Virginia PTA is here to support our PTA leaders and community members as we navigate the Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis together. Please remember to follow CDC guidance on social distancing to keep yourself, your family and your community safe and healthy. We will be updating resources on a regular basis on our website and on our social media sites. If you have questions, please reach out to your PTA leaders and know that we are all here to support you. Below are quick links and resources that we hope will support you as a leader in your community and as a parent and care-giver.
SCHOOL REOPENING RESOURCES
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION RESOURCES
VDOE 2020 Recover Redesign Restart Document
VDOE Recover Redesign Restart webpage with videos & resources
VDOE Frequently Asked Questions about Reopening
Virginia Department of Education - COVID-19 Resource Webpage
-- COVID-19: A Parent Guide for School-Age Children
-- MEMO 077-20 Attachment A: Graduation Requirements, Awarding of Credits, and Continuity of Learning
-- Joint Guidance for Emergency Child Care during Statewide School Closure
VIRGINIA STATE GUIDANCE & RESOURCES
School Reopening Phase Guidelines
School Reopening PowerPoint
Forward Virginia Phased Reopening Guidance
Virginia State Coronavirus Resource Page
-- School Buildings closed for the rest of the academic year - Executive Order 53
-- FAQs about Virginia's Stay At Home Order
Virginia Department of Health
Virginia Broadband Resources
TALKING TO YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT COVID-19
This can be a challenging time for our children as we face the upheaval of being at home and uncertainty of the coming weeks. Here are helpful resources that you can use to share facts about the virus and help children feel safe and supported.
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
For non-emergency mental health support contact your physician or contact your insurance company and ask for a list of in-network providers. In an emergency, call 9-1-1 and ask for a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) deputy or officer.
Free, confidential 24/7 supports are also available:
SCHOOL MEALS & FOOD ASSISTANCE
Virginia's School Nutrition Programs serve approximately 112,700 million lunches, 57 million breakfasts, and 1.4 million after school meals each year. We have seen tremendous response across the Commonwealth as school divisions work hard to ensure every family has access to meals. Here is a link to the USDA guidelines and federal legislation waivers that are supporting increased access to nutritious meals for our children:
Parents and families can find sites approved for meal service on the School Meal Finder website and find additional details from their local school division. Families can also text “food” or “comida” to 877-877 to learn more about food options near them.
CONNECTING TO THE INTERNET
One of Virginia PTA's long standing advocacy priorities has been to address the educational inequities that our communities face with regard to the broadband availability. The COVID-19 crisis has brought that into sharp focus this past week and we are grateful for the swift work of service providers and legislators to get families connected.
FAMILY RESOURCES FOR LEARNING AT HOME
Although the conditions are not ideal, this is a good opportunity to connect with your students and explore shared interests or just spend more time together as a family. There are great resources being shared on-line to support families learning at home. Please look to your local school division for continuity of learning resources. Virginia PTA is sharing resources daily on our Facebook page. Here are a few to get you started:
The U.S. Department of Education generally does not grant statewide waivers of assessment requirements under section 1111(b)(2) of the ESEA, however, the Secretary of Education announced on March 20th that state-wide waivers will be considered. Virignia has received a testing waiver.
CONGRESSIONAL ACTION - RELIEF PACKAGES
At this time, Virginians are strongly urged to avoid non-essential gatherings of more than 10 people. While executive committee and standing committee business can still easily be conducted via electronic means, we know that General Membership meetings present unique challenges at this time and offer the following guidance in addition to the meetings guidance provided by National PTA.
Per Local Unit Bylaws Article 6, Officers and Their Election, Section 5. "Officers shall serve for a term of (1-2) years or until their successors are elected." This provision provides you with the ability to wait until the social distancing guidelines have been relaxed to call a General Membership meeting.
IF you have urgent business to conduct that impacts the health and safety of your community and you need to hold a General Membership meeting electronically to conduct business, please remember that not every family in your community may have readily available access to the internet and members may be working to support the health crisis or to support their family. You should ensure that:
On Friday, March 20, 2020, the Virginia Attorney General provided an opinion on VA Code § 2.2-3708.2(A)(3) to ensure services could be provided, make decisions, and address Virginians' needs while remaining open, transparent, and accountable to the public during this unprecedented emergency. This guidance provides support for Virginia PTA to follow Nonprofit Code § 13.1-844.2. Remote participation in annual and special meetings.
IMPLEMENTING EMAIL OR ELECTRONIC VOTING:
While in-person voting and participation in meetings is preferred; to implement email or electronic voting a PTA must:
The board should appoint a tellers committee to count the votes. The tellers committee will need to exercise extra care concerning the confidentiality of electronic votes. Click here to learn more about a tellers committee.
A number of online tools exist that could be used to take an electronic vote for Nominating Committee or Officers. There are tools specifically written for voting, and those intended for surveys that will suffice. Costs of tools vary so your unit will want to choose a tool that best fits the needs and the budget of your PTA. VAPTA does not recommend using a survey tool owned by the school district. The following list is meant as a reference, and in no way implies an endorsement of any of these online tools by VAPTA: