Region 9 Training Thursday August 18th!
First Day of School September 1st!
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Council Notes

Mid-August 2016
Please share this information with your entire 2016-2017 PTSA Board!

Calendar of Events

(more information follows below)

Region 9 Fall Conference (Evening): Thursday, August 18th
First Day of School: September 1st
No School: Labor Day, September 5th
First Day of Kindergarten: Wednesday, September 7th
First Day of Kindergarten: September 7th
Region 9 Fall Conference (Day): September 10th
General Membership Meeting: September 26th, 6PM at ERAC
No School: Friday, October 14th
General Membership Meeting: October 17th, 6PM at Highline High School Library
Legislative Assembly, October 21st-22nd in
General Membership Meeting: December 1st 6PM at ERAC

Our Pizza Night with the Superintendent, Principals and PTA's was a huge success! Over 50 students, parents, principals and staff (including our Superintendent!) were present representing 11 schools, alternative programs, our Special Needs PTA and our district! The purpose of the event was to get to know one another to help offer support and encouragement. More photos are on our Facebook page--be sure to like us there!

Region 9 Fall Conferences: August 18th and September 10th

This year, Region 9 will be holding two Fall Conferences: the first is on Thursday, August 18th, from 5:30-9 at Mill Creek Middle School in Kent. Registration is FREE! Click here to register. This is a great way for your board members to receive their training (remember that all elected officers must receive training). The course offerings are listed with the registration.

The second Fall Conference will be held on Saturday, September 10th at Auburn Riverside High School in Auburn. PTA and the Law will be offered at this event. Registration will be available later this month.

Do's and Don'ts of endorsing bond measures

Washington State PTA has provided a great information sheet for us on what we can and cannot do as PTA's. Hint: Your PTA can vote to support a bond measure! This document outlines the steps your PTA can take to endorse a bond measure, and what you can and can't do. Please read this carefully and contact us if you have any questions or concerns. 

Welcoming Kindergarten Families

by Scott Ryan, Treasurer

An amazing event occurs once a year at nearly every elementary, the Welcome Orientation for families with kindergartners. Kindergarten parents are your PTA’s very best pool of recruits.  They want to find ways to maintain the connection with their children who may have largely been at home for the previous 5 years. Since these kids are typically too young to be heavily involved in other extracurricular activities, such as sports and scouts, these parents aren’t pulled as many directions as those of older kids.
At least one PTA officer, ideally the president, should give a pitch to invite these new families to join your PTA.  Here is speech I wrote when I was PTA president of my kids’ school. Feel free to use any of all of it.
Hi, I’m [name] PTA [title],
I’m here to recruit you. 
But before I get to that, let’s stop for a minute and look around this room.  You may not have realized it, but you are in the midst of something incredible.  The kids here tonight are your children’s cohort of classmates!  They may spend the next 13 years growing and learning together.  Their best friend for life may be in this room. 
You parents are on that journey with them.  There may be people here tonight you will see in the supermarket 20 years from now and stop to catch up with them to find out how they are doing and what their kids are up to.

This group of people is a natural community.  The PTA is the lens that focuses that community. 

Raise your hand if you think we should do a game night, where families bring board games to play and snacks to share?  Great!  This is how things happen!  Someone comes up with an idea, we talk about it at a PTA meeting, and if a majority of the people vote in favor of doing, the ball starts rolling!

The PTA is an all-volunteer organization.  I’m no an employee of the school.  I’m just a parent like you are.  Things happen because we step up to host events and support our teachers.  This school has some amazing teachers. But they are only half the equation.  Parents are the other half, and they have the biggest impact on the school through the PTA.  Schools without a PTA are sad places indeed. 
At the end of every school year, there is a panic felt amongst the community as long-time PTA members age out because their children have graduated from the school.  However, at the beginning of every school year, a new wave of amazing, dedicated, loving, talented, generous parents come aboard.  That’s you guys.

I ask two things.  (1) Join the PTA, tonight if possible, and (2) find a way to give at least five hours of your time this year volunteering in a PTA activity. 

