PTSA Advocacy Through Partnership: Facing the Challenges of a New School Year Together

Hello families, parents, caregivers and friends of the Garfield Community!

It was wonderful to see students at Orientation last week, excited to see their friends and maybe even a little anxious about the upcoming school year. We’ve already heard that higher enrollments, an indication of Garfield’s great reputation, are creating some challenges for staff in terms of placing students into the classes they want and meeting graduation requirements. There will be more changes to come as students complete their course change forms and staff seek to accommodate students’ needs.

We are listening to the concerns of parents and students and keeping track of the issues affecting the greatest number of our students. Our goal this year, as the Leadership Team for the Garfield Community PTSA, is to meet with Principal Ted Howard on a consistent basis to learn how staff are addressing these challenges and what we can do to support them.

The Garfield Community PTSA is here to advocate for the needs of all students as they navigate their education here, but we encourage parents to advocate for their specific child’s needs directly. We are keenly aware of the many pressures and demands teachers and staff face to “meet all trains” and also show up each day whole and intact, working on behalf of all students.

In this way, we are committed to approaching advocacy through collaborative partnership with the school. Every day, we ask:

  • How can we expand the Garfield PTSA community to represent all of the Garfield’s diverse student body and truly become “One Garfield”?
  • How can we support the teachers and staff of Garfield so that they may best serve our students?
  • How can we support the vision and mission of the school to serve all students more equitably–in particular those students who have historically been under served and/or had less access to resources?
  • As a PTSA, how can we become a more authentic partner with Garfield High School and more effectively leverage our financial resources on the behalf of the whole school community?

This will be our focus this year. We invite you to share your thoughts and concerns by emailing or with us in-person. Direct contact is always best as it builds stronger relationships among us all! We are practicing patience, the longer view and trusting that amazing things can happen for all our young people if we focus on what we can do together and in collaboration.  

Thanks to all for all you do as part of this community,  

Garfield Community PTSA Board Leadership Team