Search Results for: diversity inclusion

Outreach, Diversity and Inclusion

Outreach is a commitment to create an inviting climate, to form respectful relationships and to share important information about PTA with all community members. Outreach includes efforts that focus on enlisting the participation of all parents, students, and community members in the educational process, and establishing collaborative relationships focused on positive impacts by:

  • Using languages represented within your community at your meetings and in your communications.
  • Working to build representative leadership and voice within your PTA of all community groups. The makeup of your board members should reflect the makeup of your school community.
  • Understanding that everyone has value.
  • Assessing your outreach success regularly. Are there new board members and new members at your meetings that represent all parts of your community?
  • Including students, teachers, community and extended family members.

Inclusion is a commitment to involve the entire school community in planning, as well as enjoying, PTA programs and activities. Bringing in many different views is the key to building a robust and meaningful PTA in your community. Members come with their own views, experiences, cultural heritage and traditions, skills and abilities, values and preferences. California’s public schools are a rich weave of these diverse threads, and their PTAs must be as well. Discrimination or prejudice, even behind closed doors, cannot be tolerated.

To be inclusive:

  • Recognize that involvement of diverse populations enriches PTA activities and enhances the wellbeing of all children and youth.
  • Listen to all voices so that your PTA can be an effective voice for ALL children.
  • Celebrate diversity. Break down barriers that discourage people or minimize their involvement.
  • Include in your active membership a representation of all ethnic, cultural, religious, economic and social groups in the community.
  • Ask: Are there large underrepresented groups of California’s population missing from your PTA’s active membership? Is there enough representation from all groups to give an understanding needed to be advocates for all children? Does your PTA seek a diverse membership?

Executive Board Meetings

PTA executive board meetings are held each month during the school year. They provide an opportunity for officers and chairpersons to share ideas, provide updates and oversee the management of a PTA.

The meetings are also a unique forum for board members to carry out their collective responsibility to:

  • Monitor financial and membership reports
  • Authorize the payment of bills within the limits of the unit’s budget
  • Approve Minutes from the previous meeting
  • Create committees as needed
  • Fill vacancies on the board during the term
  • Ensure that adopted budgets, audits and required reports are sent to the council, if in council, and district PTA
  • Ensure that tax and government filings are submitted each year by the due dates

Developing goals and plans for PTA programs and events that meet the interests and needs of a school community are some additional activities that take place at board meetings.

Successful Board Members

Successful board members are team players who value cooperation, collaboration and communication. They are most effective when they:

  • Operate with integrity, civility and trust
  • Communicate a common vision
  • Practice inclusion and welcome diversity
  • Appreciate differences in work styles and perspectives
  • Participate in training and mentoring
  • Identify community needs and interests
  • Maintain the confidentiality of board discussions

By working together as a team, a PTA board can make a difference on campus and in a community.

More information on the roles and duties of the executive board is available in the “Guide to Executive Leadership” under “Planning and Organizing” in this chapter of the Toolkit.

PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships

When families, schools and communities work effectively together as partners, family engagement is a powerful strategy that boosts student achievement and better prepares our children to lead healthy, happy and productive lives.

That’s the thinking behind PTA’s National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. As research-based family engagement standards, they provide a framework to build stronger connections between home and school.

The six Standards, which focus on what parents, schools and communities can do together to support student success, are:

  1. Welcoming All Families into the School Community
    Families are active participants in the life of the school and feel welcomed, valued and connected to each other, to school staff and to what students are learning and doing in class 

    Getting Started: Focus on how to break down barriers at your school. Put in place a Welcoming Committee and bilingual greeters and interpreters for meetings. Hold PTA meetings in community locations such as a local library or community center.

  1. Communicating Effectively
    Families and school staff engage in regular, two-way, meaningful communication and learning 

    Getting Started: Set up ways for families and school staff to connect better using multiple formats for communication. Organize social gatherings such as a school BBQ for everyone to get to know each other better.

  1. Supporting Student Success
    Families and school staff continuously collaborate to support students’ learning and healthy development, both at home and at school, and have regular opportunities to strengthen their knowledge and skills to do so 

    Getting Started: Offer opportunities for parents to learn more on how to support student learning at home. Identify what parents need to know with a survey and hold Parent Education Nights on topics reflecting their interests. Provide tip sheets on parent-teacher conferences, homework help and how to handle the tough issues in raising children and teens today.

