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A powerful voice for all children A relevant resource for families and communities

A strong advocate for the education and well-being of every child

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Table of Contents:

The Ohio PTA Voice

October 2015

Note from the President...

Pg. 1- Note from President

Greetings Family,

Pg. 2- PTA Advocacy

Whew!! School is back in session again. PTA meetings are going strong.
There are many new parents and community members to welcome into PTA!!!!!
Are you making them feel welcomed and part of your family? But more
importantly are you making them feel valued and needed. As a PTA Officer or
Committee member are you taking time to know your new members? What are
their strengths? What are their reasons for joining PTA? Did they join to provide
financial support, moral support, or do they possess some hidden talent that can
contribute to the success of your PTA?

Pg. 4- Newsletters
Pg. 5- Leadership
Pg. 7- Family School Partnership
Pg. 8- Positive Climate
Pg. 9- Advocacy
Pg. 10- Membership
Pg. 11- Reflections Art Program
Pg. 12- Standing Rules
Pg. 15- PTA Board

Do not be afraid to go outside of the box-to develop new committees based on

the strengths of the members of your PTA. Stretch out into your community see
what resources already exist that your unit could use. When building your PTA
Family always keep in mind these six standards for engaging families from
National PTA.
Standard 1: Welcoming all families into the school communityFamilies are
active participants in the life of the school, and feel welcomed, valued, and
connected to each other, to school staff, and to what students are learning and
doing in class.
Standard 2: Communicating effectivelyFamilies and school staff engage in
regular, two-way, meaningful communication about student learning.
Standard 3: Supporting student successFamilies and school staff continuously
collaborate to support students learning and healthy development both at home
and at school, and have regular opportunities to strengthen their knowledge and
skills to do so effectively.
Standard 4: Speaking up for every childFamilies are empowered to be
advocates for their own and other children, to ensure that students are treated
fairly and have access to learning opportunities that will support their success.

Ohio PTA
40 Northwoods Blvd Ste A
Columbus, OH 43235-4718
(614) 781-6344
Fax: (614) 781-6349

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The Ohio PTA Voice

October 2015

Standard 5: Sharing powerFamilies and school staff are equal partners in

decisions that affect children and families and together inform, influence, and
create policies, practices, and programs.
Standard 6: Collaborating with communityFamilies and school staff
collaborate with community members to connect students, families, and staff to
expanded learning opportunities, community services, and civic participation.
Always walk the talk. Have a great month in PTA.
Sheila Ragland
2015-2017 Ohio PTA President

Where Social Media and PTA Advocacy Collide

Social media is a powerful tool that is changing the way people absorb
information, mobilize for advocacy and raise awareness about issue campaigns.
Through social media, individuals can join together, share content and ideas and
engage in open conversation. Research shows that more than 90% of people trust
peer recommendations, but only 33% trust messages from brands and
organizations. The implication for PTAs at all levels is significant. If people talk and
share information about PTA and its issues campaigns, their friends on social
media are more likely to respond favorably than they would to a message directly
from PTA. PTA units at all levels will benefit from how quickly information can be
shared and how much of their followers networks can see their posts and
activities. A PTAs social media presence also allows PTA to connect to members
and potential members in an interactive way!
The social media platforms Facebook and Twitter can serve as conversation
catalysts for education reform and child advocacy. Experiment with education
quotes, education news stories, links to relevant videos or blogs, or simply share or
repost what National PTA, Ohio PTA, or other local unit PTAs have posted. Its all
about creating engagement and conversation. You want to get peoples attention
around a certain issue. Remember, social media is SOCIAL!

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The Ohio PTA Voice

October 2015

As a PTA advocate, be empowered! Social media offers your PTA a free, quick and
easy way to communicate. Make sure your PTA establishes a clear social media
policy. Who will have access to post from the official PTA account and what will
you comment on? Will your unit use social media mainly to promote events and
your positions, or will you take an active role and voice in the education debate in
your community and state? Partner with local or state organizations on policy
issues and legislation in your community. Explore ways to mobilize supporters to
education and other child advocacy events through Facebook and Twitter.
Advocate by holding your elected officials accountable. Dont be afraid to reach
out to your elected officials through social media to support or oppose legislation.
This is an excellent way to make your voice heard for every child.
National PTA has produced four tip sheets to assist local PTAs in optimizing their
social media efforts. The tip sheets offer advice on using Facebook, Twitter, blogs
and YouTube. In addition, National PTAs Social Media Policy is an important
resource for your PTA. These resources can be found in the 2015-2016 Back-toSchool Toolkit at To learn more about how your PTA can effectively
use social media contact me at

Tandra Rutledge
Director of Advocacy

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The Ohio PTA Voice

October 2015

For most PTAs, newsletters are the most comprehensive
communication vehicle that the group shares with its many
audiences. A newsletter, whether print or electronic, contains several short
articles and graphics that bulletin important information for a specific group
of recipients. While most PTA units produce a newsletter publication, PTAs
that cannot or do not wish to produce their own may be able to contribute to
their schools newsletter.

