Maryland PTA

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Celebrating 100 Years of Advocating for Children

 Banneker Middle School Parent Involvement Committee with Governor O'Malley.





MD PTA Briefs the Maryland House of Delegates Ways and Means Committee


On Wednesday, January 25, 2017, President Elizabeth Ysla Leight briefed Committee Chair Anne Kaiser and members of the House Ways and Means Committee on Maryland PTA’s 2017 legislative priorities and positions.


The testimony opened with MD PTA’s mission and purposes and positions on the legislative issues on budget, vouchers, special education, school construction, and highlighted the importance of monitoring the level of student assessments, student health and school safety. I stressed that Maryland PTA strongly supports Pre-kindergarten funding legislation and supports providing every school system with additional per pupil funding for each eligible four-year old enrolled in public pre-kindergarten school. Legislation is needed to remedy the longstanding deficiency in funding provided to local school systems for pre-kindergarten.


Legislative Overview

On January 20, 2017, Governor Hogan released his proposed State Budget and Capital Budget for FY 2018. Included in the budget was the significant share of these budgets devoted to operating and capital funding of public schools including the now mandated Geographic Cost of Education Index.


The Governor’s Budget Highlights is available on the Department of Budget and Management’s Website. The General Assembly will consider the Governor’s operating budget as House Bill 150/Senate Bill 170 and capital budget as House Bill 151/Senate Bill 171. The Governor has also introduced a Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act (BRFA) to amend the law to remove several mandated funding programs, including the $7.5 million Public School Opportunities Enhancement Program.


Maryland PTA’s legislative priority on school funding is to support full State funding for Maryland’s outstanding public schools. MD PTA urges the Governor and General Assembly to support increased funding of public education in the FY 2018 State Budget. Local public schools are committed to preparing all students to be globally competitive in college and careers.  Increased state investment in public education are essential in these times of rapid change, rising expectations, and increased costs.


Maryland PTA looks forward to testifying on education matters in support of public education the 2017-18 school year with amendments to remove the BOOST program funding and maximizing funding for all other public education programs. 



National PTA Statement on Betsy DeVos’ Confirmation as

U.S. Secretary of Education


ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Feb. 7, 2017)—The following statement can be attributed to National PTA President Laura Bay:


“Today, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Education. Throughout the confirmation process, National PTA joined other education, civil rights, disabilities and community organizations in expressing strong concerns for Secretary DeVos’ lack of experience with public education; unfamiliarity with the challenges and opportunities facing the nation’s public school students, families and educators; and support of programs that divert critical public school resources.


“National PTA looks forward to informing Secretary DeVos on all of our public policy priorities, including equitable public education for all, healthy and safe schools, protections for our nation’s most vulnerable youth and the importance of family engagement in education. Where we are in alignment, we stand ready to work together, however, policies of the administration that attempt to weaken public education will continue to meet National PTA’s opposition.


“National PTA has long stood and advocated for high-quality public education to ensure all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Our association remains steadfast in our belief that public education must be strengthened with the support of adequate funding and continue to be governed by public officials. We oppose any private school choice system—vouchers, tax credits or deductions—that would divert public school resources.


“In addition to investing in public education, National PTA urges Secretary DeVos to improve the Department of Education’s role in advancing family engagement as a tool to increase student achievement and transform schools and communities. We strongly encourage the administration to carefully consider how family engagement can be integrated into all appropriate policy initiatives that it advances or supports. In particular, we urge the administration to fund the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) program and for the Department to utilize the appropriate resources to assist in the dissemination of research and best practices to support family engagement in local communities.


“Furthermore, National PTA hopes that Secretary DeVos will ensure continued implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). We also hope she will continue to prioritize stakeholder engagement in the implementation of the law. It is essential that parents and other stakeholders have a seat at the table as states and districts develop new education plans to provide valuable input and hold them accountable.


“National PTA is committed to working collaboratively with Secretary DeVos and the Department of Education to implement these recommendations and advance policies that ensure all children reach their highest potential. Critical progress has been made to improve education, provide educational equity for all children and make sure every child is prepared for long-term success. We cannot go backward.”


About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.






