21st Century Skills Learning

Year Adopted: 2009

Whereas, 21st century skills include critical thinking, innovative and collaborative problem solving, creativity, communication, and information management, and

Whereas, Creating a 21st century education system that prepares students, workers, and citizens to succeed in the new, global economy is central to our country’s economic future; and Whereas, The best learning occurs when the basic skills (reading, writing, math and science) are taught in combination with complex thinking skills; and

Whereas, Research overwhelmingly suggests that the skills needed to be prepared for the jobs of the 21st century are different from what were needed 20 years ago; and

Whereas, In a nationwide poll conducted in September of 2007, 66% of voters say that students need more than just the basics of reading, writing, math and science to be competitive in today’s world; and

Whereas, Companies report that they have changed how they are organized and do business giving workers more responsibility and allowing them to contribute more to productivity and innovation; and

Whereas The US Bureau of Labor Statistics report changes in the world economy that require more educated workers with the ability to solve complex problems, communicate effectively, manage information, work in teams, and produce new knowledge; and Whereas, In order to prepare students to be competitive, Virginia needs an agenda that infuses 21 st century skills into core academic subjects; now therefore be it

Resolved, That Virginia PTA supports Virginia’s efforts to incorporate 21st century skills into the K-12 curriculum; and be it further

Resolved, That Virginia PTA supports professional development programs to prepare teachers and administrators to fully implement the 21 st Century curriculum

Accreditation Standards

Year Adopted: 1993

RESOLVED, that the Virginia PTA/PTSA request the Virginia Board of Education to affirm its commitment to parental involvement in Virginia schools by the adoption o a standard titled "Interaction with Parents" in the Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia; and be it further

RESOLVED, that this standard contain the following language:
        2.1 Interaction Parents
        Each school shall promote the interaction with parents and the community and foster mutual understanding in providing a quality educations program through:

  1. Ensuring adequate parental participation in shared decision-making.
  2. Involving parents in the development and dissemination of the biennial school plan as well as advisory committees, curriculum studies and evaluation of the education program.
  3. Development of a plan for communication with parents in a manner most likely to result in their understanding of the educational goals of the school and their rights and responsibilities in pursuit of these goals.
  4. Providing opportunities for parental input.

Administrative Training for Principals and Administrators

Year Adopted: 1988

RESOLVED, that the Virginia PTA requests the Department of Education to expand the Regional Assessment Centers to other universities in the Commonwealth to make them more geographically accessible; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Virginia PTA requests the Virginia General Assembly to provide funding for the expansion of these centers.

Administrator/Supervisor Licensure

Year Adopted: 2005

WHEREAS The Department of Education Regulation Governing the Licensure of School Personnel; under Part VI Licensure Regulations Governing Support Personnel 8VAC20-22-590. Administration and supervision preK-12 states that a Level I endorsement in administration and supervision preK-12 , which requires three years of teaching experience, is required in order to serve as a building-level administrator or central office supervisor, and

WHEREAS The Department of Education under its regulations provides candidates with both a traditional route and an alternate route to Level I endorsement, both containing specific but not equal requirements necessary to successfully achieve this endorsement, and

WHEREAS The Virginia PTA acknowledges the need to ensure enough viable candidates are available over the next decade to fill the projected administrative vacancies; therefore be it

RESOLVED The Virginia PTA supports the Virginia Association of Secondary School Principals' (VASSP) position that all principals, who are the instructional leaders in our schools and who are held responsible for instructional quality, need the same level of teaching experience to evaluate personnel and critical data while leading by example; and be it further

RESOLVED The Virginia PTA will act to bring this resolution forward to National PTA.

