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Notes from the Backpack Podcast


Back to School, Back to PTA

Back-to-School, Back to PTA

Celebrate Back to School Week September 13–17, 2021. Our teachers and students are mostly back in the school building this year—albeit masked up and socially distant. And while health and safety are top of mind, National PTA wants to help make sure you have the tools you need to rock this school year!


That’s why we teamed up with Office Depot OfficeMax and BAND to make sure you get a great start to the school year. This Back-to-School Week, we’re offering yearlong solutions, resources and program opportunities to help plan your school year, engage your school community and get support for students and families.

Back to School



Back to Class Virtual Town Hall

 

National PTA, in partnership with the CDC Foundation, hosted a Back to Class Virtual Town Hall which featured:

  • First Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden
  • CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky
  • U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona
  • American Academy of Pediatrics President Dr. Lee Ann Savio Beers
  • American Psychological Association Chief Executive Officer Dr. Arthur C. Evans Jr.
  • and other experts in family engagement, family-school partnerships, mental health and social emotional well-being.

The event was moderated by NBC Nightly News Sunday Anchor and Senior National Correspondent Kate Snow and was focused on addressing parents’ questions and concerns on how to help keep their children safe and in school this year, how to partner with teachers to address missed instruction this past year, and what they can do to support their children’s social emotional well-being.

Back to Class Virtual Town Hall Speakers



Go Back-to-School with PTA

 

The connections PTA creates in our school communities are so necessary. With social distancing protocols in place, PTA’s role is more important than ever as we connect parents, teachers and administrators and support critical school needs. Learn how to lead your PTA virtually.

Our PTAs will ensure that our families and schools have the tools to best support every student’s learning and development. We also want to make sure to care for each child’s social and emotional needs as they adjust to new routines and being back in the physical classroom. Every family in our schools should join PTA, because we can do more together than apart.

Students Elbow Greeting


Our Back-To School Commitment to You

 

During Back-to-School Week, September 13–17, 2021—sponsored by Office Depot OfficeMax and supported by BAND—we will share a wide variety of fresh ideas, tools and program opportunities to help you plan your school year, engage your school community and get support for students and families. Our goal...to make this a winning school year for all! Get started with one of three categories:



Children Walking to School



Shop PTA!


Local units can order Back-to-School signs and promotional materials that may be customized.

Kids Riding Back to School

 

Back to School Signs


Start Saving This School Year


As a proud sponsor of National PTA, Office Depot OfficeMax has the supplies and solutions parents, students and teachers need to #KeepSchoolGoing in the classroom and beyond.

  • Get up to 55% OFF best-selling school supplies. Shop now.
  • Teachers! You can get 20% back in rewards. Start earning.
  • Don’t let printing break the bank—teachers can get 40% off! Use print services.
  • Dress up your virtual meetings with this #KeepSchoolGoing Zoom background.

School Supplies

Office Depot



Plan Your School Year

 
The Tips and Tools Your PTA Needs to Succeed
 

No matter what this school year looks like for you, you can count on National PTA to have your back to help you support your school community. Explore the leadership training and tools you need to succeed. Explore the Local Leader Kit.

National PTA Calendar

Never Miss a Beat with the PTA Calendar
 
Stay up to date this school year! Print this calendar to make sure you never miss a PTA event or deadline. We recommend using our Multicultural Calendar as well to highlight and celebrate the diversity in your school community. Download our PTA Calendar.

Belong with PTA

 
PTA For Your Child This School Year
 

As we enter our second Back-to-School season filled with COVID-19 safety precautions, PTA’s role in connecting parents and teachers—and supporting critical school needs. We want every family in our schools to join PTA, because we can do more together than apart. Join Today!

PTA's mission is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.


Enhance the PTA Membership Experience: Ask Everyone to Join
 

OneVoice Blog: Over 20,000 local PTAs/PTSAs are Back to School, Back to PTA. Did you know that the number one reason why people do not join PTA is that they are never asked? We want to make asking easy! Check out our suite of customizable templates to help recruit new members. Read the blog for tips.

There’s No One Way to Grow Your PTA!
 

In celebration of our upcoming 125th anniversary of National PTA, we’ve put together 125 Ways to Increase Membership—in person, virtually, however you PTA this year. Discover the many ways you can get more people involved in our mission. Read the brochure.

National PTA 125th Anniversary

PTAs Share How They Engaged Families and Grew Membership
 

OneVoice Blog: A new school year means new opportunities to grow your PTA. Some PTAs were able to grow their membership, during the pandemic last year. Learn from their experiences as they share how they engaged their families and even grew membership! Blog post.

