Help parents access data to advocate for their students and community.

School Quality Report Cards or 'Profiles' are an important tool that families can use to understand if their school is meeting the academic and social emotional needs of their student. The data in school report cards is also used by school districts to make informed decisions about staffing, professional development and student academic growth. Therefore, it's important that families take time each year to review their school report card and address any areas of concern with their Principal or School Board.


In 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) re-authorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and replaced No Child Left Behind. ESSA requires states and districts to prepare and widely disseminate an annual school report card. In 2015, the Virginia General Assembly also directed the Virginia Board of Education to prepare on-line reports that would effectively communicate the status and achievements of Virginia's public schools. The new 'Virginia School Quality Profiles' were rolled out in 2017 and per ESSA must:

  • Present information in a concise, understandable and uniform format;
  • Provide information in a language that parents can understand;
  • Be updated annually on or before December 31 for the preceding school year;
  • Protect student privacy by displaying data in the aggregate and not disclosing personally identifiable data.


Virginia's School Quality Profiles or report cards are prepared by the Virginia Department of Education according to federal and state law. These official Profiles should be your "go-to" resource for school data. Do not rely on ranking websites that are compiled by real-estate companies and other private entities.



  1. What is an area of strength at this school? 
  2. What is something for the school to work on improving over the next year? 
  3. How can I use this data to support my student's academic growth?


  • What type of data is being collected about my student?
  • How can I access the student data and how is it used? 
  • How is the school protecting my student's data?
  • What data is being used in apps?


The Virginia PTA urges the Virginia Board of Education to enhance Virginia's School Quality Profiles to include the following important data about teacher diversity, cultural sensitivity, mental health programs, inclusivity and school climate.


    State assessments show a significant achievement gap of 20% or more for Hispanic, African American, economically disadvantaged and English language learner students compared to white students. This is a nation-wide and decades-old problem. However, research shows that academic achievement increases when teachers reflect the same race, gender, cultural or linguistic background as their students. To focus on equity and closing the achievement gap, the following diversity improvements are needed:

    • Translation of School Profiles into multiple languages
    • Ethnic diversity of teachers
    • Languages spoken by teachers
    • Staff participation in cultural sensitivity training

    Suicide is the second leading cause of death among persons aged 10-34. Odds show that every classroom in every school has at least one student with a mental health concern. The majority of young people who do receive mental health treatment do so at school. It's important to reflect the prevalence and use of mental health supports and positive behavior intervention programs to provide insight into whether or not staffing (counselors, social workers, psychologists) and programing meets student needs.

    • Mental health threat assessments conducted
    • Use of restraint and seclusion
    • Practices related to using trauma informed care and/or Muti-Tiered Systems of Support

    • Identification of parent groups (PTA/PTO/Band Boosters etc)
    • Project Based Learning connected to the community
    • Annual Principal notification to parents announcing the new data is published with required personal reflection on school performance and plans in place to sustain positive growth or remediate areas of weakness.




Student Privacy 101 for Parents (lots of videos)
Guide to Student Growth Data
Reporting Student Group Data
State Report Card Data Requirements
Teacher Data Literacy
What is Student Data Infographic
2019 Education Data Legislative Review
State Student Privacy Laws


Using Virginia's School Quality Report Cards
Data Can Help Every Student Excel What Is Student Data
Who Uses Student Data

#2020Census. Everyone Counts!

The #2020Census will count everyone living in your home on April 1, 2020, Census Day.

Since 1790, the United States has counted its population every 10 years as required by the US Constitution (Article 1, Section 2). When you respond to the 2020 Census, your answers are kept anonymous. They are used only to produce statistics. The Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about you, your home, or your business, even to law enforcement agencies. Your privacy is protected under under Title 13 of the U.S. Code.

The 2020 Census marks the first time you'll have the option to respond online. You now have three ways you can reply to the 10 questions asked on your US census survey.

  • Online.
  • By phone.
  • By mail.


As a trusted leader within your community, you have the ability to connect with many families that the US Census considers hard to count and ensure that critical federal funds are allocated to your community.

The 2010 Census missed more than 10 percent of all children under age 5 in the U.S! As an example of how impactful this can be; if a 2 year old is missed, they won't be counted (and federal dollars won't be allocated annually for them) until they are in middle school.

In addition to children under 5, other historically, undercounted groups include; complex families, people with disabilities, non-English speakers, immigrant families, veterans, seniors, young adults aged 18-24 and people living in temporary housing (hotels, a friend's house, shelters etc). Sharing information about the census within your school community can help ensure everyone counts.

