Parent-Teacher Partnership Results in Trip to the White House

STEm-NSF“There are so many great teachers out there that need to be recognized,” says former local Virginia PTA president Christie Olsen. A few years ago, Christie took her own advice and nominated her twin daughters’ teacher, Stephanie Chlebus, for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Stephanie went on to become the 2012 PAEMST awardee for mathematics in Virginia, for which she received a certificate signed by the President, a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and a trip for two to Washington, D.C., where she met President Obama.

“Stephanie is unique as a teacher, in that she makes every single one of her students feel like they are just as good as the next student in mathematics,” explains Christie, who was able to see this first hand with her daughters. “She’s always willing to provide more challenges for students that are excelling, while using her talents to find innovative ways to teach the kids that might not be getting it.”

Building Partnerships and Keeping Communication Open

As we all know, the relationship between parent and teacher is an important one. Christie nominated her daughters’ teacher, Stephanie, for the PAEMST award because she had built a partnership with her. To do this, according to Christie, there must be trust between all parties that everyone (parent, teacher, administrator, etc.) is acting in the best interest of the child. Once that is established, open communication is the best way to build the parent-teacher partnership. “One party can’t shut out the other. It just won’t work,” Christie advises.

On the other end, as the teacher, Stephanie has instituted several initiatives to foster collaboration between herself and the parents of her students. She emails parents every week to give them an idea of the objectives and content that will be taught in the upcoming days. This enables parents to have deeper conversations with their children about what’s going on in the classroom and what they’re learning each day. She also engages parents and families with several events, such as family math game night and parent Academy night.

What’s Stephanie’s advice for parents who are thinking about getting more involved in the PTA or volunteering in their child’s classroom? “Do it!” She stresses, though, to remember that every teacher is different. While some teachers may be dying for volunteers, other teachers may not be comfortable (or are not allowed) to have parent volunteers in the classroom. She suggests you offer your help and give the teacher the opportunity to tell you what they need. Like Christie, she stresses the importance of open communication.

Stephanie also points out that without the support of the PTA at her school, she wouldn’t have been able to put on the events that families love. “A strong PTA that supports its teachers, results in teachers who can run more initiatives to help its students,” she adds.

Recognizing Teachers for Outstanding Work

The importance of being nominated for PAEMST by a parent was not lost on Stephanie. “I know my colleagues see me working day in and day out to make learning relevant to students, but to have that come across to a parent through her children’s love and desire for math meant the world to me,” she shares. “Having a parent nominate me for PAEMST was the biggest compliment I can receive as a teacher.”

Both Stephanie and Christie note that parents can be involved in recognizing great teachers. Stephanie says that several parents pulled together student quotes for her PAEMST application, which helped give her application a personal touch. Christie suggests nominating the exceptional teachers in your school for awards like PAEMST.

“Any way you can recognize a great teacher for being great, or motivate them to keep doing a great job, is essential. It’s a great loss when outstanding teachers get disillusioned and leave the profession. Even if they don’t apply, and it’s just a nomination, you are still recognizing that they are going above and beyond for their students.”

Learn more about PAEMST and how to nominate a great teacher in your child’s life by April 1.


 

Dr. Nafeesa Owens is the program lead to the Presidential Awards for Excellence for Mathematics and Science Teaching program at the National Science Foundation. Most importantly, she is the mother of twin boys who are in kindergarten and is a local PTA member.

3 Reasons Why PTA Means So Much to Me

Anna-King-grandchildrenA few years ago, a politician said something to me that hit me to my core and helped me find my voice. He was talking about the need for prisons and said they knew whether a child would go to college or prison by how they could read in the third grade.

So I thought, if we know that children are in trouble by the third grade, the answer isn’t to build prisons, it’s to build better schools and help our kids!

I believe in education and I hope you do too—because, now more than ever, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and everyone who cares about children needs to speak out loudly and effectively on their behalf. And no organization helps us do that better than National PTA.

If you’ve ever had kids in your life, PTA needs no introduction. You know about the cookie dough and wrapping paper drives that your school’s PTA puts on. Sometimes they’re trying to buy nicer playground equipment or new technology. Other times they’re making sure kids have the basic supplies, like notebooks and pencils.