                 School Health Grants Available for your local PTAs

I’m pleased to inform you that Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) and ALDI have again joined forces to support school-based efforts that help children develop healthy habits. 150 Parents for Healthy Kids Game On Grants of $1,000 each will be awarded to support 2017-2018 school year wellness initiatives in your States. Priority will be given to local PTA units located 10-15 miles from an Aldi store, but all parent groups are welcome to apply. 


The grant application is open now; applications are due April 7, 2017 (however this may be extended).  You can find more information and the application here:


Sample Social Media to use to promote this opportunity to your local units. Click Here


Please let me know if you have any questions.


Thank you,


Heather Parker, MS, CHES

Senior Manager, Health and Safety

National PTA

(703) 518-1258  | (800) 307-4782 |










The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 mathematics and science (including computer science) teaching.
Anyone--principals, teachers, parents, students, or members of the general public--may nominate exceptional mathematics or science teachers who are currently teaching grades 7–12 for the 2016-2017 award year. Teachers may also apply directly at
The Nomination Deadline is April 1, 2017 and the Application Deadline is May 1, 2017, for secondary school teachers (grades 7–12). Elementary school teachers (grades K–6) will be eligible to apply during a future cycle.

Thank you for your assistance and support!
Nina Riggs



 Game On Grants; Action for Healthy Kids


Awards worth $1,000! Programs with a parent engagement component will be given priority, and parent-led groups are encouraged to apply (e.g. PTAs, PTOs and school wellness teams with parent members). Select Game On grants on our school grants portal and complete the parent-specific questions to get priority points.

Funding for physical activity and nutrition initiatives such as:

  • Physical education and recess equipment
  • Classroom physical activity and movement breaks
  • Fitness assessments and testing
  • School gardens and taste tests
  • Nutrition education
  • Cooking classes


Kristina Shelton, MS, CHES
MD/DC/VA State Coordinator
600 W. Van Buren St., Suite 720
Chicago, IL 60607
Office: 303-883-2482



Is Your Local PTA Unit in Compliance with Maryland PTA Standards

of Continuing Affiliation?  


1) Are the local PTA unit's bylaws on file with Maryland PTA? 

2) Is the local PTA unit up to date on membership dues payments to Maryland PTA?

3) Has the local PTA unit paid their 2016-17 insurance? 

4) Has the local PTA unit filed the Annual Renewal of Registration Form for Maryland

Charitable Organizations?

5) Has the local PTA unit filed a Form 990 with the IRS? 

6) Has the local PTA unit completed an audit for the 2016 year and sent a copy to Maryland PTA? 

7) Does Maryland PTA have the current officer contact information for the 2016-2017 school year? 

If you can say, "yes," to items 1-7 above, Congratulations!  Your local PTA unit is in good standing with Maryland PTA Bylaws!

If your local PTA unit has not completed each of these Maryland PTA requirements, they are not in good standing according to the Maryland PTA Bylaws. Please call our office 1-800-707-7972 or e-mail, for assistance.




Commit to Positive, Safe Environments for All Students
National PTA is committed to the well-being of our children and ensuring that schools create a safe and inclusive learning environment for all children.
Today, National PTA joined other leading education organizations in a national call to action addressing the recent reports of bullying behavior in schools. Every child deserves to come to school excited to learn in a safe and nurturing environment without the fear of bullying, violence or discrimination.
This call to action follows National PTA's statement on its commitment to positive, safe environments for all students and a recent webinar on bullying and cyberbullying prevention.
It has long been a top priority of National PTA to make sure all children have a supportive environment where they can thrive and learn. We are committed to working with schools, school systems, educators, parents and the community to ensure all children have the opportunity to receive a great education in a setting free from discrimination, harassment and violence.
We encourage you to share this statement among your membership and within your schools and communities to support and affirm safe and inclusive school learning environments for all students.
Collaborating Organizations
National PTA Headquarters
1250 N. Pitt Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Phone: (703) 518-1200
Toll Free: (800) 307-4PTA
Fax: (703) 836-0942
Click here to unsubscribe | Click here to manage your subscription

National PTA and Guitar Center Team Up to Spark Student Creativity


ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Sept. 29, 2016)—National PTA® and Guitar Center have teamed up to bring resources to families, schools and PTAs across the country to inspire students’ creativity through the National PTA Reflections arts in education program.

