Tracking Student Participation

If you’re a school Reflections chair, by now you are either having student entries judged, preparing the entries for judging, or reminding students that your school’s entry deadline is fast approaching. In any case, in about two weeks, winning entries will be advanced to the Alexandria City contest.


“The World Would Be a Better Place If We Saw the Little Details,” by Isabel M (George Washington MS)

When those top entries are advanced to the City, along with them, you’ll submit a School Participation Form. (Remember, in PTA-speak, a “Local Unit” usually means a school’s PTA.) The form’s purpose is to track the number of students at each school who take part in Reflections.

It’s a simple form that records how many entries you received in the various categories and divisions. Every entry submitted to your contest should be counted on this form, whether it won an award or not. Even entries you later had to disqualify should be counted here, to help the state and national PTAs keep track of how many students are taking part in Reflections.

(Note that some versions of this form you might download from elsewhere have a line at the bottom saying you must register your school’s program online. Disregard this instruction. Online registration is optional this year at the school level.)

Download the School Participation Form here; this one has been customized for Alexandria schools, with some  of the top information already filled out for you. For the rest of the PTA info on the form, use the same contact information as you put on your Reflections Student Entry Forms. (But if you’re an ACPS school and don’t have your school’s PTA ID# handy, you can leave that blank; the PTA Council has them all and will fill them in for you if needed.) Chairs from other jurisdictions are welcome to use the same form; just cross out Alexandria (or edit the file) and replace with your city or county.






Will Your School Run a Theme Search Contest?

Have you heard of the Reflections Theme Search contest? This is how the National PTA chooses its Reflections themes. Students submit ideas for future themes, the school chairs send their best theme search entries to the Virginia State PTA, and the state PTAs sends their best entries to the National PTA for judging.
Unfortunately, the state Theme Search deadline is November 7, which, of course, is the single most inconvenient time possible for our city schools’ Reflections chairs, so many Alexandria schools do not take part in the Theme Search contest. Are you a school Reflections Chair? Will your school run a Theme Search contest this year? If you don’t want to deal with it, that’s fine. Overworked Reflections Chairs should not feel pressured to take on one more duty! But I would like to give all of our students a chance to enter a theme idea, if they’d like.


Take Care of the Earth Just How You Take Care of Yourself, by Raffaella A., Hammond MS

So I’m thinking of running a Theme Search at the Alexandria City level, just for kids at those schools that will not have their own theme searches. (When I submit the winners to the state, I’d identify them by their school, so the school still gets credit!)
If you’re an Alexandria City school Reflections Chair and haven’t told me yet whether you’re running a Theme Search contest this year, please drop me a line to let me know. Thanks!
(And if you have never heard of the Reflections Theme Search and are now wondering what the heck I’m talking about, here’s a link that explains it all.