  1. Speaking Up for Every Child
    Families are empowered to be advocates for their own and other children to ensure that students are treated fairly and have access to learning opportunities that will support their success 

    Getting Started: Publicize your school’s family engagement policy and get parent and student feedback to update the policy. Hold Parent Information Nights on how to be an effective advocate, how to identify and support learning styles and ways to foster student achievement.

  1. Sharing Power
    Families and school staff are equal partners in decisions that affect children and families and together inform, influence, and create policies, practices and programs 

    Getting Started: Build a culture of inclusion to engage parents in school decision-making that supports student success. Ensure that your PTA membership and leadership reflects your school community with parents of all neighborhoods to promote access and diversity.

  1. Collaborating With the Community
    Families and school staff collaborate with community members to connect students, families and staff to expanded learning opportunities, community services and civic participation 

    Getting Started: Partner with community and business leaders to provide resources and support the cultural, recreational, academic, health, social and other needs of families at your school. Welcome community members such as alumni and retired neighbors as volunteers for school activities and events.

Take Action: Download the PTA National Standards for Family-School Partnerships Guide Assessment Guide, in English or Spanish, on our website: capta.org

UPDATES

2020 Updates

ADVOCACY

  • Revised “Election Campaigns” Section
  • Revised Legislation Platform
  • Revised Position Statements
  • Revised List of Resolutions
  • Revised Resolutions Book
  • New Position Statement “Voting”

FINANCE

  • Revised Audit Report
  • Revised Audit Checklist
  • Revised “Gross Receipts” Section
  • Multiple Revisions from “Signs of Good Financial Procedures” through “Standards for PTA Fundraising”

FORMS

  • Revised Conflict/Whistleblower Form Annual Questionnaire”

PROGRAMS

  • Revised Due Dates for Program Grants and Continuing Education Scholarships
  • Eliminated School Nurses Continuing Education Scholarship
  • Revised School Staff Continuing Education Scholarship
  • New Application Forms for All Continuing Education Scholarships, Program Grants and Graduating High School Senior Scholarships

2019 Updates

INTRODUCTION

  • Added list of 2019-2021 Board of Directors

KNOW THE PTA

  • California State PTA Bylaws (amended May 2019)
  • PTA Basic Policies and Principles
  • California State PTA Map
  • The Local Unit PTA
  • The Council PTA
  • The District PTA
  • Cooperating with Other Organizations
  • Making the Coalition Successful

FINANCE

  • Selecting Appropriate Fundraising Activities — Alcohol and PTA Events
  • PTA Provided Babysitting Services
  • State Taxes and Government Forms — Update to filing requirements for 199N
  • Updated Workers’ Compensation Annual Payroll Report form (also updated in Forms)
  • Cash Verification Form (also updated in Forms)
  • Tax Filing: Sales Tax

ADVOCACY

Resolutions

New

  • Early Child Care and Education for All of California’s Children
  • Temperature Control Standards in the School Setting

Position Statements

Revised

  • Character Education (1968)
  • Dangers of Energy/Caffeinated Drinks (2009)
  • Nutrition and Physical Activity Education (Revised and combined “Nutrition Education”, 1974 and “Physical Education (K-12)”, 1993)

