15 Tips For New Leaders

The first months as a new PTA leader may seem overwhelming, but California State PTA is  here to help! A lot needs to be done to get things up and running. This list will help you figure out when and how to schedule meetings, create calendars, and perform other tasks that will ensure that your PTA gets off to a good start!

  1. The president should set up a meeting with the school principal and call meetings of the board as soon as possible. 
  2. At the first board meeting, ratify appointed officers, fill any vacant positions, ratify committees and chairs, and make plans for the coming year. Strive for a balance of experienced and new leaders, keeping in mind that all areas of the community should be represented.
  3. Consider conducting a survey of needs that would go out to the entire school community. Have it returned prior to your PTA’s first budget meeting, where past unit activities are reviewed and suggestions for new activities are solicited.
  4. Use input from the survey for brainstorming session(s) with the board to establish your goals. Set realistic goals and prioritize programs.
  5. Set a calendar for the upcoming year and provide membership campaign materials to the school for any summer or start-of-school mailings they may be planning.
  6. Meet with outgoing officers to understand your job and to collect materials belonging to your PTA.
  7. Become familiar with the duties of each chair by reviewing the California State PTA Toolkit. Share job descriptions and materials as noted with the chairpersons and help them to secure historical materials from their predecessors. 
  8. Consider reviewing your PTA bylaws with the entire board (even if the bylaws are not due for renewal.). The bylaws contain many job responsibilities and timelines/due dates. Reviewing them together gets everyone on the same page with the same expectations.
  9. Encourage every board member to attend training. The Training Center on the CA State PTA Leaders Website is a great resource for this.
  10. Prepare a preliminary budget and present it for adoption at your next association meeting.
  11. Verify with the outgoing financial officers that the books have been closed and that the following documents were prepared:  Annual Financial Report, Year-end Financial Review, documents organized for preparing tax filings.  
  12. Update signature cards for bank accounts.
  13. Make sure that your board roster is uploaded into MyPTEZ. Provide names and contact information for board members. If you do not have access to the roster system, contact your council or district to assist you. 
  14. Make sure each of your board members knows how to contact their counterpart at district (or council) to get questions answered.
  15. Don’t forget to breathe! There is no such thing as a PTA emergency.