The 2020 Virtual Convention is finished. Wow! What an amazing event. Thousands of volunteer hours and hundreds of staff hours over the course of 10 weeks resulted in an awesome event. We had over 900 registrants with 40+ online events including educational webinars, panel discussions, keynote speakers, awards presentations, one-on-one coaching, and interactive online gaming. Our volunteer leaders’ commitment to providing our members training no matter what kept us focused and energized. Our membership will benefit from the lessons learned in planning and holding this virtual event for many years to come.
After taking a couple of weeks to rest up from the intensity of the convention, we will hit the ground running again. This summer we are determined to build up and share a body of resources, information, and training that will help you lead your PTA in the fall. No one knows what the fall will bring. But it is a good guess that it will be difficult. Our job at the state level will be to prepare you, to make your volunteer work easier. Now more than ever, PTA is a critical advocate for the effective education of all the children in our state. Stay tuned.
Transition to College
My heart breaks for the class of 2020. They are missing out on the commencements, parties, and celebrations that many spent the year planning. To top it off, the uncertainty around what the fall might bring is frustrating and disheartening. The good news is that there is help out there. In Washington state, we have a bevy of nonprofit organizations that exist to help seniors transition to college. They are standing ready to help families and students take this critical step despite the pandemic. Here is a list of a few that can help:
- The Puget Sound College and Career Network focuses on removing barriers for student entry to college and helping seniors prepare for and start college.
- The College Success Foundation – Spokane helps students with the overall transition to college.
- For those students and families in Whatcom and Skagit County, there is FuturesNW. They help students and families access funding for college.
- The Washington State Council of Presidents has posted a full page of resources and information to help students and families with this transition.
- The Independent Colleges of Washington has both links to the resources offered by their member schools as well as guidance on the transition.
- Offered through some schools and school districts, the Bridge to College program offers courses to help graduating seniors academically prepare for college.
Be safe and be well,
Andrew L. Estep
WSPTA Executive Director