RUNNING YOUR PTA

  • California State PTA Officers and Commissions
    • Family Engagement Commission
    • Service to Unit, Council and District PTAs
    • California State PTA Brief Statements on Current Issues
    • Basic Policies and Principles of PTA
    • Professional Governance Standards
  • Meetings
    • Executive Board Meetings
    • Association Meetings
    • Committee Meetings
    • Suggestions for Year-Round Schools
    • Program Planning
    • Announcements and Materials
    • Conducting PTA Meetings
    • Parliamentary Procedures
    • Eights Steps to Making a Motion
    • The Agenda and Meeting Notice
  • Nominations and Elections
    • Electing the Nominating Committee
    • Qualities of Nominating Committee Members
    • Responsibilities of the Committee
    • Responsibilities of Chairperson
    • Alternates to the Nominating Committee
    • The Role of the Parliamentarian
    • Selecting Nominees
    • Contacting Nominees
    • The Election
    • Questions and Answers
  • Planning and Organizing
    • Guide to Executive Leadership
    • Executive Board
    • Brainstorming
    • Goal Setting
    • Procedure Book
    • Records Retention and Destruction Policy
    • Retention Schedule
    • Responsibilities of Officers and Chairpersons
    • Recommended Officers and Chairpersons
    • Job Descriptions for Officers and Chairpersons
    • Administrators Serving as Officers/Check Signers
    • School Staff Serving as Primary PTA Officers
  • Fig. R-1 Organizational Flow Chart
  • Fig. R-2 Sample Agenda and Meeting Planner
  • Fig. R-3 PTA Nominating Committee Checklist – Quick Tips
  • Fig. R-4 PTA Election Checklist – Quick Tips

JOB DESCRIPTIONS

  • President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Auditor
  • Executive Vice President
  • Financial Secretary
  • Historian
  • Parliamentarian

2018 Updates

INTRODUCTION

  • Revised list of PTA brochures

KNOW THE PTA

  • California State PTA Bylaws

FINANCE

  • Signs of Good Financial Procedures
  • Sample Financial Calendar of Activities
  • Treasurer Duties
  • Guidelines for Computer Use
  • Income
  • Handling PTA Funds
  • California State PTA E-Membership Program (New)
  • Providing Documentation to Donors
  • NSF Checks Bookkeeping Procedures
  • Financial Procedures for the Internet-Income
  • Financial Procedures for the Internet-Expenditures
  • Payment Via Electronic Funds Transfer/Bank Bill Pay Services
  • Committee Procedures
  • Payment Authorization/Request for Reimbursement Form

MEMBERSHIP

  • Joining PTA
  • The Basics of PTA Membership
  • Develop a Membership Marketing Plan
  • Membership Calendar and Budget
  • Implementing a Membership Marketing Plan
  • Membership Dues
  • Membership Cards
  • Member Contact Information and Membership List
  • Student Membership
  • Administrators/Teacher/Staff Memberships
  • Family Memberships
  • Charter Memberships

PROGRAMS

  • Introduction
  • California State PTA Spotlight Awards

ADVOCACY

Resolutions

New

  • Improving and Stabilizing Education Funding

Reviewed and Deemed Relevant

  • Achievement Eliminating the Gap (2009)
  • Adequate and Equitable State School Finance System (1987)
  • California K-12 Public School Funding Crisis (1998)
  • Closed Captioned TV (1978)
  • Creating Lifelong Readers (1998)
  • Education on Hazards of Involuntary Smoking (1987)
  • Improving K-12 Mathematics Education (1998)
  • Lowering the Vote Requirement in the California State Budget Process (2009)
  • Nutrition Education (1991)
  • Primary Prevention of Substance Abuse (1979)
  • Prohibiting the Promotion of Tobacco Products (1987)
  • School Construction Funding (1986)
  • School Library Media Center Funding Crisis (1988)
  • School Support Program (1976)
  • Social Host Accountability and Underage Drinking (2009)
  • Substance Use And Abuse During Pregnancy (1987)
  • Support for the Civic Mission of Schools (2006)
  • Teen Driving Safety (2009)
  • Television/Screen Time Awareness (2006)
  • Youth Involvement (2004)

Retired

  • Regulation of 976 Information access service (1986)
  • School Facilities Crisis (1986)

Position Statements

New

  • Safe Drinking Water in Schools
  • Social Emotional Learning: Essential to a Well-rounded Education
  • Sugary-Sweetened Beverages

Revised

  • Child Care (1989)
  • Education: The Elementary Years, Ages 6 to 10
  • Firearms and Assault Weapons (1990)
  • Homeless Children and Families (1988)
  • Interpersonal Relations – formerly Human Relations (2012)
  • Mass Media and the Family (1974)
  • Positive Youth Development – formerly Delinquency Prevention (1974)
  • Reduced Class Size in Grades TK-3 – formerly Reduced Class Size in Grades K-3
  • Rights and Services for Undocumented Children and Children of Undocumented Immigrants – formerly Services for Children of Undocumented Immigrants (2012)
  • Rights of Foster Children and Foster Families (2013)

