MCCPTA Year in Review, 2012-2013                                    July  2013

The leaders and volunteers of MCCPTA and the 190 local PT(S)As in Montgomery County accomplished much for our students and schools during the 2012-2013 school year.  As we enjoy well deserved summer vacations--and plan for the academic year ahead--please take a few moments to read this special edition of MCCPTA News and Updates and to reflect on the work and the accomplishments of the past twelve months.  


Thanks again to all those whose efforts and support made 2012-2013 an outstanding year for PTA in Montgomery County, and in doing so made a difference for our children, families, and schools. 


Janette Gilman

President, Montgomery County Council of PTAs
We Advocated
MCCPTA and local PTA advocacy efforts influenced decisions on Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) programs and priorities, and helped win County Council support to fund student needs. MCCPTA leaders logged hours of testimony, and local PTAs engaged members to complete over 2,000 One Voice postcards that were delivered to the Council in support of our schools. Here are just a few of the MCCPTA CIP budget and operating budget priorities that were acted upon: 
  • Supplemental county funding for the MCPS Technology Initiative to put Promethean boards in all elementary classrooms and wireless networks in every school before the start of the coming school year and eliminate the technology divide.
  • Six (6) additional School Resource Officers (SROs) were added to the county operating budget, moving forward MCCPTA efforts to restore SROs to all high schools.
  • The approved $2.23 billion FY 2014 operating budget addresses key PTA concerns on the implementation of Curriculum 2.0 and Common Core State Standards, including expanded professional development to support curriculum implementation, creation of a Mathematics Implementation Team to work with schools to improve the capacity of teachers to serve students, and ten new elementary school teacher positions to provide accelerated math instruction.
  • Inclusion in the final FY 2014 operating budget of funding for additional staff development teachers, counselors, school psychologists, and the implementation of the IB Middle Years Programme at Martin Luther King and Roberto W. Clemente middle schools.
PTA advocacy also impacted debate and action in Annapolis. MCCPTA leaders tirelessly let our legislators know our positions on the full range of educational issues, importantly including our stand on burden of proof, school resources officers, and state funding for education.  
  • PTA won significant administrative and financial relief for our operations with the passage of HB232, the Use and Sales Tax Exemption. The bill, which passed unanimously in the Maryland House of Delegates and Maryland Senate and was signed by Governor Martin O'Malley on May 16, exempts PTAs from sending sales taxes to the state on fundraisers effective July 1. 
We Grew
With almost half our Montgomery County PT(S)As growing or retaining their membership this year--some more than doubling their size--we had a feeling our countywide membership was on the grow. It was!
With the final tally for the 2012-2013 year in, MCCPTA is proud to announce that we grew to over 47,500 members, topping our previous year's membership of 46,922, and increasing our aggregated membership for the first time in over six years!  
Our Board of Directors also grew.  At our April 2013 elections, we elected an almost full slate of cluster coordinators (every cluster can elect up to three cluster coordinators) and welcomed many new faces to PTA at the county level! 
Thank you to all the local PTA membership leaders and our MCCPTA Membership and Engagement leaders whose work in letting parents, students, staff, and community members know the value of PT(S)A membership enabled Montgomery County's 190 PT(S)A units to grow the numbers, develop the leaders, and crank up the voice in which we speak and work for our children, families, and schools. 
We Represented
MCCPTA represented PTAs and parents on dozens of interview panels, work groups, and local associations and organizations. 
  • MCCPTA participated in the MCPS budget work group that informed FY2014 MCPS Operating Budget formulation, ensuring that PTA priorities were on the table and well understood.
  • MCCPTA is part of the High School Bell Times Workgroup set up in Fall 2013 to look at the question of later start times for high schools and the broad implications of change, to include impact on after school activities, before- and after-care for younger students, student performance, student health, and cost.
  • MCCPTA shared the PTA perspective on the operating budget with County Councilmembers, Board of Education members, and other local advocacy groups, including the Montgomery County Taxpayers League.
  • MCCPTA has named two representatives to the Math Exam Work Group, a team composed of teachers, principals, administrators, and parents, that will look broadly at the full range of issues related to instruction and exams. This group will begin work this summer and continue to meet throughout the Fall semester.    
We Trained Leaders
MCCPTA provided new and returning PT(S)A leaders with two major, free training opportunities, our annual MCCPTA Fall and Spring Training sessions. And our local PT(S)A officers took full advantage; over 250 leaders attended training in Fall 2012 and we estimate over 350 participated in our Spring 2013 session, a new MCCPTA record!
Workshops were offered at these events for every PT(S)A position, in addition to classes on a host of topics designed to get our PT(S)As off to a running start and support their work year round. Importantly, these sessions also afford our local and county leaders the opportunity to network with one another.
MCCPTA also supported the annual financial training requirement--a mandatory requirement for all treasurers and one additional board member from each PT(S)A--with supplemental training sessions last Fall and Winter, including hosting Maryland PTA leaders who deliver this training in October 2012. Well over 90% of our PT(S)As meet this requirement last year!
We Enriched 
MCCPTA again hosted events and showcases, coordinated and guided local unit participation in the National PTA Reflections program, and facilitated and expanded contacts with generous MCCPTA sponsors to enrich the educational experience of our almost 149,000 students.
  • The 2nd Annual MCCPTA Performing Arts Festival and our MCCPTA Model United Nations provided students (and parent volunteers) with opportunities to showcase their talents, knowledge, and skills.
  • Our students soared in this year's PTA Reflections program, with Montgomery County students taking multiple honors at the state and national levels. Watch THIS VIDEO to view their work.    
We Informed  

