Board Elect Planning for the New Term

by Leadership Services Commission

The end of this school year is in sight. That makes it an ideal time for next year’s PTA officers to start planning in earnest. You may already have great ideas for the work and activities you want to undertake, but do you have a solid group of volunteers ready to make it all happen? Or is your PTA still rebounding from the pandemic shutdown?

Here are some tips for making sure you have the volunteers you need, getting people on board, and realizing your plans for the new term.

Make participation easy.

More members may be working from home, but don’t assume they have more time. After being home bound some remain hesitant to step out socially.

Look at ways to divide the work into smaller, less threatening tasks with shorter timeframes. For example, subdivide the hospitality chair role into the events: winter, spring, and summer association meetings, Founders Day, Staff Appreciation, etc. For fundraising, consider a chair for each activity.

Refer to the California State PTA Toolkit for more than 28 suggested Job Descriptions for PTA leaders. You can adjust these to suit your goals. 

Use the buddy system to get the work done.

Every PTA association officially needs to have a president, secretary, and treasurer. Those are big jobs but sharing the workload can be straightforward.

If your PTA doesn’t have an executive vice president, corresponding secretary or financial secretary, these three positions, already included in the standard bylaws, were created to provide support and divide the work. Updating your bylaws is easy using California State PTA’s electronic eBylaws program to add these positions permanently.

In the meantime, the president may appoint an assistant to any officer for support, with or without attendance and full voting rights at executive board meetings. Consider these guidelines when appointing committee chairs and assistants.

Expand your outreach through purposeful inclusion.

Does your PTA embrace and reflect the full diversity of the individuals included in your school community?

If families at your school speak many languages, seek volunteers who will help engage those families. Parents of students with special needs often feel left out when they cannot leave their children at home with a childcare provider. Ask your officers and school staff which tasks can be done at home by eager volunteers.

Don’t forget students have great talent and energy. Middle school and high school students can be PTA members, and they can be volunteers as well. They can get a lot out of that involvement, and you’ll get extra hands on deck.

PTAs can and should be creative.

More often than not, the new idea you have has been done before. Reach out and connect with nearby PTAs, your council, and PTA District to share ideas and success stories and pool your resources.