Question: policy and procudure manual

Our PTO has district and school bylaws, but we have situations that arise that we need policy for to be consistent. We need a policy and procedure manual. Does anyone have one that we can use as a guide? The situation that came up was that a student of low SES had heart surgery, The principal called me as the president to ask if we could get gift cards for the family for restaurants. Mom is spending all of the time at the hospital and there are 5 others at and 4 other 2nd graders. We have other families who are in crisis. we need to define crisis, and come up with a consistent way for this to be handled as to be fair to all families. Usually it is word of mouth to find out about who needs help. Where do we draw the line? Our principal is always asking for "extras!" I appreciate all input. Thanks!

Asked by wmjake



Advice from PTO Today

Rose H writes:
Hi wmjake,
I'll pass along the link here to a great article that takes a look at how to set up a policy and procedures manual. It's a good starting point.

As far as the specific issue you are raising, let me tell you, you have hit on an important topic and one that causes lots of groups concern. Of course your group wants to help others in need, but you are smart to try to outline a policy or at least identify what a "crisis'' is and how your group will respond.

This can be tricky because not all of your members will agree and they are all entitled to a voice. Here's what we've seen: Some groups draw a pretty firm line against any sort of monetary donation from the group for families with a health crisis or in the event of a death in the family and instead offer to ask parents for a separate donation. This avoids the issue of spending PTO funds. Other groups determine up front that they will offer some support and creating a "rainy day'' type account.

In terms of drawing the line for the other "extras,'' the principal always has the right to ask, but have confidence that you and your board have the right to (politely) refuse if the request doesn't fit with your group's mission.

Good luck!

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