Because a newsletter is the main means of communication for many PTAs,

it is a good idea to define your audience as broadly as practical. Generally
speaking, you will want to include the following groups: PTA members,
school teachers and staff, all parents and caregivers (including
nonmembers), school superintendent, and school board members.

Print Newsletters vs. Electronic Newsletters

In an increasingly digital world, you may find that many of your members
are accustomed to online communication, while other members may prefer
a physical print newsletter. Surveying your members to get a sense of your
units preference will help ensure that your members actually read your
publication. Continue reading

Submitted by: Venezuela Robinson

Director of Communications

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The Ohio PTA Voice

October 2015

Inspirational Educational Leadership

Every month, Ohio PTA would like to recognize the exceptional educational work
being done on behalf of Ohio children. This monthly column will feature PTA
members, units or councils who are motivating all stakeholders in their community
and beyond about the importance of public education. These individuals and groups
demonstrate that working together accomplishes much. Although only a few are
featured here, we know there are many tremendous people helping keep public
education a quality choice for all students in Ohio.
Our inaugural Ohio PTA inspirational educator, Char Shryock embodies the PTA
motto of Every Child, One Voice. Her dedication to student success transcends
the title on her office door. As a parent, teacher, administrator and community
member, she advocates, enlightens and teaches all educational stakeholders. As a 7th
grade science teacher in the Fairview Park Schools, Chars hands-on teaching style
was not only for the students, but the other faculty, staff, and parents as well.
Everyone needs to learn in order to teach would be a great way to describe her
educational model. When she became the Director of Curriculum for the Bay
Village School District, her position allowed her to help in professional
development both in her district and across the state. Her I Teach Bay
( website has numerous resources and presentations. For
the past five years she has led a statewide team of educators who have focused on
supporting all Ohio educators as they implement Ohios Learning Standards and
State Tests to create meaningful local curricula for academic success.
Char shares and updates learning opportunities for students, resources for teachers
and tools for parents everywhere! She has created a blog to share not only her
finds, but also those of other educators. In educator meetings with her as the PTA
parent representative, I was always included in the discussion. She knows parents
are integral in the education process. Thus, Char incorporates all stakeholders and
uses their input in many of the resources featured on her website. Char created a set
of games and conversation starters that help build a preschoolers vocabulary called
Word Play around Bay using local Bay Village locations and landmarks. This was
the result of discussions with colleagues and parents asking her, What can I do to
help my child? She mentors colleagues like she did her students by not merely
showing but through interactive activities and an online resource-sharing site.

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The Ohio PTA Voice

October 2015

State Senator Peggy Lehner recognized her work statewide this past spring when
she invited her to participate in the Ohio Senate Education Committees Advisory
Committee on Testing. Chars primary goal was to make sure every member of the
task force had accurate information to analyze Ohios standards and assessments.
Ohio PTA thanks Char Shryock for her continued efforts to promote educational
standards across Ohio. Char demonstrates that through sharing our individual
talents and energy, we can continually be engaged as learners and teachers
regardless of our role as an educational stakeholder! This reflects the mission of
Ohio PTA which encourages all members to give a voice to students through
active advocacy.
In November meet a young man who was born a PTA inspirational educator!
He is now teaching music in central Ohio.

Step Up to Quality (SUTQ)

The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) in compliance with House Bill 59
(passed in 2013) has developed a tiered quality rating and improvement system
called Step Up To Quality (SUTQ) for all early childhood education entitlement
and preschool special education programs funded by ODE. Licensed programs that
receive subsidy funds must participate by July 1, 2020. To continue receiving state
funds, programs must earn a 3, 4 or 5 rating.
SUTQ is a five-star rating system administered by ODE along with the Ohio
Department of Job and Family Services. According to the Early Childhood Ohio
website, SUTQ recognizes and promotes learning and development programs that
meet quality standards in health and safety regulations. The standards are based on
national research that leads to improved outcomes for children. To learn more
about the program and to see if your preschool is part of this program, check
ODEs website at

Ohios new College Credit Plus has replaced the Post Secondary Enrollment Option
Program (PSEOP). The primary purpose is still promoting rigorous academics
through a variety of options for college-ready students. Qualifying students can take
college courses at public colleges or universities for free (cost includes tuition,
books and fees). Limited costs may apply for private colleges and universities.
Students should talk to their schools counseling office for details specific to your
school district. For more information on the change from PSEOP to College Credit
Plus, please visit the College Credit Plus webpage at Ohio Higher Education.

