Message Boards



The forum is in read only mode.
Looking for advice? Join us on Facebook

Get advice, ideas, and support from other parent group leaders just like you—join our closed Facebook group for PTO and PTA Leaders & Volunteers .

Really need guidance forming PTO "HELP"

15 years 1 month ago #148603 by furturestars
Thank you all so much, this information is just what I needed to move forward. We have a bylaws committee and have created our bylaws but based on this new information I've learned we will revise our bylaws.

Once again thank you.
15 years 1 month ago #148597 by JHB
To more specifically answer your question...

Since you formed in Sept. 2008, hopefully you developed bylaws at that time. If so those are RULES you follow. They should spell out who is a member, who can run for office, and how the election is held.

Additionally, your bylaws likely said you use Roberts Rules of Order. Those are established parliamentary rules for running meetings/elections of an organization. So, depending on the question, you may consult them.

For groups just starting out who don't have bylaws, it's harder because you get into a "chicken and egg" situation. No rules by which to conduct business/but you need to conduct business. Often the first set of officers just fall into their roles or are informally placed. Or, you may use broad parameters that would be agreeable to most. "Any parent/guardian of a currently enrolled student may run for PTO office. All nominations for office must be received by _____. Election will be ______ and will be decided by simple majority."

But (if you don't have bylaws) you need to figure out some basics. Can staff/teachers run? Who can vote? Is it one vote per family or per person?

Last note - your school/district may indeed have some policies you need to follow. These are usually about types/numbers of fundraisers or approvals for certain activities. But you will find well-intentioned (and maybe not so well intentioned) people will cite all kinds of "rules" to you. Take it all with a grain of salt. Some of it's true, some myth, some distorted history.

Good luck.
15 years 1 month ago #148596 by JHB
The PTA (Parent Teacher Association) is a formal group. If you form a PTA unit, you are part of the state and national structure and follow their rules of operation. It's sort of like opening a McDonald's Franchise. You may own it and certainly there are local ordinances and laws to consider, but your branding, what you serve, how you operate must all align with McDonald's way of doing things. On the plus side, they provide lots of structure, training, documentation, branding. On the minus side, you do pay to be part of that structure and you must do things their way.

A PTO is like deciding to open your own non-franchised hamburger shop. Since you decided to sell hamburgers, there will be a lot in common with other hamburger shops, but you can also decide a lot of things by yourself. Certainly there are still rules you must follow regarding taxes and permits and local regulations as a business. You might join the Chamber of Commerce or the Small Business Association, and those are excellent resources for you. But you aren't part of a larger organization with a governance structure. You have independence; you get to keep all your revenue for your business and make all your own decisions. However, this also means you are flying solo to figure out how to run your hamburger shop, what the tax rules are, what business/legal rules you need to know.

PTO is just an acronym. Any parent group that isn't a PTA can call itself whatever it wants. There are many acronyms, but PTO tends to be the most common.
15 years 2 months ago #148591 by furturestars
We invited the Maryland PTA President to a parent meeting to direct us in the correct way to set up PTA or PTO. One of the things that were established from the begining was the membership registration. The group was doing fine uneil it was time to vote, now everybody's a PTO expert (nonmembers). All members are allowed to vote.

Our group has the guidlines and rules for PTA but not for PTO, that's the problem. Until finding PTO today, no one has given me a straight answer other than what they want or think we should do. Now that it's time to vote the principal and other nonmembers are telling us what the rules and guidlines are. Eventhough we haven't received anything in writting that states what there saying. We have every intention of holding the election the right way just need to know what's the right way. Do we follow PTA guidlines? Are there different guidlines for PTO or do we simply write them in our bylaws?

Thank you for the time you have take to responed.
15 years 2 months ago #148573 by pzettler
As I see it, you need to determine who has a right to vote for officers. Can anyone vote, or only those that have paid dues. Does the Principal recognize the collection of dues as the determining factor of "membership". It seems that you believes this holds weight and perhaps the principal does not.

This points to a lack of communications and understanding has developed and is festering. Even if you choose officers, how will decisions be made. Will the officers be the only ones allowed to vote, or will the entire membership. Will there be meetings of only officers?

I only bring these up, because the sooner you can get these settled, and agreed to by many, the sooner things can begin to smooth over.
15 years 2 months ago #148541 by furturestars
:confused: Several parents and myself formed a parent group Sep. 08 in hopes that we could make things better in the school our children attend. Trying to bring structure in a school that has little to none is very difficult and frustrating. The principal is not fond of our group and tries her best to sabotage it. We've been told by the school board that we have to form a PTA. So invited the Maryland PTA president who gave us lots of info to get started. We made registration forms that required a $5 annual fee. We were unable to get the 25 members that's required so we decided to go with PTO. The more our group learned about PTO the more we realized this is best for our group. We formed our bylaws and nominating committee and created our bylaws. We set a date to hold the election. We created our ballot. with nominees and attached the list of the members to the ballot so they could nominate a member if the choose. The parent group has been passing out registration forms at parent functions, before, after and during school since December 08. Now that it's time to elect the officers people are coming out of the wood work. Parents that have never paid their dues and have been in and out of the group since October are angry their not to run. The principle wants to send out letters to all parent to come and vote. The principle wants to put someone in place she can control. If there's a PTO member/group who can let me no if were doing/not doing the right thing I would greatly appreciate it. If is possible to put me in contact with a PTO group in Maryland that would all so be great.
Time to create page: 0.360 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum
^ Top