PTA State Training Comes to Loudoun

PTA volunteers in Loudoun County will have a special opportunity this summer. Training put on by Virginia’s PTA is coming here for the first time.

Historically, the state-wide organization would hold one, big summer training session in Richmond for parents, teachers and students involved in their schools’ PTAs. But this summer, it is holding four different trainings throughout the state to make them more accessible.

The Hunt District PTA, which includes public schools in Loudoun, will host a Summer Leadership Training for PTA leaders from more than 325 schools across Northern Virginia. PTA leaders from Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, Prince William and Manassas are expected to attend the training, held Saturday, Aug 4, at Freedom High School.

“This is a unique opportunity to go to a statewide training right here in our backyard,” said Jenna Alexander, director of the Hunt District PTA. “We’ll have people traveling all over the state come to Loudoun County for this.”

Among the event’s guest speakers is Loudoun County Public Schools’ Director of Nutrition Services Becky Bays and Stephanie Dove, the coordinator of marketing and community outreach for the school system’s nutrition services department. The duo will talk about trends in menu development and how school gardens play an integral part in the curriculum in several schools.

Alexander said the all-day leadership training will kick off a busy school year for the Hunt District PTA. The regional organization provides support, training, networking and advocacy collaboration opportunities for PTAs and PTSAs in Loudoun County. It also gives the leaders of PTA and PTO groups an opportunity to meet locally to share success stories and address challenges that affect students.

Fifty-one of the county’s 92 public schools have PTAs over PTOs and, in all, there are 10,500 PTA members in Loudoun. PTAs are formally affiliated with a state’s PTA organization, while PTOs are local, independent groups.

This school year, the Hunt District PTA will host several Leadership Roundtables for both PTA and PTO officers. The first, Sept. 12, will explore trends such as makerspaces and the impact of Loudoun County’s BYOT (bring your own technology) model. The second, scheduled for Jan. 9, 2019, will cover legislation and the school system’s budget. The topic for the third roundtable, on April 10, 2019, will be determined later in the school year.

“This an opportunity to learn from each other, collaborate, talk about and work through challenges, and give everyone inspiration and support,” Alexander said. She noted that volunteer work can be draining so getting together with other PTA volunteers is needed encouragement. “We want to make sure everybody feels a part of their school community,” she added.

The Hunt District PTA will also host Community Conversations that are open to all parents, students and school staff in Loudoun. The first on Oct. 10 is entitled “A Collaborative Conversation about School Safety and Transportation” and the second on Feb. 27, 2019, is called “Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, Healthy Communities.”

Hunt District PTA is one of 21 districts of the Virginia PTA. Learn more at huntdistrictpta.org.

dnadler@loudounnow.com
twitter.com/danielle_nadler

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