5 steps to start your PTA Reflections program

Step 1: Getting started (September)

1) Enroll your PTA in the Reflections program.

2) Check out the Reflections Guides and Rules.

3) Recruit people to be on your Reflections Committee. This is not a one person task. Ask the art, music and English teachers to be a part of the committee. Ask your fellow PTA members or parents – someone might be an artist or have connections in the art community. Look at county art councils, music schools, dance schools in your area! Check out the local tech schools or colleges too!

4) Recruit people to be judges. See the list above. One suggestion is reach out to a neighboring school for judges. If they have a Reflections program, you could judge each other’s entries.

Step 2: Promote your program (September/October)

1) Offer your age divisions and categories. For example, an elementary school that serves grades 1-5 would have two age divisions – Primary (PreK-Grade 2) and Intermediate (Grades 3-5).

Reflections Tip: If you are just starting out, you don’t have to offer all the categories. Start small. Offer Literature and Visual Arts. You can expand your program next year.

2) Distribute the Reflection Rules and Student Entry Forms.

  • Each student must have a completed Student Entry form.
  • It is important that the student and their parent/guardian sign the form.
  • They also must have a 10-100 word Artist Statement. This statement describes the artwork and how it relates to the theme.

Reflections Tip: The Student Entry Form is a Word document. Fill in your PTA information (either by typing it in the form or handwriting it) before you distribute the forms. If it is handwritten, make copies and distribute them. This will save you time.

3) Promote, promote, promote! Send out flyers in the school, local libraries and businesses, post on the PTA website, ask if you can include information in the school’s morning announcements, make an announcement at Back to School night, post on social media, emails and flyers at all PTA and school events.

Step 3: Judging (November/December)

1) Collect submissions by category and division.

2) Make sure submissions follow the rules and Student Entry Forms are completed.

3) Provide judges with instructions and materials.

Step 4: Celebrate! (November-June)

1) Assign awards by category and division.

2) Celebrate the students!

  • Announce on social media and website
  • Host student recognition event
  • Showcase student artwork in the school and community

Step 5: Advance entries to your region (November/December/January)

1) Your Region Reflection Chair’s name, contact information and region deadline are on the nyspta.org website, Programs/Arts & Reflections page.

2) Your PTA can submit two entries per category and age division to your region.

  • For example, a high school can submit 2 entries per 6 categories = 12 entries go to region.
  • An elementary PTA (Grades 1-5) might have two age divisions – Primary and Immediate. This would equal 4 entries per category go to region: 4 x 6= 24 entries. 2 Primary and 2 Immediate for Dance Choreography, etc.

Reflections Tip: Make sure to take photos of the artwork, copies of the student entry form, and a list of the entries that were sent to the region.

  • As your entries advance, there may be questions at the region, state or national level. Keeping a record will get these issues resolved quickly and efficiently.

Get creative and have fun with Reflections this year!!