Congratulations to our 2019/2020 3rd District Reflections Winners!


Reflections Program


Reflections Letter


Find more helpful ideas and printable tools at

1. Getting Started

Register Your Program at Once you have registered, you will have the opportunity to connect with other PTA Reflections leaders by joining the Reflections network. This is a support system comprised of national, state and regional PTA leaders eager to answer your questions and share best practices. 

Gather program materials, deadlines and instructions from your state PTA. Customize your checklistto organize tasks and schedule local program deadlines.

· National Arts in Education Week (Sept. 8–14, 2019) is the perfect time to kick-off your program and announce the program’s theme: Look Within. Share your program kick-off activities with thousands of program leaders across the country using #PTAReflections and #ArtsEdWeek on social media.

· National Arts and Humanities Month (October) is the perfect time for PTA to offer time, space and materials for students to participate in the arts. Share your support of family arts events, student clubs and visiting artists using #PTAReflections and #ShowYourArt.

Recruit a committee of 4-6 parent and teacher volunteers. Volunteers will enrich the program by bringing a variety of ideas, talents and skills; and they will make your job much easier and more enjoyable by ensuring that program tasks don’t fall on your shoulders alone. Assigning project leaders and dividing tasks will save time and energy. Use the volunteer sign-up sheet to help recruit volunteers with specific skills/interests.

Recruit a team of 6 or more arts experts to review student submissions. Inviting professionals in the arts community to participate as reviewers will increase the credibility of your program and exposure for PTA. All reviewers must have a working knowledge of their assigned arts area. Use the program flier to help introduce Reflections to local arts professionals. 

TIP: Ask arts teachers to help you identify working professionals in your local arts community. Consider local arts agencies, arts and cultural organizations, colleges, community leaders, and prominent artists.

TIP: It may take up to 5 min. to review dance, film, music and writing submissions whereas photography and visual arts may take only 2 min. Be mindful of your reviewer’s time and recruit additional judges for each category where need.

Visit and take the Reflections Leader e-learning course. You’ll become a Reflections expert in no time.

2. Promote Your Program

Download materials for students: Visit your state PTA website to download and distribute student materials including official guidelines and entry form. Please review your state’s official rules and ensure your PTA/PTSA is in “good standing” status of affiliation with your state PTA. It is the responsibility of the state and local PTA/PTSA to determine each student’s eligibility in the National PTA Reflections program.

Available Arts Categories and Divisions: All student entrants must follow official guidelines and arts category submission requirements, including a signed entry form. Please review the special artist division rules to learn more about opportunities for students with disabilities. 

· Offer 1 or more arts category: dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts. Students may enter in one or more arts categories. 

· Offer 1 or more division:Primary: Preschool-Grade 2, Intermediate: Grades 3-5, Middle School: Grades 6-8, High School: Grades 9-12, Special Artist: All grades.

Tips for Program Promotion: Our goal is to encourage all students to participate in the arts through PTA Reflections. Take time to introduce the program to families and school personnel. Consider the following ideas:

· Send program fliers home to parents.

· Post your call for entries on school and/or PTA website and social media as well as newsletters, blogs and bulletin boards.

· Ask student leaders to hang posters in visible locations and encourage their peers over morning announcements. Willing students might be found in classes, programs and afterschool clubs that involve the creative, literary, media and performing arts.

· Host a PTA table or student arts showcase at schoolwide assemblies and back to school nights. Have fliers, participation guidelines and entry forms available.

· Request time at a staff meeting to present the Reflections program to teachers. Gather ideas on how they might encourage their class to participate. Ask how this year’s theme might be linked to curriculum and other learning objectives. 

SAMPLE MORNING ANNOUNCEMENT: Do you enjoy art, music and dance or have an interest in writing, producing films and taking photos? Then join us and have fun unleashing your inner artist with PTA Reflections! This year’s theme, “Look Within,” calls for your own unique interpretation through the arts. Pick up submission guidelines and an entry form today from <INSERT NAME/ROOM> and return by <INSERT DUE DATE>. For inspiration, visit the Reflections virtual art gallery and learn more about prizes and scholarships at

3. Coordinate the Review of Student Submissions

The task of reviewing student entries involves collecting and qualifying submissions as well as providing direction for your team of volunteer reviewers. 

Qualifying Submissions: Submissions are reviewed by arts category and division. Save time by collecting submissions by classroom. Ask your committee to scan and flag incomplete entry forms and works that do not follow program guidelines and submission requirements.

