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the observer

a bimonthly e-newsletter for PTA leaders from Ninth District PTA   




September 19 

Fall Officer Training
8:30 am - 10 am
PTA Basics

10 am - 12 noon

President, Treasurer, Membership, Reflections


7 pm - 9 pm

Treasurer and Reflections  





2012-2013 Board Roster (if not already submitted)


Annual Financial Report for 2011-12  

due in September

End of Year
Audit Report and Audit Checklist due in October

Budget for 2012-13 due in October

Ready, Set ...Remit!

Award - 30 memberships due in October

Check with your Council for specific due dates.


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From Executive Vice President  Carol Green  

September 6, 2012



The back-to-school season is upon us. Actually, our official school start Carol Green dates in San Diego and Imperial counties are spread out from mid-July to after Labor Day, but September still represents the start of the new season - just check out the ads for new clothes and school supplies.  But for me the new school year is a fresh start where anything is possible - new friends, new projects, better grades and different activities.


As a PTA leader, I'm eternally optimistic. I think this is the year I will get everyone involved.  The year we will solve the big problem.  The year we will make a difference in the lives of the children in our community.  And despite the current state of the budget in California or the school district or the school, I think this will be the year we fix this.


I hope you share my optimism and I hope you do something about it.   Here are three things you can do to make this the best year ever:

  1. Join your PTA or PTSA (and ask all your family and friends to do the same). The larger our membership, the louder our voice.
  2.  Get involved at the level you can.  If everyone does what they can, no one will be stuck doing too much.
  3.  Vote in November with our mission in mind. The PTA supports and opposes many initiatives based on research and information and how the initiatives align with our mission.  Do a little homework and share your information with friends.  Throughout our history, PTA has taken the lead in changing laws to protect children and families.  

Enjoy the year ahead.  It's sure to hold a few surprises.  Here's to the best year ever!


Darlene Harris, VP Leadership 
Darlene Harris new
Two months into the PTA year -- time flies! Usually around this time questions arise. Ninth District wants to keep you on the right track. We're holding a Fall Officer Training on Wednesday, September 19 at the San Diego County Office of Education.
   The PTA Basics class starts at 8:30 am for that first-time board member or chairperson. PTA Basics will answer questions you may have on the Toolkit, forms and general information flow from your unit upwards.
    The other classes are President, Treasurer, Membership and a Reflections workshop all starting at 10 am until 12 noon. In the evening from 7 to 9 pm, we repeat the Treasurer and Reflections workshop. Keep a watch out, we may add more classes.
    RSVP early with your name, unit, council, and the class you chose. Space is limited!!


Register online by September 7  
Council and Unit Presidents, you still have a few more daservcie mailingys to order your National PTA Offical Back to School Kit. It's full of lots of great PTA information, promotions, posters, etc.

Beth Bacting, VP Member Services 
Membership card

Membership chairs, by now you should have your first batch of our new membership cards. If you don't have them yet, contact your Council president or call the Ninth District PTA office at 858-268-8077. We now have a template to make printing them a cinch! Learn more. 


New and Improved! 

California State PTA has a new membership envelope. It's more colorful, easier to fill out, and has strong marketing messages. Envelopes cost $3 per 100 and are available from your Council or the Ninth District PTA office.


Shawna Straw, Treasurer
    Don't wait for the deadline to file your tax returns and the RRF-1 for last school year. File now and get them off your "to do" list.
  • Every PTA must file an RRF-1. This is a new requirement for units. It can be filed on-line and you may need to pay a fee if you earned more than $25,000 last fiscal year.
  • Every PTA must file either a 990-N, 990-EZ or 990 with the IRS. Failure to do so on time may result in the PTA losing its tax exempt status.    
  • Every PTA must file a 199 or 199N with the Franchise Tax Board. Missing this requirement could result in a penalty assessment ($800!) and loss of non-profit status from the State of California.

If you need help, contact your Council or click here for some helpful filing tips from California State PTA.  


$199 for units, $131 for councils  

One of the benefits of being a PTA is our low-cost comprehensive insurance. Pay your 2013 insurance early to keep your PTA in good standing and avoid late fees.  Here is an invoice for your treasurer. Check with your council for insurance due dates. 

Brenda Davis, Secretary
Brenda Davis

The California State PTA has adopted Professional Governance Standards and encourages all local PTA Executive Boards to review and adopt the standards. While your PTA's bylaws and standing rules form the framework for your organization, adherence to professional standards such as confidentiality, respect, openness to new ideas will help you govern responsibly. You can read all the standards in the Professional Governance Standards brochure.  

     After adopting the standards, your PTA may complete and submit the form in the brochure to California State PTA and receive a certificate and wallet cards for your board. The Ninth District PTA District Board adopted these standards at our August 2012 meeting.