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The Ohio PTA Voice

October 2015

Family-School Partnership
As a parent or caregiver, you are an important part of family-school partnership.
You have a key role in helping your child bridge his/her transition from home to
school, and to help provide the best chance for student success. How can you
promote family-school partnership at your school? It begins with asking the right
questions. Here is a helpful checklist to get you started -excerpted from http://

1. Quality: Is my child getting a great education? Find out how you will be
informed of how your child is doing on a regular basis and how you can work
together with the school if your child falls behind.
2. Ready for Success: Will my child be prepared to succeed in whatever comes
next? Find out how your childs progress and ability will be measured and how
much time will your child spend preparing for state and district tests.
3. Safe and Healthy: Is my child safe and cared for at school? What programs are
in place to ensure a safe, nurturing, and positive environment? What are the
discipline and bullying policies at your school?
4. Great Teachers: Is my child engaged and learning every day? Do teachers
collaborate with one another and participate in professional development
activities? How will I know that my childs teachers are effective?
Equity and Fairness: Does my child, and every child at my childs school or
program, have the opportunity to succeed and be treated fairly? How does the
school provide access to all students to help prepare them for success?
Asking these questions promotes parents engagement with schools to help all
children succeed. To find out more information, along with suggestions on how
you can work effectively with your childs teachers as an advocate for your child, go
Apply now for the Ohio PTA Family-School Partnership Award. This award
recognizes members who actively participate in family-school and community
activities. Complete the award form found on the website and mail to
Ohio PTA office. Deadline is October 31.

Congratulations to Pleasant Valley Elementary PTA -Parma and Bay Middle School Bay Village, our OHIO winners of 2015-2017 School of Excellence! The National PTA
School of Excellence designation honors accomplishments in building strong,
effective family-school partnerships, which are proven to make a difference for
students and schools.
Want your school to become a School of Excellence? For more information about
Ohio PTA Family-School Partnership, please contact Pam Bonnett, Director at

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The Ohio PTA Voice

October 2015

How Can Your School Create a Positive

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Research shows that one of the
most effective ways to prevent bullying behavior is to create a positive school
climate. This encompasses everything that contributes to a student's experience
with a school from the physical building to policies, staff and peer culture.
Connect for Respect (C4R) is National PTAs initiative to help students, parents
and educators to create school climates with safe and supportive peer
relationships. The goal of C4R is to complement, not compete with, existing
efforts or programming. Strategies include:
Building a team of students, staff, parents and community members
Assessing the current school climate
Engaging the school community in dialogue
Developing an action plan
Educating and empowering students, families and the community
Check out the Connect for Respect Guide for PTA Leaders and the
Connect for Respect Student Leaders Guide for more information.
Other C4R resources with numerous activities to engage students and prevent
bullying are also highlighted:
Come together in schools, communities and onlineto send one large
ORANGE message of support, hope and unity on Unity Day Unity Day
Wed. Oct 21st
Design a huge banner with the word UNITY as the central theme ask
everyone to sign the banner, define what unity means to them, or make
a suggestion about ways to unite as a school or organization
Develop and promote a simple school-wide pledge regarding bullying
Sponsor a poster or video contest with the theme What does respect
mean to me? and engage a diverse panel of students to choose the

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The Ohio PTA Voice

Page 9

October 2015

Create inspirational posters promoting positive school climate and

standing up for your peers
Create a chart that helps students actively define behaviors that they
consider above the line versus below the line Above the Line Below The Line
Distribute tip sheets for parents about your schools bullying prevention programs and policies and how families can be supportive

PTAs can incorporate any or all parts of this program to achieve a positive school
climate, where a collaborative effort builds a culture of respect.