Reviewing Submissions: Give each of your volunteer judges a welcome letter, instructions, rubric and score card. Provide reviewers with the student’s work, as well as the title and artist statement for each of their assigned entries. The title and artist statement will help your reviewers understand each student’s inspiration for their work and how it relates to the theme.

Review Criteria: The program theme and review criteria are what make Reflections stand out among other arts contests. It’s important for reviewers to notice that “interpretation of the theme” is weighed more heavily than the other considerations. Have judges record their points for each student work on the score card. Add together the points from each judge and rank the artwork accordingly. If two entries are tied, the entry with the higher score for interpretation of theme receives more recognition.

TIP: Set your local PTA submission deadline approximately one month before submissions are due to the next round. This will allow ample time for organizing, qualifying and scoring submissions, as well as preparing winners for the next round.

TIP: Conduct “blind judging”—where reviewers do not see student info. Consider both online and in-person review session ideas:

To host an online review session: Assign numbers to each submission and provide reviewers with a list of submission titles and artist statements by assigned number. Share digital copies of student works using CDs, USB drives or cloud based file sharing platforms).

To host an in-person review session. Display works on tables around the room. Tri-fold the student entry form to show only the judging information section. Place the title of work and artist statement in front of the student’s work. Instruct reviewers to rotate around the room and score each entry.

4. Celebrate Your Student Participants

Assign Awards: By student’s division and arts category, assign awards based on your rankings. Recommended award levels include: Award of Excellence; Award of Merit; Honorable Mention and Participant. Your region/state program leader will offer additional guidance regarding number of awards and/or number of submissions that may advance to the next level.

You may choose to publicly recognize volunteer reviewers to inspire students and raise the credibility of your program. However, if a question is raised about the status or score of an entry, it is the responsibility of the PTA Reflections Committee to address it. Under no conditions may a reviewer be contacted and/or respond to disputes regarding the status and score of an entry.

Celebrate Student Achievement: Recognizing your students’ participation and accomplishments will help your PTA create family memories that will last a lifetime. You will grow students’ confidence by hosting opportunities for family members, school personnel and community leaders to value their artistic skills, creative vision and unique interpretation on the theme. 

There are many ways to announce winners, distribute awards and showcase works for the whole school and community to enjoy. Consider the following ideas for recognizing student participation and achievement:

o Announce winners on PTA/school website and in newsletters, social media and 

o Award certificates, ribbons or prizes donated by local businesses. 

o Showcase student works at PTA and school board meetings and display student works throughout school and community venues (e.g. school lobby, community library, arts center).

Opportunity for State and National Recognition: Provide your students with an opportunity to share their work across the state and nation. PTA Reflections is a multi-layered program offering local, district/council/region, state and national levels of recognition. PTAs are encouraged to advance their finalists to the next available round. For more details and instructions, please contact the program leader of the next available level.

TIP: Host a PTA welcome table to distribute arts education resources and recruit new PTA members. 

TIP: Invite school leaders, policy makers and community leaders to meet families and learn more about PTA’s support for a complete education that includes the arts.

To help you plan, visit for an event planning guide, template certificate and other celebration tools.

5. Wrap Up and Report Program Success

Recognize Partners and Volunteers: After your Reflections program concludes for the year, one of the most important tasks is to thank those who helped make it a success. Use the acknowledgement letter at to thank student and parent leaders, school personnel, submission reviewers and community businesses for their support. 

Return Student Works: Return non-advancing works immediately following judging and/or exhibition and no later than the last day of the school year. Electronic submissions (video, music, pdf., and digital photos) are typically not returned. Please be sensitive to secondary students needing their artwork for college admission. If student artwork advances, it will be returned according to state and/or national polices.

Meet with your Reflections Committee and other team members to reflect on the program, gather feedback and document successes and areas needing improvement. Sharing this information with next year’s team will provide a smooth transition from one Reflections Chair to the next. Visit for a sample program evaluation.

Share Your Success: After your program concludes, please share program success with your state and National PTA. Your feedback is important to us and we look forward to improving Reflections for future students. 

We also encourage you to share your success with your PTA board and school administrator. Visibility of award announcements, attendance at your event and personal quotes from families and community partners will help capture your program’s reach and impact as well as your PTA’s ability to support student success, engage families and build community partnerships. 



Leader’s     Checklist

Step 1. Getting Started

¨ Enroll in the national program at

¨ Visit your state’s Reflections website to confirm student eligibility and gather important deadlines and materials.

¨ Determine which arts categories and grade divisions your PTA will offer. New program leaders may consider getting started with one or more arts category and division. 

¨ Plan and budget for your awards, prizes and recognition activities. 

¨ Recruit a committee to help you promote participation, coordinate judging and host events.

