By Michael Morgan, VP for Leadership, California State PTA
Just think, two years ago the term “hybrid meeting” was pretty much unknown. The pandemic changed all that and our guidance for PTA leaders continues to evolve as we all gain experience.
PTA bylaws now allow telephone- or video-conference meetings (as long as all members are able to hear each other). Both types of conferencing allow members to cast their votes themselves. PTA bylaws do not allow proxy votes or email voting. During the conference meeting, you can use an electronic voting tool or a google form to collect ballots. The normal rules of holding a meeting still apply to teleconferenced meetings and attendees should be treated and treat others with respect and courtesy.
Here are tips for both setting up, and using conferencing technologies for your meetings — whether you have just a portion of members attending remotely — or everyone is.
Find a platform/app for hosting the meeting and set up an account. (Zoom and Google Meet are two popular examples.) Hybrid meetings may require everyone to use a phone or computer with headsets to avoid feedback. Schedule a practice meeting with your executive board before having one with your general association.
Before the Meeting
- Establish the ground rules for the teleconferencing, video-conferencing, or hybrid meeting.
- Prepare the agenda, financial reports, minutes from the last association meeting.
- As always provide 10 days notice of the meeting. Use a registration link to establish a list of potential attendees. Email the reports, agenda and ground rules for the meeting to the verified members who indicate they will be on the call.
- Update the membership list and provide the secretary with a copy.
- Identify an officer to assist with maintaining a speaker list to assist the chair.
During the Meeting
- Conduct the meeting as you normally would. (Record the time the meeting begins and is adjourned.)
- Set the call ground rules and verify every participant can hear and be heard.
- Remind people to “mute” themselves to reduce outside noise (and avoid feedback if the meeting has attendees both together in a room and virtually).
- Establish the quorum by roll call and identification of individual members.
- Roll call: First, the secretary completes a roll call of the executive board, then a roll call of other members on the call is completed. Verify which individuals are PTA members.
- Use your PTA’s social media platforms and website to announce meeting details and include a registration link.
- Ask your principal to post the meeting notice on the school website and social media platforms.
- Email your membership list directly, announcing the meeting and agenda.
- Encourage board members and members to share meeting information on their personal pages.
Translation Tips for Hybrid Meetings
It is very important to make all parents feel included. Determine if the conferencing tool has a translation option and pre-test it. Reach out to see if someone from the school community can assist with translation. The translator(s) should be on the actual call, translating in real time. Prior to the meeting, make sure the translator is familiar with the agenda and discuss how the translation process will work during the call.
Resources for Local PTAs
Click here for instructions on how to make a Google ballot form, which is helpful for voting during hybrid meetings.
For a more thorough review of how to run hybrid meetings, and lots of tips for making them successful, download the “Tools and Best Practices to Hold Effective Virtual Meetings” powerpoint, click here. To watch a webinar recording, click here.