President’s Message – September 2015

First day of School is barely a week away and I hope you have all had been able to enjoy your summer time off (or at least your children).  The board for the San Diego Unified Council of PTAs has been busy in order to meet our objective to provide leadership training and support for PTA leaders for the PTA units we serve.  I have been wrapping up an 18+ month Smart from the Start Community Outreach Project where an Energy Balance curriculum has been introduced to four low-income preschools as well as building a coalition of community organizations to bring resources to these families from education to access to nutrition.  I didn’t do this alone as I had volunteers from the Council, SAY San Diego, and the Parent Outreach and Engagement Department of SDUSD to help make the various activities a success.

Members of the Council Board helped organized what is turning out to be a definite annual signature event, the Back-to-School Breakfast for all PTA Presidents and Principals.   We had over 70 Parents and School Administrations attend the event held on August 18, 2015.  Attendees got to learn about the history of PTA, California State PTA’s School SMARTs program, Parent Involvement Day, and theme for Reflections 2015-2016 – “Let your imagination fly.!”  Superintendent Cindy Marten was able to join us and share a few words about what’s going on at the District.  Following the breakfast, a training for PTA Presidents was held in our Council office.

Back-to-School Breakfast for PTA Presidents and Principals – August 2015

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Scholarships, Grants, and other funding sources


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Are you looking for grants and scholarships for your PTA, students and school?  Well you have come to the right place.  Thanks for the hard work of Ninth District Community Concerns Vice President, Rebecca Hernandez, we have a great list of resources just a click away.  This is by no means a complete list of grants and scholarships.   Please contact us at the Council office if you are in need of assistance with grant or scholarship applications.

National PTA Grants:
Throughout the year, National PTA offers awards or grants to honor or support PTAs as they: engage families, support student success, improve the health and safety of students and families, increase access to arts education or celebrate advocacy and diversity.

Visit their website to see a list of awards and grants being offered.  Check the website regularly to see if any grants are being offered to help fund specially themed programs.

California State PTA scholarships are here to help you!

To help you continue on your educational path, the California State PTA is proud to offer several scholarship programs for students, school professionals and volunteers:

  • For nurses – Registered Nurses are eligible to apply for the $500 Continuing Education Scholarship for School Nurses. You must be employed in a California public school during the preceding year, have a nursing contract for the current year – and assignment in – at least one PTA school, plan to continue as a public-school nurse, and use the scholarship at approved institutions or providers, such as nursing schools, hospitals, organized nursing groups and private providers that meet California Board of Registered Nursing requirements. The scholarship must be used January 1 – December 31 following the year of award; proof of your enrollment and completion of coursework must be provided by California State PTA by June 1.
  • For teachers and counselors – Credentialed teachers and counselors who have a minimum of three years’ experience in a California public school are eligible to apply for the $500 Continuing Education Scholarship for Credentialed Classroom Teachers and Counselors. You must be employed in a California public school during the preceding year and plan to continue working as a teacher or counselor. The scholarship must be used January 1 – December 31 following the year of award; proof of your enrollment and completion of coursework must be provided by California State PTA by June 1.
  • For volunteers – PTA volunteers with at least three years of service are eligible to apply for the $500 Continuing Education Scholarship. Your scholarship must be used for advanced studies at accredited California colleges, universities, trade and technical schools. You must use it January 1 – December 31 following the year of award; proof of your enrollment and completion of coursework must be provided by California State PTA by June 1.

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haga clic aqui para españolBack2SchoolJitters
Back-to-school season is a great time to showcase the value of PTA.  
Whether it’s tips for family engagement or how to help students study for homework, California State PTA has a variety of ready-to-print resources available. PTA leaders are encouraged to download, print and share any of these documents with your parents, members and school communities!

Materials for Download

Check here for any new handouts throughout the season.

Student assessment score reports will be released to schools in September

Parents should expect to see student score reports for last spring’s standardized tests a bit later than expected, this fall rather than during the summer. California state officials say they want to take extra care, since this is the first time for these tests, to make sure everything is accurate and complete before the official release.

California State PTA will keep parents and families updated with any new information we receive. Take a look at this video from the California Department of Education to learn more about the assessment score reports.

About the new student assessments
The new computer-based tests measure student knowledge of California’s English language arts and mathematics standards for grades 3-8 and 11.

It is important to remember that the assessment system is new, and student score reports will be new and look different. Scores from the new tests cannot be compared to anything our kids have done before. Previous scores were connected to different standards which were assessed in a different way.

The first score reports are a starting point and just one measure of how your child is doing. Parent-teacher conferences and back-to-school nights are a great time to talk with your child’s teacher and school principal about the score reports and the new assessments.

Article brought to you by the California State PTA.

San Diego Unified Council PTA mobilizes community-based resources for low-income preschool families

In January 2014, the San Diego Unified Council of PTAs (SDUCPTA) discovered there was an opportunity for a $10,000 Smart from the Start Community Outreach Grant sponsored by the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation.

SDUCPTA serves to support nearly 80 units within the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), which is the second largest school district in California with 200 schools and over 130, 000 students enrolled in grades K-12. This district also has over 4,200 students enrolled in nearly 60 low-income state preschool and child development centers.