¨ Recruit experienced artists to review student works.

¨ Share your program plans with your PTA and school leaders. 

Step 2. Promote Your Program

¨ Distribute program rules and entry forms to students and teachers. 

¨ Promote your submission deadline and instructions on how to enter. Don’t forget to include any available awards, scholarships and prizes!

¨ Use #PTAReflections to share how your school participates in Reflections during National Arts & Humanities Month this October.

Step 3. Review Submissions

¨ Collect and organize submissions by category and division. 

¨ Qualify entries according to each arts category rules.

¨ Share judging materials and submissions with your volunteer judges.

¨ Collect scores from judges and rank submissions. 

¨ Gather awards and prizes and prepare works for exhibition. 

Step 4. Celebrate Participants

¨ Announce awardees to the whole school community. 

¨ Host a Reflections Celebration Event to showcase student work and distribute certificates/awards.

¨ Offer state and national opportunities for student recognition by sending your finalists to the next judging round.

Step 5. Wrap Up

¨ Return non-advancing submissions to students. 

¨ Recognize volunteers, community partners, and judges.

¨ Evaluate your program to consider future improvements.



To promote Reflections to school leaders and teachers, post fliers in school and around the community, share celebration event invitations with participating families, share announcements with local media outlets.

NAME _______________________ EMAIL_____________________ PHONE_____________________

NAME _______________________ EMAIL_____________________ PHONE_____________________

Judging Coordinator

To recruit volunteer judges, organize artwork for judging, support judges and calculate their scores.

NAME _______________________ EMAIL_____________________ PHONE_____________________

NAME _______________________ EMAIL_____________________ PHONE_____________________

Computer Wiz

To organize student entry information for award announcements, printed programs, certificates/awards and provide a list of students advancing to the next round of judging.

NAME _______________________ EMAIL_____________________ PHONE_____________________

NAME _______________________ EMAIL_____________________ PHONE_____________________

Celebration Coordinator

To exhibit artwork, prepare student awards and lead on site event activities (program, refreshments, decorations, etc.)

NAME _______________________ EMAIL_____________________ PHONE_____________________

NAME _______________________ EMAIL_____________________ PHONE_____________________


Welcome Reflections Judge!

Thank you for supporting the artistic and cultural exploration of our students by serving as a volunteer reviewer for the PTA Reflections program! Your artistic expertise and enthusiasm contributes to the vibrancy and creativity of our school community. Before you begin, please familiarize yourself with the following criteria, theme and scoring materials.

Criteria: All PTA Reflections program entries are judged on three criteria:

1. Interpretation of Theme (20 pts.)

2. Creativity (10 pts.) 

3. Technique (10 pts.)

Notice how heavily “Interpretation of Theme” is weighted? This is what makes the National PTA Reflections Arts Program unique. A well-developed concept is more important than technique. If two entries are tied, the entry with the higher score for interpretation of theme receives more recognition. Use the provided rubric to keep your scores consistent.

Theme: Entries should be judged primarily on how well the student uses his or her artistic vision to portray the 2019-20 theme: “Look Within”

Materials: The following entry information will be provided to you during your review.

· Title of Artwork and student’s Artist Statement: These may provide insight on the student’s artistic style/genre and the materials the student used. Look for personal meaning and reflection on the theme to help you decide the student’s Interpretation of Theme score. 

· Grade Division: The student’s division may provide insight on student’s range of technical skill, ability and competencies displayed in their submission.

· Additional Artwork Details: If noted, artwork details will offer information related to cited material, submission size/length, etc. 

Please record points for each entry on the provided score card. To flag questionable entries, contact your PTA Reflections Chair. After scoring your assigned entries, please turn in your scores to the PTA Reflections Chair.


Score Card


Criteria /   Level








1-8 pts.

9-16 pts.

17-24 pts.

25-32 pts.

33-40 pts.


How closely the piece relates to the theme, based on the Work   itself and the artist statement.

The interpretation lacks clarity and does not communicate the   student’s concept.

The interpretation lacks clarity and does not fully communicate   the student’s concept based on the theme.

The interpretation communicates the student’s concept based on   the theme.

The interpretation clearly communicates the student’s concept   based on the theme but lacks meaning, purpose, and integrity.

The interpretation clearly communicates the student's whole   concept based on the theme with meaning, purpose and integrity.



1-6 pts.

7-12 pts.

13-18 pts.

19-24 pts.

25-30 pts.


How creative and original the piece is in its conception of the   theme and its presentation.

Work is somewhat original and reflects the theme using very   conventional ways.

Work is somewhat original and reflects the theme using   conventional ways.

