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the observer

a bimonthly e-newsletter from Ninth District PTA



August  12

PTA EZ Training Unit & Council Treasurer Training


September 13 & 14

Reflection Training 




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Ninth District PTA Mission Statement
Our mission is to advocate for all the children and youth of San Diego and Imperial

 Ninth District PTA will provide service, support, training, leadership and guidance to councils and out-of-council units.

 We will assist units through communication, counsel, consultation and mediation, projects and providing PTA resources.

 We will serve our community through education, collaboration and resource services.


From District President

Karen Fleck

August 5, 2011


Karen Fleck


   Ah - the smell of new backpacks, fresh pencils, new clothes (and an empty wallet). It must be back to school time. 


    We hope you feel prepared and excited to take on the new year in your PTA role. I'm honored to represent you as Ninth District PTA President for the next two years. We're busy planning a year designed to support you and help your unit succeed. 


      Goal setting, program planning, setting calendars, forming budgets, finishing audits and end-of-year financial reports, planning membership campaigns and Back-to-School Welcomes as well as that first Association Meeting - it's hardly feeling like summer when I list it all. 


      To get you started, we have free training classes in August and September. Lots to do but the smiles on kids faces after a great event, the "thank yous" from new parents, and the better world you're helping to create in your school community - those things make it all worthwhile.




P.S. Presidents, start looking for your California State PTA summer mailing with the new Toolkit in about two weeks. Be sure and share the contents with your board.


Request your National PTA Back to School Kit

Unit and Council Presidents - sign up to receive your National PTA Official Back to School Kit for your PTA. It's full of resources to run your unit including membership posters and brochures, program and advocacy information and special offers from national partners. The kit is free but you must register on-line to receive it. You will need your unit ID number from your bylaws. Use your home address for the mailing since it will be mailed over the summer. Register for your free kit. 


Membership Dues Increase

After ten years of rising costs absorbed by National PTA, delegates to the 115th National PTA Convention approved a 50-cent dues increase, raising the national dues to $2.25 effective July 1, 2011. State and district dues remain the same. PTAs can either absorb the increase or raise their dues 50-cents. Frequently asked questions on dues increase 

Learn how to use PTAEZ

Wouldn't it be great if there was a financial software package especially designed for PTAs. Now there is! It's called PTAEZ and units can purchase through the California State PTA. Using PTAEZ will strengthen financial controls, generate your PTA financial reports, help you file tax returns and much more. Come to a free workshop on PTAEZ on Friday, August 12 from 10 am to noon at the San Diego County Office of Education.  Learn more.


Unit and Council Treasurer Training

Shawna Straw, Treasurer 

Sign up for free training to learn the ins and outs of the treasurer job. We'll show you the ropes and answer all your questions. It's for anyone who wants a better understanding of PTA finances. The training will be on Friday, August 12 from 1 pm to 3 pm at the San Diego Office of Education. Learn more. 


Order your Legoland Coupons

LegolandBeth Bacting, VP Membership
It's always nice to offer perks to new members. PTA members can receive one free ticket to LEGOLAND with every full-priced paid admission. This is a great incentive for parents, teachers or anyone with young children to join your PTA. Order the coupons direct from LEGOLAND to have them available at the start of your fall membership campaign. Learn more. 


September is National Preparedness Month. Are you Ready?

Mindy Thomason, VP Community Concerns

Being prepared doesn't just mean for earthquakes or fire. Have you thought about being prepared for extreme heat? flu season? power outages? Below is a link to all these topics and much more, in English and Spanish. I encourage you to ready yourself, and tell your family and friends to be ready.  Encourage your PTA units to start promoting September National Preparedness Month too! A great site is and to help you prepare your children. Get Ready, Get Set... Be Prepared! Learn more. 


Historian Corner

Steve Tutunjian, Historian

Every unit and council should have an historian position within the Executive Board.This position is often down-played, but, in fact, is essential to capturing and archiving the unit's evolution from its beginning, charter memberships and achievements to collecting and reporting volunteer hours. Historian records, like minutes, should be kept forever.  Most importantly, the historian assists the president in preparing the Annual Report (Chapter 2.3.5a; Forms Chapter 9 - California State PTA Toolkit).  Please refer to the "Historian" job description on page 413 of the Toolkit - Learn more.  Councils should address historian issues to Ninth District Historian, Steve Tutjinian or call (858) 382-0911.


New Rule for School - Whooping Cough Booster

ImmunizationProof required for 7th-12th graders to start school 

Get the message to parents that all students entering grades 7-12 must show proof they've received a booster shot for pertussis, also known as whooping cough. Whopping cough is highly contagious and on the rise in California. The State has given schools an extra 30 days after classes begin to bring proof but parents shouldn't delay. If they wait until the last minute, there may be a backlog of teens trying to get a booster shot right before school starts. Students should visit their doctor, a local retail pharmacy or if they don't have insurance, a County public health center. Learn more. 


Sip Jamba Juice to Support your School

Jamba JuiceYour unit can earn money through the Jamba Juice School Appreciation Card only available to PTAs. Register and you'll receive a set of swipe cards to pass out to students, parents and other PTA supporters. Then every time they swipe their card at Jamba Juice, 10% of the proceeds will be donated, to your unit and 2% to National PTA.  Learn more.  


PTA Healthy Lifestyles Grant - up to $1,000

Girl skip ropeApply by September 2
National PTA is offering grants to units and councils for innovative programs to combat childhood obesity. Programs most likely to receive grants are ones that limit sugar-sweetened beverages, emphasize fruits and vegetables, moderate portion sizes, increase physical activity and reduce screen time. If your PTA is using best practices to combat childhood obesity, consider applying. Learn more.


FinnFest Brave Questions Education Seminar

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Finland consistently ranks as one of the best school systems in the world. What can we learn from Finland? Come to FinnFest to find out. Brave Questions is the first ever Finnish-American public education event organized in conjunction with FinnFest. This free event brings together teachers, administrators, parents, and others interested in and affected by public education. Themes focus on "Brave Questions" including successful practices, teacher education, early childhood education, bullying, school violence, special education, and foreign language instruction. The keynote speaker is world renowned Finnish school reform scholar, Dr. Pasi Sahlberg. Register for this free event. 


Gardening 301 - Start a School Garden

gardenFree classes offered
If you want to get involved in starting or sustaining a garden at your school, come to this free class. Select from two dates:  Saturday, August 13 or Saturday, August 20. Classes are 8 am to noon at Olivewood Gardens in National City This is a great place to meet community members with similar goals in supporting school gardens. Learn more.

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Laura Schumacher
The Observer Editor