School of Excellence Tools (2017—2018)

In This Section


Thank you for enrolling in the 2017-18 National PTA School of Excellence program! 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 for new content and add to your contact list in your emails. Don’t let your School of Excellence program emails go to your Spam folder. 

Important Notice

438 PTAs are still in the running to earn the 2018-2020 School of Excellence designation. The Final Application Link will open May 1 and close June 1. You must submit your Final Application online and by the deadline to remain in consideration (step #7). You're almost there - keep up the great work!


Step #1: Enroll and Gain Support (Enroll by Oct. 15)

Now that you have enrolled in the program, you can start building your Excellence Team. This team of inclusive volunteers will help you through the remaining program steps. 


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. 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.


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

After you compile 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. You will pick one focus area and objective for family engagement that you plan to concentrate on in the upcoming school year: education, health & safety or the arts. See your Program Leader's Guide for a list of objectives.

  • Focus Area: Improve Education
  • Focus Area: Ensure Health & Safety of Students
  • Focus Area: Support the Arts


Step #4: Complete Initial Application (Submit by Nov. 15)

Once you have analyzed the surveys and determined your shared objective with your school administrator, you will submit your results. Upon submission, you will receive a customized Roadmap to Excellence, which contains specific recommendations that respond directly to the survey results you shared and focus area you identified.     


Step #5: Follow Roadmap to Excellence (Throughout School Year)

Once you have your 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.


Step #6: Deploy Final Survey (March — June)

Towards the end of the school year, you will conduct a Final Survey to gather feedback from your school community and evaluate your progress over the school year. Once you have the results from the Final Survey, analyze them with your Excellence Team and school administrator to determine a new focus area for the following school year.


Step #7: Complete Final Application (Submit by June 1)

Once you have analyzed the surveys and determined a new, shared objective for next year, you will submit your resultsUpon submission, you will receive a new Roadmap to Excellence, to continue the momentum in engaging families next year.

  • SUBMIT FINAL APPLICATION HERE - link to come 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 from 2014-20162015-2017, 2016-2018 and 2017-2019
    • 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 4000 characters.
  • Lost your Roadmap to Excellence: Are We There Yet? 
    • Get a new copy here! 
    • Choose the Roadmap from the Final Application from the drop down menu.
    • Enter your PTA ID# found HERE!
      • If your ID number is not 8 digits, you may need to enter "0s" for empty spaces at the front of your ID number. 


Step #8: Celebrate Your Excellence (Aug.)

  • Celebration Kit - banner and digital celebration tools will be distributed to those designated as 2018-2020 Schools of Excellence in August 2018!
  • As a completer of the School of Excellence program, you are considered for the prestigious Phoebe Apperson Hearst award which includes a $2000 grant.



Contact Amy Weinberg at or (703) 518-1248.