You can start by saving Box Tops for Education.  They look like this.  (Show a Box Top on a package.)  They are worth 10 cents apiece to the PTA. Start cutting them now.  There may be classroom contest later in the year!

Our meetings are (the third Thursday of the month) at (7 pm).  I’d love to see you all there.  But even if you can’t make any meetings, or even find the time to volunteer, please support our kids by joining the PTA.  A portion of your membership fee goes to support the student enrichment work the PTA does at the school.

Thank you!

Differences between PTA's, PTO's and Booster

Katie Ethridge, Your Membership Chair, put together this list on the differences between PTA's, PTO's and Booster Clubs so you can understand the benefits of having and keeping a successful PTA. PTO's and Booster Clubs do not receive training and support, and do not have the same checks and balances to keep the organization safe from fraud. Being part of the National PTA, you have multiple levels of support to ensure you and your PTA are successful. Please reach out to us at Highline Council if you have any questions or concerns.

What Is A PTA?
PTA stands for Parent Teacher Association.
The PTA is the oldest and largest child advocacy association in the United States. Today’s PTA is comprised of more than 4 million parents, teachers, grandparents, caregivers, foster parents and other caring adults who share a commitment to improving the education, health, and safety of all children.
  • A local parent group, referred to as a Local PTA, is formally affiliated with its state’s PTA organization and the National PTA.
  • The number of Local PTAs has been between 22,000 – 26,000 Local PTAs respectively.
  • The biggest difference of the PTA is that there is an umbrella organization, in this case the National PTA, which oversees and provides bylaws for the State PTAs and Local PTAs.
  • Dues are required for Local PTA member.
  • Training is provided to help run the Local PTA’s business.
  • Nonprofit status is typically granted automatically as part of a Local PTA’s affiliation with National PTA and the payment of annual dues.
  • Insurance is typically offered at lower rates for PTAs.
  • State and National Benefits
If someone is part of a PTA, they are required to pay dues to their State PTA and the National PTA and are not a stand-alone parent group.

What Is A PTO?
PTO stands for Parent Teacher Organization.
A PTO is any non-PTA independent parent group that is not affiliated with any national organization that oversees or requires specific bylaws to be followed or dues to be paid.
  • Because PTOs are not required to register themselves like Local PTAs
  • There is no “National PTO” similar to National PTA and there is no official umbrella organization for PTOs.
  • The decision to charge dues is completely up to the PTO whereas dues are required for Local PTAs.
  • PTOs are not considered Nonprofit unless approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If a PTO does decide to become a registered nonprofit, it must apply directly to the IRS and pay a one-time fee.
  • Insurance is typically offered at higher rates for PTOs.
  • No State and National Benefits
If someone is part of a PTO, they are part of an independent parent group that is not affiliated with a national organization, they are not regulated by specific bylaws, and they may not be required to pay dues.

What Is A Booster?
Booster Clubs are parents supporting a particular activity at the school (sports, band, clubs, etc.) through volunteerism and (typically) fundraising (usually at the high school level.)

General Membership Meeting
Monday, September 26, 6:00 p.m. at ERAC

Our first General Membership Meeting of the year is scheduled for Monday, September 26th, 6:00 p.m. at the ERAC Boardroom, 15675 Ambaum Blvd SW in Burien. Our topics for this meeting will include Reflections and Membership Campaigns. Please send your Reflections Chair and your Membership Chair to this meeting.

Attendance at our Highline Council PTSA General Membership Meetings is mandatory. This means you must send at least one representative to your board to every meeting. This way, your PTSA does not miss out on important information such as Standards of Affiliation and other requirements to keep your PTSA in good standing. Each meeting will have a theme and you can determine who would be best to attend. 

Our Meeting Schedule is as follows (subject to change):

Monday, October 17th, 6PM at Highline High School Library. Standards of Affiliation and Legislative Advocacy. Presidents and Treasurers should attend along with Legislative Chairs. Bring your Legal Documents notebook and get your Standards of Affiliation form filled out and completed at this meeting--we will even have a scanner so you we can send them to State that night! We will also prepare for Legislative Assembly in Olympia October 21st-22nd. 