Lisa Catalano
Director of Health, Welfare & Safety

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The Ohio PTA Voice

October 2015


By now each of you are off and running with your Membership Campaigns! We
truly are family this year as we work together to increase our membership across
the state of Ohio! Has anyone ever asked you what the benefit is to joining PTA?
At our Summer Leadership workshops we addressed this very question. The most
important answer that you can give everyone is:
Together we become a Powerful Voice for all children
We bring Families, Schools and Communities together
We Advocate for the education and well-being of every child
Some people are seeking just a little bit more, so you can also tell them about our
National PTA Member Benefits Providers. This year, National PTA did not print
the membership cards. The cards were printed by each individual state. This
means that there is no activation or registration of your cards this year. However,
you do still need to submit your membership lists to Ohio PTA with each check
that you send! You can also access the partner benefits from National PTA by
visiting their website at Click on About PTA and then Member Benefits
Providers. There you will find the list of this years partners with National PTA
and the codes that you can use when you purchase or sign up for a service.
Here are some Membership Campaign tips that we all shared on our first
Membership Conference call as well as at Summer Leadership training. First and
foremost, Membership is everyones responsibility! Make sure that everyone is
recruiting and promoting your PTA at all times and at all events. Take advantage
of Social Media and offer an online Membership Form to make signing up or
renewing easy. Reach out to all families and do not let language be a barrier to
gaining new members. Always be welcoming and be a resource to those new to
your building or to PTA. If you wear a smile you cannot go wrong! Introduce
yourself to new people that come to a meeting. Ask Community Business Partners
to join your PTA and to help you promote your PTA. An example of this is to ask
your local Dairy Queen to display Join PTA on their sign for a few days. Get
your Principals on board and always welcome and invite staff to join! Encourage
some friendly competition between classrooms or between building Principals
within your district. Maybe a principal would be willing to offer a dress down day
in their building for all staff that have joined PTA by a certain deadline. Offer
some incentives to members for joining early such as a gift card raffle or raffle for
a basket of school supplies.
Last, but not least, set some goals and have an action plan for reaching them this
year. Ohio has challenged you with an increase of 5% over last years
membership total. Those exact goals will be available to you soon. Celebrate
when each goal is met and keep the momentum going all year because you never
know when Ohio PTA may throw out a surprise incentive! Have tons of fun with
your campaign and send pictures of all of it to!
Angela Revay
Director of Membership


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The Ohio PTA Voice

October 2015

Have you held your schools Reflections kick off event? Its not too late to get
your students excited about this years theme Let Your Imagination Fly!
Reflections welcomes all grades and abilities to explore and be involved in the
arts. Students are encouraged to reflect on this years theme and create original
works in the categories of dance choreography, film production, literature, music
composition, photography and visual arts.
National PTA has created a toolkit, see, with ideas and
resources to use to promote creativity in your school and community. Also, PTAs
new e-learning workshop is now available to help you get started with Reflections
in your school. These two learning opportunities take you step by step through the
Reflections process from promoting your program to recognizing participants to
thanking your volunteers.
To celebrate your schools Reflections program, consider hosting school-wide
activities based on the Reflections Program Theme Let Your Imagination Fly!
Check Facebook and Twitter for ideas and suggestions. Share your schools
activities with us as your program moves forward. Consider highlighting an arts
category each day!
Monday: Dance Choreography
Tuesday: Film Production
Wednesday: Literature
Thursday: Music Composition
Friday: Photography and Visual Arts

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The Ohio PTA Voice

October 2015

Standing Rules- Why Your Unit Needs Them

Standing rules are the procedures for the day to day running of the
association that are not included in the bylaws. They cannot be in conflict
with the bylaws. Standing Rules are more flexible than bylaws and may be
changed at any board meeting by a majority vote. Standing Rules are unique
to each specific PTA; therefore, they do not need to be sent to the state
office. They are the details of daily PTA work.
Common topics covered by standing rules:

Steps required for expense reimbursement including time limits,

Committees that your board will include,

Duties and procedures for board members and committees,

Determining who the appropriate check signers are at the bank,

Policy regarding handling money, reconciling the budget, paying the


Standard expectations of board members,

Starting and ending times of meetings and place they are held,

Who will receive your newsletter and/or school directories,

Setting allowances for board members who attend PTA Leadership

Conferences, State and/or National Conventions to cover registration,
airfare or mileage, hotel, and meals incurred while on PTA business.

