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Stuck in a rut

22 years 11 months ago #94442 by Krippe
Replied by Krippe on topic RE: Stuck in a rut
PTOMommio,

Hey girl hang in there. I had this problem at our carnival, also. There was no set agenda as to what needed to be done, or when. I was told that things I wanted to improve on shouldn't be, thing are done a certain way and it was voted on at previouse meetings. More or less to do it our way, and leave it be. I went back through all of the past minutes. It wasn't wrote in any of the minutes. I don't think I was lied to. I just think that things had been done a certain way for so long.....

What I ended up doing was bitting my tonuge, and tried not to cause any riffs. This was suggested to me by our Principle. When next year rolls around I know how to better handle the sittuation. If this is your BIG Fundraiser then its best to try and make as much money as you can and not bring problems upon yourself. You have next year to change and make things better.

As far as your meetings. I have no suggestions, except an agenda. If your by-laws use Roberts Rules of Order as a procedure in conducting your meetings. I would suggest in purchasing a book or checking the section on this web site. I read the book and end up at every meeting writting a scrip for myself. It helps me feel more comfortable. My PTO does not participate much in discussions at our meetings. They sit like a frog on a log and blink their eyes every so often. I don't really have your problem. If you educate your self with rules use them to your advantage, these people proble don't know them and will not debate you on them.

I do think that you should be careful and not burn any bridges. There is alot of help out there from past members. You just havn't found them yet....

Good-Luck!
22 years 11 months ago #94441 by SUEKSJS
Replied by SUEKSJS on topic RE: Stuck in a rut
If the people in question do not have a child in the school, they should not be at the meetings. This is a PTO. The PTO raises and spends the money the way they see fit. There are no taxpayer dollars being misused that the outsiders need to watch out for. If they want to help at functions, that's great.But they shouldn't run it.
22 years 11 months ago #94440 by OhioMom
Replied by OhioMom on topic RE: Stuck in a rut
In my opinion, and it is just that, my opinion~ anyone who is paying taxes to a school district is entitled to know what is going on at school. The community should take pride and ownership in their school. If you have people with no connection at the school, I would consider yourself lucky. The time that they give to a group is just as valuable as the time of yours you feel that they take up. After all, if they have nothing at stake (such as children) then really what do they have to gain? They are there as a committed members of your community.

If there is someone who is hanging out at school to cause trouble, I would think that they must feel they had something at stake. Find out what that is then go and grow from there.

The policy that our board has adapted into its by-laws is that- Membership shall consist of parents, teachers, other adult residents, and adults associated with the School District who are interested in the objectives of the organization.

I guess that this is one of those catch 22, where you have to agree to disagree and do what works best for your organization.
22 years 11 months ago #94439 by MrBill
Replied by MrBill on topic RE: Stuck in a rut
Looks like you have 2 issues:
1. I would have a formal agenda for your meeting, in writing.........then follow it. The last item can be "any new business" if someone wants to address topics not on the agenda. This way at least the meeting can be somewhat structured.
2. Instead of having "old" members coming to the meeting, perhaps you can organize a transition meeting for the purpose of the old members educating/orientating the new members/committee chairpersons on how they organized events in the past. Sounds like the old members don't want to be at the meetings anyway.
22 years 11 months ago #94438 by Pres88
Replied by Pres88 on topic RE: Stuck in a rut
Hi, just wanted to clairify my comments. Our by-laws state in them that the PTO is made up of teachers, parents/guardians of students in the school and the Principal. We do not collect dues so all you need to belong and vote is to fit into one of the above areas. As far as grandparents ( and other relatives)being involved, yes we love them to help at the fairs and in the classrooms and at meetings if they are the guardians etc etc but this is different from people with no conection to the school at all coming to meetings and trying to run them and taking up valuable time. This is the point that I was trying to get across. We do have guest speakers from time to time and they are most welcome. But I just do not see an adult hanging around an elementary school to put their 2 cents in when they could be spending their time with the middle school PTO or other. If you do not let the new blood have the floor, you will never have new ideas.
22 years 11 months ago #94437 by OhioMom
Replied by OhioMom on topic RE: Stuck in a rut
I have to say that I disagree with the statement that if you do not have a child nor are a teacher you are not welcome and can not speak at a PTO meeting. Yes, you are a PTO, but,many valuable people could be eliminated with that type of a policy. Wow, I have never heard anyone say anything like that. I guess that is what happens when you live in a small town. We are very fortunate to have people who stick around after their kids either move on from the grade level functions (for example are PTO consists of grades k-6)and even people who have had children who have graduated. Think for a minute about those who have had children graduate, they probably have more time on their hands than the mom raising the children at home now and is also working, even stay at home moms. We have grandparents who are active so that they are able to spend more time with grandchildren. As president of our PTO, I would never try to discourage anyone from attending or participating. However, you only have a vote if you've paid your dues. But, we will always listen to what our community has to say. Our carnival games are run by lots of grandparents, and community members and they are received as a huge asset to our school, never as an outsider.

I think that the best advice I could give is to definately have an agenda, and stick with it. If conversation/debate gets to lengthy, have someone call "Question" which will halt all conversation and bring an immediate vote. If it is time for new blood on activities, then make sure that is who you put in charge, let them know that they are in charge as the chairperson and that if they feel (meaning the new committee) something needs changed then that is their right. As times change, so does the need for change in events and how we are presenting them. Some people are stuck on the idea that if it isn't broke, don't fix it (which reading between the lines seems to be where some of the older members of your PTO seem to be.) That is all good, but with most things there is always probably room for improvement or maybe a better way to do it.

The older members can only over power current officers if you allow them to do so. Brush up on Roberts Rules and learn how to keep control while doing it both efficiently and effectively without lookng like the bad guy.
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