February 24, 2017 
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  Advocate for Your Children! Advocacy Newsbriefs is Here  

Although our 'Leading the Way' Lobby Day in Albany was postponed until March 13, we haven't stopped advocating for our children, families, educators and schools!

Check out these four advocacy papers on critical issues NYS PTA continues to work on:

Career and Technical Education and Pathways to Success

Restrict and Ban Marketing of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems to Children

Support a $2 Billion Investment in Our Children

Heroin and Prescription Opiates/Opioids

Take Action on Heroin and Prescription Opioids Treatment and Prevention!

Tell Albany that you support prevention and treatment for heroin and opioid abuse, which continues to devastate families and communities across New York. Take Action HERE and send a message to the governor and your state legislators urging action.

Advocacy Newsbriefs

The Febraury issue of Advocacy Newsbriefs is HERE! Highlights include:

NYS PTA's Testimony to the NYS Legislature on budget priorities, including this video.

Information on summer food service program for children.

  PTA Stands With ALL Students, Greatly Disappointed With Administration's Rescission of Guidance to Protect Transgender Students  

The Administration's recent decisions to rescind certain protections for transgender students is a cause for great concern.

NYS PTA firmly stands with all students, especially our transgender and LGBTQ students, to ensure a safe space to learn, free from bullying and intolerance.

Nationlal PTA issued THIS statement, and President Laura Bay offered that "National PTA is extremely disappointed that the Administration has rescinded the guidance. Every child deserves to receive a great education in a setting free from discrimination, harassment and violence."

Governor Andrew Cuomo has detailed protections for New York Students HERE, and stated "As the federal government seeks to roll back the progress we have achieved toward equality, we in New York will never stop fighting to ensure the LBGTQ community and all Americans are afforded the equal protections guaranteed to them by the United States Constitution."

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia jointly issued THIS reminder that New York State protects transgender students. "The Trump Administration's decision to rescind this guidance sends a dangerous and divisive message and threatens some of our most vulnerable young people," Attorney General Schneiderman said. "Our most sacred duty as parents, educators and leaders of state agencies is to protect all of the children in our care," said Commissioner Elia.

  Your Voice Matters in Albany: Survey and Focus Group + Letter from Commissioner Elia  

The NYS Education Department (SED) just released a survey on "Possible Indicators of School Quality and Student Success," a tool which will be used to develop New York's Every Student Succeeds (ESSA) plan, the new federal education law.

See HERE for the link to the ESSA page with more details. Please consider taking the survey, which can he found HERE.

Also, HERE is a list of local public meetings on the ESSA plan development, RSVP is necessary.

SED Wants Your Input on Principal Preparation

SED is also looking for PTA members like you to attend focus groups around the state and discuss principal preparation.

HERE is your invitation to sign up for one of the 20 focus groups that will be taking place across New York.

SED has allotted four spaces at every focus group for parents. The topic is principal preparation in NYS, and you will be reacting to possible recommendations that may be presented to the NYS Board of Regents.

Please compete the application as soon as possible if you are interested in attending.

Letter to NYS PTA Members from NYS Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia

Dear Parents,

I would like to make you aware of two significant actions that NYSED took this week. Yesterday, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and I issued a reminder that New York State protects transgender students.

Click HERE to read more.

  Make a Difference Today, Join PTA! Making Every Child's Potential A Reality!  

Last Chance! "Tell a Friend Member Challenge"

Every child needs a champion! Want bragging rights for yourself and your PTA? Want to win a fun prize too? Grab your phone or tablet and take the "Tell a Friend" Challenge!

We challenge you to invite your personal and social media friends and family to support ALL children by joining your local PTA online today.

Help us to strengthen our voice to advocate for ALL children's education, health, welfare and safety. This is what makes #PTAAwesome!

How to enter: Send your list of friends and family who join your PTA from today through February 28 to membership@nyspta.org no later than March 5.

The two members with the highest number of friends who join will win a $25 gift certificate to shop the PTA store. Even better, you'll have bragging rights on the NYS PTA Facebook page, Twitter and we will feature your efforts in the PTAlert! (In case of a tie, winners will be selected by random drawing).

Tell a friend and help us support ALL children!

Is Your Unit Celebrating Membership?

We are excited to have units who are already celebrating this year!

Is your PTA one of the 220 units who have already met their membership goal?

Is your PTA one of the 178 units who are less than 10% away from their membership goal?

Is your PTA one of the 239 units who are less than 20% away from their membership goal?

Check back often as we revise and update membership benefits here!

  Parent Resources  

Kid-safe browsers and search sites let kids investigate topics while protecting them. Read more here.

Here are seven tips for teaching your kid how to be a good sport.

Check out these must-try coding websites and coding apps for students!

  Tech Tip  

Have you recently upgraded to Windows 10 on your PC? Are you questioning which browser will work the best now? Here's a great comparison of the different browsers with a list of pros and cons.

No need to feel left out Apple users! Here's a comparison of browsers for Mac products.

Just remember that no matter what platform you are on, the Chrome browser will play the best with Google products like Gmail.

  New Member Benefit for High School Families  

NYS PTA is proud to offer a new College Planning Center for New York's high school families.

See HERE for college planning services from College Select.

Families can sign up for a deeply discounted college planning account to organize everything for your high school student, as they make this important transition into college and career.

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