School of Excellence Tools (2018—2019)

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Welcome!

Thank you for enrolling in the 2018-19 National PTA School of Excellence program for consideration of the 2019-2021 National PTA School of Excellence designation. 

This webpage will serve as your one-stop shop throughout the school year for step-by-step guidance, training and resources! Bookmark this page for your records, check regularly and refresh for new content, and add Excellence@PTA.org to your contact list in your emails. Don’t let School of Excellence program emails go to your Spam folder. 

Important Notice

Congratulations to the 522 PTAs who have completed the Initial Applications (see: list) and are still in consideration for the 2019-2021 School of Excellence designation.

It is now time to Deploy your Final Survey (Step #6) and get ready to Complete your Final Application (Step #7) from May 1 - June 1.

You must complete Steps #6 and #7 in order to remain in consideration for the designation.

Toolkit

Step 1: Enroll and Gain Support (Enroll by Oct. 15 - deadline extended from Oct. 1)

Now that you have enrolled in the program, you can start by familiarizing yourself with the program and building your Excellence Team. This team of inclusive volunteers will help you through the remaining program steps. Make sure to loop in your school administrators at every step of the way!

  • Upon enrolling, you should have received this Welcome Email from National PTA. If not, check your SPAM folder.
  • Inform your state, district and council PTA Leaders that you are participating in the program to make sure that you are a PTA in good-standing. They may also have supports to assist you throughout the program process or increase family engagement!
  • *Familiarize yourself with the steps in the program.*   
Step 2: Deploy Baseline Survey (Sep. — Nov.)

Early in the school year, your Excellence Team will deploy National PTA’s Baseline Survey to your school community–including families, administrators and teachers. The format of your Baseline Survey can be whatever works best for your PTA, school and family members. While some PTAs opt to distribute the Baseline Survey by paper, others create an online version of the survey. Feel free to add open-ended responses or additional questions but DO NOT CHANGE OR EDIT these questions, as you will use them again to gauge progress at the end of the year. While there is no set number of survey responses required, we strongly encourage you to collect as many survey responses as possible to best inform your work throughout the school year.

Step 3: Set a Shared Objective (Sep.— Nov.)

After your Excellence Team compiles feedback from your school community, the next step is to hold meetings to analyze what you have learned and discuss ways that your PTA can better engage families throughout the year. In addition to moving the needle in your survey, your Excellence Team will pick one focus area and objective that you plan to concentrate on in the upcoming school year: education, health & safety or the arts. See the Program Leader's Guide for a comprehensive list of objectives.

Step 4: Complete Initial Application (Submit by Nov. 15 - deadline extended from Nov. 1) 

Once your Excellence Team has analyzed the surveys and determined your shared objective, you will submit your results at the link below by the deadline. Upon submission, you will receive a customized Roadmap to Excellence, which contains specific recommendations and resources from National PTA and our partners that respond directly to the survey results you shared and focus area you identified.

  • The Initial Application period is now closed. Late entries will not be considered.
  • Missed the deadline? Look for the enrollment to reopen in May at www.pta.org/excellence.
Step 5: Follow Roadmap to Excellence (Throughout School Year)

Using the Roadmap to Excellence, your Excellence Team will determine which of the recommendations will have the greatest impact on increasing family engagement and achieving results. Then, you will develop and implement an action plan using the resources below and those generated by your Excellence Team.

Step 6: Deploy Final Survey (March — June)

Towards the end of the school year, your Excellence Team will deploy National PTA's Final Survey to your school community-including families, administrators and teachers to evaluate your progress over the school year. The format of your Final Survey can be whatever works best for your PTA, school and family members. While some PTAs opt to distribute the Final Survey by paper, others create an online version of the survey. Feel free to add open-ended responses or additional questions but DO NOT CHANGE OR EDIT these questions. While there is no set number of survey responses required, we strongly encourage you to collect as many survey responses as possible to best show your progress. Once you have the results from the Final Survey, analyze them with your school administrators to determine a new focus area for the following school year.

  • Tips for Surveying
    • Provide both paper and online surveys
    • Use all available outlets to post the survey (social media, newsletter, Friday folders)
    • Ask your administration to send it out on the PTA's behalf
    • Provide easy ways for collection (sample mailbox from Harmony Elementary PTA in TX)
    • Collect surveys at school functions and drop off/pick-up lines
    • Provide rationale as to why you are surveying and the progress you have made in the program
Step 7: Complete Final Application (Submit by June 1)

Once you have analyzed the surveys and determined a new, shared objective to continue your momentum next year, you will submit your results.

  • Register for this RECORDED WEBINAR to learn more about Steps #6-7.
  • SAMPLE Final Application (NOTE: you must submit this application online by the deadline for consideration).
  • Link to the Final APPLICATION will be found HERE on May 1!
    • The Final Application period is open from May 1-June 1.
    • Late entries will not be considered
    • Enter your PTA ID# found HERE!
    • The application continues on page 2 where you will submit one specific objective that best describes how you will prioritize your efforts.
    • View past Schools of Excellence: 2014-20162015-20172016-20182017-2019 and 2018-2020
    • You are able edit your application after submitting.
    • Tips for writing your narrative:
      • In choosing your greatest accomplishment for strengthening family-school partnerships, identify one goal that represents Transformative family engagement - a shared effort of families, schools and community leaders to advance programs, practices and policies that empower every parent to make their child’s potential a reality.
      • Identify at least one of the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships that aligns to your work and explain how that standard was exemplified: Welcoming All Families, Communicating Effectively, Supporting Student Success, Speaking Up for Every Child, Sharing Power or Collaborating with Community.
      • First draft your narrative in a Word document so you can cut and paste your final version in the Final Application link.
      • Keep your narrative simple, using paragraph form and no special characters as not to exceed 4,000 characters.
      • There are two text boxes for your narrative. Simply cut and paste half of your text into each box to comply with the character limits.
    • Don't wait until the last minute to complete this critical step in the process!
    • Check in with your state, district and council PTA Leaders to make sure that you are a PTA in good-standing.
Step 8: Celebrate Your Excellence (Aug.)

School of Excellence designations will be announced in August. Those who earn the designation will receive a banner and certificate in the mail as well as digital celebration tools and national recognition.

  • A banner and digital celebration kit will be distributed to those designated as 2019-2021 Schools of Excellence in August 2018!
  • Designated Schools of Excellence will automatically qualify for consideration of the prestigious Phoebe Apperson Hearst Outstanding Family-School Partnership Award.
  • Send your School of Excellence photos and stories to Excellence@pta.org and tag us on social media with @NationalPTA, #PTAProud and #PTAExcellence!
  • Regardless of your designation status, we encourage you to reenroll in the 2019-2020 School of Excellence program to continue your momentum in building family-school partnerships. Enroll again at PTA.org/Excellence. Many PTAs choose to overlap designation years as a best practice!

Questions?

Contact Amy Weinberg at Excellence@pta.org.