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We hope that the school year is off to a great start for both our Region 2 PTA Members and Leaders! As we jump back into the new school year, most of us we have now updated the contact/emergency form at the school. But have you updated your own family plan in case a natural disaster or other emergency occurs? September is the perfect time to do that! In our September news you will find some useful tips on preparing your family for the unexpected as well as questions you can ask your school to ensure you're familiar with their policies when emergencies arise. We also share some current advocacy news with you, opportunities for high school students and a great upcoming bullying workshop that is free for all parents. Concluding our newsletter, PTA Officers will find information specific to their roles in PTA and opportunities especially for leaders.

Thanks for reading, see you in October!

Member News:
September is National Preparedness Month
Emergencies and natural disasters can occur at anytime. Is your family ready if something happens? It's important to have a game plan for making sure you can connect with family members and reunite should something happen. Plan what to do if you are separated in an emergency, how to evacuate and how to remain safe. Find some useful information on creating a family game plan here.

Go one step further by creating a basic needs emergency kit for your family. A disaster supplies kit is simply a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. Try to assemble your kit well in advance of an emergency. You may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice and take essentials with you. You will probably not have time to search for the supplies you need or shop for them. You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster but they cannot reach everyone immediately. You could get help in hours or it might take days. Having the necessary supplies on hand should there be an emergency will help your family. Download a list of recommended items to be included in your kit here.

Concerned how your school will handle an emergency? Start by asking if your school has an emergency response plan and what that entails. Some other things to ask about:

  • Ask how the school will communicate with families during a crisis.
  • Ask if the school will store adequate food, water and other basic supplies.
  • Find out if they are prepared to "shelter-in-place" if need be, and where they plan to go if they must get away.
Find additional information and resources for parents on natural emergencies here.

Can we afford to keep waiting? Can our kids?
Decades. Wow, decades! That is how long our schools have been without proper funding. Can we afford to wait any longer?

Decades of Disinvestment: The state of school funding in Oregon is an overview of how schools in Oregon are funded, and it illustrates the consequences of disinvestment in public education. Prior to 1990 and the passage of Measure 5, Oregon ranked 15th in school funding. Unfortunately years of recession-related cuts, on top of decades of disinvestment, have taken a toll: instead of making public education a priority, Oregon has some of the largest classes, shortest school years and one of the lowest graduation rates in the country.The wait is over. We can fix this by passing M97 and funding our schools.

Portland Council PTA supports Measure 97 which will increase the minimum tax for large and out-of-state corporations with more than $25 million in annual Oregon sales and bring more money to schools to help address class size, lack of programming and resources as well as maintenance on buildings. You can read more about Measure 97 here and here.

SAVE THE DATE! Thursday, October 20, 2016 Portland Council will host a city-wide forum on advocating for our students. The venue and agenda are being finalized within the week. Please hold this date and plan to join us 10/20/16 at 7:00 pm to learn how you can help. More information to follow soon!
Performing and Visual Arts College Fair:

The National Association for College Admissions Counseling ( NACAC) has announced its 2016 Portland Performing and Visual Arts College Fair on Monday, October 24th, 2016 from 7 p.m to 9 p.m. at the Portland Art Museum – Mark Building. This program is an important resource for students interested in pursuing undergraduate and graduate programs of study in the areas of music, theater, dance, visual arts, graphic design, film production, and other related disciplines.

Students will have the opportunity to speak with representatives from colleges, universities, conservatories, festivals, and other educational institutions with specialized programs in the visual and performing arts. Attendees of this free event will learn about educational opportunities, admission and financial aid, portfolio days, auditions and entrance requirements, and much more. See the event flyer and the list of schools that will be attending here.

All participants are encouraged to register prior to attending this event. This will make navigating the fair and collecting information from multiple colleges and universities much easier. Register today here.

Special Presentation for all Parents:
James John PTA is hosting a presentation by children's advocate and bestselling author Trudy Ludwig and they have invited all interested parents to join them. Join them on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 5:30-7:30 pm at James John Elementary School.

The presentation: Understanding Our Kids’ Online & Offline Social World, Friendships, Cliques & Power Plays: Intentional exclusion, gossip, the silent treatment, teasing, and the spreading of rumors are often dismissed as normal rites of passage, but research shows these behaviors are a form of emotional bullying and they are as harmful as physical bullying—with long-term negative effects. Learn more about relational aggression (the use of relationships to manipulate and hurt others) including the latest research findings, the nature of boys’ and girls’ friendships, cyber bullying, as well as tips, tools, and resources to help you empower your children in their social world.

