Resources for Distance Teaching and Learning

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Resources for Distance Teaching and Learning

The pandemic has been especially hard on our schools. When they were forced to close in 2020, millions of students across the country were suddenly learning in a virtual environment. Practically overnight, teachers had to learn a new way to teach, and students had to learn a new way to learn. PTAs were with them every step of the way, offering tools, resources and support to help every student thrive while distance learning.

Read the stories from PTAs across the country supporting teachers and students in a virtual school environment.

Resources for Distance Teaching and Learning

Amazing Stories from PTAs

Expand a category below to check out these amazing stories from PTAs who are dedicated to advocacy efforts in their community.

School of Excellence 

Sterling School PTA

Greenville, S.C.

When Sterling School PTA in Greenville, S.C., began their School of Excellence journey, they never imagined a global pandemic would unfold in the middle. They thought their main goal would be new signage around their school, but they had to unexpectedly pivot in 2020, and identified their new focus: keeping students safely distanced due to the pandemic. New protocols required students and teachers to stay six feet apart, but the school’s classrooms and cafeteria weren’t designed for social distancing. The school needed a solution that would support student success while strengthening their family-school partnership, and so their PTA decided to use their outdoor spaces in new and innovative ways. The new outdoor classroom was not only a source of pride for students and faculty, but also for the families and organizations that helped make it possible! The project also created momentum and enthusiasm for the other components of their PTA’s five-year plan. #HowWePTA


In their own words:
The outdoor seating options provided by our school's PTA afforded our students and teachers with much needed relief from the year's many necessary COVID-19 protocols. The opportunities to live and learn outdoors not only provided a bit of normalcy, they also contributed positively to our school's sense of community and collective mental health and well-being.
—Dr. Josh Patterson, Sterling School's principal


Independence Elementary PTA

Aliquippa, Pa.

Independence Elementary School PTA in Aliquippa, Pa., joined the School of Excellence program in the 2019-2020 school year to better support the health and wellness of their students and families. They had no idea that their focus would have far more meaning than they ever imagined or that their journey would span over two tumultuous years due to a worldwide pandemic. They were unable to complete their work as the COVID-19 pandemic closed their school building. Nothing seemed to be going to plan, but the PTA forged ahead. They created virtual "Welcome BackPack” and "Winter Wellness Pack” to replace their usual paper healthy habits packet and events. Independence Elementary School’s PTA’s participation in the School of Excellence Program during the last two school years helped them stay focused on their goals and effectively adapt their plans in a time of crisis. Their team found their way through the tough times when nothing seemed like it was going to happen, and the things they learned during the program were instrumental in their success. #HowWePTA #PTAExcellence

Independence Elementary

In their own words:
When you look at the National Standards for Family School Partnerships, the Independence PTA is meeting all of them in various ways. While community involvement, communication, and collaboration look much different now than in the fall of 2019, our PTA continually refines their practices to support our students and their families.
—Dr. Robert Kartycha, assistant principal for Independence Elementary in the 2019-2020 school year

COVID-19 Relief Grant Fund 

Senita Valley Elementary PTSA

Tucson, Ariz.

Senita Valley Elementary School in Tucson, Ariz., moved to a hybrid model of learning in the fall, with some students returning to the classroom and some learning simultaneously at home. The Senita Valley PTSA recognized the challenges this created for the teachers. How do you teach students sitting in the classroom at the same time that others are at home learning on their computers? Using their COVID 19 Relief Fund Grant sponsored by Norton Lifelock, the PTSA purchased iPads for teachers, which connected to projectors in their classrooms. Using the iPads, teachers could stream lessons and educational videos to the students in the classroom while simultaneously working with their students learning at home, and vice versa. The iPads have enabled teachers to support both groups of kids, keeping them on track and connected to each other. #HowWePTA #PTAProud

Senita Valley

In their own words:
We are thankful to the National PTA and Norton Lifelock for this grant. We knew that teaching strategies would be different than in years past. These devices give our teachers the opportunity to reach more kids and families, providing all students an equal opportunity to succeed.


Grafenwoehr Elementary PTA

APO, Armed Forces

Concerned about the impact of distance learning on student progress, the Grafenwoehr Elementary School PTA—which serves children of military personnel stationed overseas—wanted to give every student hands-on STEM learning experiences they could do at home. They used their COVID-19 Relief Grant, sponsored by TikTok, to create STEM kits from National PTA’s STEM at Home program. They also used the grant to provide Grafenwoehr Grizzlies face masks and lanyards for every student, so they felt safe and confident on their first day back to school! #HowWePTA #PTAProud

Grafenwoehr Elementary School

In their own words:
STEM activities create critical thinkers and enable the next generation of innovators. We are so excited to provide these fun, hands-on activities to our students!”
—Andi Schwartz, PTA President, Grafenwoehr Elementary School


Cedar Creek Elementary PTA

Lanoka Harbor, N.J.

As students at Cedar Creek Elementary School in Lanoka Harbor, N.J. moved to remote learning after schools shut down, children who were in reading programs that focused on improving reading skills were significantly impacted. To continue the intense in-person education they were receiving, they each needed a special headset with a microphone that corrects errors as they read aloud. Using the COVID-19 PTA Relief Fund Grant sponsored by TikTok, the Cedar Creek Elementary PTA was able to supply 220 students with these specialized headsets, ensuring they continue their reading program online so they learn to read and don’t fall behind. #HowWePTA #PTAProud

Cedar Creek Elementary PTA

In their own words:
We are so incredibly grateful for this help! This will directly benefit our children and without this grant we would not be able to provide this reading program for our students, Thank you!
—Joanie Donahue, School Supervisor


Cora Kelly Elementary Magnet School PTA

Alexandria, Va.

Cora Kelly Elementary Magnet School PTA in Alexandria, Va., is concerned about how ongoing virtual learning is affecting their student population. As a Title I school, over 80% of their students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, and two-thirds of their students are English learners. To support virtual learning and help keep students reading at home, they used their COVID-19 Relief Fund Grant sponsored by Huntington Ingalls Industries to purchase art supplies and books recommended by the teachers and school librarian for every student—that’s over 300 books, paints and art journals! #HowWePTA #PTAProud

Cora Kelly Student PTA 
In their own words:
Thank you for allowing us to provide the badly needed resources to supplement distance learning that the school could not provide and many parents could not afford.
—Cora Kelly PTA President


Tierra Bonita Elementary PTA

Poway, Calif.

Earlier this spring, families at Tierra Bonita Elementary School in Poway, Calif., were feeling anxious about the impact of the school closure on their child’s academic progress. To help avoid “the biggest Summer Slide of all time,” the PTA used the COVID-19 PTA Relief Fund Grant sponsored by TikTok to supply summer Wellness Packs to each student that included Brain Quest books and wellness supplies. With their team of volunteers, they delivered the packs—in a COVID-friendly way—and enjoyed seeing the faces of their students light up with their summer surprise. #HowWePTA #PTAProud

In their own words:
“The reaction from teachers and families has been incredible and has shown people everything the PTA can do.”

This is How We PTA

Share your story with us by using #HowWePTA on social media. Need some inspiration? Check out the amazing stories from people across the country sharing how they PTA. Jump to specific sections by clicking on the menu.