Retired

  • Responsibility of Society to the Family

FORMS

  • Bylaws Submittal Form for Units and Councils
  • Honorary Service Award Form
  • Payment Authorization/Request for Reimbursement Form

JOB DESCRIPTIONS

Membership Chairman/Vice President (Unit)

Safety

    • Updated American Red Cross links

2017 Updates

INTRODUCTION
Board of Directors 2017-2019
List of Due Dates

KNOW THE PTA
updates throughout chapter

FINANCE
Updates throughout chapter
Including an updated Records Retention and Destruction Policy

MEMBERSHIP
Membership Dues

PROGRAMS
Leadership Development Grants for Unit Council and District PTAs

ADVOCACY
Legislation Policies

RESOLUTIONS
reviewed and deemed relevant
Aid to Rape Victims and Their Families (1977)
Attention Deficit Disorder in Children (1998)
Ban on Military Assault-Type Weapons (1989)
Breast Cancer Early Detection Awareness and Education (1988)
Developmentally-Appropriate Physical Education (1999)
Education of Health Hazards in Use of Anabolic Steroids (1989)
HIV/STD Prevention Education in Our Schools (2008)
Indoor Air Quality in Schools (2007)
Local School Parcel Tax Measure Threshold Reduction (2008)
Longitudinal Integrated Statewide Data System (2008)
Mental Illness: Treatment and Support (1999)
Online Safeguards for Internet Use by Children and Youth (1997)
Playground Equipment Safety Standards (1996)
Primary Prevention of Substance Abuse (1979)
Protection of Children from the Harmful Effects of Aircraft Emissions (1998)
Public School Governance Authority (2007)
Regulation of Liquor Licenses Near Schools (1997)
Safe Routes to School For All Children (2008)
Strategies to Reduce School, Family and Community Violence (1995)
Violence in the home (1977)

retired
Broadcast Projections of Results on Election Day
Promoting the Inclusion of Non Public Schools on California’s Megan’s Law Registered Sex Offender Database (2008)

POSITION STATEMENTS
new
Accountability Systems: Statewide, Federal and Local
Assessment and Testing (Statewide)
Comprehensive Community Schools with Integrated Services (Community Schools)

reviewed and deemed relevant
Assistance to Families in Need (1998)
Before & After School Options for Children & Youth (2002)
Child Victims/Witnesses Rights (1986)
Family Engagement in Credentialing (2012)
Family Services (1966)
Inclusiveness and Diversity (1991)
Juvenile Offenders in Justice System (1987)
Prevention of Teen Pregnancy (1998)
School Bus Safety (1986)
School Closure (1980)

revised
Environmental Health and Environmental Education
Family Planning
Family Responsibility and Accountability

ISSUE-RELATED GUIDELINES
retired
Background Checks for Mobile Food Vendors (1999)
Condom Availability Through the Schools (1999)
Dealing with Establishments that Sell Gasoline and Alcohol Concurrently (1992)
Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco Abuse Prevention and Awareness (1999)
Parent Involvement
Studying the Impact of Video Games (1993)
Suicide Prevention Education and Awareness (1999)

RUNNING YOUR PTA
Updates throughout chapter

JOB DESCRIPTIONS
Auditor
Executive VP
Financial Secretary
Fundraising Chairman
President
Local Unit Leaders
Parliamentarian
Secretary
Treasurer

 

2016 Updates

INTRODUCTION
Board of Directors 2015-2017

KNOW THE PTA
Purposes of the PTA
State PTA Bylaws

FINANCE
Petty Cash
PTA and Education Foundations

MEMBERSHIP
Membership Dues

ADVOCACY
Legislation Platform

RESOLUTIONS
Dyslexia: Addressing the Educational Implications in Public Schools (2016)

POSITION STATEMENTS
Child Abuse
Gang Awareness
Education: The High School Years, Ages 14 to 18
Evaluation of Teachers
Fair Housing
Firearms and Assault Weapons
Minor Consent for Health Care
Missing and Exploited Children
Safe School Environments
Status Offenders
Student Participation in Public Demonstrations
Student Records
Year-Round Education

