Thanks to those who participated in this year’s National PTA Reflections Contest!

The 2017-18 theme: “Within Reach” produced

22 Awards of Excellence, 19 Awards of Merit, 15 Honorable Mentions, and
7 Participation Awards!

What a tremendous amount of talent! Best of luck to our top entries that advance to the city level.

Want a jump start on next year? The 2018-19 theme is: Heroes Around Me

Reflections is a National PTA competition that focuses on the arts. It’s a participation program encouraging each student’s individual creativity. Think of it as the science fair – but much easier on mom and dad!  Students create original works in six categories (listed below). Students compete at the K-2 or 3-5 grade level. All participants are acknowledged at Doss! When possible, we will showcase the entries for all to enjoy. Approximately 20% of the Doss entries advance to the Austin Council PTA level, and potentially to the Texas and National PTA level contests. Last year, Doss had several advancing entries and winners at State! We’re hopeful the work of at least one of our talented students can advance to State and Nationals this year! Top entries at Nationals receive $200 each and $200 goes to their local PTA.

There is NO LIMIT on number of entries per student, but each entry must be an original work of art created and inspired for the current year’s national theme.

Parents are encouraged to:

  • Discuss the theme with their child to help facilitate the generation of creative ideas – but let the child execute his/her own work(s). Adult help is not allowed (except in the Special Artist Division).
  • Encourage your student(s) to enter.
  • READ THE SPECIFIC GUIDELINES FOR EACH CATEGORY – make sure each entry is compliant and not disqualified. See below for our summarized “greatest hits” of the rules and check out the Texas PTA website for ALL the rules and requirements.
  • Review the judging rubric on the Texas PTA website with your student. Note that 50% of the score is his/her interpretation of the theme. That’s why a thoughtful and thorough “Title” and “Artist’s Statement” on the entry form IS essential.

Thank you for your support of the arts at Doss. We’re looking forward to seeing some terrific entries in Reflections this year! Please note this is a PTA membership benefit, so join the Doss PTA today.


  • Dance Choreography
  • Film Production
  • Literature
  • Musical Composition
  • Photography
  • Visual Arts


  • Primary: Preschool-Grade 2
  • Intermediate: Grades 3-5
  • Special Needs Artist: All Grades

JUDGES: If you have expertise in any of these categories, please consider volunteering as a judge! It’s an honor to see the talent and artistry of our students! Judging is based on a rubric. With subject matter experts, the judging process is more consistent and fair. Note: Even though we use blind judging, parents may not evaluate categories for which their children have submitted an entry.

Judging Criteria is based on TXPTA rules:
  • Interpretation of Theme (“How closely the piece relates to the theme, based on the artwork itself and the Artist Statement.”) = 50% of the judging score
  • Artistic Merit/Creativity (“How creative and original the piece is in the conception of the theme and its presentation”) = 30%
  • Mastery of Medium (“The level of skill demonstrated in the basic principles/techniques of the arts area”) = 20%


  • All entries MUST be original to the theme
  • Each entry must be the creativity of one student (no collaborations or help from adults, unless Special Artist Division)
  • The parent or guardian MUST be a PTA member
  • All entries MUST have an entry form with Title, Artist’s Statement (10-100 words about the work’s inspiration, connect to the theme, and content), and Signatures from the artist and parent
  • Note the Artist Statement’s connection to the art is 50% of the judging score (see Judging Criteria above). Encourage your student to write about how the art connects to the theme


  • Must not be greater than 24” by 30”, including a mat (if desired)
  • If paper entry, must be mounted on sturdy material
  • Must be flat (NOT 3D, nothing glued) and not more than 1” thick
  • Must not be framed


  • Must not be greater than 11” x 14”, including a mat (if desired)
  • Added graphics, including lettering, are NOT accepted
  • Photo collages must be printed as one seamless photo
  • Must be mounted or matted, or digital image (.jpeg, .jpg, .gif, .png, .bmp)
  • Must not be framed


  • Must be 2,000 words or less
  • Can be hand-written or typed, number each page
  • Must be one-sided, with the author’s name, title, category, and division on the back of every sheet
  • Are accepted on 8.5×11 in. paper
  • Must be submitted with the original and two copies in a manila folder with entry form stapled on the back of the folder


  • Must be less than 5 minutes long and 1GB
  • Do not require the artist to be in or part of the performed composition
  • Must cite any background music on the entry form
  • Must be submitted in AVI, Quicktime (.mov), MPEG (.mpg, .mpeg, .mp4), Windows Media (.wmv), or Flash Video (.flv, .f4v).


  • Must be less than 5 minutes long and 1 GB
  • The composer does not have to be the performer(s)
  • Must be submitted in MP3, MP4, WMA, WAV, ACC (M4A) and FLAC. (Music videos are not accepted.)

*Non-English entries must have an interpretive translation in English that retains the student’s same level of language and accuracy.

Please check out the Texas PTA website for more detailed information and ALL the rules (general participation and per category)! You can also view previous entries that were awarded at the state competition.