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the observer

an e-newsletter for PTA leaders from Ninth District PTA   




Dec. 24 to  Jan. 4
Office Closed

January 7
Officer Training
Ballard Parent Center
Old Town San Diego
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Jan. 21 - Feb. 2
Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom from Hunger Food Drive




February 13
Founders Day Breakfast and Annual Meeting
8:30 am - 11 am

February 25-26
Legislation Conference & Sacramento Safari

May 2-5
California State PTA Convention
San Jose, CA
June 8
Summer Leadership Conference
San Diego

June 20-23
National PTA Convention
Cincinnati, Ohio



First remittance of per capita dues 
Adhere to the due date set by your council to remain "in good standing."

2013 Insurance Premium and Workers Comp Form

Tax Returns and RRF-1 due 15th day of the fifth month after the fiscal year end

Check with your Council for specific due dates.


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From President

Karen Fleck    

December 3, 2012



     With the winter holidays right around the corner, this time Karen Fleck of year can get hectic. Sometimes I hear board members wonder if the PTA burden is too big and what the benefit is for their own children. I'm thankful for PTA and I'd like to tell you why.             

     I've been a PTA board member since my oldest was in first grade. Sometimes PTA took me away from my family, but proudly my two boys always thanked me for helping to improve their school and encouraged me to help other schools become as good as theirs.  

       My two sons are now in college - one at Purdue University in Indiana and the younger at Colorado State in Fort Collins. Both now volunteer for Push America with their fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi. Push America is focused on changing the way society views people with disabilities - raising funds and working with children. Recently, my youngest walked 60 miles in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk to help find a cure for breast cancer.   

     I believe my PTA work and willingness to pitch in and be an active part of making their school a better place has shown them that they too can -  and should - make a difference.  

     I'm thankful and proud of my sons and of all the more than 3,000 PTA board members in San Diego County who are making a difference in their community.   

     Thank you so much, don't give up and Happy Holidays!




Look for your invitation in the mail 
What do you call it when you get hundreds of PTA leaders from around San Diego in one room? You call it Ninth District PTA's Annual Meeting and Founders Day Celebration! Once again it's at the Scottish Rite Event Center in Mission Valley. Put Wednesday, February 13, 8:30 to 11 am on your calendar. We'll have speakers, awards, a report on our accomplishments plus a delicious breakfast for all. Stay tuned for more details to come.

Darlene Harris, VP Leadership
We have another new PTA in Ninth District! We welcome the families and staff of the newly-formed Eastlake High School PTSA in Chula Vista, a unit in the Sweetwater Secondary Council. The beautifully landscaped campus with a college-like appearance opened in 1992, has 2,600 students and was awarded California Distinguished School status in 2005.

Pay now to avoid the $25 late fee.  
Every PTA is covered by low-cost insurance through California State PTA. The insurance premium for 2013 is $199 for units and $131 for Councils. If you haven't yet paid, send in your check to your Council immediately to avoid the $25 late fee. 
   Have you turned in your Workers Compensation Annual Payroll Report? Every PTA unit must complete this form. If you have no employees, write "none" across the form, sign and date it. If you paid contractors, list the contractors (you can estimate how much you will pay through the end of 2012) and turn in with additional premium if needed. Download insurance bill, workers comp form and "how to" samples here. 


Shawna Straw, Treasurer
By now, all PTAs should have registered their PTA with the California Attorney General's Registry of Charitable Trusts. Once you receive your Charitable Trust number, you must renew your registration each year by filing the RRF-1 - a one-page form. The RRF-1 is due the same date as your tax returns. If you are past due, you still must file. Download the RRF-1 form here. Download an instruction guide here.

Beth Bacting, VP Member Services 
Beth Bacting

Did you know that PTAs that run more than one campaign have 20 percent more members? January is an ideal time to run a campaign. New families may have moved into your community for the start of the new semester. Parents and students are re-energized. A new year brings new opportunities to improve ourselves, our lives and the world around us. Keep your campaign going and help us reach one million members in California! More tips. 


Honor a person or organization serving the children of San Diego County
HSA Award
Every year Ninth District PTA bestows Honorary Service Awards to those in our community making a positive difference in the lives of children. We are seeking nominations from the community. Candidates must serve children throughout San Diego County, not just one school or school district. Our honorees will be presented with their Honorary Service Awards at the Annual Meeting and Founders Day Breakfast on February 13.  Submit your nominations.

Keep your Finances up to date
Mid-year audits usually are done during the month of January. Check your bylaws for your PTA's schedule. Now is the time to prepare. Secretaries, make sure all minutes are posted in a bound Secretary book. Treasurers, get your books ready to turn over to the auditor. Auditors, read up on your duties and consider attending the January 7 Auditor Class offered by San Diego Unified Council. Presidents, make sure your audit is adopted at an Association meeting. Learn more.