The New PTA Normal: PTA Amazing!
 

OneVoice Blog: This school year, don’t strive for “back to normal.” Instead, it is time to strive for amazing so we can accomplish astounding outcomes for children and families. This begins with two simple questions. What did we learn during the pandemic? How can we use it to do even more for children and families? Read the blog for insights.


BAND


Keep Your Community Connected in a New Way
 

Want to communicate better, save time and keep everything in one place this school year? Check out our partner BAND, a group communication app that helps to improve organization, engagement and transparency. Learn how to use BAND for your PTA.

Webinar Series: PTA Beyond the Building
 

You don't need a building to PTA! Learn strategies to promote membership and communicate the value of PTA outside of the traditional school setting. Watch our mini-webinars and get the tools you need to succeed. Check them out.

National PTA Programs and Grants for PTAs

 
Programs Where You Are
 

New! National PTA offers In Person and At Home program models, so all students and families can engage. Our programs are designed to support the physical, social-emotional and learning needs of students while having fun! Get started.

Real Time Icon

Self-Paced Icon

Tech-Free Icon

In Person
National PTA Programs In Person
Be sure to refer to current CDC guidance to host an In Person model.

At Home
National PTA Programs At Home
At Home models are further divided into three delivery methods: Real TimeSelf-Paced or Tech-Free.

Make Your PTA Dreams Come True
 

Are your dreams bigger than your budget? National PTA has need-based grants to provide extra support to PTAs in running their programs. Explore the possibilities.

Strategic Plan: A 5-Year Roadmap to Advancing Our Mission
 

This five-year plan builds on our values and reflects the needs and interests of the families and leaders we serve. The goal is to expand our association’s work and leadership role to forward our mission and build a bright future for every child. Review our Strategic Plan.

Strategic Plan



Engage Your School Community

 
Stay Ready with School Supplies this Year!
 

Office Depot OfficeMax® is so proud to support you and your school with everything you need to stay stocked and ready this school year. So, pack your favorite student’s backpack for success with all the supplies they need. Shop Now.

Office Depot

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Your Community

 
Help Build a More Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive PTA
 

National PTA is committed to genuinely representing everyone in our school communities. When we gain strength and amplify our powerful voice when we welcome all people to the table. Read our commitment to DEI and check out our new tools.

YouTube Learning Series: 10 Minutes to PTA the Transformative Way
 

Our new YouTube series features tips to help parent leaders make their family engagement efforts more transformative with topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion! Listen and subscribe today.

10 Minutes to PTA the Transformative Way

COVID-19 RELIEF CASE STUDY Executive Summary

How We PTA: Meeting the Critical Needs of Families and Schools
 

Throughout the pandemic, PTA has been there. Thanks to the generosity of TikTok and our other corporate partners, we distributed over $1.38M to PTA communities nationwide, providing over 538k families with desperately needed support. Read our case studies.

Join the Fight to Prevent a Lifetime of Damage from Tobacco
 

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids works to change public attitudes about tobacco and promote proven policies that are most effective at reducing tobacco use and saving the most lives. Get involved.

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

PTAs Build Strong Family-School Partnerships

 
Ask a PTA Leader: Anna King, National PTA President
 
Anna King 

Our Children: Get our new president’s perspective on the importance of servant leadership in helping the students and families in our school communities, and how we should work inclusively together to make sure our mission works for every single child in America.

Use Effective Technology to Build Strong Family-School Partnerships
 

Decision-making around family-school communication technology should be intentional and inclusive. Designed for school administrators and other decisionmakers, our new resources provide a landscape of the top tools and the features they offer. Explore the options.

Let’s Raise Our One PTA Voice for Every Child
 

View our Public Policy Priorities for Congress and download Policy Briefs to make advocating in your own community easier and get more decisionmakers to listen. Read them.

Public Policy Priorities Letter


BAND


Community PTA Events and Programs, Made Easy
 

The free mobile app, BAND has many features—including file sharing, chatrooms and posts—your PTA can use to create solid lines of communication and teamwork in a virtual space. Learn how this community app can help make managing your Reflections program easier and more impactful. Get details.

Strive for Excellence in Your School Community
 

As the new school year begins, our School of Excellence program provides step-by-step guidance to help your PTA strengthen your school community and earn recognition. Learn from the 2021 Phoebe Apperson Hearst winners’ experiences. Enroll now through Oct. 1.