Census responses determine the annual allocation of $675 billion of federal funds that are critical for schools, students, and younger children. Approximately $18 billion is received by Virginia and will determine:

  • How much money is allocated to special education, Head Start, after-school programs, and classroom technology
  • Where schools, libraries, health clinics, fire departments, public transportation and roads are built
  • Food assistance, including free and reduced-price school lunches (through SNAP and WIC)
  • Maternal and child health programs
  • Children's health insurance programs (FAMIS) as well as Medicaid
  • How many seats in Congress represent your community.


  • Everyone from 1 day old to over 100 years old, even if they are in the hospital.
  • Everyone living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands)
  • Anyone who lives and sleeps in your home most of the time should be counted including infants, seniors, those not related to you, regardless of nationality.


  • JANUARY-MARCH: Prepare and educate
  • MARCH 2020: All Households will receive a letter and a reminder postcard
  • APRIL 2020: Third reminder letter in mid April. At the end of April, a paper form will be mailed.
  • MAY-JUNE: Personalized follow-up starts by phone and in person (remember to check credentials)



SAFE: Information is protected under federal law (title 13) and NOT shared with law enforcement or other federal agencies

EASY: A postcard will be mailed in March with instructions. The census form is available in 13 languages, on-line and over the phone.

FAST: It only takes 10 minutes to complete the 10 questions asked on your census form.

IMPORTANT: Money invested in our communities and representation in congress is determined by the census.


SPEAKERS FOR YOUR PTA MEETING (or Vendors for an Event)

Counties and Cities across Virginia each have their own complete count committee and flyers designed specifically for your area. The points of contact for your area can attend your PTA meetings or family events to share information and answer questions specifically for your families.


Census 101 Infographic English & Spanish(other languages available)
Coloring Pages in English & Spanish
List of Census Questions
Virginia's Hard to Count Communities
Common Situations Where Children Aren't Counted(family flyer)
Counting Children (How You Can Help)
Counting Virginia's Dollars (GW Institute of Public Policy)


US Census Virginia Complete Count Commission
Statistics in Schools (Resources for Teachers)
Count All Kids Earn Extra Money, Work for the US Census

Together we can shape our future and make sure EVERYONE is counted.

Coalitions & Commissions

Virginia PTA is a member of several state coalitions and commissions that align with our mission and enhance our advocacy efforts. As a member of these coalitions, Virginia PTA collaborates with other state associations and entities, signs-on to letters to policymakers and provides public comment on matters that support and advance our positions, resolutions, state legislative priorties and mission.

National PTA also belongs to federal policy coalitions that enhance federal advocacy efforts. You can learn more about building coalitions to support your work locally using National PTA's tips on how to build and join coalitions.

Advocacy Coalitions

Virginia Public Education Coalition (VPEC)

The Virginia Public Education Coalition (VPEC) is the unified voice of twelve Virginia state education associations who advocate for and work to improve K-12 education in the Commonwealth of Virginia. VPEC members are:

Alliance for Virginia’s Students

The Alliance for Virginia Students is committed to encouraging all Virginians to demand high quality educational opportunities for every child in the Commonwealth. The Alliance for Virginia’s Students was created in 2003 to build a statewide, grassroots advocacy network that promotes state policies and financial support that are necessary for excellence in public education from pre-kindergarten through graduate studies. Alliance members are: 

Government Commissions 

  • The Commission on African American History Education
    (Representative: Pam Croom)
    The Commission on African American History Education was established by Governor Northam in August 2019. The Commission is charged with reviewing Virginia’s history standards, and the instructional practices, content, and resources currently used to teach African American history in the Commonwealth. The Executive Order tasks the Commission with issuing a report no later than July 1, 2020, with recommendations for improving the student experience.
  • Commonwealth Connects Coalition
    (Representative: Jenna Alexander)
    The Commonwealth Connects Coalition is a diverse coalition of more than 115 different trade associations, fortune 500 companies, non-profits, and broadband providers who support the Commonwealth of Virginia’s comprehensive effort to achieve universal broadband access by 2028. Commonwealth Connects is working to increase state grants to public/private partnerships, identify legislative policy changes and provide better resources for local broadband planning. From economic development to telemedicine to education, the internet touches nearly every aspect of modern life, and every corner of Virginia needs to have access to a reliable, high speed connection.
  • Childhood Lead Task Force
    (Representative: Jenna Alexander)
    The Division of Environmental Epidemiology (DEE) was awarded a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to target childhood lead poisoning and prevention efforts in Virginia. The task force meets three times a year to provide feedback on grant objectives, and serve as resource as Virginia works to reduce child lead exposure. Lead Safe Virginia has helpful resources. 
  • Department of Education Digital Citizenship, Internet Safety, and Media Literacy Council
    (Representative: ______)
    Established as a result of proposed General Assembly legislation (HB 1978 - Sullivan) the purpose of the council is to advance the goal of safe, ethical, and responsible use of media and technology by students in Virginia's public elementary and secondary schools. The Council will submit a report of its findings to the Chairmen of the House Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Education and Health no later than October 31, 2020. 