Adoption

Year Adopted: 2004

WHEREAS, the state of Virginia and the Federal Government promote adoption as a positive social policy, and

WHEREAS, there are 38,289 adopted children in Virginia as recorded in the 2000 Census, and

WHEREAS, many classroom assignments, including family trees and “adopt-a” tree or zoo animal, may require sensitive explanation on the teacher’s part; and

WHEREAS, research recognizes that negative images on adoption can be harmful, both educationally and socially, to children who were adopted because they may prompt harassment by their peers and hurtful words by adults; and

WHEREAS, attitudes about adoption should reflect awareness and sensitivity to the needs of adopted children; now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Virginia PTA recognizes adoption as one of many ways to form a family, and wishes to support children in families formed by adoption; and be it further

RESOLVED, that Virginia PTA urges the Virginia Board of Education to take the steps necessary in order to:

• Ensure that age-appropriate adoption books, which appeal to nonadoptees as well as adoptees, be made available in all elementary school libraries.

  • Ensure that the same books are approved for reading in the classrooms.
  • Encourage all elementary schools’ staff including principals, counselors and teachers, to attend workshops for educators, such as those offered free of charge by The Center for Adoption Support and Education, Inc. (C.A.S.E.), to make them better prepared to support children who were adopted.
  • Distribute a memo on positive adoption language to every teacher, counselor and principal in the state on an annual basis.
  • Recognize National Adoption Awareness Month each November; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Virginia PTA will encourage other state PTAs to adopt similar resolutions.

After School Programs

Year Adopted: 2004

WHEREAS, Between 7 and 15 million U.S. children return from school to an empty house on any given afternoon; and

WHEREAS, Violent and juvenile crime triples in the hours from 3:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m., and it is during these hours that children face the most serious danger of becoming victims of crime or participants in substance abuse and early sexual activity; and

WHEREAS, After-school programs are proven to reduce crimes against children, crimes by children, and incidents of other risky behaviors among children, and afterschool programs have the support of America’s police chiefs as the most effective solution for these problems; and

WHEREAS, Quality after-school programs promote academic success and positive social relationships; and

WHEREAS, Nine out of 10 voters agree that children and teens need some type of organized activity or place to go after school every day; and

WHEREAS, After-school programs save taxpayers more than $2 for every dollar spent on such programs and since voters want to see all levels of government make a financial commitment to after-school programs; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Virginia PTA urges local and state governments and the federal government to make an increased investment in funding quality after-school programs, accessible to all children, and where possible using school facilities; and be it further

RESOLVED, That Virginia PTA urges all of its constituents and members to work with local communities to establish affordable, quality after-school programs.

Aid to Dependent Children - Regrouping of Localities

Year Adopted: 1988

RESOLVED, that the Virginia PTA supports regrouping of localities based on the current cost of
living in those localities in order to equitably determine the level of assistance in the Aid to
Dependent Children program; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Virginia PTA supports state funding levels to support the costs of new
locality groupings; and be it further

RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the State Department of Social Services,
Governor Baliles and members of the General Assembly.

Aids

Year Adopted: 1995

Supports education about Aids.

Alcoholic Energy Drinks

Year Adopted: 2008

WHEREAS, Nonalcoholic energy drink sales in 2006 equaled $3.2 billion dollars, a 516 percent inflation-adjusted increase since 2001; and

WHEREAS, 500 new energy drink products were introduced worldwide that same year; and

WHEREAS, 31% of 12-17 years olds and 34% of 18-24 year olds state they are regular consumers of energy drinks versus 22% of 25-34 year olds and just 3% of 65 year olds report ever consuming them; and

WHEREAS, Marketing strategies by energy drink manufacturers focus on teenagers’ drive for rebellion, risk taking and adventure seeking with product names such as Cocaine, Dare Devil, Bawls, Pimp Juice, Rip It and Monster Assault; edgy graphics on containers and sponsorship of extreme sporting events and lifestyles such as wakeboarding, skateboarding, motocross and surfing; and

WHEREAS, Manufacturers support the marketing messages and themes with higher concentrations of caffeine, increasing the stimulant effect substantially higher than comparable servings of coffee; and

WHEREAS, Energy drink consumption has gained further popularity in nightclubs and bars when combined with alcohol and

WHEREAS, Premixed alcoholic energy drinks are now readily available at convenience and grocery stores; and WHEREAS, Alcoholic energy drinks are often 25% less expensive than their nonalcoholic counterparts and

