Academic Enrichment Programs

A PTA-sponsored Academic Enrichment Program designed as an extension of the school curriculum offers students an opportunity to expand their knowledge and academic experience.

Prior to implementation of any academic enrichment program the Insurance and Loss Prevention Guide must be consulted to ensure compliance with sanctioned activities. For insurance purposes, an enrichment program is intermittent in nature and does not continue on a daily basis over the duration of the school year. For any questions regarding general liability insurance, contact the California State PTA insurance broker whose number can be obtained from the Insurance and Loss Prevention Guide.

If a unit, council or district PTA chooses to sponsor activities that the insurance underwriter has not listed, the unit, council or district PTA must contact the California State PTA insurance broker and may have to purchase the necessary additional participant liability insurance for that activity, and the entire association (California State PTA and its unit, council and district PTAs) must be named as an additional insured. Please contact the California State PTA insurance broker for requirements for additional insurance. (Refer to the Insurance and Loss Prevention Guide.)

A special enrichment program study committee should be appointed by the PTA president to determine if a need for a specific academic program exists and to assess its potential value. A program must be acceptable not only to the PTA association but to the principal as well; therefore the committee should include the school principal, a PTA financial officer, a faculty member and other interested persons. Consideration should be given to the feasibility of the local Parks and Recreation Department providing such a program rather than the PTA.

TOPICS FOR CONSIDERATION

The program must be academic in content with defined goals. The PTA must monitor and evaluate the program to ensure that the goals are being met.

The instructor may be a volunteer or a paid professional. Qualification guidelines must be established for the instructor, and PTA may not hire a voting member of the board as an employee for enrichment programs.

If the instructor is to be paid, the budget must reflect this expenditure. There must be sufficient income from other sources, such as fundraisers or program fees, to meet this expenditure.

A fee may be charged. However, fees should be minimal. All interested children must be served and no child may be excluded because of inability to pay any fee.

The PTA treasurer may handle the bookkeeping or there may be a need for a project financial chairman, who provides written reports given at the regular meetings of the executive board and the association. Checks can be signed by designated elected officers only. All procedures outlined in the Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units, Article VI, Section 6, for the expenditure of funds must be followed.

Books must be audited semiannually. The program should be held at a time when all interested students may attend, including those on bus schedules and those residing outside the school attendance area and those students “off-track” when the year-round school calendar is being followed.

Consideration must be given to where the program will be held and the site’s accessibility for all students.

Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that the PTA make reasonable accommodations necessary to make the class accessible to students with disabilities. This may include determining that a private location or specialized medical training is available for the handling of student’s personal needs.

The PTA must be responsible for defining and implementing safety and emergency procedures.

When it has been determined that an enrichment program will benefit all children, the committee shall bring its recommendations, including how the program will be operated, to the PTA executive board for approval and recording in the executive board minutes.

In order to continue the program, it must be approved each year by the association.

If the program needs approval by the school district administration or the school board, the PTA must proceed accordingly to obtain the appropriate authorization. The committee responsible for coordination of the program must make a progress report at each executive board meeting and, periodically, to the association. Approval dates must be recorded in the association minutes.

If the program is held before or after school, on or off school grounds, a signed parent consent form must be on file for each student. There must be phone access for emergency needs. The instructor must use procedures established and monitored by the PTA for checking children in and out of the program. The insurance underwriter requires there be at least two unrelated persons 18 or over in attendance at all times.

It is strongly recommended that PTA fund an academic program by giving the monies to the school district as a gift to the school, in accordance with school district policies, instead of the PTA hiring instructors. If PTA votes to hire an instructor, refer to PTA as an Employer.

To reduce risk of exposure and protect California State PTA, California State PTA has determined that sponsoring certain programs is not permissible for PTAs and is not to be covered under the California State PTA General Liability Insurance Policy. Refer to the Insurance and Loss Prevention Guide, Red Light Section for a full listing of prohibited activities.

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