Thursday, December 1st, 6PM at ERAC Boardroom. Family and Community Engagement Roundtable and Softball. Family and Community Engagement Chairs should attend along with Softball Chairs.

Tuesday, January 24th, 6PM at ERAC Boardroom: Nominating Committee Best Practices. Your Nomination Committee Chairs should attend.

January/February TBD: Reflections Ceremony for our Reflections winners!

Monday, February 27th, 6PM at ERAC Boardroom, topic TBD

Monday, March 27th, 6PM at ERAC Boardroom, topic TBD

Monday, April 24th, 6PM at ERAC Boardroom. State Convention preparation and Board Transitions. Your Representatives and Volunteers for State Convention should attend. State Convention is at the Hilton in SeaTac April 28-30. We hope to have 100% participation from Highline, meaning each PTA is sending at least one representative, and we hope to have as many volunteers as possible! We will also discuss Best Practices for Smooth Board Transitions.

May TBD: Awards and Scholarship Celebration Night

From Your President

Thank you to all who attended our Pizza for PTA's and Principals Night with the Superintendent! We had a fantastic time getting to know one another. The goal this year is for you to know that you are not alone. The other PTSA's in your area are a good resource for ideas and volunteer sharing! Also, your Highline Council PTSA is here to support you! Please do not hesitate to reach out and contact us if you have questions or need help.

Please do note that part of your dues help Highline Council, so it is important for at least one member of your board to attend each General Membership meeting. We offer training and support, and you will miss vital information if you do not attend. Attendance by someone from your board is mandatory!

Please read the information on what PTSA's can do in endorsing school bonds (located earlier in this newsletter) and please be sure to enter your officers for this year in PT Avenue.

Also, join our Facebook Group to ask your questions and share your ideas between PTSA's! 

Each of us on Council is a local support for you, and the list is below of each PTA paired with a Council Board member. If you do not have a PTA, we have still included a support person for you, because we would love to help you get a PTA started in your school or area! There are also possibilities for community PTSA's across schools. Please reach out to us if you are interested!

Kitty Richmire,
   Parkside, Des Moines, Madrona, Midway, North Hill, Pacific, Mt. Rainier

Mindi Welton-Mitchell,
  Gregory Heights, Marvista, Seahurst, Hilltop, Sylvester, Highline H.S., Big Picture, Choice

Katie Ethridge,
  Tyee, Chinook, Bow Lake, McMicken Heights , Valley View

Scott Ryan,
  Shorewood, Cascade, White Center Heights, Mount View, Evergreen Campus

Maria Santiago,
  Cedarhurst, Southern Heights, Beverly Park, Hazel Valley, Aviation, Highline Special Needs

Welcome back from the summer, and have a great year!

Mindi Welton-Mitchell
President, Highline Council PTSA 9.5

Enter Your Officers for This Year!

Thank you to those boards who entered their officers for the 2016-2017 year in PT Avenue. Just over half of you have done so. If you have not, please be sure to enter your officers ASAP so they receive important communications from us and from Washington State PTA.

Reflections: What Is Your Story?

This year's theme for the Reflections Arts Program is "What Is Your Story?" Erin Baker is our Reflections Chair. You can find out more information here on the National PTA Website, or you can contact Erin Baker at for more information. Your must register your PTA on the National website in order to participate in the Reflections program.


Your Highline Council PTSA
2016-2017 Board:

President: Mindi Welton-Mitchell,
Vice-President: Open
Secretary: Maria Santiago,
Treasurer: Scott Ryan,

Committee Chairs
Membership Chair: Katie Ethridge,
Reflections Chair: Erin Baker,
Scholarships Chair: Erin Baker,
Softball Chair: Kitty Richmire,

Your Washington State PTA
Region 9 Director:

Tania Skinner

NEW! Highline Countil PTSA website:
NEW! email:
JOIN OUR FACEBOOK GROUP!  Click here to request to join.

Be sure to like Highline Council PTSA on Facebook!
Copyright © 2016 Highline Council PTSA, All rights reserved.

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