April 13, 2018 
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  NYS PTA on the 3-8 English Language Arts Assessments  

NYS PTA is in the process of reviewing many reports of issues with the Wednesday and Thursday 3-8 English Language Arts (ELA) Assessments.

We are extremely concerned about technological failures by Questar Assessments, Inc., the vendor who was awarded the NYS testing contract. We are glad that the State Education Department has announced that they will be holding Questar Assessments, Inc. fully accountable for this error.

Reports indicate more than 30,000 students had work lost, or had total system failures when trying to take the assessments on computers. Further, we are aware that bandwidth and other technical issues plagued some school districts who were trying to administer computer based assessments.

It was also disappointing that the state budget was passed without addressing the backlog of Smart Schools Bond Act Plans that have yet to be reviewed or approved.

Students who were unable to finish should not have to re-take these assessments.

Click HERE to read more.

  Thank You! Membership Update  

Hundreds of new parents, educators and families joined NYS PTA on March 28, the oldest and largest child advocacy organization in our country!

IMPORTANT - If you have not received your PTA Membership card, then your membership has not been registered with NYS PTA. Please reach out to your unit leaders and ask for your membership to be registered and paid for, so you receive your card.

April/May Contest

Good Apple Growth Awards* Membership Growth over last year Gold 100% - Silver 50% - Bronze 25%

*Dues must be received in the state office by June 30 (not post-marked)

BADGE BONUS: Highest Statewide Percentage of Membership Growth

Grand Prize - Convention Voucher for up to $500 towards 2018 Convention Registration and Hotel

2 Runners Up - Convention Voucher for up to $300 towards 2018 Convention Registration and Hotel

  Your Student Can Design a Statewide Poster! Deadline May 15  

Every Child Travels Safely! Find information for parents, families and children on:

Your Student or Child Could Design a Statewide Poster! And Your PTA Could Win $1,500!

In collaboration with the National Road Safety Foundation, NYS PTA released a contest to develop a statewide traffic safety poster!

One grand prize of $1,500 will be awarded to the winning PTA Unit
Three runners-up will each receive $500 for their schools' PTA Unit

TO ENTER: Students in grades 1-6 must create a poster or collage on 8.5 x 11 inch paper showing how they can help prevent distracted walking, see Contest Rules here

MAIL ENTRY (with completed Entry Form) to:

DeFEET Distractions NY Poster Contest, c/o New York State PTA
One Wembley Court
Albany, NY 12205
ATTN: Lynne Degnen-Kolawole


  Governor Cuomo Announces Excelsior Scholarship Application Open for New Applicants for 2018-19 Academic Year  

The application for the Excelsior Scholarship for new applicants in the 2018-19 academic year is now open.

SUNY and CUNY students whose families make up to $110,000 annually can now apply for tuition-free college HERE.

Click HERE to read more.

  Parent Resources  

"Denied an IEP, my daughter took a different path for her dyslexia:" When her daughter with dyslexia was denied an IEP, she took her daughter's literacy into her own hands. Hear from a mom on her unique approach from Understood.org.

How student activism could potentially impact American politics: NPR speaks with Nancy Thomas, director of the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education at Tufts University about the potential impact of student activism in American politics.

Warm weather is right around the corner! Take advantage of the Every Kid in a Park program. It allows 4th graders in the US to visit National Parks free for a year. Explore these beautiful public lands with the whole family! 

ALSO New York State Parks will accept the National Park Service's (NPS) Every-Kid-in-a Park pass for free entry for 4th grade students into all State Parks in 2017-2018.

  Letter from NYS Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia  

Dear Parents,

Heroin and opioid use continues to grow at an alarming rate. Recent studies have shown that the percentages of high school students in New York State who have reported using heroin or who have injected an illegal drug have more than doubled from 2005 to 2015.

Click HERE to read more.

  Follow NYS PTA on Social Media  
  Twitter Blogger Facebook YouTube Pinterest NYS PTA Mobile App - Apple Store NYS PTA Mobile App - Google Play NYS PTA Mobile App - Apple Store  

NYS PTA is proud to offer NYS PTA units the opportunity to host a Chrysler Cars 4 Classrooms Event at your school and earn up to $3,000 - an easy fundraising event for elementary schools. To enroll, visit www.cars4classrooms.com or contact Program Headquarters at 833-C4C-KIDS.

The NYS PTA has a 30 Million Tree Goal with ForestNation's School Fundraiser.


You can plant 4 trees with each Tree Kit you sell to your community.

  1. You Plant - We Plant. Your community grows trees and ForestNation plants matching trees.
  2. You Post - We Plant. When you make a post about your tree we'll plant another one.
  3. You Replant - We Plant. When you replant your tree in a bigger pot, garden or forest, we'll plant one more!

Let's get everyone to Plant & Grow! forestnation.com/nyspta

NYS PTA has partnered with Solar Gard to support school safety and help protect our most precious resource of all, our children.

Find more information here on how your PTA unit and school can partner with Solar Gard, and feel free to contact Gary Clark at Gary.R.Clark@saint-gobain.com with questions.

And read this Campus Safety Flyer for information on the importance of school campus safety.