The Winters Combined Parent Teachers Association (Winters PTA) has a new board and a new slate of events happening in 2023, and couldn’t be more excited to share it with the community. Board President Danielle Smith spoke with the Winters Express to discuss what this new year will look like for the Winters PTA and for the families of Winters’ elementary schools.
Winters PTA was one of many organizations that have had a number of serious difficulties in the last three years, and Smith acknowledged the previous PTA boards who “held it together during the pandemic” because “running a PTA is no easy feat.”
But Smith said the new board is eager to continue and expand on the work of previous Winters PTA boards, with the guiding hope of having the “diverse board to remain intact, that puts equity, inclusion, and student-parent engagement at the forefront of all that we do. It’s also our hope that we can be the liaison between families and the education system in a way that brings enrichment and excitement for the elementary schools in our district.”
Regarding what families can expect from Winters PTA, Smith said, “I think the community can look forward to a more prominent social media and marketing presence,” in addition to the board’s, “passion for diversity and student-centered enrichment activities.”
“We wanted to collaborate with the community and our families, and the best way to do that is to be present physically and through media outlets,” Smith said. “Our current board brings incredible knowledge from all sorts of backgrounds and it’s been so fun to see how we’ve been able to work so cohesively as a 10-member board.”
One of the main efforts of the board has been working to gain and maintain the trust of both parents and teachers in the district, with Smith saying, “we want this program to stay and thrive, and it’s going to take adjusting and educating, but a fully engaged PTA can exist in a small town.”
Smith called ensuring all families and communities in Winters stay engaged, informed, and heard, “the most important and difficult thing we have to do, and are continuing to do to this day,” especially, “bridging the gap between English- and Spanish-speaking families, and making school a place that is equitable and enjoyable for all.”
The Winters PTA is also working to encourage connection and understanding between teachers and families by organizing time for parents to talk with both current and future teachers and having weekly spotlights for educators on the Winters PTA’s social media with information about them, which Smith says “helps humanize the education system” for families.
Smith also highlighted the importance of supporting teachers by filling out their classroom wishlists, which she thanks the community for helping to provide assistance which she says, “has been life-changing for these teachers and these students, getting learning materials, furniture, books for these classrooms to accommodate all students and their learning needs.”
Smith noted some upcoming events being organized by the Winters PTA coming in the immediate future. This includes Heritage Night on Jan. 26 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Shirley Rominger Intermediate School, free for all Rominger and Waggoner Elementary families. Smith says the event will have families share “food, dance, or artwork from their culture, and it’s a great way to celebrate the diversity that exists in our district and for students to learn about one another.
There will also be a Valentine’s Day Family Dance on Feb. 10 from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Rominger multipurpose room, also free for Rominger and Waggoner families. Smith encouraged families to follow Winters PTA’s social media accounts to see the most recent information on events, times and locations.