NYS PTA Advocacy Newsbriefs... November 2013

NYS PTA Advocacy Newsbriefs

Bullying Awareness

Bullying Word CloudBullying continues to be in the news, whether it is directed at children or adults. Many victims, especially children with disabilities, experience multiple acts of bullying that range from physical acts to verbal abuse to cyber bulling. At one time, bullying was considered just a part of “growing up”. Research is now recognizing the horrible effects. Together, we need to continue to develop policies to prevent bullying and promote positive social inclusion for all children. The following links may be helpful.

November is Healthy Lifestyles Month

Healthy Lifestyles MonthNovember is National PTA Healthy Lifestyles Month. This is an opportunity for regions/units/councils to show commitment to supporting health and wellness in communities. It is also an opportunity for family, school, community partnerships. Click here to review some ideas and steps for celebrating Healthy Lifestyles Month. PTAs can also use the wellness toolkit for additional resources.

Healthy Schools Network

Hurricane Sandy damage at a schoolThe Healthy Schools Network has shared an article regarding environmental concerns in schools following disasters such as Hurricane Sandy. Some of the issues include the impact on student health and how it impacts learning in environmentally compromised buildings:

Let’s Move Campaign Partners with Sesame Street

Let’s Move Campaign Partners with Sesame StreetThe Sesame Workshop and Produce Marketing Association will be working along with the Partnership for a Healthier America to promote fresh fruits and vegetables. Click here for more information.

New Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Materials Available

Prescription drug bottles and pillsThe NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) has developed links to publications as part of the prescription drug misuse campaign.
To view and order publications, check the links below:

Silk Road (online marketplace for illegal drugs)

 Site shut downAccording to Reuters News, the illegal drug website Silk Road is up and running again. It is important for parents to be mindful of internet based opportunities for young people to get illegal drugs.

Click here for more information.

Federal Mental Health Addiction Insurance Parity Rule Issued

The final ruling on the increased parity between mental health/substance use disorder benefits and medical/surgical benefits in group and individual health plans has been issued.

Click here for more information.

Parent and Family Engagement Resources

Visit the Parent and Family Engagement link, on the US Department of Education website, for interesting and informative articles and resources on parental and community involvement:
November 2013
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In the Spotlight

Common Core Learning Standards: Be Informed

Common Core
NYS PTA has been busy informing its members about the importance of the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) through articles, workshops, etc... There is a lot of misinformation out there, and some are unaware of the need for the CCLS. NYS PTA supports the CCLS, although we do have issues with the manner in which NYSED has initiated this program.

A recent PDK/Gallup annual education survey revealed that nearly two-thirds of Americans have never heard of the CCLS. Survey results also indicate that 95% of Americans think schools should teach critical thinking goals, a main goal of the CCLS. Be informed about the CCLS. The more you know, the more supportive you will be. For information on the CCLS in NYS, please visit www.engageny.org. For PDK/Gallup survey results, please visit www.pdkpoll.org.

We are offering a new campaign CORE to take with you to the upcoming SED forums:
  • Value input from parents
  • Order a one-year delay
  • Implement first, test second
  • Create improved, flexible testing
  • Expand professional development.
You will notice that these five key points spell out the word VOICE; this is intentional.

Our PTA VOICE must be heard and easy to remember. We stand for sensible measures that will help all children and families realize the promise of the Common Core standards. Click here for more information. (Click here to go directly to the Talking Points.)
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“Advocacy is at the heart of PTA's mission and vision. Taking action provides both parents and PTA leaders with the resources to become more involved with their community at home and their community across the nation.”

It’s All About Safety

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is pressing the Department of Justice to provide funds so that parents of children with autism can get tracking devices if their child goes missing. A recent study found that about half of kids with autism have a tendency to bolt.

Senator Schumer stated that this voluntary program would offer the same type devices that are provided for individuals with Alzheimer’s.

Click here for more information.

Resources for Parents and Educators

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a page on their website dedicated to children with developmental disabilities or developmental delays.

Research has determined that approximately one in six children is impacted by these conditions. This page has many free resources available to parents and educators.

Click here for more information.

Food and Drug Administration Update

Food containing trans fats

The FDA has targeted trans fats in processed food and deemed it no longer safe. Trans fat has been linked to increased heart disease. To learn more about trans fats and partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the major dietary source of trans fat in processed food, click here.

November is Military Family Appreciation Month

In 1996, the Armed Services YMCA established Military Family Appreciation Month. The US Government acknowledges the occasion every year with a proclamation from the President declaring November Military Family Month. Communities, schools and businesses recognize military families through special events to demonstrate the nation’s support and commitment to the families of military personnel.

Click here for more information.

Did You Know...
The NYS Board of Regents meets monthly, except for August. To access the 2013 meeting schedule, agendas, materials and webcast opportunities, go to: www.regents.nysed.gov/meetings.

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