ISSUE-RELATED GUIDELINES
Condom Availability Through the Schools

RUNNING YOUR PTA
Social Media Guidelines for PTAs in California
Social Media Guidelines for PTA Leaders and Members in California

FORMS
Audit Report
Authorization for Electronic Transfer for Attorney General (RRF-1) ONLY
Cash Verification
PTA Unit/Council Spotlight Award

Table of Contents

Membership Basics

Develop a Marketing Plan
Membership Theme
Membership Calendar and Budget
Implementing a Membership Marketing Plan
Membership Envelopes
Membership Dues
Membership Cards
Member Contact Information and Membership List
Memberships
Student Membership
Administrators/Teachers/Staff Memberships
Family Memberships
Charter Memberships

Membership Marketing Tools

Student Involvement Committee
Students Membership Rights and Responsibilities
Financial Procedures for Student Leaders
Revising Bylaws to Change to a PTSA

School Desegregation/Integration

Adopted March 1978 – Reviewed and deemed relevant May 2020– Education Commission

California State PTA is committed to integrated public schools offering quality education† for all children and youth, and believes:

  • Equal educational opportunities should be provided for all students;
  • School districts have the responsibility for providing an integrated education for all students;
  • Multicultural understanding should be an integral part of the education of all students;
  • A desegregated/integrated school must provide opportunity for the development of attitudes and behavior based on the value of the individual;
  • A desegregated/integrated school must encourage all students to be fully involved in school activities and to develop to their fullest potential;
  • Teachers and other staff members should be trained to understand the needs of all children and youth, as well as the cultural, racial, ethnic, and economic diversity found in California’s society;
  • The entire school staff must work consistently to create a school climate of respect for the differences as well as the similarities of all students;
  • Support and direction for the development, implementation and evaluation of desegregation/integration programs require the combined efforts of parents, students, the school system, and the entire community;
  • PTA must serve as a unifying force for integration by involving the parents of all students in its activities†† and encouraging parent participation in school-sponsored activities; special efforts should be made to include parents residing outside the immediate school community.

See related position statement: Basic Education.
†† Refer to Outreach, Diversity and Inclusion.

Interpersonal Relations

Adopted November 1968 – Revised February 2018 – Health & Community Concerns Commission

California State PTA believes that good interpersonal relations are an important force in solving and preventing problems in communities. A high value must be placed on positive, interpersonal communication in which each person is treated with respect and appreciation, regardless of individual differences.

Interpersonal behaviors should reflect and support respect, courtesy/civility, appreciation, empathy, trust, inclusion and consultation without regard to differences in race, gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, national origin, language, religion, age, physical and academic ability, sexual orientation, or immigration status.

The United States is a product of immigration and the cultural pluralism of its people. It consists of a multitude of diverse ethnic, racial and religious groups that share in common American citizenship, a democratic way of life, and values that stress the worth and dignity of the individual.

California State PTA welcomes diversity. Diversity provides an opportunity for teaching, developing and promoting multicultural competencies and understanding. Racial, ethnic, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religious, and other individual or group differences should not be regarded as hindrances to success. Instead they should be treated as positive opportunities for improving the quality of life.

The home and school are two of the strongest influences in shaping attitudes of children. All schools must be deeply involved with positive human relations in the education of the child, however, this is not the job of the school alone. All interacting forces in the community must work together, so that each member of society has equal access to opportunities to develop to their full potential.

Interpersonal relations impact the future of family and community well-being. Success of individuals, families, and communities depends on the type of interpersonal relations that are developed. It is essential for PTA at every level to commit efforts toward building communities that support positive interpersonal relations in the healthy development of all children.

†See related position statement: Character Education.

Family Engagement Committee

Providing ways for parents to better support the growth, development and learning of their children and teenagers is the core purpose and value of PTA.

Setting up a Family Engagement Committee for your PTA ensures inclusion and gives parents ready access to the information, skills and training they need to support student success.

To build family engagement on campus, a good first step is to develop a year-long Action Plan. That way, you can organize, implement and assess your outreach efforts, programs and activities for family engagement more effectively.

