Advocacy Webinars

Advocacy Afternoon & Learning Lab Webinars

Our Series of Advocacy Afternoon webinars and Learning Labs are designed to share information on topics that impact our students and school communities as well as connect parents and staff with policy makers and specialists. When we take time to understand the challenges that our communities face, we can raise our voices and raise the bar for all students across the Commonwealth.

If there is a topic you want to learn more about or a specific speaker you would love to hear from, please email your ideas to Vice President of Advocacy (

LUNCH & LISTEN: Changes to School Performance Reporting
Tuesday, April 16, 2024 @ 12pm

The Virginia Board of Education is developing a new school performance reporting system. Parent feedback is important! Join this Lunch & Listen with the Virginia Department of Education to learn about plans to change Virginia‘s approach to school accountability and accreditation.

Reading Together: Family Webinar
Wednesday, March 13, 2024 @ 7pm

Join the Virginia Department of Education & Virginia PTA for Reading Together. A webinar designed for families to learn about best practices in reading instruction, and how they can support their student through all stages of learning to read, and improving reading comprehension.

2024 General Assembly Preview Webinar
Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Join us for an overview of the basics of education funding and Virginia PTA’s legislative priorities. We’ll also talk about how the General Assembly works, how to participate in Capitol Day, leverage priorities that support student success and how to follow legislation from home.

Back To School Town Hall with Superintendent Dr. Lisa Coons
Thursday, September 21, 2023

Join Virginia PTA and Dr. Lisa Coons, Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction, for a conversation about education in Virginia. Learn what the Virginia Department of Education is working on and share your ideas about ways we can collectively support student success


2022 GA Webinar

General Assembly Preview Webinar
Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Join us for an overview of the basics of education funding and Virginia PTA’s legislative priorities. We’ll also talk about how the General Assembly works, how to participate in Capitol Day, leverage priorities that support student success and how to follow legislation from home.


Reading Gap Webinarv5

Lets Close the Reading Gap
Monday, January 9, 2023 (12:00pm – 1:00pm)

Reading is the cornerstone of academic success. Unfortunately, the number of students in Virginia who can’t read proficiently by 4th grade has increased as a result of the Pandemic. Join Virginia PTA, Virginia Association of Elementary School Principals, and Decoding Dyslexia Virginia for a webinar with Dr. Emily Solari, Jenna Conway, and Delegate Carrie Coyner to learn about the multi-pronged approach Virginia is using to improve reading proficiency.

Parents will learn what evidence-based literacy instruction is (and is not), what they can look for in the classroom, and practical reading strategies they can use at home to support their struggling reader. We’ll also discuss implementation of the 2022 Virginia Literacy Act, how it’s changing the way reading is being taught across Virginia, and how you can advocate for improved reading resources during the 2023 General Assembly Session.

Dr. Emily Solari, is the Edmund H. Henderson professor and coordinator in the Reading Education program in the Department of Curriculum Instruction and Special Education at the University of Virginia and is a nationally sought-after expert on reading development.

Jenna Lawrence Conway, is the Virginia Department of Education, Deputy Superintendent of Early Childhood Care and Education. Ms. Conway manages Virginia’s birth-to-five, public-private early childhood care and education systems and is supporting Virginia’s effort to help implement evidence-based literacy instruction in early elementary settings.

Delegate Carrie Coyner, represents the 62nd District in the Virginia House of Delegates. Delegate Coyner introduced the 2022 Virginia Literacy Act which requires a comprehensive approach to literacy across Virginia that relies on scientifically-based reading research and uses evidence-based practices for instruction, intervention, assessments, and teacher training.


2022 GA Webinar

2022 General Assembly VIDEOS

Join us for an overview of the basics of education funding and Virginia PTA’s legislative priorities. We’ll also talk about how the General Assembly works, how to participate in Capitol Day, leverage priorities that support student success and how to follow legislation from home.

Learning Lab 4

General Assembly Wrap-Up and Bringing Advocacy Home (Mar 4, 2021)

Will cover what happened in this General Assembly Session, how you can maintain a relationship with your legislator and ways that you can bring new legislation and ideas back to your community to enact change through your local school board.

Webinar Recording


Measuring Student Growth and School Success (Jan. 21, 2021)

Join Shelley Loving-Ryder and Julie Molique from the Virginia Department of Education to learn about state and federal testing requirements, the indicators used to accredit schools and what to expect if your school doesn’t meet the standards. We will also explore the impact of COVID-19 on school accreditation and changes the Virginia Board of Education is considering as part of the standard revision process.

Webinar Recording


General Assembly Preview (Jan. 12, 2021)

Get ready to #TakeAction4Kids! Will take a deep look at the basics of education funding, Virginia PTA’s legislative priorities and the staffing and equity funding recommended by the Virginia Board of Education. We’ll also talk about how the General Assembly works, how to follow the action, contact your legislators, and amplify our priorities.