Michael Opfer, Auditor 
Michael - Auditor
Last year's auditor should have completed the 2011-12 year-end audit by now. (Treasurers should not accept the books until they have been audited.) Presidents, include adoption of the audit as part of your next association meeting agenda. Once your members adopt the audit, the secretary records the date on the Audit Report.
   When you forward your audit to your Council or Ninth District if out of council, include three items - the Audit Report with the numerical reconciliation, the Audit Checklist and the recommendations for improvement - if any.

"Rappin' Mathematician" Alex Kajitani from Escondido, kicks it in high gear for Yes on Prop 38
Music Video: The Rappin' Mathematician - California Teacher of the Year Alex Kajitani: I am 38 
Do the math yourself and see why 38 is great! See how much your school would receive in guaranteed new funding and post the information to your Facebook page.  


Bey-Ling Sha, Ninth District Prop 38 Campaign Chair  
Bey-ling sha

If you want to be part of the campaign to make our schools a priority again, come to our next Prop 38 speaker training. You'll learn all about the Prop 38 education initiative and how it will invest in an entire generation of California students from early childhood education to high school. Then we'll show you how to take that positive message to the media, your local school board and the community groups in your neighborhood. Small-group training sessions are being offered throughout September. If you want to be a Prop 38 Speaker, please email me ASAP.  


Cathy Roth
Cathy Roth
Is your PTA celebrating the arts during National Arts in Education Week, September 9-15?  If so, let us know and we'll feature your plans on our Facebook page. California State PTA has some great ideas on how you can celebrate the arts during this week. Learn more.

Free Reflections Training on Sep. 19 
Reflections logo

Encourage creativity in your students! Reflections is a National PTA program celebrating the arts. The 2012-13 theme is "The Magic of a Moment".

Young artists can interpret through writing literature, illustrating visual arts, putting movement in dance choreography, producing a film, photographing their interpretation or composing music. PTA Reflections starts at the unit level and judged pieces advance through their Council, District and State PTAs to National PTA Reflections where student artists from around the country are recognized for their outstanding creativity. All PTA/PTSA units in good standing are encouraged to participate.

   This year an exciting new division was introduced - the Special Artist Division. This is a non-graded division limited to students whose physical, cognitive or mental health challenges meet the guidelines in the American Disabilities Act.

    Come to a free Reflections training session (morning or evening) for units and councils on September 19th to learn how to bring Reflections to your students. Learn more. 


Vanessa Forsythe, Health Specialist, RNC 
healthy child

Will your PTA unit commit to doing at least one healthy school fundraiser this year?

Consider these numbers for a typical candy bar fundraiser for students in an average 6th grade of 97 students selling 50 candy bars per box totaling 4,850 candy bars containing a total of: 44,862 teaspoons of sugar; 27,887 teaspoons of fat; which is 1,940,000 calories which becomes 554 pounds of body fat. There are healthier fundraiser alternatives. Learn more.


Heather Bush, VP Parent Involvement
Heather Bush

PTA has identified six standards that identify what parents, schools, and communities can do together to support student success.

   Let's first take a look at Standard 1 - Welcoming All Families into the School Community. Walk into any school and you can feel right away if it's a happy, productive place where people enjoy working and learning or if it's...something else.

    The first goal of this standard is to create a welcoming climate. When families walk into the school building, they should feel that it's a place where they "belong." Are there opportunities for families to develop personal relationships with teachers and other school staff, including the principal? Is the atmosphere family friendly for everyone, not just for the in crowd?

    The beginning of the school year is a great time to evaluate this standard.

    What can your PTA do?

  • Establish a PTA welcoming committee responsible for identifying ways to make all families feel welcome.
  • Survey family members and school staff to determine how family-friendly your school is.
  • Greet other parents at school activities and events; sit with someone you don't know and get to know them.

These simple beginning-of-the-year efforts will provide a solid foundation for parent/family involvement throughout the year.

Laura Schumacher, VP Communications 
Patch is a community-specific on-line newspaper helping neighbors connect with each other. It's a great way to publicize your PTA and school events for free! You can add to their calendar, blog (about Prop 38, your events or donations your school needs). Each Patch employee volunteers one day a month - paid by Patch. PTA's can request that person. PATCH will even put up a PTA tab on their website. Check out these Patch newsletters: Carlsbad, Coronado, Encinitas, Del Mar-Carmel Valley, Imperial Beach, La Jolla, La Mesa-Mt. Helix, Lemon Grove, Poway, Ramona, Rancho Bernardo, San Carlos, Santee and Temecula


If you would like to be added to our e-mail list, please email   


Laura Schumacher
The Observer Editor