Work is original and reflects the theme using conventional ways.

Work is primarily original and reflects the theme using   imaginative ways.

Work is highly original and reflects the theme using   un-conventional, interesting, imaginative and new ways.



1-6 pts.

7-12 pts.

13-18 pts.

19-24 pts.

25-30 pts.


The level of skill demonstrated in the basic principles/   techniques of the arts area.

Work demonstrates very limited skill of the arts area.

Work demonstrates limited skill of the arts area.

Work demonstrates capable skill of the arts area.

Work demonstrates expertise of skill of the arts area.

Work demonstrates mastery of skill and knowledge of the arts   area.


 Score Card




(40 pts)


(30 pts)


(30 pts)







What  is  a  PTA Reflections Celebration? 

The PTA Reflections Celebration is a powerful tool for encouraging students to explore and be involved in the arts. Together, school leaders and families offer positive reinforcement for participation in the National PTA Reflections program.

Parents and community leaders are welcomed into the school to discover the rich culture and artistic skills presented by student artists. An art exhibit withlive student performances and an awards ceremony will showcase the importance of arts education in your school.

During the PTA Reflections Celebration, families will:

· Recognize their child’s participation and achievement in the arts.

· Discover new opportunities to stay involved in their child’s learning through the arts.

· Understand how arts programs provide necessary educational benefits and share their positive experiences with school and community leaders.

Why Is Student Recognition Important? 

Celebrating student learning provides an opportunity for schools and families to connect with each other and to their community.

When PTAs and schools celebrate the arts together, all families feel welcomed into the school and are encouraged to take an active role in their child’s learning. Research shows positive recognition and engaged families attribute to higher rates of student success.

Celebration events also serve as a platform for communicating the importance of arts education in your school. Ensure school leaders, policy makers and community leaders recognize the value of learning through the arts.

Steps for Planning Your PTA Reflections Celebration

1. Build your team to discuss the objectives for this event, as well as plan event logistics (e.g., space, time, date, promotion).

2. Decorate the school with student artwork. Prior to the event, recruit parent and student volunteers to assist teachers with displays of student art in the classrooms and hallways. Place your Reflections exhibit in a prominent location in the school such as the lobby, cafeteria, library or hallway.

3. Plan your awards ceremony. Secure a location in the school that is large enough for all attendees, as well as performances (e.g., gym, auditorium, multi-purpose room, library or cafeteria). Then identify student artists to exhibit their art or perform during the awards ceremony. Consider including welcoming or closing remarks from your PTA President, PTA Reflections Chair and/or school principal. You could also invite special guests to deliver remarks. Create a program listing the names of student performers and featured presenters. Also include names of students whose artwork is exhibited.

4. Gather event supplies for your awards ceremony and art exhibit. Consider certificates, medallions and prizes to present during your awards ceremony. Visit and click on “Reflections” to see options. Other supplies may be small gifts to recognize guest speakers, as well as table cloths, signage for reserved seats, decorations, audio visual needs and a microphone. Art exhibit materials may include name cards, a welcome sign and refreshments.

5. Promote your event. All families are welcome to celebrate the arts together. Send personalized invitations to school leaders, community arts advocates and policymakers. Use all of your PTA and school communications tools. Feature your award-winning entries in these communications. Invite local media to attend and generate visibility for your school and PTA

6. Host your PTA Reflections Celebration. Revise the schedule below to best fit your school community. This is one example for a 2-hour event with 30 minutes of celebration in the beginning as families congregate, 60 minutes of awards ceremony featuring student performances and guest speakers, and 30 minutes of celebration at the end.


Sample Timeline

1. Set-up

· Decorate reception room and prepare refreshments, exhibits and awards ceremony space. 

· Prepare the welcome table to include programs, marked school maps of exhibit space, as well as PTA membership information.

· Hang directional signage where appropriate (including parking areas).

2. Families Arrive: Welcome families with a program, encourage them to visit the exhibit and take a membership card if new to PTA. 

3. Opening Reception (30 minutes): Families visit the PTA Reflections Exhibit and enjoy live student performances.

4. Awards Ceremony (60 minutes):

· Welcoming remarks by school principal and/or PTA President.

· Keynote speaker such as arts teacher, community arts professional or public official.

· Presentation of awards.

· Closing remarks by PTA Reflections Chair, PTA President or student leader.

5. Closing Reception (30 minutes): Families visit the PTA Reflections Exhibit and enjoy live student performances.

After your celebration concludes, thank those who helped make it a success. Be sure to include all of the following groups in your recognition plan: student leaders, volunteers, school personnel and community partners.

Reflections Awards Ceremony March 2018