It might seem strange because I am a grandmother in Oklahoma who’s raised her kids, but I am still inspired to be a part of the PTA chorus of advocating for every child with one voice. Here’s why:

  • You don’t have to have a student in school to join and use your voice. To me, that’s so inspiring. It shows me what’s possible. My own children are grown, but that doesn’t mean I no longer have a vested interest in today’s kids and schools. I now advocate side by side with my children for my grandchildren. I know that when schools are good, kids have a better chance to succeed—and when kids succeed, our community and country succeeds too. With leadership and guidance from National PTA, I’ve knocked on state and federal legislators’ doors, the governor’s door, spoken up at state and school board meetings and rallied other parents and community lead­ers to get involved. And I’ve seen how we can make a difference together because you can, too.
  • It takes a village of people who care, get more involved. My daughter’s high school didn’t have a PTA when she started as a freshman. But because of family and community involvement, it now has a strong and active group of parents, grandparents, alumni, teachers (and students!), who are working on behalf of their school. Feeding over 300 students bi-weekly with the food pantry is just one thing this PTA is now doing. Because of family and community involvement, local schools where I live have resources from our school district on how to help homeless par­ents and get clothing and shelter to abused moms and kids. Because of family and community involvement, PTAs throughout Oklahoma City and the entire state of Oklahoma are talking to each other, working with each other and speaking up for kids with each other.
  • You can make every child’s dream a reality. Right now, National PTA is leading the charge to restore federal funds that have been cut from education, bring pre-kindergarten to every child, ensure safe and healthy environments in all schools, raise the bar on academic achievement so every child can reach his or her full potential, and more. Whether we’re talking about funding for pre-kindergarten or creating safe schools, this is a fight for our future.

So let’s give our kids the bright future they deserve. We need to stand together to change the world for our children and grandchildren. Will you join me by donating to National PTA, the nation’s most determined and trusted voice for children? We can make a difference!


Anna King is a member of National PTA board of directors, former president of Oklahoma PTA and is a part of the Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Commission and participates in the Oklahoma Prevention Leadership Collaborative.

The Smart Talk Holiday Gift Tags

The-Smart-Talk-Holiday-Tags-Horizontal-Wide-750x313Digital devices are topping holiday wish lists for many kids this year. Are you considering giving the gift of technology this year? Perhaps you are upgrading your smartphone and passing down your old phone to your child. Before your child starts using their new (or new used) smart device it’s important to set some smart ground rules.

While many new devices come with instruction booklets- they don’t cover things like who your kid should be “friending” or “following” and when they should share texts with a trusted adult. It’s up to parents to have clear conversations with their kids about using technology responsibly and that can leave many parents wondering where to start. The good news is that there’s a tool that makes the whole process a no-brainer.

LifeLock and the National PTA recently teamed up to create The Smart Talk, a free, online toolkit to help you set up—with your child—some technology ground rules. The goal? A healthier relationship with technology.

Just sit down with your child and review a series of questions on a variety of important, tech topics—from privacy to respect, from apps to social media. In about 15 minutes, you’ll have an agreement you can print, sign and post on the fridge for easy reference.

And just in time for the holidays, we also have gift tags that you can use to remind your family to talk about technology before the fun and games begin. Just print and use as tags on all your tech gifts!

Have a great holiday—and kick off the New Year with The Smart Talk!


Erin Thwaites is the Associate Manager, Health & Safety at National PTA.

Maryland PTA Helps Parents Interpret Results of New PARCC Assessments

parccThis past spring, millions of students across the country took the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) assessments in English language arts/literacy and mathematics for the first time. Parents are now receiving their children’s scores from the tests.

Since these are new tests and assess skills like critical-thinking and problem-solving, the score reports may look different from reports provided to families from previous tests. As part of its ongoing commitment to help families navigate the changes taking place in classrooms, Maryland PTA collaborated with the Maryland State Department of Education to conduct webinars and in-person programs for parents across the state to answer their questions on the new assessments, help them interpret their children’s scores on the tests and empower them with tools and resources to support their children’s success. The information sessions also were designed to help parents work together with their children’s teachers and administrators to fill gaps in learning as determined from the PARCC results to ensure children graduate prepared for college and careers.

The PARCC tests measure the extent to which students are learning the knowledge and skills they need to progress in their K-12 education and beyond. The new score reports are designed to be actionable and be tools for parents to understand where their child is doing well and where there may be a need for additional support. This information, along with grades, teacher feedback and scores on other tests, will help give parents a more complete picture of how well their child is performing academically.

