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Worlds Collide: The PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships Meet Beyond the Bake Sale

Sep 27, 2017, 10:53 AM

If you’ve ever experienced a National PTA Annual Convention, you know it’s an exciting time when parent leaders from around the world meet to learn from experts as well as each other. This year’s convention was no exception! I spent a great deal of time in the Social Media Lounge engaging with many educators and parent leaders about the exciting programs available from National PTA.

One visitor to our lounge was my friend Bonita Allen, a Parent Involvement in Education Consultant on the Pennsylvania Title I State Parent Advisory Council (SPAC). Bonita was excited to share with me information about some work that the SPAC had done to align the PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships with Beyond the Bake Sale: the Essential Guide to Family School Partnerships.

Beyond the Bake Sale contains strategies to build strong collaborative relationships and practical advice for creating a culture that welcomes and respects all families. It’s become an essential resource for educators who want to better understand how to reach out and truly partner with families, as well as for families to understand how to push for effective family engagement programs and policies. The PTA National Standards for Family School Partnerships offer a framework for how families, schools, and communities should work together to support student success. Anne Henderson and Dr. Karen Mapp, authors of Beyond the Bake Sale, were part of the team of national experts who developed the PTA’s National Standards, which is probably why they align so nicely!

My conversation with Bonita was incredibly timely. This summer, I’ve agreed to participate in a book study on Twitter (#PTcamp) focusing on Beyond the Bake Sale. One hundred educators and parent leaders have signed up to participate in the discussion. Each week we will read new chapters and then engage through a variety of social media channels to share our own takeaways. I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you here in the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about the SPAC work aligning the standards, let me know at swilson@pta.org. Bonita and I will be happy to share!

Sherri Wilson is the Senior Manager of Family and Community Engagement at the National PTA. Sherri is the former Director of the Alabama Parent Information and Resource Center and is currently responsible for developing and implementing programs related to family and community engagement at the National PTA.  Check out the PTA One Voice Blog to read more of Sherri’s weekly column ENGAGE!.