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April/May 2020
As spring arrives and we move into the final quarter of this school year, the "new and different" circumstances we find ourselves in seem to be masking the familiar activities and feelings that come this time of year. However, there are still familiar and important items of PTA business that need our attention -- primarily, elections and budgets -- so that we set our PTAs up for success in the coming year!  We are offering many opportunities to connect, discuss and get training on these topics in the coming days and weeks! Check them out and join us!

Many PTAs have asked whether it is acceptable for PTAs to collect and distribute gift cards for families in need, or to accept donations of gift cards to purchase necessities for children or families in need. Read this post on the WSPTA website to make sure your PTA stays in alignment with its purposes. 

We are thankful for every PTA leader, volunteer, member, caregiver and parent for their support of every student and school during this difficult time.

Superintendent's Message

Dr. Jane Stavem, LWSD SuperintendentDr. Jane Stavem LWSD Superintendent

It seems like everywhere we turn, advice is offered about how to cope with this time of closure. Why? Because everyone is experiencing this common situation, and no two scenarios of how that experience is playing out are the same. As a result, people need different things, and most people and organizations are trying to be helpful, while also taking care of their own needs. 

This is also part of the uniqueness of how school districts across the nation are dealing with closures and supporting remote learning opportunities for students. Typically, when there is some type of crisis event, it is limited to a geographic area, and rarely are people all experiencing the event at the same time. Now, almost every district is trying to adapt and do their very best, some with abundant resources, and some with very little.
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LWSD Resources During Closures


Lake Washington School District buildings have been closed since March 12, but LWSD staff members have been working around the clock since then to support the families in our school community. For the most up-to-date information, please visit the LWSD Coronavirus (COVID-19) website.
  • MealsGrab and Go student meals for students are available at six middle school sites across the district. Delivered meals are also available at 24 sites across the district. Pantry Packs will distribute weekend packs on Fridays at the middle school meal sites. Check the Pantry Packs website for the latest information in case of changes.
  • Childcare: The YMCA and Bellevue Boys & Girls Clubs are providing care for families in our district that need care. More details and instructions.
  • Remote Learning: Updates regarding instruction, grading, materials distribution and Class of 2020 FAQ.
  • Technology Support: Families in need of laptops can contact Family Technology Access: ftaccess@lwsd.org or 425-936-1322, 7 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday.
  • Community Resources: Find resources including health, wellness, food, finances, technology, Internet, legal and more.
Have a closure-related question? Please check the Frequently Asked Questions or submit a question.

April Membership Meeting Recap

Our monthly membership meeting was held on Thursday, April 2 at 7pm using GoToMeeting.  Here are the documents from our meeting:

Next meeting: Thursday, May 7, 9:45AM (via GoToMeeting) See the full 2019-2020 meeting schedule. Any questions? Contact Mindy Lincicome, LWPTSA Council President

2020-2021 LWPTSA Council Board Elected

The following officers were elected at the April 2, 2020 membership meeting to serve for the 2020-2021 PTA year.  Thank you for your willingness to serve, and thank you to our Nominating Committee (Diane Devlyne-Thompson, Tracey Gauthier, and Cris Wegmann) for the time and care you invested in recruiting these wonderful leaders!
  • President - Brandi Welke Comstock
  • Executive Vice President - Yumna Amien Green
  • Secretary - Denise Ferguson
  • Treasurer - Anmol Bhate
  • Vice President of Advocacy - OPEN
  • Vice President of FACE - Danit Erlich
  • Vice President of Programs - Diane Devlyne-Thompson
  • Area VP Evergreen - Deborah Robertson
  • Area VP Finn Hill - Stephanie St. Jean
  • Area VP Inglewood - Felice Nightengale
  • Co-Area VPs Kamiakin - Amy Robl and Sabrina Miller
  • Area VP Kirkland - Melissa Stone
  • Area VP Redmond - Lilach Geppert-Shapira
  • Area VP Rose Hill - Chitra Ramaswamy
  • Area VP Timberline - Stacy Hatch

Council Scholarships Extended

LWPTSA Council has extended our scholarship submission deadline to May 1, 2020, and is now accepting applications via email. Please download the revised applications and instructions below. Read the instructions carefully and note that all documentation must be submitted for an application to be considered complete.

The Lake Washington PTSA Council is pleased offer 13 student scholarships of $1,250 each and two $500 staff scholarships. The Scholarship Program is funded by money raised at the Council’s annual Scholarship Basket Auction, by annual donations from the 44 PTSAs in the LWSD and LWEA, and by donations from the greater community. For more information, contact Scholarships Co-Chairs Andrea Stoppani and Reva Racmachandran at scholarships@lwptsa.net.

Council Trainings and Roundtables

We have planned many opportunities to learn about a new topic, brush up on information, or discuss current PTA circumstances with other PTA leaders in our area.  Please share this info with your PTA leadership and join us!

Effective Budgets and Financial Strategies -- training & discussion
Tuesday, April 28 at 7pm (GoToMeeting link)
Friday, May 1 at 10am (GoToMeeting link)

Council Roundtables -- bring your questions & ideas, or just come learn from others!
High School PTA leaders -- Tuesday, April 28 at 4pm (GoToMeeting link)
Middle School PTA leaders -- Tuesday, May 5 at 2pm (GoToMeeting link)
Elementary School PTA leaders -- Wednesday, May 6 at 2pm (GoToMeeting link)

Coming after Convention -- role-specific training for next year's officers
Presidents: Plan to Succeed:  Friday, May 29 at 10am and Tues., June 2 at 7pm
The Effective Vice-President: Friday, May 29 at 1pm and Wed., June 3 at 7pm
Secretaries: More Than Minutes: Mon, June 1 at 7pm and Fri, June 5 at 10am
Treasurer's Basics: Wed, May 27 at 7pm and Fri, June 5 at 1pm

Questions about any of these gatherings?  Contact Mindy Lincicome, LWPTSA Council President

2020 Washington State PTA Convention

Registration is now open for the 2020 WSPTA Convention and training event. All training and sessions will be held virtually from May 11-21, 2020. Training completed at this event counts toward PTA training requirements for 2020-2021!