As part of the information sessions, Maryland PTA utilized BeALearningHero.org and Understandthescore.org. BeALearningHero.org features a search engine where parents can find tools and resources—in English and Spanish—specific to their child’s needs­. UnderstandTheScore.org includes a Score Report Guide to help parents identify the key factors that determine their child’s performance on the PARCC test, as well as his/her academic gaps and strengths in English language arts/literacy and mathematics. Once parents pinpoint their child’s strengths or needs, they can connect to resources, tools and activities that support their child’s achievement.

We know every parent wants the best for their children and wants to support their learning in the most effective ways. Maryland PTA will continue to deliver regularly-updated, timely information to help parents feel confident and informed.

Parents can visit www.MDpta.org to learn more about the PARCC results and to receive regular updates with tools, tips and resources.


Elizabeth Ysla Leight is the president at Maryland PTA.

Family Reading Ideas for Holiday Break

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Families should read together during holiday break to help make a smooth and successful return to school, without forgetting important skills students have already learned so far this year. There are many ways to read without cracking open a book. Get creative this holiday!

Here are some fun ideas to help your kids remember important school skills like reading, writing and math:

  1. Ditch those school books and replace them with fun classic holiday books. Make sure even the big kids are included by taking turns reading. My oldest loves reading the Night Before Christmas for her little sisters and cousins.
  2. Get your kids involved with holiday cooking. Have them read the recipe while you all prepare the meal. It works great with cookie baking, too!
  3. Make your holiday cards this year, have the kids write them out and display their art work. Who doesn’t love a handmade card?
  4. If you’re driving this holiday break, then use signs and license plates to find hidden alphabet letters, or try and find all the states license plates on a map. Have them color in each state on a map!
  5. Grocery shopping is always a fun way to practice counting and reading with your kids without them even knowing! The bigger kids can learn math by helping you stick to your budget. Tell them what you want and how much you’d like to spend. The smaller ones can read and cross off the items on the list. You can even give each child a color and they have to find items for it, for example, yellow = bananas.
  6. Play games as a family that require reading, math and spelling. One of my 6-year-old’s favorite games is Yahtzee! It was so much fun—everyone was playing, grandpa, uncles and aunts! She was so happy! Little did she know it was reinforcing her math skills.
  7. To keep your kids up on their computer skills, ask the teacher for links to the websites they use at school for math, spelling and reading.

Use your imagination because reading can be so much fun!


Julie Spence is the National PTA Family Reading Ambassador and 2015 #FamiliesRead Challenge winner.

 

Our Students Deserve to Succeed

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There are three key supports needed to achieve student success: home, school and community.

We expect quite a bit from our future leaders, but I have asked myself the question that I now pose to you: “What should public school students expect from us—home, school and community—during this academic year?”

As parents, teachers, administrators and community members, we must operate as a cohesive and collaborative support system to help students excel. They shouldn’t have to do it alone.

We should hold ourselves and each other accountable for our critical role in ensuring students succeed and achieve the desired outcome of “ready by exit.” Ready by exit means regardless of the grade level, our students have learned the information for that grade level and are ready to advance without remediation by the end of the school year.

Parents
There are many ways we can actively engage or increase our engagement in our children’s education. We can ensure that students get enough sleep, arrive at school on time and have safe afterschool care; join and participate in the parent teacher association (PTA); help with their homework, or find someone else, such as a student in a higher grade or a college student, who can help.

Organizations like 100 Black Men, Boys & Girls Clubs and the YMCA/YWCA have tutorial programs. Our active participation shows our children that their education is important and demonstrates our expectation that they excel. Parents can discover new and interesting things about our children, their schools, teachers and friends as we spend more time with our children.

Teachers and Administrators
We must provide more classrooms and school environments that breed and encourage:

  • Lasting success
  • Compelling, relevant and challenging curricula
  • Innovative teachers and teaching practices
  • Inviting school climates with solid anti-bullying policies and practices
  • Data-driven improvement plans and intervention strategies
  • Varied extracurricular activities

We must believe that all children can learn at high levels. Beyond us believing it, however, we must also help our children believe it because so many have been convinced that they can’t.

