Congratulations to Esther F. Garrison School of Visual and Performing Arts for being named a National PTA School of Excellence! Garrison and its PTA will now be known as a national leader in family-school partnerships and will be at the forefront of engaging families in continuous school improvement.
The National PTA School of Excellence is a recognition program that supports and celebrates partnerships between PTAs and schools to enrich the educational experience and overall well-being for all students.
Sarah Ward, the 2014 PTA President, signed Garrison up to apply for this honor. Their big emphasis was on improving opportunities to volunteer and making a clear connection between parents and the school's activities.
The PTA was able to attract more parents by using tools like "sign up genius" and "constant contact" for great online communication. Their work to get people involved was extremely successful! Parents participated in volunteering and donations of food and items for things like teacher appreciation meals, field days, and special arts events.
Principal James Heater, the administration, staff, and the PTA were all on board to implement many suggestions, like better signage and reaching out to more diverse populations. This committee communicated better about opportunities that were already at the school that people might not have known about, like the availability of Spanish translation in the front office if someone needs it.
Going forward with the process, Garrison decided to focus on health and safety at the school. One initiative involved promoting healthy eating and they now offer a salad bar to staff and students. Their spring fundraiser included a “fun run” where all students participated. They also devoted a week of activities based on being active and healthy.
Current PTA President Mary Beene said, “We are still in the process of making improvements, and probably will be for many years, but the Award recognizes the great opportunities we already provide for our school.”
Garrison’s next project will be the Green Apple Day of Service on September 26th. The Savannah Tree Foundation will do tree planting demonstration at the school as well as maintenance and actual planting of trees at Garrison.
Congratulations again and continue to make us proud!