5 Steps for an Action Plan:

  • Survey parents, staff and students to identify the needs and priorities of the school community
  • Create a family engagement team with parents, teachers, students, administrators and community partners to work together to support student success
  • Design a family engagement Action Plan to reach and engage all families in the school community
  • Present the programs budget for the Action Plan to the PTA board and association for approval
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the Action Plan, using a year-end survey or an evaluation sheet filled out at each event/activity

As part of your Action Plan, offer Parent Education Nights on a variety of subjects including:

To Boost Parenting Skills – Focus on topics such as child development, health and wellness, multiculturalism and diversity, bullying and gangs, substance abuse, the arts, family life/sex education, social media, cyber safety and the other tough issues facing parents raising children and teenagers today.

To Boost Student Achievement – Focus on topics such as school policies, homework help, curriculum, reading, writing, math, STEAM, standardized testing, school safety, campus climate, student engagement and school improvement.

To expand your outreach efforts, follow up by using your PTA newsletter, website and social media postings to provide more information and resources on these topics.

Take Action: To learn more, check out the Job Description for the Family Engagement Chairman in the California State PTA Toolkit.

Communicating with Confidence – PTA Publications

PTA Publication Types


PTAs are encouraged to communicate with PTA members and the school community. Each unit must determine what will best meet the needs of its members and community, and what will fit within its budget. Options include:

  • print publications such as newsletters and fliers
  • emails
  • e-publications such as electronic newsletters
  • websites
  • social media
  • banners and posters
  • text messages

Plan PTA Communications

Plan PTA communications that inform the community about PTA activities and school functions.

Identify the Target Audience. It is important to clarify who you want to reach. Is your publication written for parents? for students? for teachers?

Choose the Right Tool. Decide how best to communicate with your audience. Consider using multiple tools to carry the message.

Prepare the Right Message. Review and refine each article to clearly and concisely convey the message.

Use the PTA Style Guide. Refer to the California State PTA Style Guide for grammar specific to PTA, helpful punctuation, writing reminders and correct use of the PTA logo.

Incorporate the PTA Logo into all PTA communications. An organization’s logo catches the reader’s eye and makes an instant, familiar connection. This PTA logo can be downloaded and customized for use by units, councils and district PTAs.

          Screen Shot 2015-04-16 at 10.13.50 AM

Guidelines for PTA Publications


Adhere to PTA noncommercial, nonpartisan and nonsectarian policies.

Communications must be cleared with the PTA president and school principal before printing, publishing or posting. The principal is responsible for the accuracy of school information and compliance with the State Education Code and school district policy. The PTA president is responsible for the accuracy of PTA information and compliance with PTA policies. (Article VI, Section 1i, Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units).

Publication best practices:

  • Create a visual identity. PTA publications should be consistent in appearance and easily identifiable.
  • Date all publications.
  • The name of the unit, council, district and state PTA should be on each publication.
  • Publications should list PTA contact information—units should use school address; council and district PTA should use office or mailing address.
  • Include references to other PTA resources such as council and district PTA, California State PTA and National PTA publications, websites and social media sites.
  • Develop a plan to reach all members.

In PTA publications, publish only a summary of actions taken from PTA association meeting minutes. Do not publish, without written permission, photos or personal information about students or adults. Use of photographs or videos of children requires a Photography Release form, available in English and Spanish.

Advertising and Sponsorships

PTAs may be approached by commercial businesses or individuals seeking a presence in their publications. All advertising should be screened to ensure it meets PTA’s high standards and legal obligations.

The California State PTA strongly recommends finding sponsors rather than accepting advertising. See Sponsorship vs. Endorsement. Thank funders and sponsors. One sentence should do it! To preserve the PTA’s tax-free income generated from a sponsorship, the acknowledgement thanking the organization must not actually promote the sponsor, its product or services. Become familiar with the noncommercial policy.

  • The Sunshine PTA expresses grateful appreciation to the following merchants for making this publication possible:
  • The Sunshine PTA expresses thanks to Neighborhood Bank for the use of its parking lot for the car wash.
  • Sunshine PTA thanks Romano Pizza for the generous offer to donate 10 percent of all sales made on Saturday.

Mailed publications should meet the guidelines of the US Postal Service. Learn more about nonprofit mail content eligibility.

