Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School is celebrating a double success. In a month when the school is able to announce that it has earned full accreditation for the 2019-20 school year, its PTA has also been honored for its dynamic work in boosting its PTA membership and parent involvement.
The Virginia PTA has presented the Jefferson-Houston PTA with a Superior Award for having one of the largest percentages of membership (in relation to their school population) in the Commonwealth of Virginia. They also won an Outstanding Award for increasing membership growth by 35.92% within the past 12 months.
Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School has made rapid progress and will be fully accredited for the 2019-20 school year for the first time in more than 10 years. The school has also been transformed into a community school with passionate advocates and partners over the past six years.
The PTA efforts have been greatly appreciated by the school’s administration which knows that parent partnership is crucial.
“It has been a long journey and taken much from many people to get us to today. We want to thank our staff, students, partners and of course our parent community. All of us at Jefferson-Houston are extremely grateful for the collaborative relationships that helps to make our school such a special place,” said principal MScott Berkowitz.
When Sarah Mehaffey, mother to two ACPS students, began her tenure as president of the school’s PTA, she had little idea quite what an impact she would be able to make.
But by the time she bowed out at the end of the 2018-19 academic year, she had helped create a strong bond between staff and parents that she is confident is lasting.
“We are people who are interested in building up and not taking down. Our message has always been, ‘If you have an hour to help, contact us. If you want to lead something, let us know.’”
She added, ”The thing I’m most proud of is just the way we have become better at supporting teachers and our families. If someone needs something, they know to reach out to us and that we can help. Building that bridge is really important. That is now robust and enduring.”
Established 120 years ago, the PTA is the oldest and largest child advocacy association in America. Nationwide there are more than four million members who share a commitment to improving the education, health and safety of all children.
Within ACPS, each of our schools has an individual PTA with the Alexandria PTA Council (PTAC) overseeing each chapter. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to join or renew their membership at the beginning of each academic year for a nominal fee.
If you are able to, attend a meeting and check out what opportunities there are for you to help out at your child’s school. You really could make a difference.