School of Excellence

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National PTA School of Excellence

National PTA School of Excellence Program

National PTA School of Excellence recognition program opens the lines of communication and critical thinking within school communities to make data-driven decisions that yield positive, long-term results. School of Excellence is committed to supporting and recognizing partnerships between local PTAs and schools to enrich the educational experience and overall well-being for all students.    

M.D. Roberts SOE 2024

Tierra Bonita Elementary SOE 2024

Mike Miller Elementary SOE 2024

National PTA is Committed to Excellence

 

Over 40 years of research shows increased family engagement is linked to school improvement and student achievement. By enrolling in this program, your PTA and school administrators are making a year-long commitment in identifying and implementing an action plan for school improvement based on PTA's National Standards for Family-School Partnerships.

The School of Excellence Program aims to: 

  • Provide a framework for PTAs to identify and implement best practices in family engagement to strengthen family-school partnerships.

  • Build inclusive and welcoming school communities where all families contribute to enriching the educational experience and overall well-being for all students.

  • Help PTAs attract new, action-oriented PTA members who want to focus on the issues that affect our children the most.  

  • Provide step-by-step guidance and networking opportunities for PTAs to gain support and feedback, identify and reach goals and earn recognition. 

  • Celebrate designees and top Phoebe Apperson Hearst awardees as national leaders in building effective family-school partnerships, which opens up additional honors and opportunities.

Steps to Becoming a National PTA School of Excellence

 
Through the program, your PTA will complete several steps designed to help build an inclusive and welcoming school community where all families contribute to enriching the educational experience and overall well-being for all students. 

Once enrolled, you will receive access to an online toolkit with step-by-step instructions on how to run your program and and achieve their school improvement goals. As you implement strategies to enhance family engagement at your school, you can expect National PTA to provide training, resources, program reminders and timely responses to your questions. 

Standards Steps

Step 1. Enroll and Get Started (May 1 – Oct. 15)

Step 2. Gather and Analyze Community Feedback (August – Nov. 15)

Step 3. Build an Excellence Action Plan and Check Back with your Community (November  – May)

Step 4. Reflect On and Summarize Progress (May 1 - June 15)

Step 5. Celebrate Your Excellence (Aug.)

   
   
   

Explore the Program Steps

Learn more about each step in the program with this overview resource.

Start Your Journey to Excellence

 

Enrollment for the 2024-2025 program is open now until October 15. Review this sample Enrollment Form (en español) to see what information is required.  

You can check if your PTA is enrolled using this running listClick the link and choose "Export to: Excel" to access an automatically updated report. 

NoteThe School of Excellence program is designed for individual and local PTA units to make a direct impact at their schools. Therefore, the School of Excellence designation should not be sought by multiple schools under one PTA

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Frequently Asked Questions

 
Click the arrow and check out some frequently asked questions and answers about the National PTA School of Excellence program.

General Questions
What is the National PTA School of Excellence program?

The National PTA School of Excellence program is an improvement and recognition program that supports and celebrates partnerships between PTAs, families and schools to enrich the educational experience and overall well-being for all students. By enrolling in this program, your PTA and school administrators are making a year-long commitment to identify and implement an action plan for school improvement based on National PTA's National Standards for Family-School Partnerships and informed by National PTA’s Center for Family Engagement. At a National PTA School of Excellence, families feel welcomed and empowered to support student success, and PTA is a key partner in continuous school improvement.

How do I sign up to participate in the School of Excellence program?

Enrollment opens each spring at PTA.org/Excellence and runs through October 15. Review this sample Enrollment Form (en español) to see what information is required. Along with general PTA and school information, enrollees should include contacts for up to two additional individuals to receive program communications. 

Do I have to be a PTA school to participate in the program?

Yes, to participate in the program you must be a PTA. In order to achieve the designation, your PTA must be in good standing, according to your state PTA. PTAs not in good standing at the time of enrollment, who become compliant by the time they finish the program can participate. If you are not a PTA, this is a great reason and opportunity for you to charter a PTA at your school. Contact your state PTA or call (800) 307-4782 to learn more about the benefits of being a PTA!