A new MCCPTA website,, expanded use of social media, e-newsletters, and a variety of programs, fora, and workshops throughout the year gave our members and community a wealth of resources and exposure to information on our student's education. 

  • MCCPTA Presents! programs featured experts on a range of topics, from Superintendent Starr speaking on Social-Emotion Learning to the Assistant State Superintendent from MSDE speaking on Common Core State Standards.
  • MCCPTA hosted three workshops looking at language arts, math, and science curriculum respectively across K-12 to keep parents on top of the developments and changes being implemented in our classrooms.  
  • MCCPTA responded to community concerns in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy by bringing together MCPS security experts and leaders, Montgomery County Police Department leadership, and elected officials, including County Executive Ike Leggett, for an action forum on safety in our schools in January.
  • MCCPTA hosted a packed Operating Budget Forum in February at which PTA members had an opportunity to question County Executive Leggett, County Council President Navarro and several other councilmembers, all members of the Board of Education, and MCPS Superintendent Starr on funding for our schools.    
We Celebrated Achievement 

We honored students, volunteers, school staff, and membership accomplishments.

  • Our Reflections celebration and showcase in March 2013 displayed the talents and recognized the work of the hundreds of students who participated in this annual National PTA-sponsored competition. Many students from Montgomery County received awards at the state level, and four of our children went on to receive National PTA honors!
  • Outstanding volunteers and PT(S)As with membership growth or accomplishments were honored at our annual MCCPTA Presidents and Principals Dinner, held in May 2013 at the Bethesda North Marriott and Conference Center. Over 450 individuals--including PTA presidents, tens of MCPS principals and school system leaders, students, as well as elected officials--participated in an evening of reflection and recognition.
  • MCCPTA proudly hosted our 25th Annual MCCPTA Special Education Awards Ceremony at Rockville High School in May 2013.  This celebration honors the volunteers, students, staff, and programs that contributed to the success of all our students. 
We Engaged
MCCPTA's Multicultural Awareness Committee and Membership and Engagement Committee joined the efforts of other Hispanic organizations in Montgomery County to reach out to parents and draw them in to schools through PTA. This effort included working with local PTAs to find ways to reach out to all in their communities, and a notable event at Brookhaven Elementary School (home of the MCPS Teacher of the Year and BES PTA Treasurer Cristina Ulrich) that included Superintendent Starr, County Council President Nancy Navarro, BOE President Chris Barclay, and MCCPTA leaders.
We also ramped up efforts to tap into our students.  The MCCPTA Student Involvement Committee began work to encourage student membership in our PTSAs and to engage students in a range of projects for MCCPTA.  This year, that work included leading a canned food drive for Manna and producing two videos, including THIS ONE--featured at our Presidents & Principals Dinner--demonstrating the work of MCCPTA.  If yours is a PTSA, we challenge you to have at least one student member on your Board of Directors in 2013-2014 and to at least double the number of student members!  
We Spoke in One Voice 

MCCPTA delegates debated, amended, and passed several resolutions that established a united Montgomery County PTA voice on key priorities and concerns.

  • In April, a resolution focused on parent concerns with elementary grading and reporting was passed by the Delegates Assembly. That resolution was shared with key MCPS leaders, and MCCPTA continues to work with the school system on ways to enable parents to better understand their student's academic growth and needs.
  • In March, a resolution was passed encouraging local PTAs to make advocacy to reduce gun violence a Montgomery County priority. This resolution affirmed the position of National PTA on this critical safety issue.
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