Community
We must support our students, parents, teachers and administrators by building relationships with them. Here’s how:

Stop by a local school and find out how you can make a difference.

  • Become a partner with a local school and offer your services or the expertise and resources of your business or organization.
  • Serve on a local school council.
  • Get involved as a tutor, mentor, guest speaker or member of the booster club or PTA.

Our students are more than capable of doing the work! However, we must give them access to educational opportunities that equip them to be competitive; remove the obstacles hindering their progress; set high achievement expectations and provide support structures that contribute to their ability to succeed.

100 Black Men of America, Inc. and its like-minded collaborative partners invite you to join the collective efforts for systemic and sustainable education reform. It is our responsibility to raise our collective voices in advocacy and take action so that high-performing public schools and students in our communities become the norm rather than the exception. Our students deserve to succeed!


Brian L. Pauling is the national president and CEO of 100 Black Men of America, Inc.

7 Tips for your Most Effective Parent-Teacher Conference Yet

How to make the most of your parent-teacher conference

In many school districts across the country, it’s time for the first parent-teacher conferences of the year. For parents, this meeting can cause anxiety because it is an evaluation of their child’s academic and social development.

I’ve been on both sides of these conferences, and the best approach for parents is to put aside all reservations and use the opportunity to establish a relationship with your child’s teacher.

Now that students are settled into the new school year, this is the perfect time to talk with your child’s teacher about his progress — and any potential challenges — and then work together to set goals for success for the year.

Research shows that partnering with teachers and engaging in your child’s learning improves her achievement and social skills.
Here’s how you can make the most of your parent-teacher conference so you can best support your child:

  1. Schedule your meeting — Typically, your child’s teacher will contact you when it’s time for parent-teacher conferences and give you dates when you can meet with her. This gives you time to prepare and schedule the meeting. If you need a translator, sign language interpreter or other help, you can plan for someone to attend the meeting with you.
  2. Talk with your child first — Before your meeting, talk to your child. Find out which subjects your child likes best, and which ones he doesn’t like — and why. Use National PTA’s Parents’ Guides to Student Success as a tool to help understand a clear, consistent expectations for what students should be learning at each grade level. Sometimes, there is a concern your child doesn’t know how to express themselves, and you can talk to the teacher directly about it.
  3. Create a list of questions — These meetings can go by quickly. The teacher will have a prepared report, so you need to be prepared too. To have a productive two-way conversation, prepare a list of questions so you can leave the meeting with a comprehensive understanding of how your child is doing academically and socially in the classroom and how to address any issues. These questions should provide guidance and outline important talking points.
  4. Listen to the teacher’s perspective, then tell your side — Be open-minded and don’t judge your child’s teacher until you hear his side. A parent-teacher conference shouldn’t be the first time a teacher or parent should learn about a problem, but sometimes it is. It’s hard not to be defensive, but assess the situation before reacting and share any contributing factors, such as a parent divorce, death, bullying or medical issues so the teacher has a full perspective on any issues.
  5. Take notes — Don’t forget your notebook and pen! Jot down possible areas of improvement or positive feedback you want to monitor or talk about when you go back home to your child. It’s also handy if you have several teachers to visit, such as during middle or high school.
  6. Ask to see work samples and other important documents — Parents should ask to see samples of their child’s work and ask about any activities they can do at home with their child to support her learning. Go over any other documents like the syllabus and upcoming projects or events.
  7. Give your contact information — Parents and teachers should schedule a follow-up conference and decide on the best way to stay in touch for progress reports. Consistent communication (via email, phone, etc.) will help build the relationship and address issues immediately.

These tips will help you best support and advocate for your child. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your child excel in school. Good luck!


Laura Bay is National PTA’s president. This blog was originally posted on SheKnows.com.

Lessons Learned: A Principal Bridges the Gap Between a School and a Community

shutterstock_207420427This blog post was originally published on National Association of Secondary School Principal’s (NASSP) blog. Read more

Meaningful family-community engagement and principal leadership are two essential components for effective school reform. Yet, often these two elements can sometimes operate separately from each other and collaboration between school leaders and the community can be a challenge.

October is National Principals Month, which means it is an opportunity for communities to recognize the important work principals do for our students across the country. I wanted to share one way in which a local PTA and a bright elementary school principal worked together to unite a community in educating our students.