Do I have to be a local PTA unit to participate in the program?

Yes, the School of Excellence program is designed for local PTA units, supporting individual schools. This ensures that the community feedback your Excellence Team gathers and the action plan created speaks directly to a school’s unique set of needs. District, council, region or community-based PTAs supporting multiple schools are encouraged to support individual schools and Excellence Teams in enrolling and participating in the program.

What support can I depend on from National PTA?

After enrolling in the program, National PTA will provide you access to an online toolkit with step-by-step instructions on how to run your program. You will be asked to bookmark this toolkit and visit it often for new content. As you implement strategies to enhance family engagement at your school, you can expect National PTA to provide training, resources, program reminders and timely responses to your questions. 


Designation Questions
What does my PTA have to do for our school to be recognized as a National PTA School of Excellence?

PTAs will be designated as a School of Excellence if they complete and meeting requirements for the first four of the five steps to the program.

How long can we promote that we are a National PTA School of Excellence?

The designation as a National PTA School of Excellence is for two academic years. We announce our School of Excellence honorees in August each year.

What does my PTA receive by earning this designation?

Schools of Excellence receive a banner and certificate in the mail. Designees also receive a digital Celebration Kit, containing event-planning and media outreach templates and tools. National PTA will include your PTA and school in our national program promotion, specifically showcasing how your school and PTA are leading the nation in your approach to family-school partnerships. In addition, as a National PTA School of Excellence, you will automatically be considered for National PTA’s highest honor–the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Family-School Partnership Award.

What kind of visibility will my school and PTA gain by earning this designation?

Your School of Excellence designation will help attract new, action-oriented PTA members who want to focus on the issues that affect our children the most. Being a National PTA School of Excellence will open the door to other honors and opportunities for your school. You will receive a National PTA School of Excellence banner to hang prominently at your school, which will tell families right away–you are welcome here and you are important to our students’ success! 


 


What Schools Say about the Program

 
SOE-Quotes_Mike-Miller SOE-Quotes_Kaiserslautern SOE-Quotes_Highland SOE-Quotes_Parkland SOE-Quotes_Morgan SOE-Quotes_Norup SOE-Quotes_Phillips SOE-Quotes_Lutz SOE-Quotes_Herndon SOE-Quotes_Farmington-STEAM SOE-Quotes_George-Washington SOE-Quotes_Falling-Creek SOE-Quote_Chickahominy-Middle SOE-Quote_CC-Duff SOE-Quote_Brookview SOE-Quote_Barksdale

The School of Excellence Program is a powerful tool that can benefit everyone. It brings to light ways that the school/PTA can improve, but it also celebrates successes. It can be a visual reminder of everything we have accomplished together as a school and PTA.
– Lee Heinerikson, Thomas B. Chinn Elementary Principal, Missouri


This program has opened up important dialogues that will positively impact our school community. In some areas it has validated our work. In some areas, it has brought things to our attention that we hadn't considered.
– Christopher Moretti, Hawley Elementary School Principal, Connecticut


The award provides an example of how the PTA, community and school have a bond and interest in ensuring that our students succeed. It's an opportunity to celebrate our accomplishments while setting goals towards future challenges.
– Dr. Gregory Matlosz, Upper Greenwood Lake Elementary School Principal, New Jersey




National PTA is Here to Support You

 

As a PTA leader, you know your school community best. But know, you are never alone!

National PTA is here to support you. All National PTA programming is ready-to-go and comes with a team of support, allowing you to focus on what matters most – your families. Remember to stay connected with National PTA for additional resources and opportunities: 

  • Visit PTA.org/Programs for information on In-Person and At-Home National PTA Programs.
  • Review and utilize the print and go and customizable You Belong in PTA membership suite of resources, available for both PTA and PTSAs.


Questions?

Reach out to us at Excellence@PTA.org with any questions along the way.