Celeste Bobryk-Ozaki, Vice President of Legislation at the time, was inspired to apply on behalf of SDUCPTA because of California State PTA’s advocacy in early childhood education, as well as being a mother of three children. We were pleased to receive one of the 10 grants awarded to PTA councils, regions and districts.

We spent time researching selected sites that would most likely be able to commit to be a part of the project as well as conduct field research on the various types of community-based events that would engage families. Four state preschool sites were identified and marketed to pilot the Pre-K Energy Balance Curriculum from Together Counts™, which teaches kids ages 3-5 about the importance of energy balance: balancing the calories we consume through eating and drinking with the calories we burn through physical activity.

Each of the preschool sites were given a hardcopy of the curriculum available in English and Spanish as well as “Starter Kits.” Professional development trainings provided the preschool teachers with insight on implementing the activities in the curriculum. Preschool teachers were asked to participate in an exercise to read a lesson, share what they liked about it and how they would carry out the activity. They were also asked to share their input on ideas for a parent engagement activity.

PDTrainingPreschool teachers from the participating sites at a professional development training at Whitman Elementary.

StarterKit_1Materials provided by SDUCPTA given to preschool teachers to carry out activities in the curriculum.

While the preschool teachers started to implement and incorporate the materials and lessons of the curriculum into their classroom, the next phase of the project was to organize a parent engagement event focusing on healthy lifestyles that included:

  • Community-based organizations’ invitation to participate in an Energy Balance Fair.
  • Parents given the opportunity to take a nutrition class titled “Rethink your Drink” led by Social Advocacy for Youth of San Diego (SAY San Diego).
  • Families given the opportunity to visit different booths and participate in games and arts and crafts.

BakerElementaryParents at Baker Elementary making “Veggie Superhero” capes.

EBBannerEach of the four preschool sites were given assets that they could keep should they want to make this an annual event such as a custom banner and “ChooseMyPlate” themed games.

While most of the funding was geared towards materials and resources for the Energy Balance Fairs in the school district, the remaining funds will be used to invite the families to participate in a summer program in an effort to continue and reinforce the concepts of energy balance.

This program includes a nutrition and cooking class led by SAY San Diego, an interactive grocery store tour and encourages families to participate in the Summer Fun Café program offered by the Food Services of SDUSD. This fall, I will continue to engage with the teachers by creating an online forum for them to share and support ideas for the curriculum.

SFTSTeachersCeleste Bobryk-Ozaki (center) with the teachers that piloted the curriculum.

Overall, the project was a success! We reached nearly 200 students by introducing them to the energy balance curriculum and nearly 90 families participated in each of the Energy Balance fairs.

Celeste Bobryk-Ozaki has been a member of PTA for nearly 10 years and has served as a PTA local leader for four years prior to serving as a board member of the San Diego Unified Council of PTAs. She is now serving as the president of San Diego Unified Council of PTAs for the 2015-2017 term and strives to continue to support and advocate for all children as well as to strengthen and leverage existing partnerships to build a stronger community.

This article has been published on the National PTA’s Blog – One Voice, check are more articles here

President’s Message-August 2015


President’s Message

First day of school is just a few weeks away but as PTA Leaders there is still work to do.  Over the summer, the new board should continue to meet primarily to wrap-up that last fiscal year and plan for the next school year.   At a minimum, the board should review the annual Financial Report, a Budget Committee is convened (chaired by the new treasurer) and presents a proposed budget, and an audit is conducted of the unit’s financial records (including secretary’s book) typically for the second half of the fiscal year.  The Unit board can only approve to present the proposed budget and audit report to be adopted by the Association.   The Unit Association has the privilege to approve the budget and adopt the Audit report.  This is important in order to maintain unit in good standing status which will allow the unit to qualify for awards, participate in programs such as the National PTA Reflections, as well as apply for grants offered by PTA.   It is also a good idea for the board to get together and have a planning meeting where they can discuss goals and priorities for the next year.  Ideas out of this session can be used to help put together the proposed budget.  Think of the budget as the “business plan” for the year but you also want to be careful not to get too specific about your line items.  Be sure to check out the Treasure’s Handbook (accessible online at our website under Training) for more tips and an example of a budget.

As I mentioned, school will be starting in a few weeks and the California State PTA as well as the National PTA has loads of helpful resources accessible for FREE to help with start-of-school jitters or to help your unit be successful.  San Diego Unified Council of PTAs is your local resource to receive leadership support and answer your questions.  We’ll be offering a President’s Training following the Back-To-School Breakfast for Principals and PTA President’s on August 18, 2015.  There are also two other training opportunities being offered by SDUCPTA for President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Auditor lead by experienced PTA Leaders on September 1, 2015 from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm and September 10, 2015 from 10:00 am – :12:00 pm.  We are also available to help over the summer by appointment or stop by during our summer office hours on Wednesdays from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.  All of these trainings as well as our office are located at the Harold J. Ballard Parent Center located at 2375 Congress Street in Old Town.  I look forward to meeting the next group PTA Leaders at the Back-To-School Breakfast or at SDUCPTA’s first General Association Meeting on September 28, 2015.


Thank you,
Celeste L. Bobryk-Ozaki