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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.
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Every year since 1969, Reflections – the National PTA’s arts recognition and achievement program – gives students in Pre-K thru 12th grade, the chance to create artwork in six art categories: Visual Arts, Photography, Literature, Dance Choreography, Film Production, and Music Composition. Students explore the arts, express themselves AND receiving recognition for their efforts!

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Annual Theme Search Contest

Each Fall students submit ideas for a future theme. Ideas are due to Illinois PTA around November 1st. Visit their website for full details. Local leaders can access “Theme Search” materials on under LEADERSHIP RESOURCES (password can be obtained from your PTA President). To learn more, find information from about the annual theme search competition.


Full program resources are available on the LEADERSHIP RESOURCES page of under the “Reflections” section. Contact your local unit president (or council president) for the password. Many resources are available in Spanish.

2022-2023 THEME: “Show Your Voice!”

Specific Guidelines:


Five divisions organized by school grade allow student artwork to be recognized and judged with the appropriate developmental age and skill levels in mind. They are: Primary – preschool-grade 2, Intermediate – grades 3-5, Middle/Junior – grades 6-8, Senior – grades 9-12, & Special Artist – all grades, see special artist guidelines for details.


Below are a few resources to get started. All materials are available directly from Illinois PTA on the LEADERSHIP RESOURCES page under the “Reflections” section. Many resources are available in Spanish. Your local unit president (or council president) will have the password to access that page.

Utilize downloadable promotional materials from National PTA. Find resources on the Start Your Program under “Shareable Promotion”.

Take “Reflections Leader Training” eLearning course under the Advance PTA’s Mission (Home/ Run Your PTA/ eLearning). Note, in order to access this training you must create an online profile with National PTA (it’s free and easy to do online).

2022-2023 Key Dates:

  • October 31 – Suggested student submission deadline (determined by your local unit/committee chair
  • November 4 – Recommended due date for councils to use for their local units to deliver their advancing projects
  • December 9 – Projects due from councils to region (NWCR/D37)
  • January 14 – Projects due from region to state (IL PTA)
  • March 16 – NWCR Reflections Reception (Virtual Celebration from 2021 & visit our FB page to see photos from April 2022 Celebration)
  • Mid-March – Projects due from state to National PTA, state winners announced
  • May 7 – Illinois PTA Reflections Spotlight Event (Virtual Presentation from 2021 & see highlights from 2022)
  • Beginning of May – National winners announced