Attention PTA Presidents: Voting delegates must be submitted by April 29, 2020. If you did not receive an email to submit delegates please contact support@wastatepta.org For additional details and registration, please visit Washington State PTA.

Taking Care of Ourselves as Parents

Just like on an airplane, take care of yourself first.
On April 14th, National PTA and the American Federation of Teachers co-hosted a tele-townhall with national leaders in mental health, learning science, psychology, and PTA leaders. This townhall had several great take-aways, including this advice on taking care of ourselves from Dr.Pamela Kantor as one of the first steps in making it through our current situation; a situation that is being considered a national trauma.

You may be thinking to yourself, “How can I take care of myself when I’m busy teaching my kids, taking care of my kids, taking care of my parents, feeding the family, and working, or not working?” This taking care of ourselves doesn’t need to be complicated; two minutes a day on a phone call with a friend, two minutes hiding in your room or the bathroom, with or without chocolate, two minutes of meditation; take two minutes a day for yourself as a parent.

If you are interested in some of the amazing resources that came out of this tele-townhall, please check the resources listed on the National PTA website. If you need an outlet right now, feel free to reach out and call any of our Council board members and we will be happy to listen or chat.

Lake Washington Schools Foundation News

Be the Virtual Bridge Event - Over $200,000 Raised!
Thank you to our donors and sponsors for helping us raise over $200,000 during our 2020 Be the Virtual Bridge Fundraiser. As LWSF continues to serve students and families in our community during COVID-19, these crucial funds ensure that we can continue our important work both now and in the future. It isn't too late to watch our event videos, learn about the important work that we do in the LWSD community or make a donation at https://www.lwsf.org/bethebridge.html

Reach For Success Grant Applications
Need some help funding a project or program that enhances or expands Lake Washington School District's curriculum? Our Reach for Success Grant program is now accepting applications! Apply today and you could be awarded up to $3,000 for the 2020-2021 school year. Applications are due April 30. Learn about grant requirements and apply on the LWSF website. If you have an idea for a grant but need just a little more time to pull it all together, please reach out to us at info@lwsf.com by the deadline date of April 30.

Upcoming Balance in Mind events!
Balance in Mind has a NEW Instagram page for Teens and Parents. Tune in every Tuesday at 4PM live on Instagram for REAL TALK with a teen host and a counselor from Youth Eastside Services. New topic every week! To join, follow @bimteens on Instagram.

Join Balance in Mind for Parent Chat every Wednesday night at 7:30PM, talk with mental health professionals and other parents in a safe and supportive environment. New topic every week! For more details and registration go to: https://www.lwsf.org/youthmentalwellness

Pantry Packs Weekend Food Program
LWSF and Pantry Packs volunteers have been working hard to keep the program providing weekend food to food-insecure students running. Keep up to date on how and where to receive Pantry Packs and how to support the program by visiting: https://www.lwsf.org/pantrypackscoronovirusupdates.html and https://www.lwsf.org/pantrypacks.html

Please send any Lake Washington Schools Foundation questions to info@lwsf.org

National Staff Appreciation Week is May 4-8

National Teacher Day is May 5
 
School buildings are closed, but staff is still working hard – delivering learning online, connecting with families, preparing meals and delivering them, providing childcare, and cleaning facilities. Many PTAs have staff appreciation activities each year – but what can be done when we can’t do it in person? WSPTA has created additional ideas included in this blog post and National PTA has developed a toolkit full of templates and resources.

Chat with State Superintendent Reykdal

State Superintendent Chris Reykdal will join WSPTA leadership for an update on our K-12 schools and to answer your questions. This second “Chat with the Chief” is Monday, May 4 from 2:00-3:00 pm. You must register in advance. Watch the video from the first Chat with Superintendent Reykdal.
 
Would you like to ask a question? Send questions by April 30 to legconsultant@wastatepta.org and put Reykdal Question in the subject line. 

Notes from the Backpack

Notes from the Backpack is a podcast from National PTA featuring real conversations with real parents, experts and educators who offer real-life advice, ideas and strategies parents can use to help their children succeed in and out of school. Recent topics on the podcast include: 
  • Tackling COVID-19 Anxiety Together
  • Supporting Our Kids: Special Education 101
  • What’s Going on in My Kid’s Brain?

US Census 2020

Responses to the 2020 Census will determine funding levels for important education and healthcare programs that benefit children. You can respond online, by phone or by mail.

Upcoming PTA Events

  • April 28, 4PM: High School PTA Roundtable
  • April 28, 7PM: Effective Budgets - training & discussion
  • May 1, 10AM: Effective Budgets - training & discussion
  • May 5, 2PM: Middle School PTA Roundtable
  • May 6, 2PM: Elementary School PTA Roundtable
  • May 7, 9:45AM: LWPTSA Council Membership Meeting
  • May 11 - 21: WSPTA Convention

About LWPTSA Council

The LWPTSA Council 2.8 serves local PTAs in the Lake Washington School District which draws students from Kirkland, Redmond, Sammamish, Bellevue, Bothell and Woodinville. 

Our Partners

Currents is edited by:
LWPTSA Council Communications Co-Chairs: Sarah Rock & Hae Sue Park
LWPTSA Council President: Melinda Lincicome
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Copyright © 2020 LWPTSA Council 2.8, All rights reserved.


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