124 schools designated as 2015-2017 National PTA Schools of Excellence
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Aug. 26, 2015) — National PTA® is pleased to announce that 124 schools and PTAs, representing 33 states and one Department of Defense school in Turkey, have been recognized as 2015-2017 National PTA Schools of Excellence. The National PTA School of Excellence designation honors accomplishments in building strong, effective family-school partnerships, which are proven to make a difference for students and schools.
“More than 40 years of research shows that when families and schools work together, student achievement increases, schools improve and communities grow stronger,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “National PTA Schools of Excellence are true examples of what can be accomplished when schools and families collaborate. We are pleased to recognize these schools and PTAs for their leadership and commitment to partnering to support student success and continuous improvement.”
Among the 2015-2017 National PTA Schools of Excellence, 36% are Title 1 schools and nearly two-thirds have more than 30% of their student population that qualify for free and reduced-price lunch. Together, the schools serve more than 93,500 students.
National PTA launched its National PTA School of Excellence program in 2013 to help strengthen family-school partnerships across the country and make measurable progress in the areas of education, health and safety, and arts and cultural exploration. Through the program, a PTA partners with its school at the beginning of the school year to examine how families feel the school measures up to the research-based indicators of the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. After evaluating their current family engagement strategies, the PTA and school then work together throughout the year to address barriers and open up new ways for families to support student success. The National PTA School of Excellence designation is awarded when families feel the school has achieved a high level of engagement or when the PTA and school have made substantive, positive improvement in families’ perceptions since the beginning of the year.
Following are key outcomes which were determined from family surveys and interviews with school leaders that demonstrate improved family-school partnerships after completion of the National PTA School of Excellence program:
• Nearly 95% of families feel they are treated fairly regardless of their age, race or cultural background.
• Nearly 80% of families feel they understand the academic standards their child is expected to meet and how their school’s curriculum is linked to those standards.
• More than 80% of families feel empowered to advocate for the success of their own and other children.
In addition to being designated as 2015-2017 National PTA Schools of Excellence, two PTAs also have been recognized with the 2015 Phoebe Apperson Hearst Awards for Innovation in Family Engagement. Key Biscayne Community School PTA in Key Biscayne, Fla., has been honored with the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Outstanding Family-School Partnership Award. Elkins Pointe Middle School PTSA in Roswell, Ga., has been honored with the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Award of Merit. Key Biscayne Community School PTA and Elkins Pointe Middle School PTSA were selected to receive the awards from among the 2015-2017 National PTA Schools of Excellence.
“The Phoebe Apperson Hearst Awards, named after National PTA co-founder Phoebe Apperson Hearst, are the highest honor presented by the association to recognize local PTAs that have effectively implemented the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “The efforts of Key Biscayne Community School PTA and Elkins Pointe Middle School PTSA are making a substantial, positive impact on student success and school improvement. We are thrilled to recognize the hard work and achievements of these PTAs with the 2015 Phoebe Apperson Hearst Awards and 2015-2017 National PTA School of Excellence designation.”
For more information about the National PTA School of Excellence program and Phoebe Apperson Hearst Awards, visit PTA.org/Excellence and PTA.org/Hearst.
About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health and welfare of children and youth.