Webinar Recording


Building an Advocacy Climate in Your School (Jan. 7, 2021)

Re-connect with our PTA mission and include advocacy in your PTA work. We will talk about balancing fundraising with advocacy and how to build family engagement and programs that lift up issues that are important to your community. We will also talk about how to use resolutions and position statements to elevate issues with your school board and legislators, and ways to build community awareness through grass roots and digital advocacy.

Webinar Recording

Supporting Latinx Families Town Hall (Aug. 27, 2020)

Join Secretary of Education Atif Qarni, the Virginia PTA, and the Virginia Latino Advisory Board on August 27th from 7:00PM to 8:30PM for a virtual town hall discussion about the community of support and services available to help Virginia’s Latinx community prepare for the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and upcoming school year. The town hall will be moderated by Secretary Qarni and simulcast in English and Spanish.

Town Hall Video and Resources for Latino Families

Advocacting for your Special Education Student (Aug. 12, 2020)

The pandemic has created new and unique changes for special education families. Join Lorraine Hightower, certified dyslexia and special education advocate for tips and tools that will help you be an effective and powerful advocate for your special needs student as you prepare for the 2020-2021 school year.

Webinar Recording || Powerpoint Slides


Virginia’s Digital Divide, Connecting Families to the Internet (Aug. 5, 2020)

Join Evan Feinman, Virginia’s Chief Broadband Advisor, to learn about progress, plans and challenges to connect rural and urban communities to high speed internet, the impact of state and federal funding and legislation on internet access and how you can help advocate to close the digital divide.

Webinar Recording || Powerpoint Slides

Additional Resources: Commonwealth Connects 2020 Report || Local Leader Guide || Rural BroadBand Fact Sheet || WiFi Hotspots Map || National PTA Position on Distance Learning

Advancing Equity & Opportunity in Virginia’s Schools (July 22, 2020)

Join Leah Dozier Walker, Director for Equity and Community Engagement at the Virginia Department of Education to learn about the work the Virginia Department of Education is undertaking to create improved learning opportunities for underserved groups including students of color, early learners, English Learners, students experiencing poverty and homelessness, and students with disabilities.

Webinar Recording || Powerpoint Slides

Additional Resources: Virginia PTA Position on Advancing Equity & Diversity || Virginia Department of Education Equity Audit || Register for #EquityVA Newsletter || #EdEquity Webinar Series

Adv Sped

Special Education During COVID-19 (July 8, 2020)

Join Hank Millward the Virginia Department of Education’s Director of the Office of Specialized Education Facilities and Family Engagement within the Department of Special Education and Student Services (SESS) for this special webinar to answer questions that families have about supporting special needs children during COVID-19.

Webinar Recording || Powerpoint Slides

Adv Mental Health

Mental Health & Suicide Prevention During COVID-19 (June 24, 2020)

Join Betsy Bell, the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Programs Coordinator for the Department of Criminal Justice Services , Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety, and Martha Montgomery, the Virginia Department of Education School Psychology Specialist for a discussion about suicide prevention and ways we can support the mental health of our students as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Webinar Recording || Powerpoint Slides

Additional Resources:  I am Worried about my Child. Where do I Start? (SPTS) || When Someone is At Risk (AFSP) || Talking to Your Kids about Suicide (SPTS) || Find a Mental Health Professional (AFSP) || Preventing Youth Suicide: Tips for Parents and Educators (NASP) || What Every Parent Should Know About Preventing Youth Suicide  || Lock and Talk Information sheet || Lock and Talk website

Adv Military

Supporting Military Families Through PTA (June 17, 2020)

Frequent moves, family separations, making new friends and adjusting to new academic standards as a result of deployments can create unique challenges for our military students. Join Military Child Education Coalition’s, Amanda Woodward, and PTA member and Military Family Education Advocate, Julie P. Shepard, to learn about the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MiC3); the programs the Virginia Department of Education provides for military families; recent Virginia legislation impacting military families and resources that are available for military families through Military Child Education Coalition.

Webinar Recording


Trauma Informed Care During COVID-19 (June 10, 2020)

Trauma informed schools are not new, and their success has been proven through extensive data. Learn what makes a school trauma informed, how it is more vital than ever before, and how to be a trauma informed schools advocate. Jenna White, Virginia PTA Health and Safety Chair, is the parent of a college age son and a middle schooler. Jenna is an ACE Interface certified presenter, and a member of the Safe and Sound Schools Leadership Council.

Webinar Recording || Powerpoint Slides

Additional Resources:  Ways to Promote Resiliance During COVID-19 || Trauma Informed Teaching-Parenting in On-line learning || Supporting Children During Coronavirus || National PTA Trauma Informed Care Position Statement