April 17, 2014
All PTA Board Members Welcome
All 2014-2015 Unit PTA Rosters Due
27853 Urbandale Ave, Santa Clarita, 91350
April 17, 2014
Has Spring Sprung in Your PTA?
It’s that time of year in PTA where the roller coaster ride of staging your spring events, such as carnivals, 6th grade promotion activities, Family Fun Nights, Book Fair, the spring fundraiser, remaining field trips and assemblies, AND planning for the next school year coincide. Your PTA is in full swing implementing the current calendar while the board-elect is wondering when they need to begin planning next year’s PTA calendar of events and meetings. The SCV Council is exactly in the same place.
With elections now completed, the board-elect can begin to meet. These meetings are legitimate planning meetings to discuss goals for next year, themes for the membership campaign, themes for assemblies, appointment for parliamentarian, what committees will be formed and what they’ll look like. It is time to plan the PTA’s budget and calendar of meetings for both the executive board and association, as well as programs and activities. Referring to your PTA’s bylaws will provide guidance on when meetings take place, officers on your board, officers who are to be the check-signers, and what the responsibilities are for your officers. The standing rules located at the back of the bylaws should list all other chairmen and committees, as well as various practices and protocols, and property belonging to the PTA.
Question: If most of the current board is continuing, and there is only a couple of newly elected officers, do we have to have a separate planning meeting or can planning be rolled into one of the regularly scheduled executive board meetings?
Answer: It is recommended that separate meetings be scheduled to discuss and plan for the new-year, so that the focus is 100% on the new year, so the new and returning officers can begin to know each other and form their own bonds and working relationships. Icebreakers can be very helpful with this. Having a separate planning meeting allows new board members the comfort to express ideas and ask questions lessening the possibility of feeling intimidated or insecure in a new setting. It is important to remember that as human beings we need to FEEL welcome, that we need recognition and validation for who we are and the contributions we attempt to make in life, including PTA meetings. NO JUDGMENT! “Please share your ideas with us. We’d love to hear your thoughts. There is no judgment here.”
If it is desirable to schedule a board-elect planning meeting on the heels of a regularly scheduled executive board meeting of the current board, then the regularly scheduled meeting must be adjourned, and the board-elect’s meeting opened separately. Separate sets of minutes are taken at both meetings.
Question: If the board-elect is mostly made up of new members, including the president how do they go about scheduling planning meetings?
Answer: Once the elections are over, the president-elect can begin scheduling planning meetings. First, get the contact information for all members of the board-elect. Send an E-mail with suggested dates and times to meet. Calculate the responses and determine the meeting time, date and place. Doodle.com is a helpful tool here.
There are several options to help in a smooth transition between PTA administrations.
1. The president-elect and outgoing president consult to schedule an informal transition meeting of officers to exchange information and procedure books. This is helpful for all incoming officers to understand how things are planned, why certain programs happen(ed), and what their role is in planning and implementing the PTA. This is a form of unit training.
2. Incoming officers can meet with their outgoing counterparts at any time during the
planning season. The sooner the better! This is a form of unit training.
3. The president-elect should invite both the outgoing president and treasurer to the
budget and calendar planning meeting, so the board-elect can draw from
experience and have things explained to them as questions arise.
This is a form of unit training.
COMMUNICATION AND THE EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION ARE KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION!!!
Question: Once the board-elect has planned its budget, appointed its officers, determined it’s calendar, how do they go about getting approval for these items, so they can immediately begin work on July 1?
Answer: Once the board-elect has approved these items, they may be brought to the next association meeting (April, May, or June) for approval.
THE BUDGET AND THE CALENDAR ARE LIVING DOCUMENTS. THEY DO CHANGE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR TO ACCOMMODATE THE NEEDS OF YOUR PTA.
**Please note that your spring approval for the budget and calendar may not include all assemblies or other programs that are being planned for the next school year because not all information for approval is available. That’s okay. Additional programs and activities can be brought forward at upcoming executive board and association meetings. Hence, THE LIVING DOCUMENT.