Procedures for awarding honors, grants or scholarships

Developing Standing Rules is not a difficult task. Here are some simple
1) A Committee, of at least three people, should be appointed to prepare
the Standing Rules.
2) The Committee should include experienced and knowledgeable
members of the PTA or Council.
3) Using the bylaws as an outline, the committee should consider each
provision and then formulate instructions for applying the
provision. The minutes of board and general meetings, as well as the
experience of the committee members can serve as resources.
4) There should be complete job descriptions for officers and chairs.
5) After the committee has finalized the Standing Rules, they are presented
to the members for approval by a majority vote.
6) Upon approval, make sure each board member has a copy.
Standing Rules serve as a guide to ensure the orderly transfer of duties from
one administration to the next, and are a valuable tool for the orientation of
new board members.
Cindy Schanz
Director of Bylaws and Standing Rules
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The Ohio PTA Voice

October 2015

A Treasurer Trove for PTA Budgets

Here are a few tips from National PTA regarding your budget for this year.
If you are a new Treasurer this will help you get started. If you are a
seasoned Treasurer, consider it a refresher regarding budgets and
expenditures for the year.
The Budget
The budget is an outline of estimated income and expenses for the year. A
finance or budget committee usually has the responsibility of developing a
budget for the PTA. This committee may be elected or appointed according
to the PTA bylaws and usually consists of three or five members, one of
whom is the treasurer, who may act as chair. A budget is not only a guide
but also a working document. It shows a plan for obtaining funds and then
spending those funds to meet the needs of the units yearly activities. It
also should allow for adjustments when those estimates are not exactly
accurate following the amendment guidelines established by the unit. A
budget does not dictate what a local unit must do. It simply presents what a
unit intends to do. Just because a program or fundraiser is listed on the
budget does not mean that it is required to be done. However, if an item is
not on the budget, it cannot be done.
- See more at:
Restricted Funds
While it is a common PTA rule that one board cannot obligate the next
years board, there is one exception to that rule. The IRS has strict rules on
restricted funds. When money is raised for a specific purpose, (technology,
a new playground, etc.), the money raised must be spent on that purpose.
It does not matter if it is one year, five years, or 25 years from now. If a
PTA wishes to use the restricted funds for an alternate purpose, the donors
must be notified and given the option to have their donation refunded to
them. However, if you advertise that money raised is going towards
something specific as well as other PTA projects, the collected funds are
not restricted and your board and future boards are able to use that money
for whatever budget purpose they desire
- See more at:

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The Ohio PTA Voice

October 2015

Approval of Expenditures
The adoption of the budget authorizes the treasurer to pay for routine
expenses covered in the budget only if such authority is given to the
treasurer in the local PTA bylaws. If the local PTA bylaws do not provide
this authority, the treasurer shall pay bills only when the board/executive
committee or local PTA members vote to expend the money, and then only
upon presentation of properly signed vouchers, as required in the state
bylaws. All expenditures must be reported to the board/executive
committee and included in the Monthly Treasurers Report to membership.
This report should display how the amounts expended to date compare with
corresponding items in the approved budget. Any additional expenditure not
provided for in the budget must be approved by the membership. The
Monthly Treasurers Report should be attached to the minutes of the
meeting at which it is presented. Changes in the budget, whether in income
or expenditures, must be presented as amendments to the budget.
- See more at:
What to Do with Excess Funds
There is no ruling from the IRS or PTA that limits the amount of money that
a PTA may carry over to the next budget year. No PTA board has the
authority to write checks to the school or the principal for unbudgeted items
to clean out the accounts. Expenditures must be approved by the general
membership at a meeting. Every PTA should try to leave sufficient funds for
leadership training for new board members, startup expenses for the new
school year, etc. Funds not spent in one budget year should be included in
the new budget.
- See more at:
Suzie Smith-Rios
Secretary / Treasurer

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The Ohio PTA Voice

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October 2015

Your PTA Board of Directors



Sheila Ragland
Susan Hans

Tandra Rutledge

Jeanne GroetzShockling

Pam Bonnett

Bylaws & SRules

Cindy Schanz
330 329-6335

Jackie Arendt

Lisa Catalano

Venezuela Robinson

Linda Read

Angela Revay

District 3
Lois Monroe

District 11
Debbie Tidwell

District 17
Carol Beasley

District 7
Dana Paul

District 12
Maria Lang

District 18
Shannon Weber

District 10
Terry Hickey

District 13
Rebecca Gawsyszawski

Sue Owen
Jeri Gookin
VP Leadership
Ana Chapman
VP Field Service
Lisa Weaver
Suzie Smith-Rios

Immediate Past President

Lisa Mack


Vacant Advisor Positions: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 19.

If anyone is interested in serving on the Ohio PTA Board of Directors, contact Venezuela Robinson at Job descriptions and an application are posted on the Ohio PTA website.
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