San Diego Unified Council opens their training to Ninth District 
Once again, San Diego Unified Council is opening their training January officer training event to PTA leaders throughout Ninth District. They will have separate classes for Presidents and Vice Presidentd, Treasurers, Secretaries and Auditors. Training will be held on Monday, January 7, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, at the Ballard Parent Center in Old Town. Class is free so take advantage of this training if you are new or need a refresher.  Learn more.


Legislation Conference & Sacramento Safari, February 25 and 26, 2013
State capitol
Join our delegation in Sacramento  for the California State PTA Legislation Conference. On day one, you'll get trained from key experts about issues affecting children and schools. Day two, you'll put this training into action by visiting our San Diego legislators. Step up and make a difference by coming to Sacramento. Cost is approximately $600. Learn more.

Steve Tutunjian, Historian

The council/unit historian is essential to capturing and archiving the unit's evolution from its beginning, charter memberships and achievements to collecting and reporting volunteer hours (IRS requirement). Historian records, like minutes, are kept forever. The historian prepares the Annual Historian Report for the president's signature. Refer to "Historian" job description on page 431 of the Toolkit.

     We appreciate that units continue to send in 2011-12 Annual Historian Reports which are noted in respective council/unit files. These figures could have been included in the District's annual report to CAPTA but were omitted. Yes, we can amend our original figure, but more often than not, our initial figure is the one reported by State to National. So, for the 2012-13 reporting cycle, let's work together to get our annual reports in by May 1st.

Finding the Best People to Lead your PTA
Every PTA wants the best qualified, available nominees for Nominating Committee each elected office. That's the role of the nominating committee. The nominating committee is so important they are elected, not appointed. The nominating committee is usually elected in January or February. Check your bylaws to find out the specific details of your nominating committee. Learn more.

Heather Bush, VP Parent Involvement
Heather Bush

The main goal of this communication is to share information between the school and families.

All families should feel that the school keeps them informed on important issues and events and that it is easy to communicate with teachers, the principal, and other school staff.

    What can our PTA do?

  • Make sure all information is communicated in languages and formats to reach all parents.
  • Make use of all channels of communication: cable television, newspapers, radio, automated phone systems, text messaging, school and PTA websites, etc.
  • Include a two-way communication mechanism, such as a question-and-answer section or mini survey, in each edition of your newsletter.
  • Sponsor events that allow educators and parents to interact socially, in addition to parent-teacher conferences and regular school meetings.

By taking action, your PTA can help all parents feel more welcome and more connected to the school and their community.


Shirley Salado, EFNEP Nutrition Educator
Shirley Salado
Happy Holidays! I'm Shirley Salado with the University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources. EFNEP (Expanded Food & Nutrition Education Program) is a program of "no cost nutrition classes" to men and women with children from 0-19 years old. Schools can email me if you're interested in offering classes at your school.
      I'll also be sharing wonderful ways to promote nutritionally sound diets to your entire school community. This month we are offering two flyers to publish in your PTA newsletters or websites. The December flyer is a guide to holiday leftovers. For January, we include a healthy shopping list for the new you!  
Holiday Leftovers flyer   English  Spanish 
New Years Flyer   English  Spanish

Which high school can collect the most food?
Ninth District PTA is once again supporting the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom from Hunger Food Drive. Every high school food bank logo Associated Student Body (ASB) in San Diego County is invited to participate.  The food challenge will run January 21 through February 2, 2013. The high schools that collect the most food will receive a donation to their ASB. Awards will be presented at the Laurels for Leaders Luncheon saluting all San Diego County High School ASB Presidents on February 19. Encourage your high school ASB to participate.
Learn more.

PTA pitches in to help schools damaged in storms
school damage
National PTA has established a special grant program to assist schools and PTAs impacted by Superstorm Sandy. If you would like to help, your donation can help rebuild the school communities that need it most. Give today.

New initiative aims to bring arts education to every school in San Diego County
In California, arts education is mandated, yet only 11% of public schools are meeting state goals for arts instruction. Arts Empower San Diego wants to change that. The goal is to provide every student in San art Diego County public schools with a well-rounded education that includes the arts. The initiative is the result of a partnership between the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE), The San Diego Foundation, Young Audiences, The California Arts Project and the philanthropic community.  Learn more.
Submit an online thank you card by December 8
The Mission Federal Credit Union "I'm Thankful for my teacher Teacher Because" program offers kids and parents the chance to take a moment this holiday season to thank a teacher for their hard work, dedication, enthusiasm and willingness to go the extra mile for our students and their families. Learn more.

KyXy presents the Ashford University Book Club
Join KyXy Radio and the Ashford University Book Club and start reading today! Students, parents, and teachers grades K-5 read one of the pre-selected books for the month. Each month one lucky classroom will win a reading party, hosted by KyXy on-air personality Little Tommy from the Jeff and Jer Showgram!  Learn more.

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Laura Schumacher
The Observer Editor