Milton High School PTSA is committed to excellence. Colin Powell said, “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” Milton High School’s PTSA made a commitment to becoming a National PTA School of Excellence by strengthening our programs relative to our focus area goal from the National PTA School of Excellence Program as “Ensure Health & Safety of Students”, with the objective to support students’ emotional and mental well-being through our programs and events.
To accomplish this goal, we offer information, education, support and guidance for the growing community concerns over our teens’ mental health. Recognizing that the teen years are wrought with internal and external stressors, we provided a forum in the fall to discuss the topic via our Milton Mom’s and Dad’s luncheon featuring outside speaker John Trautwein of The Will to Live Foundation. During the second semester, Dr. Daniel Falor spoke to us about “Hormones, Brain Chemistry, and Depression in Teens”. One of our business partners, Whole Foods, hosted this event in memory of an employee/former MHS student and provided a demonstration of healthy nontoxic snack solutions suitable for the teen years. We welcomed all families within the community, including Milton parents as well as parents from other area high schools.
We also shared power by promoting and supporting MHS Kindness Week, a student initiative to encourage random acts of kindness in the MHS community. Our support of finals week included a social media blast to encourage parents to text their student MHSWLVU and #RepTheM, striving to bolster their confidence and ease their stress over testing.
Our goal related to Speaking up for Every Child was to increase Safe Home Pledge rates by giving parents an opportunity to pledge their support. The pledge focuses on the prevention of underage drinking and drug use, with the parents pledging to provide a well-supervised environment that will combat possible occurrences of drug or alcohol use in their home. The pledge is printed on the backside of all bilingual PTSA membership forms and is available on the Milton High School and PTSA websites. All families are encouraged to sign the pledge, and those families are then listed on the PTSA website in the Safe Home Pledge page. Due to our efforts at communicating the importance of the Safe Home Pledge, we successfully recruited over 400 families to sign the Safe Home this year.
In addition to Supporting Student Success outside the academic realm, our family involvement committee hosted a “Don’t Text and Drive” event concurrent with AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign. Two driving simulators were staged in the cafeteria during all lunches and the students tested their texting and driving skills. The computer software used with the driving simulators reinforced to students that texting and driving is indeed dangerous. As a result, students pledged their commitment to not text and drive on a large banner that was prominently displayed in the hallway.
MHS PTSA celebrated National PTA Red Ribbon Week with daily events, sweet treats, gifts, and pertinent health related information. Events included the giveaway of holographic wrist bands, promotional candy, a pledge banner, and a contest.
To further support student success, to help alleviate student stress, and to encourage a sense of community, this year a special area was designated by MHS administration for our seniors. The PTSA developed the area, now called Senior Square. Starting in the summer, the area was weeded, trimmed, and new mulch delivered and spread. We recruited several Eagle Scout candidates and they incorporated our needs into their Eagle Scout projects. These projects included building picnic tables and the creation of a life size chess board complete with life size chess pieces. The PTSA painted checker boards on the picnic table tops and purchased several corn hole games. The purpose of Senior Square is to provide the senior class with a special area where they can retreat for lunch and enjoy a break from the stressors of the school day.
Cynthia Knutson and Donna Savas (Milton High School PTSA, Milton, GA). Cynthia has been involved in PTA for over 20 years and has held many positions including Co-President, VP positions, nominating committee, and will hold a VP position next year on the North Fulton Council PTA board. Donna has been involved in PTAs for over 10 years, holding various positions including Co-President at each school level, VP roles, and many various committee chair positons.