Recently, as a PTA officer and the only male on the executive committee at my local elementary school, I was assigned to connect with the new male school principal. I smiled at the gesture and opportunity. This was his first opportunity to lead a school. A few weeks into the school year, I met with him. My initial impression was that he did not recognize that a local PTA can be a valuable resource to our school. I began to talk about our challenges and successes with the previous principal we had as a team. After talking with the new principal, I realized both of us were strong believers in the power of family-community engagement. I spoke about opportunities in the neighborhood to increase local business engagement within the school and PTA.

At a subsequent meeting, the principal outlined strategies to target local businesses. He placed more emphasis on an action based approach where students and teachers partner with businesses to define a problem and find a solution. The PTA—along with teachers—spoke with businesses and asked for financial contributions but also, as the principal outlined, asked for participation in the classroom. All of the businesses agreed to participate, resulting in our PTA receiving significant financial contributions and the school receiving a few months’ supply of free paper.

With input from local business leaders, the principal developed an innovative program to have business leaders interact with students in the classroom. The local businesses came in and spoke about their work and problems they experienced in their business. The students were then asked to help solve those problems. In some cases, the teachers made it an interactive homework assignment. The owners returned to the class and listened to students present their ideas on how to solve the proposed issues.

This program was well received by all. The students felt their opinions mattered, which created a better learning experience. Teachers learned more about their students’ abilities to communicate and solve problems. And in some cases, the business owner learned something new or something he/she did not recognize about their own business.

As a result of that successful teaming, the new principal’s opinion about the value of our PTA changed. I believe he now sees the PTA as an important partner in education as opposed to just a fundraising group.

I also learned a few valuable lessons in this project that can help local PTA leaders work with talented principals across the country to help educate our children:

  1. Start by working together on ONE project. You will begin to make connections and watch how it pays off and how you build on the relationships from there.
  2. Utilize the past experience of others.
  3. Place a priority on your community partners and reach out to them.
  4. Make it a win/win solution.
  5. This is simple but often overlooked.

Eddie Gleason is a PTA member of Glenn Dale Elementary School in Maryland and serves as the federal legislative chair of Maryland PTA.

 

Today is International Walk to School Day!

walktoschooldayThe rush to get out the door on time and then…

The giggles…

The songs that you sing to pace your fast feet…

The camaraderie with neighborhood buddies…

The bond among tired, decaffeinated parents…

The “Mom, did you know?” moments that you want to bottle up forever…and ever…

Those few seconds you’re still permitted to hold his hand as you cross the street.

And all of this before the school bell rings –

All of this during your walk to school or the bus stop.

Today is International Walk to School Day 2015!

Today we celebrate this simple, every day activity that connects generations of families. Today, we celebrate the PTA leaders nationwide who are partnering with their schools and transportation officials to host Walk to School Day events. On this day, we are reminded that “active kids do better” and physical activity in the morning helps students to focus more on their studies the rest of the day.

Walk to School Day looks different in every school community. Some kids always walk to school so on this day – they enjoy a more festive route and a celebration when they arrive. Other kids live too far for a walk, so they meet at a “drop-off” location to join friends and their families on a shared route. Still others are joining a Walking School Bus, or a group of kids walking with parents who rotate the responsibility of shepherding kids safely to school.

Today is the day that parents are reminded to teach and practice important pedestrian safety tips, like left-right-left before crossing, or don’t text and walk. Look around and you’ll see increased foot traffic equals increased enforcement and traffic patrols, increased recognition for those awesome school crossing guards, and increased caution among drivers. And this is awesome – and celebratory – and safer for our children and families walking to school or the bus stop TODAY.

But what happens tomorrow?

International Walk to School Day serves as a launch pad for year-round Safe Routes to School efforts to educate students about pedestrian and bike safety, encourage families to choose walking and biking as their mode of transportation, and mobilize communities around advocating for safer walking and biking environments especially near schools.

Since it began in 2000, thousands of school communities have benefited as a result of what happens after each International Walk to School Day and millions of families have benefited from the Safe Routes to School movement.

walktoschoolday1Honoring Deb Hubsmith who fired up our feet for Safe Routes to School

Today, I’m walking with my kids and local PTA in honor of a woman who led the launch of this movement – Deb Hubsmith, founder of Safe Routes to School National Partnership. Sadly, Deb passed away in August from Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

In the early 2000s, I knew I was witnessing history when I stood near the US Capitol Building – listening to Deb Hubsmith and Congressman Oberstar fuel our passions and fire up our feet as we began our day of lobbying for an unprecedented commitment to Safe Routes to School funding.