For any publication containing advertising, use the following disclaimer:

The mention of any business or service in this publication does not imply an endorsement by the PTA.

Copyright Laws

PTA must abide by federal copyright laws governing printed matter, poetry, art, music and computer software. Republish articles, art, photographs etc. abiding by all laws and in an ethical manner.

For complete copyright information, go to copyright.gov.

California State PTA articles and artwork may be used by unit, council and district PTAs without permission. Read National PTA materials carefully to determine when permission to republish is required. Always credit the source.

  • It is most important that anything copyrighted, including original artwork, not be reproduced on an item to be sold or to advertise an event. Permission must be secured to avoid litigation. The artist or the syndicating company will generally require a royalty on each item sold and a specific number of complimentary copies of the item.

When showing movies during school or at after-school events or fundraisers, PTAs must observe movie/video copyright laws, site licensing, and promote the event only as permitted by the site license.

Best practices for Improving Content

  • Ask for feedback. Use an opinion poll, a questionnaire, or interactive questions on social media.
  • Publicize: coming events, the results of past events, membership campaigns, and PTA award recipients.
  • Remember, people don’t read, they skim. Use bullets, quotes, charts and graphics.
  • Proofread everything. Have two to three people proofread before anything is distributed.

Translating Materials

PTAs should work closely with the school to meet the language needs of those who receive association publications. To translate information and materials, seek help from:

  • bilingual parents on the executive board;
  • teachers or support personnel in the classrooms or the school district; or
  • foreign language departments at local high schools, community colleges and universities.

Consider providing translated content in one of the following ways:

  • Present side-by-side translations of articles on each page, or
  • Print or post a separate issue.
  • Offer all information in English with short recaps of major information in languages needed in the school community.
  • Have a bilingual point person to contact or a Web page with information available in each target language.
  • Develop audio or videotapes of recorded newsletters, notices and parenting tips in different languages and post on your website.
  • Learn how to reach out to members in your community whose native language is not English.

The California State PTA offers Outreach Translation Grants to unit, council and district PTAs for written or verbal translation of PTA materials into other languages

Publication Preparation

Efficient and timely distribution is crucial to the publication process.

  • Set a publication schedule at the beginning of the school year and share with contributors.
  • Send publication article reminders as the due date approaches.
  • Ask board members to contribute articles and reports about their projects and events.
  • Advise contributors that material will be edited for space and form (grammar, punctuation, spelling and accuracy of information) for all publications.
  • Remember to allow time for review of the publication and approval by the PTA president and school principal before distributing.
  • Include the cost of materials, supplies, copying, software, service provider subscriptions and equipment in the association budget.

Publication Distribution

Send copies of unit PTA publications to council and district PTA presidents. Share your publications with the California State PTA by mailing to the state PTA office or emailing communications@capta.org. If the publication is in print form, leave several copies in the school office.

Use your publications as a PTA marketing tool. Distribute them to school district superintendents and trustees, businesses, chambers of commerce, service groups, city offices, police departments, libraries, recreation departments, after-school day-care centers, preschools, media outlets, county supervisors, junior colleges, and local state legislators.

Electronic Communications


Website

A website is a useful tool for promoting and providing resources. It is usually the first point of contact for persons interested in finding out more about your PTA.

  • Plan the design and content of the website strategically. Simplicity is the key to user-friendly design.
  • Budget for website development and maintenance. Websites may be hosted by the county office of education, the school district, or by a service provider paid for by the PTA.
  • Do not post PTA bylaws, minutes and financial reports on the website except in summary form.
  • Update your website content regularly. Forward approved copy to the website manager with requested posting dates and removal dates.
  • Link to information on the California State PTA, National PTA websites, council and district websites.
  • Permission should be obtained prior to posting any name, photograph, or contact information on a website. Observe copyright laws. Use a Photography Release form, available in English and Spanish.

PTA Email Accounts

Create PTA position-specific email addresses, e.g. ABCPTAPresident@xxx.com, called email aliases. The email alias does not change from year to year but is passed on to the position successor. Email alias addresses are set up to automatically forward email to the personal email accounts of board members. Update email aliases, forwarding addresses and passwords at the beginning of each term.

