Safe Summer—Mosquito and Tick Bites

With nicer weather and the easing of the pandemic, families are heading outside again. Two common outdoor pests bring potential diseases with them—mosquitos (West Nile, Dengue, and Zika viruses) and ticks (Lyme disease). The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has tips on preventing mosquito and tick bites. Preventing Mosquito Bites Using the right insect repellent and other preventive actions … Continue reading Safe Summer—Mosquito and Tick Bites

Give Your Kid a Summer REcharge from Learning Heroes

To say the past year has been a challenge for families, schools, and students is an understatement. With the school year coming to a close, our friends at Learning Heroes have new resources to help families and students get a Summer REcharge. The Summer REcharge helps your family partner with your child’s teacher to develop a simple plan … Continue reading Give Your Kid a Summer REcharge from Learning Heroes

What Parents and Educators Can Do To Combat Hate Speech

Hate speech is more than harsh words. It is any form of expression meant to vilify, humiliate, or incite hatred against a group or class of people. It can be communicated by words, symbols, images, memes, emojis, or videos. Connect Safely has created a guide for parents and educators on how they can help children … Continue reading What Parents and Educators Can Do To Combat Hate Speech

Make Sure Your Child is on the Path to Success

Learning Heroes, in partnership with National PTA, Univision, and Remake Learning Days Across America, has launched Paths to Success, a research-based bilingual resource aimed at helping parents of middle school and high school students prepare their child for success in high school and beyond—whether that path leads to a four-year college, technical program, or a job. … Continue reading Make Sure Your Child is on the Path to Success

Keeping Your Kids Safe Online—The Smart Talk and Parental Controls

Several years ago, Illinois PTA shared information on The Smart Talk, a National PTA program steps you through a conversation with your child about online limits and produces a “contract” based on your discussion. Now, with kids online even more in the pandemic for school, socializing, and fun, it might be time to revisit The … Continue reading Keeping Your Kids Safe Online—The Smart Talk and Parental Controls

Helping Your Child Stay Engaged in Remote Learning

As classes start back up after the holidays, many of our children are quickly closing in on a year of online learning. Like many adults working remotely, they may be finding it difficult to continue to be engaged. The Child Mind Institute, whose resources we’ve highlighted before in supporting learning at home and modifying your child’s IEP or 504 … Continue reading Helping Your Child Stay Engaged in Remote Learning

Illinois Student Assistance Commission’s Free FAFSA Help

A new law that took effect with the 2020-2021 school year requires every Illinois public high school senior to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to graduate. With students struggling with remote education and family finances perhaps stretched by the pandemic, college plans may seem more up in the air than … Continue reading Illinois Student Assistance Commission’s Free FAFSA Help

Safe2Help Illinois Aims to Reduce Suicide, Bullying, and School Violence

Teen suicide, bullying, school violence, and other threats to school safety are a far too common part of today’s schools. Illinois has now launched a new school safety program called Safe2Help Illinois to address those issues. The program is aimed at getting students to seek help before harm. Central to the program is a free app, website, … Continue reading Safe2Help Illinois Aims to Reduce Suicide, Bullying, and School Violence

Notes from the Backpack Season 3—Even Better

Illinois PTA highlighted National PTA’s podcast Notes from the Backpack about a year ago as the first season finished up. The award-winning podcast is starting its third season, and PTA’s Center for Family Engagement is even more focused on providing the information that families need now and the resources to help spread the word. The third season has … Continue reading Notes from the Backpack Season 3—Even Better

Modifying Your Child’s IEP or 504 for Distance or Hybrid Learning

This spring, when schools closed and teachers struggled to shift to online learning, some students were left behind. Many of them were students with special needs. Now that schools are starting up for the fall, whether in person, online, or a hybrid of the two, families with special needs students may be worried their child … Continue reading Modifying Your Child’s IEP or 504 for Distance or Hybrid Learning

Work with Your Child’s Teacher with Ready to Partner Resources

We’re big fans of Learning Heroes, and we’ve talked about their Readiness Check before. Now, in partnership with National PTA and Univision, Learning Heroes has launched Ready to Partner, a research-based bilingual resource to help parents and teachers work together for what will certainly be a different sort of school year. The Ready to Partner … Continue reading Work with Your Child’s Teacher with Ready to Partner Resources

20 Questions to Help You with Back-to-School Choices

We at Illinois PTA are big fans of National Public Radio’s (NPR) Life Kit podcasts and articles, especially the parenting-focused ones. Now, as we head into an uncertain back-to-school time, they have released a 15-minute podcast and article on 20 Questions to Help Decide What’s Best for Your Kids (and You) This School Year. Whether … Continue reading 20 Questions to Help You with Back-to-School Choices

Get Digital—Facebook’s New Resources for Youth, Families, and Educators

Our children were already spending a lot of time online, and with online learning and shelter-at-home requirements, are probably spending a lot more now. Facebook has created a new collection of resources to support families, youth, and educators as they help children navigate online. The aim of Get Digital is to start conversations with children … Continue reading Get Digital—Facebook’s New Resources for Youth, Families, and Educators

Make Sure Your Child Doesn’t Have a “COVID Slide”

We’ve talked about the “summer slide” before, and with this year’s shift to online learning due to the pandemic, many are concerned that the “COVID slide” could put students behind where they were at the start of the school year last fall. Longtime National PTA partners Learning Heroes has resources to help you determine what … Continue reading Make Sure Your Child Doesn’t Have a “COVID Slide”