Cleburne ISD now has two campuses recognized as National PTA Schools of Excellence, with Marti Elementary achieving the designation for 2018-2020.
Marti received the national honor for the collaboration between campus administration, staff and PTA leaders relating to parent and community involvement. From no-cost school events to family movie night, curriculum nights and other family-focused activities, the goal was to make the parents and families of Marti students feel welcome—and needed.
“This was a year-long process and required a lot of commitment, strategic planning and hard work from our PTA leaders and our staff,” principal Mary Boedeker said. “There was a lot of behind the scenes communication with state and national PTA leaders. Achieving this recognition was a goal and reflects the partnership between PTA and Marti, and also our PTA’s desire to bring parents in and let them know their involvement was important.”
Smith Middle School is in year-two of their National PTA School of Excellence recognition. The campus has twice received the award for building effective school-family partnerships, based on national PTA standards which include welcoming all families, communicating effectively, supporting student success, speaking up for every child, sharing power and collaborating with community.
Marti PTA President Veronica Fonseca said Board members wanted to revamp the role of PTA at the campus in undertaking the year-long process in seeking the national recognition.
“We evaluated what we wanted to do at Marti, as a PTA and a school, to make it more family friendly and inclusive,” Fonseca said. “We wanted PTA events to be viewed as activities for the family. We wanted to reconnect with our families and to have fun in the process.”
The Marti PTA Board also credited the support their unit received from school adopters and the community in providing donations for activities and programs. Their praise included Boedeker and Fonseca in choosing to take parent and community involvement to a higher level at the campus.
“It was a lot of work,” Laura Steele said. “Mrs. Boedeker was so supportive. Her encouragement and her desire for us to achieve this was a huge part of our success. She has done great things for our school.”
“Veronica, as our president, didn’t let this fall through the cracks,” fellow Board member CC Biggs said. “She pushed us—that was the only way we could have achieved these goals.”
Both Marti principal and PTA president say the work is far from over, with the National School of Excellence banner now prominently displayed at the school. The achievement was recognized by CISD Trustees at their September board meeting.
“We want to show our families we are here for the long haul,” Fonseca said. “We are still growing in our goals. We do see more parents involved this year. I think they feel welcome and needed and that there are opportunities to serve.”
“This year, our job is to continue to involve parents and community,” Boedeker said. “We plan to add parent education to our efforts in providing information on our campus and district Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math initiatives. We are also going to focus on social media and internet safety and will be addressing the emotional and physical needs of today’s students and what school and parents can do in helping children be successful at school.”
The National PTA introduced the School of Excellence program in 2013 to help strengthen family-school partnerships and achieve measurable progress in the areas of education, health and safety and arts and cultural exploration.
Nationwide, 278 school have received the 2018-2020 designation, including 55 from Texas.
Marti Elementary has become the second CISD campus to receive the National PTA School of
Excellence Award, based on a year-long initiative by school staff and PTA leaders to build and strengthen family-school partnerships. Pictured center is Marti Principal Mary Boedeker with PTA Board members from left, Chelsea Williams, CC Biggs, Danny Boedeker, Laura Steele, Tracy Easley and President Veronica Fonseca.