Question: What is the principal’s role in planning next year’s activities, budget and calendar for the PTA?
Answer: As the educational leader for the school and school district, the principal needs to be consulted when planning activities, budget, and calendar, so that the goals, work, and vision of the PTA are aligned to the goals of the school. It is recommended to meet with the principal prior to beginning board-elect planning meetings in order to gain a sense of direction and expectations by the principal regarding the school’s goals and objectives. Once that has taken place, begin your planning meetings.
There are multiple options you can choose from to consult with the principal. I recommend doing what’s best that promotes both a positive partnership with the principal and what enables your executive to work comfortably.
1. As your board-elect is planning the calendar, the budget, activities, and programs,
schedule meetings with the principal for input and approval;
2. Once your executive board has come to consensus on budget, activities, and
programs, prior to an executive board motion for approval, schedule a meeting to present them to the principal for input and approval for activities and programs as appropriate.
3. Once your board moves to approve the budget, calendar, activities and programs,
schedule a meeting with the principal for input and approval for activities and programs as appropriate.
4. Invite the principal to attend planning meetings.
Remember to encourage sharing information between incoming and outgoing officers. Your PTA’s most valuable resources are the knowledge, wisdom, and experience of its members.
Question: Are there PTA trainings in the near future for new and returning officers?
Answer: But of course!! The California State PTA Convention, May 7-10, 2014 offers a variety of extensive workshops. If you are unable to attend full time, consider attending part time to attend the workshop(s) relative your position and interests.
The SCV Council PTA officer’s training is on May 15, 2014 at Oak Hills ES, 26730 Old Rock Road, Stevenson Ranch, CA, at 6:30pm.
There will also be an additional Council training for presidents in the summer, either the end of June or the third week of July. There will be another Council training for all officers at our August association meeting. (TBA)
The 34th District PTA will also offer PTA officer’s training in August at their association meeting as well.
Sharing your heart inspires. Sharing your mind connects.
Thank for volunteering in the PTA! Your service to your community is to be commended, and your work is deeply appreciated by your students, educators, citizens of your community, as well as both the California and National PTAs. You have no idea how many lives you will touch.
Contact me, or any member of the Santa Clarita Valley Council PTA Leadership Team for assistance in addressing any questions you may have.
Be well, do good deeds, and keep in touch,
Santa Clarita Valley Council of PTAs
All PTA Board Members Welcome
Register for State PTA Convention
Mitchell ES ,16821 Goodvale Dr., Santa Clarita, 91387
President: Sue Soloman
VP Leadership: Open
Membership: Julie Gonzalez
Programs: Ikko Hied
PTA: A Work of Heart
Happy New Year and welcome back to school and PTA! It is now time to assess your PTA budget, remaining programs on calendar, and the need to hold additional fundraisers. Keep in mind that if your PTA has the funding to complete the remaining activities already calendared, then it is perfectly okay (with association approval) to suspend fundraising for the year. If your PTA does not have enough funds to cover expenses for the remaining calendared items, it is okay with the approval of your association to either cancel activities or add additional fundraisers.
Also mid-year, it is highly recommended to stage a second membership campaign. The rationale is that new families have moved into your community during the holiday season, and/or parents already attending your school have now had the opportunity to see just how many great things your PTA has done for their children, and now they want to be a part of the PTA team. A welcoming hand and heart should be reaching out every day of the year.
There are two other major PTA business activities that will begin to unfold during the spring months. One the selection and election of a new, incoming PTA executive board and the other, the decision whether to attend PTA Convention and who attends.