At the time, I managed the pedestrian and bike safety programs for Safe Kids Worldwide, which provided grants to support local Walk to School Day events and create task forces focused on safer school environments.

I remember standing among a hundred or so pedestrian and bike advocates and listening to this passionate woman – not much older than my 20-something self – share her vision for more active school communities. She revved us up that day. We were ready to roll as one team from many different organizations toward one objective: Safe Routes to School funding.

Proudly in 2005 – thanks to Deb’s leadership rallying all of us together for this cause – the first Safe Routes to School legislation by the U.S. Congress passed. It dedicated $1.1 billion for Safe Routes to School in all 50 states. Fast forward a decade, Deb’s vision and leadership continued to play such a significant role in the September 2015 launch of Step it Up! The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Walking and Walkable Communities.

Today, the National PTA is proud of its strategic collaboration with the organization Deb founded, Safe Routes to School National Partnership. During the last few years, I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with Deb and her staff frequently about our joint program Fire Up Your Feet. And I was even honored to share the stage with her at a few events where we encouraged audiences to support policy and programs that make it possible for kids to safely walk or bike to school.

The last time I saw Deb in-person was at the National Walking Summit in 2013. She was full of passion and spirit and I never would’ve known she didn’t feel well. She reminded me recently that she was diagnosed with leukemia two weeks later. Please take a few minutes to honor Deb’s life and legacy by watching a video from that October 2013 event where she shared why her organization and the National PTA partnered with Kaiser Permanente to leverage Walk to School Day as a launch pad for Fire Up Your Feet.

Listen to her passionate radiance. It’s as if you can feel her everlasting energy – her vision that will continue to fuel and inspire the Safe Routes to School movement today and every day.


Mary Pat King is the director of programs and partnerships at National PTA.

New School Year. New Smart Phone. New Ground Rules.

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Co-authored by Hilary Schneider, President of LifeLock, Inc.

The start of a new school year comes with new people to meet, new material to learn, new rules to follow and for some kids, new responsibilities like taking care of their first phone or device and diving into a whole new social world online.

Today, kids are getting phones at seemingly younger and younger ages. A new survey commissioned by LifeLock revealed that 30 percent of 9-year-olds have a phone.

Just as we want to ensure children start the new year strong and stay on track to success, we want the same for their participation in the online world. As expectations and goals are set for children for the school year, it is important to also set rules for their use of digital devices and teach them how to be good digital citizens.

In our day jobs at National PTA and LifeLock, we talk a lot about finding a balance between the opportunity to build friendships, learn and have fun using technology and the need to stay safe and develop healthy lifestyles — online and off. But it’s one thing to talk about digital safety and another thing entirely to live it. As parents, we get it. And as business leaders, we think we can help.

National PTA and LifeLock have launched a new, free digital tool called The Smart Talk to help families set ground rules around technology. Our goal is to bring families together to have productive conversations about online behavior, using the latest thinking from best-in-class experts.

The Smart Talk provides an interactive experience that guides kids and parents through a series of questions and conversations about topics such as safety and privacy, screen time, social media, reputation and respect. After agreeing on healthy limits together, a personalized, official family agreement can be stored on the computer or printed and posted at home. We call it “fridge-worthy.”

The survey commissioned by LifeLock also showed that while 79 percent of today’s families have technology agreements with their children, only 6 percent of those are written. The Smart Talk can not only help families formalize rules, but also identify check-in points down the road to update those rules.

It’s a chance to start and build good digital habits, like not bringing the phone to the dinner table or turning off the computer well before bedtime. And for those kids who might get a phone this year, it’s a chance to learn and grow together with their parents.

For more on managing your child’s use of technology or to develop a family technology agreement, visit TheSmartTalk.org and “like” #TheSmartTalk on Facebook.


Nathan R. Monell, CAE is the executive director of National PTA and a proud father of two public school students. Hilary Schneider is president of LifeLock, Inc. and was previously an executive vice president at Yahoo!. National PTA and LifeLock have collaborated to raise awareness and increase understanding of smart and effective practices families can use to foster good digital habits among kids and teens.