WHEREAS, The most popular brands such as Sparks Plus, Tilt and Joose contain 7, 8, and 9.9 percent alcohol; and

WHEREAS, Alcoholic energy drinks create brand confusion by mimicking the size, shape and graphics of nonalcoholic containers thereby creating the potential for confusion among consumers, retailers, parents, law enforcement officers and others regarding which products contain alcohol and which do not; and

WHEREAS, Many alcoholic energy drinks are in violation of malt beverage classification (total alcohol content of 6 percent or less) to benefit from lower federal and state taxes and expanded market availability; and

WHEREAS, There is a consensus among health researchers that caffeine consumption is addictive and can have adverse health consequences, particularly at high doses, which include increased anxiety, panic attacks, increased blood pressure, increased gastric acid, bowel irritability and insomnia; and

WHEREAS, A one three-year study by a Chicago poison center found more than 250 cases of caffeine overdose, with 12 percent requiring hospitalization, nearly two-thirds of which required treatment in intensive care units; and

WHEREAS, Alcohol is a leading cause of death and injury from driving under the influence, and contributes to violence, sexual assault, suicide, family and community disruption and poor school performance; and

WHEREAS, Long-term consequences of alcohol abuse include liver damage, cancer, birth defects, and altered brain development in young people; and

WHEREAS, The combination of alcohol and energy drinks may lead intoxicated persons to conclude mistakenly that they are capable of potentially dangerous activities, such as driving, because they feel more alert and awake; and

WHEREAS, Consumers of alcoholic energy drinks run an increased risk for alcohol poisoning when binge drinking since more alcohol can be ingested before physically passing out; now therefore be it

RESOLVED, That the Virginia PTA/PTSA seeks legislation to require alcoholic energy drink manufacturers to (1) redesign the look alike packaging to avoid product confusion with nonalcoholic beverages, (2) physically separate alcoholic from nonalcoholic beverages in retail stores, (3) conform with federal regulations regarding alcohol content in malt beverages, and (4) provide prominent health and safety warning labels on each container; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Virginia PTA/PTSA encourages local units to provide information to their members about the dangers of consuming alcoholic energy drinks; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Virginia PTA/PTSA submit this Resolution to National PTA and encourage adoption of this position to meet the deadline for the 2009 National PTA Convention.

Alternative Financing for Capital Projects for Public Education

Year Adopted: 1994

RESOLVED, that the Virginia Congress of Parents and Teachers supports legislation that

Alternative Financing for Capital Projects for Public Education

Year Adopted: 1994

RESOLVED, that the Virginia Congress of Parents and Teachers supports legislation that

Alternatives to Unlimited Television Viewing of Violence

Year Adopted: 1994

RESOLVED, that the Virginia Congress of Parents and Teachers promote responsible viewing and alternatives to television viewing; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Virginia Congress of Parents and Teachers promote a campaign to involve families through their local PTA units in seeking solutions to the problems created by unrestricted television viewing, giving them suggested alternative family activities (available through the National PTA, school guidance counselors and other sources); and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Virginia Congress of Parents and Teachers encourage selectivity in limited predetermined viewing for a one-to-four week period by providing a monitoring chart with discussion and evaluation questions (available through the National PTA); and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Virginia Congress of Parents and Teachers, seek legislation to declare the week of February 12-18, 1995, as PTA FAMILY ALTERNATIVE TO TELEVISION WEEK; and be it further

RESOLVED, that local PTA units, working with their local governing bodies, seek regulations to require television cable providers to make available, at no charge to consumers, a blocking device which would allow families to limit program and channel access to children in the home.

American Sign Language

Year Adopted: 1995

Requests the VA Dept. Of Education (DOE) examine the feasibility of granting credit for ASL courses for specific university requirements.

American Sign Language (ASL) Course Work and Foreign Language Credit

Year Adopted: 1996

RESOLVED, that the Virginia Congress of Parents and Teachers request tha thte Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Board of Education allow for the development of American Sign Language as a 3-unit language and recognize the completion of a 3-unit single language requirement in American Sign Language as a fulfillment of the foreign language requirement for an Advanced Studies Diploma.