New, incoming executive boards are generally elected between February and April. Check your bylaws for election date and officers to be elected; the report of the nominating committee must be posted 30 days prior to the election. Once the officers are elected they may begin having planning meetings for the upcoming school year. Remember, the new executive board term begins on July1, 2014. It is advisable to include the current PTA president and treasurer at the initial planning meetings in order to get a foothold on budget, calendar, and clarification on procedures and protocols. It is also advisable to have a transition meeting with the outgoing board members and the incoming board members to go over procedures, and what worked and didn’t work that year. I personally want to suggest an installation of officers at a meeting or a separate event. This is a great opportunity to recognize those parents and educators who have chosen to become part of a community collaborative (PTA) that will work on behalf of all students, families, faculty and staff , as well as provide your school community the opportunity to meet the Moms, Dads, teachers, and community members who are the PTA leaders at your school. It is also the opportunity to recognize the outgoing officers for their heart-felt work, and that certainly helps with the transition about to take place.
The biggest challenge during this time period can be a “tug of war” that can arise between outgoing and incoming officers. No doubt about it, sometimes it is hard to “let go” of something we have done or been involved with for a long time. The way to work through it is by recognizing the successes of the immediate past PTA executive board at every opportunity, and including them in the transition for information gathering for planning meetings. I say it all the time, “People can never receive enough recognition and appreciation for their work.” I live by that.
PTA Convention is important to attend for many reasons. Attending the annual convention provides opportunities for training, networking, and personal enrichment. A wide variety of workshops are offered. Having served on the California State PTA for 8 years, I can tell you the PTA Convention is the focus at state level year round. It is THE priority of the state PTA board members that the annual PTA convention meets the needs desired by its membership. That is why it is important to fill out the survey at the end of convention. State PTA board members take what is stated seriously and analyze and evaluate it intensely.
So who should attend the PTA Convention? At the least your PTA president, treasurer, secretary, parliamentarian, auditor, and membership chair. It is significant that first time presidents, treasurers, secretaries, parliamentarians, auditors, and membership chairs attend. The training and information is invaluable, and meeting others in the same positions validates that “you are not alone.” The expense to attend Convention is a legitimate business expense because the Convention is the annual meeting of your constituent organization, and the money spent for training your PTA officers is an investment in your PTA that works on behalf of all your students.
Volunteering in PTA is work of the heart. Combined with a spoonful of perseverance and knowledge, we are unstoppable!! We do, what we do for our children, and with that as your guiding principle you will achieve your PTA’s goals.
“Tis the Season to be…”
Tis the season to be jolly while planning holiday events for your family and friends, gift shopping, attending holiday and end-of-year celebrations, as well as attending and planning PTA meetings, implementing PTA programs and events, and carrying out all the other volunteer commitments you made. Whew! Oh did I forget to mention preparing your home for the holidays which of course includes cleaning and decorating? What? You have your own business? What? You have a job outside of the home? What? Your three-year-old child wants an IPhone, IPAD, or Galaxy just like his friends? Calgon, take me away!!
Chances are this busy lifestyle is in high gear all year round throughout all the seasons. Yes, it is accelerated during the fall and winter holiday seasons which now begins in August, and is exacerbated by pre-season Target holiday commercials airing in October and store holiday décor in September at Macys.
Our world has become extremely fast-paced, and it is ever so important that you take this holiday time when our schools are closed, when there are no meetings or regularly scheduled activities to really live in the moment of whatever it is that brings you happiness, laughter, love, and satisfaction, so that you have the energy and motivation to give your all (like you are doing now) to everyone and everything you have chosen to commit to. Time with your loved ones and time for yourself to regenerate is extremely important to the balance of life.
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”-Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States
On behalf of the Santa Clarita Valley Council PTA Executive Board, thank you for your hard work and monumental involvement in your PTA. It has been wonderful getting to know you, and working with you on behalf of all our children and youth in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Happy Holidays! Enjoy! Be safe!
Wishing you a joyous Holiday Season and a smashing New Year!
Sue Solomon, SCV Council PTA President
This week is our Council Association meeting at West Creek Academy. Sue will begin the meeting promptly at 6:30pm. Please let her know if you need to be on the agenda. We will be having our candidate’s forum for the three elementary school board races.