Email Distribution Lists

Email distribution lists are a cost-effective and efficient way to share information with committees, board members and the membership. Some service providers allow a user to set up a group distribution list at no charge. Blind-copy recipients to avoid publicizing members’ personal email addresses. Abide by the email limitations of personal email service providers to avoid triggering spam filters.

Provide an unsubscribe option. Honor all requests to unsubscribe.

E-newsletters

An e-newsletter is a time- and cost-effective way to share information with a large number of people. Typically it is an informational update sent via email to members of an electronic distribution list.

Use an online marketing company to send e-newsletters. Such companies offer excellent e-newsletter templates and allow your PTA to create distribution lists that are not limited by personal email restrictions.

Graphic elements are blocked for some email recipients. Use a text-only format or send an email that includes the hyperlink to a newsletter posted on the PTA website

Convert your newsletter to Portable Document Format (PDF) before emailing to ensure that all recipients can open the document. Include a link to the Adobe PDF Reader website so members can download the PDF reader free of charge.

Keep the e-newsletter brief. Provide short summaries for each topic, adding links to additional information available on the unit’s website.

For template and design ideas, refer to the California State PTA e-newsletters.

Social Media

Guidelines for social media remain the same as for every PTA publication.

  • Maintain PTA’s high standards of respect and courtesy.
  • Observe the PTA’s nonpartisan, noncommercial, nonsectarian policies, “do no harm” to an individual or an organization, and be knowledgeable about PTA positions.
  • PTA social media site administrators should be appointed to review the site posts and messaging daily, if not more frequently.
  • Follow the guidelines established by each social media site. Use the Photography Release form available in English and Spanish when publishing photographs.
  • Be cautious with censorship. Social media sites encourage members and partners to share insights freely. Remove postings or comments to your social media pages or accounts only when they violate PTA social media standards of respect and courtesy, or violate our nonpartisan, noncommercial, or nonsectarian policies. Refer to National PTA Social Media Tipsheets.

Print Communications


Fliers

Fliers are a good way to publicize upcoming events.

Fliers should:

  • Have limited text and plenty of “white space” so that the information stands out.
  • Provide the who, what, when, where and why.
  • Use graphics and fonts sparingly.
  • Use the PTA logo.

Use the customizable membership marketing flier to tell prospective members about your PTA.

Goal Setting

Setting goals for your unit helps you work smarter in planning and organizing the PTA year. It supplies a road map to keep you on track as board members with shared priorities to focus on, achieve and evaluate collectively.

Three, basic types of goals to consider are:

Short-range Goals: Accomplished now (starting today and within two weeks)

Intermediate Goals: Accomplished in the interim between short- and long-range goals

Long-range Goals: Accomplished by the term’s end

PLANNING

Setting one or two goals with ten ways to reach each one is better than setting ten goals with only one or two ways to get there.

When starting to plan as a board, take time to learn more about the school community’s current interests, concerns and needs. This can be done by supplying a brief survey or setting up a suggestion box online or in person. Input can be gathered as well by brainstorming at an association meeting.

In assessing community feedback, board members work together to determine:

  • Will the suggestion promote the Purposes and basic policies of PTA?
  • Does the idea address a valid concern or real need in the community? Or, is another organization already working on the issue?

If so, consider joining an existing coalition so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. (See: Joining, Building, and Making Coalitions Work).

  • Is the idea cost effective and feasible? Can we invest enough time, money and resources to make it happen?

5 Steps in Planning

  1. Research – What do our members need or want?
  2. Goals – What does the unit want to accomplish?
  3. Objectives – What will it take to reach our goal?
  4. Action Plan – Who does what, when, and how?
  5. Evaluate – How can we know it was successful?

POTENTIAL GOALS FOR THE YEAR

To help you get started, here are some ideas for possible goals to set in planning the PTA year:

  • Increase unit membership
  • Enhance outreach and communications
  • Build stronger family-school partnerships
  • Promote PTA benefits and activities
  • Engage families from all neighborhoods
  • Advocate for campus safety
  • Celebrate diversity and practice inclusion
  • Improve student health and wellness

After selecting your unit’s goals, board members collaborate to develop the chief objectives along with an action plan to attain the goals.