Guide to Help Students Through Transitions and Grief
 

New York Life Foundation and the Coalition to Support Grieving Students offers a helpful back-to-school guide to help grieving students, new transitions and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the guide.



Support for Students and Families

 
Get Ready for Season 5! Notes from the Backpack Podcast
 

Join our podcast community for everyday parents like you. Each episode features engaging conversations with real-life advice, ideas and strategies for you to best support your child’s learning and development. Listen now.

Notes from the Backpack Podcast

Healthy Lifestyles

 
How to Maintain a Healthy Mind in School and at Home
 

It’s important to support a child’s mental health before, during and after challenges arise. Our resources will help make mental health an everyday priority, woven into your family’s regular routines, to help your child navigate through all they experience throughout the school year. Find helpful tools.

5 Ways Schools Can Support Students Well-Being This Year
 

There are steps that schools can take to promote student and staff mental health and well-being for the entire year. While these steps are important in every school year, they are particularly important now. Learn about five things schools can do now to support students this year. Read the CDC’s five-step approach.

Prioritize Health and Wellness Throughout the Year
 

Living healthy means more than just eating a well-balanced diet—it includes your physical, mental and emotional well-being. Check out our initiative to promote healthy bodies, healthy minds and a healthy earth in our school communities. Learn more.

Get Your Kids Excited About Drinking Water
 

Hydration is important for children’s health and wellness yet getting children to drink water can sometimes be a struggle. Try our 10 tips to help make drinking water fun and easy for your kids and the whole family! Water drinking fun.

Reset Your Family Routine This School Year—Less is More
 

Our Children: As we go back to in-person schooling and schedules, learn how you can avoid the busyness and heavy load that the new school year can bring on a family’s daily routine. Here’s a clue—do less. Find out how.

New School Year, New Devices, New House Rules
 

We’ve normalized using technology to learn in school and socialize at home. The Smart Talk, created by National PTA and NortonLifeLock, helps your family decide—together—your rules for using technology responsibly, kindly and safely. Start The Smart Talk Now.

NortonLifeLock Cares About Your Family’s Digital Safety
 

As your kids go back-to-school and start making new accounts in apps and programs, try these three easy digital safety tips to help your family stay Cyber Safe. Get the tips.

Get Help Understanding the TV Ratings System
 

OneVoice Blog: The TV Parental Guidelines, also known as the TV ratings system, helps parents make smart decisions about which TV shows are age-appropriate for their families. Use new guidance on ratings and best practices for subscription streaming services for an enjoyable and appropriate television experience. Learn more.

Prep Your Child for Success

 
Get Bilingual Resources for Students Success
 

Learning Heroes, in partnership with National PTA and Univision, developed an ongoing series of free research-based bilingual tools and resources for parents throughout the year. Check out Team Up for Success.

What Your Child Should Learn This Year
 

Get the ultimate guide—by grade—on what your child will learn in English, literacy and math. It will help you use everyday activities as teachable moments to reinforce what your child learns in school. Check them out.

Help Your Child Succeed in Key Learning Areas
 

National PTA, in partnership with the National Education Association created guides to give parents valuable tips to help their child succeed throughout their academic journey. Get the guides.

Your Family Guide to State Testing
 

New! Use our state-by-state tool to get important information about the state tests this school year and how things may be different because of the pandemic. Review your state’s testing guidelines.

Get Info on All Vaccinations Beyond COVID-19
 

It’s been a tough year all around and your child may be vulnerable to one of several serious diseases if you are behind on doctor’s appointments. Get a list of the available and recommended vaccines for school-aged children. Get Vax Facts.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Students and Families

 
Back-To-School Address to Transgender Students
 

This short video message from the Federal Government, featuring Kristen Clarke (DOJ), Dr. Rachel Levine (HHS) and Suzanne Goldberg (ED) reaffirms the Federal government’s readiness to act to defend the rights of transgender students. Watch it now.

Confronting Discrimination Based on National Origin and Immigration Status
 

This easy-access fact sheet from OCR and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division shares information about public elementary and secondary schools’ obligations to enroll all children, regardless of national origin or immigration status, and to provide language assistance to English learners. Read it now. There is also a Spanish language version.



National PTA Social Hub

If you haven't already, be sure to like and follow National PTA on social media throughout this school year to stay on top of grant opportunities, programs announcements and other resources to help make 2021–2022 a success.

Join us by sharing what your PTA is doing to navigate the new school year on social media, using #PTABackToSchool.



Dividing Line


Kids Running to School