“Participation in the arts enables students to explore their talents and express themselves while building their confidence and sense of accomplishment. Involvement in the arts is also closely associated with students’ social and emotional development and civic engagement,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “National PTA is thrilled to team up with Guitar Center to provide more students the opportunity to experience the joy and important benefits that come from participating in the arts.”

As part of the collaboration, Guitar Center will donate musical instruments to a number of local PTAs across the country to support their arts education efforts, inspire students to participate in the National PTA Reflections program and spark students’ interest to create music. Local PTAs will also have the opportunity to tap into a wide range of support from Guitar Center locations in their areas, such as having Guitar Center instructors serve as judges for their Reflections programs. With studios in nearly 100 stores, Guitar Center Lessons provides a world-class music education in many genres for musicians of all ages and skill levels.    

“Learning to play music can be an amazing, life-changing experience that can help improve a student’s self-confidence, but also boost their academic performance over time,” said Krista Shue, national director of Guitar Center’s Lessons program. “We’re excited about the opportunity to collaborate with National PTA to introduce more children to learning music and fostering the skills necessary to think creatively.”

National PTA Reflections is a recognition program through which students are encouraged to explore their creativity and be involved in the arts—in the classroom and at home. National PTA and PTAs nationwide urge students from preschool through grade 12 to create and submit original works of art in the medium of their choice—dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography or visual arts—that reflect on an annual theme. The 2016-2017 National PTA Reflections theme is “What Is Your Story?”

Submissions are reviewed by visual, literary and performing art experts, and students are recognized each year at the local, state and national levels for their artistic ingenuity in bringing the theme to life. Guitar Center will make it possible for a National PTA Reflections award recipient to travel to the nation’s capital in January to participate in a special ceremony at the U.S. Department of Education.  

“The National PTA Reflections program has inspired millions of students to explore their talents and be involved in the arts for nearly 50 years,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “National PTA and Guitar Center share a commitment to ensuring all students have the opportunity to experience the arts, as it is essential to helping them reach their full potential and preparing them for long-term success.”


About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth.

About Guitar Center

Guitar Center is the world’s largest retailer of guitars, amplifiers, drums, keyboards, recording, live sound, DJ and lighting equipment. With more than 270 stores across the U.S. and one of the top direct sales websites in the industry, Guitar Center has helped people make music for more than 50 years. Guitar Center also provides customers with an in-house, state-of-the-art lesson facility through its GC Lessons programs in more than 100 stores, where musicians of all ages and skill levels can learn to play a variety of instruments in many music genres. Additionally, Guitar Center’s sister brands include Music & Arts, which operates more than 140 stores specializing in band & orchestral instruments for sale and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors and students, and Musician’s Friend, a leading direct marketer of musical instruments in the United States. With an unrivalled in-store experience, an industry-leading online presence and passionate commitment to making gear easy-to-buy, Guitar Center is all about enabling musicians and non-musicians alike to experience the almost indescribable joy that comes from playing an instrument.

Media Contact:

Heidi May Wilson, National PTA

(703) 518-1242,





                              Celebrating Gifted and Talented Education in Maryland


The attached Microsoft Word file provides a review of the information required to submit an Nomination for the 2017 Gifted and Talented Education in Maryland Awards.   Click here to Launch the nomination form 


 Washington County Board of Education Proposed Policy Change May Impact Washington County PTA (Click Here)

 Testimony of the President, Elizabeth Ysla Leight (Click Here)

 Maryland PTA Structure and Function (Click Here)



Talking to Children About the Election

By Windy Lopez-Aflitto, Director of Content and Partnerships, Learning Heroes
Our nation has experienced a historic election and throughout this complex process parents and teachers have played an important role in helping children understand what it means for our communities and country. In the days and weeks ahead, it will remain important to listen to our children, making sure they feel safe, optimistic and motivated to learn and grow as individuals and as part of the world around them.
For more than 15 years I’ve had the privilege of working with families and educators across the country and continue to be inspired by the commitment to raising healthy, happy and successful children. Here are some questions and ideas I’ve been thinking about as well as additional resources and tips from trusted partners such as Scholastic, GreatSchools, CommonSense Media, Univision and more.
Listen and Ask

How are your children feeling? What questions do your children have?

Stay connected to how your children are reacting to the election and listen closely to their questions and thoughts. Provide reassurance that you, your family, and your children’s school are there for them, giving them a place to talk through their questions and work through their feelings.
Role-model positive choices

Given that many communities feel disconnected and divided right now, what can each of us do to be kind and understand others? How can we have a positive impact in our school and community?

