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President’s Message
Bonnie Russell, President

☀️ Just because it's summer, it doesn't mean that NYS PTA is slowing down. Read my latest blog post: Summer Flies By - PTA Still Advocating!

��The Summer Leadership Conference 2016 was a great success! You can see highlights and pictures from the #NYSPTASLC2016 Twitter feed here.

�� Looking for SLC workshop materials? You can find them here on our website, or on the NYS PTA App under the SLC 2016 Schedule. You can download the app for iPhone/iPad here or Android here.

Membership Update
Dania Welch, Membership / Insurance Manager

We are very excited about the new Online Membership Portal which will be going live on September 1, 2016.

What You Should Know:

  • When we launch, the system will generate an email with personalized login credentials for unit officers to access the new Online Membership Portal. Only units who have completed the Annual Unit Officers Update (Form A) will receive access.
  • Please note: Member Chairs will need to be added by the president or secretary once they have access to the new portal. Once the Member Chair is added, they too will receive an email with personalized login credentials to access the new Online Membership Portal.
  • New Online Register link configuration information was sent out to all units via email last week so you could update your Membership Enrollment forms and be ready for the September 1 launch date (see link below to email archive).
  • New Updated Membership Enrollment form templates were sent via email along with information about the additional fields we added based on your requests last year (see link below to email archive).
  • All of your unit’s 2015-16 member details will be migrated into the new system. You will have your historical data. A new feature of the Online Membership Portal is the ability to renew memberships.

Have you been receiving regular “Membership Matters!” emails? ALL of our communication this year will be electronic. If you want to make sure you haven’t missed anything, you can always find the emails archived on the website here.

Stay tuned for more information regarding access to training videos with step-by-step instruction on how to use the new system.

If you have any questions about the new Online Membership Portal, please contact Dania Welch at the state office at or State Membership Coordinator Lori Fontana at

Volunteers and Leadership Go Hand in Hand
Antoinette Darden-Cintron, Leadership Development Coordinator

Volunteers are the lifeblood of PTA leadership. As the summer flies by and the back-to school commercials dominate our televisions, we need to think about who’s next.

Who’s next to take over your role as president, treasurer, secretary, etc? Have you thought about this? Now you may ask yourself why is Antoinette talking about my successor now? The year hasn’t begun yet! But I say to you, who’s next should be on your mind throughout the school year.

When leadership is a focus of your unit or council, leadership roles are filled with a confidence that says: we’ve elected the best person for the job!

So, I challenge you to find ways to put leadership first by:

  1. Requesting a school of instruction from your region; providing training in key areas such as elections, bylaws and your PTA Board 101.
  2. Sharing and reviewing your bylaws and procedures with your entire board.
  3. Selecting board and general members to attend NYS PTA Annual Convention, region training events and conferences (exciting workshops are always available).

Get the presentation from the Transitions in Leadership workshop I presented at the Summer Leadership Conference 2016 here. It’s a great checkpoint to see if your unit or council has prepared outgoing and is preparing incoming leadership!

Developing a Systemic Approach to Family Engagement
Lonnie Phillips, Family Engagement Coordinator

Allison Rowland from the Harvard Family Research Project helped facilitate a systemic approach to family engagement for the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), a district of more than 131,000 students.

They utilized workshops to give parents and families a place to share their hopes and dreams for their children, while recognizing the barriers to their childrens’ success.

Their approach focused on both school level and district level work and recognized all stakeholders in their approach.

Read more here.

Sports Injuries Report Panned by New York Times
Anne Ehrlich, Health Specialist

The New York Times reported on July 27, 2016 that the research paper claiming to show real head injury rate improvements between different programs “...shows no such thing.” The program, Heads Up Football, is heavily promoted and funded by the National Football League.

I read the study (found here) and agree that the data are of dubious significance. More important is the fact that the study was funded by the NCAA and various industry groups that promote the business of athletics. This is not a “peer” reviewed study in the usual sense.

Read the NYT article here.


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