  • Virginia Teacher of the Year Selection Committee
    (Representative: Donna Colombo)
    The Department of Education's Virginia Teacher of the Year program honors teachers who represent the best in teaching in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation. The program is open to all teachers in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 who possess a current, renewable Virginia teaching license, including school librarians, school counselors, and reading specialists.

Association Board Memberships

  • Virginia Middle School Association, Director Member 
    (Representative: Mychael Willon. 2nd Term. June 2018-June 2020.)

    The Virginia Middle School Association (VMSA) provides proactive leadership in middle level education in collaboration with state and national organizations, governmental agencies, and institutions of higher learning to meet the academic, physical, emotional, and social needs of young adolescents. The Association exists to encourage improvement in the education of students in middle schools, and to foster and promote means whereby ideas and programs may be exchanged among middle school educators within the State of Virginia.
  • Virginia High School Sports League, Executive Committee Member 
    (Representative: DeRocke Croom. 1st Term. July 2019-July 2021.)
    The Virginia High School Sports League is comprised of the 315 public schools and approved non-boarding, non-public high schools in the Commonwealth to promote education, leadership, sportsmanship, character and citizenship for students by establishing and maintaining high standards for school activities and competitions.


For questions about Virginia PTA’s participation in policy coalitions or our advocacy efforts, contact Virginia PTA's Vice President of Advocacy at

What is Advocacy?

Advocacy is sharing a story or experience that your child, school or community is dealing with and turning it into an action item - or a request - for a new policy, protocol, change in funding formula or improved training opportunity.

By working together to research issues and exchange knowledge, our PTA members have been sparking change in programs and policies that benefit children for over 120 years.

Equity and inclusion are at the core of our work, as the PTA is a non-profit, non-commercial, non-sectarian and non-partisan organization whose volunteer leaders and members speak out on behalf of children’s rights to secure adequate laws for the care and protection of all children and youth.

As a parent or caregiver, as soon as you speak to a teacher or administrator about a concern, you have become an advocate for your student! Sharing your story and asking for change at the county, state, or national level makes you one of more than 4 million parents or caregivers that are members of the PTA and who volunteer their time, energy and talents to address issues and create opportunities to support the educational experience of students.

Capitol Committee

The Capitol Committee is the liaison between the Virginia legislative body and the Virginia PTA. As a sub-committee of the state Legislation Committee, the members serve as PTA representatives for the President. The committee works only in accordance with the adopted Legislation Program and under the direction of the President and Legislation Committee Chair. Members do not express any personal opinions as committee members.

Cooperating Partners




Disclaimer: Virginia PTA does not assume responsibility for the content of linked sites and does not independently verify or exert editorial control over information on the linked sites. Virginia PTA shall not be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused by or alleged to be caused by use of the linked site in any way.

<h3>Legislation/Education Committee</h3>
<div style="float: right; margin-left: 8px; text-align: center;">PTA Advocacy: A Legacy in Leadership

<p>The Legislation/Education Committee shall formulate and prepare the Legislation Program by studying such state legislation as directly affects the welfare of children and youth. The committee will request suggestions for items to be considered for the program from local units, councils, districts, standing committee chairmen, members of the Board of Managers and other individual PTA members. This committee will also review resolutions passed at the last State Convention and include the resolutions with legislative intent that were not acted upon by the last General Assembly in the proposed program. They will prepare a Preliminary Proposed Legislation Program to include an explanation of the Action Items, conduct a Public Hearing in the spring, and publish the Proposed Legislation Program to all local units, councils, districts and members of the Board of Managers. They also plan activities for PTA Day in the General Assembly and help to guide and direct the Capital Committee. Further, committee will monitor and report on meetings of the State Board of Education, foster ongoing dialogue with the Department of Education Offices and educational associations, prepare and give testimony as needed in accordance with PTA positions.</p>
<p> </p>

National PTA Legislation Program


National PTA’s Legislation Program has four parts:

*Register by 5pm January 5, 2013*
PTA Day at the General Assembly

Students Free, Adults $5 — BOTH Days!

Take Action Virginia

Take Action! Virginia