Trudy Ludwig’s work has received high praise from leading experts, educators, and organizations. Her acclaimed books, My Secret Bully, Just Kidding, Sorry, Trouble Talk®, Too Perfect, Confessions of a Former Bully, Better Than You, The Invisible Boy, and Gifts from the Enemy all focus on helping children thrive in their social world. An award-winning writer and an engaging speaker, Trudy has been featured on numerous U.S. media outlets including ABC’s “Good Morning America,” PBS’s “Keeping Kids Healthy,” Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Reading Rainbow, the National Crime Prevention Council’s Circle of Respect Program, and served as an expert panel member on Sesame Street Workshop’s video series addressing bullying. This presentation is geared for adults only.
Leader News:
Leaders Training:

To become a unit in good standing with Oregon PTA, all PTA units must have at least 3 officers attend leadership training each year. There is one remaining training date scheduled for the Portland area, September 24 at Robert Gray Middle School in SW Portland. Find more information and register here. Or phone Oregon PTA at 503-234-3928
PTA Officer Lists:

Training and Back-to-School information and other valuable program information is delivered to you via email. In order to receive all PTA communication, please ensure that your PTA Officer information is entered at Oregon PTA.

An updated officer list is required to be a unit in good standing with Oregon PTA.

Book Harvest:

Last year PTA's helped collect 35,000 books for 4,800 students in Portland Public Schools!

This year the Children’s Book Harvest will run from 10/3 through 11/10. Enroll your PTA today and help bring even more books into the hands of kids around Portland! Read a letter from the Coordinator and find more information on getting involved.
Leadership Resources:
Portland Council PTA has a number of leadership resources for leaders:

Follow our Blog here for guidance and information as you lead your PTA.
Consult our website for up to date information and news.
See our Monthly Leadership Checklists here- we currently have President's checklists available and will be adding additional leader checklists soon.

Follow us on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter for resources and information you can share with your communities.

Leaders, are you interested in getting involved with PTA at the Council Level? Do you want to further the mission of PTA and help other local units with your knowledge? We are currently accepting applications for Franklin Cluster Vice President and Grant Cluster Vice President positions. If you are interested, please contact Portland Council President, Lisa Kensel via email for more information.

School of Excellence Program: The
National PTA School of Excellence is a recognition program that supports and celebrates partnerships between PTAs and schools to enrich the educational experience and overall well-being for all students. As a National PTA School of Excellence, families feel welcomed and empowered to support student success, and PTA is a key partner for continuous school improvement. The path to excellence starts with a joint commitment of PTA and school leaders to work together to achieve PTA's National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. Through the School of Excellence program, your PTA and school will gain new ways to engage families in school decision-making, such as improvements to programs, practices and policies related to education, health, safety or the arts. The deadline to register your intent to participate is October 1, 2016. Register today!
PTA Clothing Center & Student Aid Fund:

The PTA Clothing Center exists to assist PPS students with clothing needs. This is an absolutely vital program for the students who use the service. Last school year, nearly 2000 students were served by an astounding 4500 volunteer hours! Thank you for all your work this year! Questions about how your PTA can help with this vital program, please contact PTA Clothing Center Director, Sharon Meigh-Chang via email. The Clothing Center relies on our PTA's to provide volunteers for your scheduled day. These volunteers do not have to be PTA members- they can be anyone at the school that wants to help out. Find out when your PTA is scheduled to volunteer here.

The PTA Student Aid Fund has a long history, dating back to 1923. It was established to assist students with requests for items necessary for their success, which might not be covered by other services in PPS or via PTA. The Portland Council Student Aid Fund may be used for shoes, eye exams/glasses, necessary class fees and or materials (not tuition) or an emergency bus pass (once per year) and other special needs. The Student Aid Fund will not pay for general school supplies. Clothing requests are funded only after a visit to the Portland Council PTA Clothing Center, or when the student's needs can't be met. Applications are available at each school's office. If you have questions, please contact Jackee Duvall, Student Aid Director for more information.

Every school in PPS last year had students using these worthwhile services, even in the most affluent schools. Both the Clothing Center and the Student Aid Fund rely on PTA and private donations to provide these very necessary services. Please consider earmarking a donation from your PTA this year to assist with these programs. All funds donated go directly to the purchase of clothing and services for students in PPS.
Lisa Kensel
Portland Council PTA
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