing rules (policies) at every level of PTA. Develop the understanding that if your PTA’s "rules" are not working for them, they can go about amending their bylaws and policies. Ensure your PTA has better working documents to guarantee successful meetings and a thriving association.

The New York Life Foundation’s Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative®, Sponsored by the New York Life Foundation

Since 2016 the New York Life Foundation has used the Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative® to share valuable resources on childhood bereavement with schools across the country. Hear important information about the prevalence and impact of childhood bereavement and an introduction to the Initiative and the variety of free bereavement resources made available by the foundation and their partners.

1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. EDT

LIVE Turning Disagreement Into Dialogue

Has a disagreement ever stopped or delayed the work in your PTA? Explore how we can move beyond disagreements and focus on the dialogues needed to fulfill our mission. Know how to acknowledge the feelings of others and develop tools to improve results and relationships.

Leveraging Community-Based Organizations for Student Health and Wellness

National PTA, in partnership with the YMCA of the USA and funded by the CDC, has been assessing school official and parent perceptions around out-of-school time offerings and the barriers to making these opportunities available to all families. These programs most often prioritize supporting the health and well-being of students and can be a valuable asset for children and families impacted by the current youth mental health crisis.

The Importance of Milestones at Every Age and Stage

This session will provide an understanding of various types of developmental milestones that children should reach at different ages and stages, including to help get kids ready for school. Learn what steps to take if there is ever a concern about a child’s development and about free tools and resources to support developmental monitoring including how to communicate concerns with teachers, healthcare providers and others.

Advocating to Protect Your School Community From Gun Violence

National PTA, in partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety, has embarked on a new project in 2024 to mobilize parent leaders to be critical partners with school community leaders and state decision makers around gun violence prevention. Determine the critical steps you can take together to prepare your school to respond to gun violence should it occur and the many tools and resources available to your community.

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. EDT

Facilitated Networking Time

3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. EDT

Surf the Leadership Pipeline to Build Capacity and Ensure a Smooth Transition

Building capacity is one of the three primary concerns for the majority of PTA leaders. Recognizing leaders is just the beginning; it is crucial to retain leaders. Master concrete strategies for identifying, engaging and retaining potential leaders within PTA. Grasp key steps to build a plan that helps your PTA become the go-to place for volunteer leaders.

Taking the Scare Out of Chair: Tip and Tricks for Effective Public Speaking

Oftentimes, leaders feel like they're expected to be effective public speakers from day one or know what chairing a meeting looks like because they've been selected as a leader. Everyone, even the most experienced leaders, share these concerns and manage challenges differently. Discover a wide range of techniques and feel confident to tackle not only routine PTA activities, but also more difficult topics as a volunteer or in other spheres. Be able to practice and build on these tools on an ongoing basis to reinforce the learning and create a sustainable toolkit for the long-term. 

Compliance, Good Standing, Standards of Affiliation (SOA), OH MY! Life Cycle of a State Leader

As leaders, we unite across schools, districts/regions and states. There are three key stages within the life cycle of a leader: transition, business of the PTA and succession. Contemplate the broader scope of leadership while recognizing the different phases that necessitate strategic planning. Learn how the components of compliance all tie together from the national level to state, district/regions and local units.

4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. EDT

Modernizing Your PTA Marketing Strategy

This empowering workshop is designed to enhance the effectiveness of your PTA through innovative marketing and community-building strategies. Learn practical steps for starting meaningful conversations, strengthening connections, and expanding your community's reach to achieve impactful results. This interactive session will equip you with the tools and insights necessary to transform your PTA’s engagement and influence within the school and beyond.

Introduction to Parliamentary Procedure

Unlock the power of productive and efficient meetings! Master the art of effective decision-making, learn meeting essentials, evaluate motions and more.

Parent and Child Partnerships—Creating Effective Parent-Student Writing Workshops for Advocacy

Getting youngsters involved in advocacy will fuel parent involvement. Examine the impact of effective written communication, how to structure interactive writing sessions that support differing age levels  and how to hook both parents and students into the writing process. Analyze successful campaigns driven by students and their parents for ideas to develop action plans, craft messages and ensure impactful execution. Get access to resources, templates and guides for future use.

Credit Myths, BUSTED!, Supported by Mountain America Credit Union

Want a better understanding of how credit works? Learn about the components of your credit score, the best ways to build or reestablish credit and your rights as a consumer.

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. EDT

General Meeting 3: Q&A With LeVar Burton, PTA Connected 5-Year Anniversary and Closing

Learn about LeVar Burton’s work as an advocate and actor and hear a special panel discussion that celebrates our work in the digital safety space.

Disclaimer: Please note that the schedule is subject to change. Check back frequently for updates.