Feb 042015

2015 New Year’s Resolution:

I will stay more connected to my children
and to their school

We love the clean slate of a brand new year. The holidays are behind us, the kids are back in school – the New Year brings an opportunity to recommit to staying more connected to your children and to their school.

Well-informed, engaged parents make a vital difference in helping students and schools succeed. When families, schools and communities work as partners, student achievement is boosted and children are better prepared to lead happy and productive lives. Here are a few tips for connecting families and schools:

  • Ask questions about school activities. Ask “What are three new things you learned today?” rather than “How was school?”
  • If possible, try to set aside just 15 minutes to go to your child’s school, visit your child’s classroom or talk briefly with the teacher. Learn more about your rights as a parent.
  • Attend the next PTA meeting. Just showing up is the first step to staying connected!
  • Encourage your friends and family to join PTA. The simple act of joining your local PTA strengthens our voice in speaking up on behalf of children and families.
  • Check out our quick tips for staying connected with middle- and high-school students
Oct 112014
What is Smart Snacks?
SmartSnacksKidsLunch.jpgAs part of theHealthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) included guidelines for “competitive foods” known as Smart Snacks for all foods and beverages sold to students throughout the school day. The new Smart Snacks guidelines apply to “competitive foods” that are not a part of the School Breakfast Program or National School Lunch Program. Smart Snacks rules set limits on calories, fats, sugar and sodium and encourage the consumption of dairy, whole grains, protein, fruits and vegetables.
More Resources

National PTA has officially launched our Smart Snacks webpage where you can find many resources regarding Smart Snacks. You can access these resources PTA.org/SmartSnacks.
A number of tools and resources are available to help schools identify food items that meet Smart Snacks criteria. See the resources for info about the Smart Snacks requirement, helpful tools and ways to encourage children to make healthier snack choices that give them the nutrition they need to grow and learn on the USDA website.
View a recording of the Smart Snacks Overview webinar and click download the Powerpoint presentation. If your state or local PTA would like a web or in-person training, please email schoolfoods@pta.org. For additional resources and more info on Smart Snacks, please visit PTA.org/SmartSnacks.
Aug 072014

California State PTA offers guidance for parents and students as they head back to school 
(Para leer este en español, haga clic aqui.)

SACRAMENTO – The back-to-school season is an exciting time, but it can also cause anxiety for some children – and parents too! Preparing in advance can help your child feel more confident and have a more positive school experience. California State PTA offers guidance for parents and students for helping to calm jitters during the start of school.

  • Re-assure your child. Anxieties and concerns are normal. Many children will experience these feelings at the start of the school year. Encourage your child to talk openly with you and with teachers about concerns or worries they may have.
  • Point out the positives. Starting a new school year can be fun. Your child will see old friends and/or meet new ones. The first week of school offers a chance to learn about new things and pursue interests. Reinforce with your child the power of learning.
  • Prepare ahead. Have your child pick out the clothes he or she plans on wearing to school the next day. This will save time and stress in the morning. Encourage everyone in the house to go to bed early and get up 15 to 30 minutes earlier so they’re not rushing around in the morning. Allow enough time for a good breakfast, and make arrangements for your child’s lunch. During the first week of school, find out if any additional materials are requested (pencils, folders, etc.) Remember: your school, local nonprofit groups and PTAs often can help with providing school supplies.
  • Encourage safe traveling to and from school. Find another child in the neighborhood with whom your youngster can walk or bike to school, or ride with on the bus. Briefly review the basics of safe walking and biking. If you feel it is appropriate, drive your child (or walk with him) to school and pick him up on the first day.
  • Plan for special needs. If your child requires medication, treatment or has special needs, talk to the school administrative staff, then talk to your child about how those needs will be handled at school (what time to go to the office for medication or what foods in the cafeteria to avoid, etc.).
  • Prepare for emergency situations. What should your child do if you are late picking her up, or if no one is at the house when she arrives home? What should your child do if he feels picked on while at recess? Talking in advance with your child and having a plan will help minimize panic and stress.

For more back-to-school tips for parents and information on the importance of family engagement, visit www.capta.org. PTA connects families and schools, and helps kids and parents feel welcomed at school throughout the year.

California State PTA will be featuring the #FirstDayofSchoolSmiles on Facebook and Instagram this week, and throughout the back-to-school season. To get the latest information, get connected with California State PTA online.

Jan 092013
family mourning
In the coming weeks and months, we will hear numerous calls for better mental health programs and policies as a way to prevent tragedies such as the Newtown, Conn., shooting. As news and details trickle out, we may or may not emerge with a complete picture of what led Adam Lanza to take his anger out on his mother and 26 innocent lives.
The latest reports paint a picture of a mother struggling to care for her troubled adult son. And as many families can attest, the challenges of caring for a young or adult child with severe mental illness or emotional or behavioral disturbance are profound and heartbreaking. In our national conversation on mental health, we should remember the role of families when thinking about mental health treatment and ensure that our policies open up opportunities to support parents, siblings and relatives, and enhance their capacity for care.
Dec 152012

Dear Parents/Guardians:

On behalf of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) we are deeply saddened by today’s horrifying event this morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

We want to assure all parents and members of our school community that the LAUSD’s number one priority is the safety of our students and staff. Every campus within the LAUSD has a school safety plan in place. These plans include responding to incidents where students and staff may be in danger of injury.

On a daily basis, the Los Angeles School Police department deploys over 200 police officers throughout the District on campus and safe passages patrol. In addition, we collaborate with public safety and mental health agencies to ensure planning, preparation, response and mitigation to all incidents that may affect student safety.
Although there was no information of any credible threats to the LAUSD students and staff, the LA School Police, the Los Angeles Police Department and other law enforcement agency partners provided extra patrol and high visibility presence around our schools today to reduce any fears or anxiety related to today’s incident.

Every school in the LAUSD has a crisis team to assist students and staff in dealing with the aftermath of critical incidents. If you feel your child might be in need of additional support please notify your school’s administrator and referrals can be made to the school’s support services staff or the appropriate School Mental Health Clinic.

Our thoughts go out to the families of all those involved. Please have a safe holiday break.


Dr. John E. Deasy,                                                                                             Steven Zipperman,
Los Angeles Unified School District                                                               LAUSD Police Department Chief of Police

Administrative Office 333 South Beaudry Avenue, 24th Floor Los Angeles, California 90017 Telephone: (213) 241-7000 Fax: (213) 241-8442


Dec 142012

California State PTA and Tenth District PTSA offer our condolences and deepest sympathy to the families and school community for the tragic loss today in Newtown, Connecticut. Our hearts go out to all for this terrible loss. At this time of tragedy, children throughout our country may be struggling with their thoughts and feelings about the stories and images and they may turn to adults for help and guidance. PTA has many resources available to assist students, families, schools and PTAs in coping with school violence. Additional resources regarding media exposure and traumatic events may be found online.

National PTA Resources

Media Exposure and Traumatic Events

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Sep 062012

On Sept 5, 2012 Scott Folsom, Vice President for Health and Parent Education moved and the Board of Directors of Los Angeles Tenth District of the California Congress of Parents, Teachers and Students, Inc. (PTA) voted to support and promote National Health Education Week.

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