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

The 2016-17 theme: “What Is Your Story?” produced

28 Awards of Excellence, 33 Awards of Merit, 32 Honorable Mentions, and 11 Participants!

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 2017-18 theme is: Within Reach

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 Doss level against similar grade levels; as such, there are clear expectations of skill levels for each group. 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.

Parents are encouraged to discuss the theme with their child to help facilitate the generation of creative ideas – but let the children execute their work(s). There is no limit on number of entries, but each entry must be an original work of art created and inspired for the current year’s national theme.

Most critically, parents should READ THE SPECIFIC GUIDELINES FOR EACH CATEGORY! We have summarized the “greatest hits” of the rules below; please check out the Texas PTA website for ALL the rules and requirements. Please note this is now a PTA membership benefit, so be sure and join the Doss PTA today and encourage your student(s) to enter.

The judging rubric is also on the Texas PTA website. Note that a significant component of points for a child’s work is a result of his/her interpretation of the theme. That’s why the “Artist’s Statement” on the entry form IS important.

Thank you for your support of the arts at Doss. We’re looking forward to seeing some terrific entries in Reflections this year!

Categories are:

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

PARENTS: If you have expertise in any of these categories, please consider volunteering to be a judge next year!  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: Judges may not evaluate categories for which their children have submitted an entry.

Divisions for competition are:

  • Primary: Preschool-Grade 2
  • Intermediate: Grades 3-5
  • Special Needs Artist: Primary/Intermediate (Please contact the Doss Principal about questions regarding your child’s qualifications for a Special Needs Artist entrant.)

Judging Criteria is based on:

  • 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%

A few helpful hints from the National PTA:

  • All entries MUST have an entry form
  • The parent, guardian or student MUST be a PTA member
  • Entry forms MUST have a Title, an 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)
  • Works in VISUAL ARTS
    • 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) and not more than 1” thick
    • Must not be framed
  • Works in PHOTOGRAPHY
    • Must not be greater than 11” x 14”, including a mat (if desired)
    • Must be mounted or matted, or digital image (.jpeg, .jpg, .gif, .png, .bmp)
    • Must not be framed
  • Works in LITERATURE*
    • 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 or PDF
    • Must be submitted with the original and two copies in a manila folder with entry form stapled on the back of the folder
  • Works in FILM and DANCE
    • 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
    • The composer does not have to be the performer(s)
    • Must be submitted in MP3, MP4, WMA, WAV, ACC (M4A) and FLAC formats. (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.

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