Talk to your children about the small choices and actions we take every day that help make the world a better place. As you show the importance of understanding others’ feelings and views as part of leading a positive and healthy life, your children will too.
Teach them how to overcome challenges

With all of the different feelings children might be experiencing, how can you help your children learn to manage their emotions? How can you teach them the skills they need to overcome difficult situations?

Continue to support their overall development by showing them important skills like how to practice self-control and how to approach life’s challenges with perseverance and resilience.
Focus on the positive

What makes your children smile? What are they good at and what are they interested in?

Limit negative media exposure and focus on the positive things that make your children happy. Help encourage and strengthen your children’s belief and confidence in their ability to realize their dreams and play a positive role in the world around them. 
For more information, resources and tips on related topics including bullying and supporting social and emotional development, click on these Learning Tools.

Additional articles and resources:
  What should we tell our kids? Be tomorrow’s leaders, today.
Common Sense Media
  How do you talk to your kids about the election?
  ¿Cómo explicar a los niños el triunfo de Trump en las elecciones?
  4 key messages your children need to hear the day after the election
Huffington Post
  Here’s what students are saying about the election
  Talking with your kids about the presidential election
Parents Together
5 things to know before talking to your kids about the election
  How to talk to your kids about the election results
  Children changing the world
  Citizens of the world: How to raise a child who appreciates, respects, and enjoys the diversity of life
  What do kids want in a president?



Score Report Support

Last spring, your child took a new state test focusing on the critical thinking, problem solving and reasoning skills that students need, which replaced the previous test taken in your state.  Results from the new tests are important because they will help teachers better understand where your child does well and where he/she may need some help.  


As parents, we all have lots of questions about what score reports from the test means for our children. That’s why in this month’s newsletter, we’re focusing on resources to help you understand your child’s score report, and learn how to use it to support their growth. We hope these resources are helpful to you, and we're here to help!

What's different about the new tests?

Click here for some introductory information on how the new state tests work, and what they are measuring. If you’re not sure which test your child took last spring, select your state from the drop down menu at the bottom of the page for more information.

How can I help at home?

On our site, we’ve developed two new one-stop-shop pages (one for Smarter Balanced and one for PARCC) packed full of useful information for parents from trusted partners such as GreatSchools, National PTA and Scholastic.  And we’re very excited to share new tools, including GreatKids State Test Guide for Parents and Skill Builder, which allows you to search by grade, subject and scoring category to find information and resources tailored to the areas where your child needs support..
Click here for our new page for parents: About the Smarter Balanced Test
Click here for our new page for parents in PARCC states: About the PARCC Test
Click here if you’re not sure which test your child took last spring.

How are they helpful to my child's teacher?

In this video, 2010 National Teacher of the Year, Sarah Brown Wessling, shares information about the new tests, and how they are helpful to your child’s teacher.   This video focuses on the Smarter Balanced test, if you live in a PARCC state, click here.


National PTA received a request from PARCC.

If you could find time to take the survey it would be greatly appreciated.


The PARCC states are seeking feedback to ensure they are delivering score reports and other information in a way that is both understandable and useful to parents and students. The answers parents give will provide the consortium with valuable information, and will help enhance the score delivery process for next year.






Have you checked the status of your unit's incorporation? 

If you are not considered  "In Good Standing" by the Maryland Department of Assessments, you need to contact them (410-767-1350) to find out what is required to bring you into Good Standing. Not being in good standing can result in the loss of your incorporation and the protection it provides.  It will cause your local to not be in good standing, and thus not be able to participate in several of our programs and benefits.  This loss of standing by the MD Dept of State is usually a result of not filing your property tax report. 


Check your status at

  • Click on Business Data Search
  • Select the PTA name as originally submitted OR enter the Incorporation number for your PTA.
  • When you see your PTA, click on general information
  • This will give you an overview of the status of your PTA.        



What's going on.......

      Maryland PTA Newsletters

         April 2013


         September 2013                 

         October 2013

         February 2014

          April 2014




March 2015

April - May 2015

                              .....good things are happening in Maryland!



Maryland PTA

5 Central Avenue
Glen Burnie, MD 21061

Phone# 1-800-707-7972