Job Description for Program Chairman

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KEY ROLE – Program Chairman

  • Works with committee and other chairmen to plan and organize programs for the school year
  • Collaborates with principal, PTA president, other committee chairmen and campus student groups to coordinate, plan and implement programs
  • Develops annual program calendar and presents it at PTA association meeting for adoption
  • Publicizes approved program calendar using newsletters, website, social networks and school handbook
  • Oversees and delegates volunteer recruitment for implementing and running programs

Quick Tips – Program Calendar

Check dates and times for:

  • School district and community events
  • Religious or public holidays such as Hanukkah, Presidents’ Day
  • Traditional PTA events – Founders Day, board elections, Reflections Program
  • Public Awareness dates – National Child Safety Month, Red Ribbon Week
  • PTA meeting schedule in bylaws
  • PTA council and district schedules
  • Best times/days for families to readily participate


  • Preparation – Review procedure book and materials supplied by last year’s program chairman to get an overview of what programs worked best for your campus.
  • Schedule Meeting – Meet early with program committee, appointed by president-elect. Involve experienced and new volunteers on the committee to share the decision-making and work.
    The committee may include members, students, teachers, principal and, as a resource, chairmen for hospitality, publicity, parent education, health or safety.


Programs provide opportunities to enhance a school campus by boosting student achievement, stimulating family engagement, promoting community and meeting student needs so they thrive.

PTA programs focus on parent education nights, student achievement, wellness and safety presentations, special events and student activities. Consider varying the type and format of programs – town hall, panel, video, student activity or family event – offered each year. Develop a program plan collaboratively to encourage inclusiveness and participation of the school community.

Defining Program Goals

  • Review prior years’ programs to see what worked best
  • Survey school community on preferences for programs
  • Prioritize community feedback to determine program plans
  • Network with other PTAs for possible collaboration
  • Brainstorm ideas on programs with board and committee members
  • Check program information from council, district, State and National PTA for resources and ideas

Implementing Programs

  • Community Engagement – Involve students, families, educators and community partners in program preparation and activities.  Always consider school and community factors for program plans including ethnicity, transportation, site access for the disabled and meeting place availability.
  • PTA Insurance – Ensure that every program meets PTA insurance requirements for allowable activities.
  • Volunteers – Coordinate and delegate volunteer recruitment to assist in running the program.
  • Presenters – Book presenters and send written confirmation for their audio-visual equipment needs. Provide information on who to contact if there are questions and a request for a brief biography to use for introductions at the event.
  • Follow Up – Confirm program date, time and location plus time allotted, topic and type of presentation (question and answer opportunities or lecture) with presenter. Provide directions or map, details on audience size and type and a cell phone number at the event site.
  • Publicity – Prepare and send notices for PTA publications and to council/district PTA and local media.  Work with room representatives to use phone trees, backpack express, email blasts and social networking to widely distribute notices to school’s families.
  • Review Materials – Order audio-visual materials and handouts in advance for committee to vet before the event.

Did You Know …?

For PTA activity plans, you should:

  • Refer to current Insurance and Loss Prevention Guide, mailed annually to unit presidents, for guidelines on approved activities.
  • Never sign a Hold Harmless Agreement on behalf of the PTA. If asked to sign a Hold Harmless Agreement, the PTA should contact the California State PTA insurance broker.
  • When directed by the insurance broker to sign the Facilities Use Permit Addendum for events held on public school campuses, locate the form in the Toolkit, Forms section.
  • Obtain a Hold Harmless Agreement and Evidence of Insurance from each vendor, concessionaire or service provider used. Instead of providing Evidence of Insurance to each individual unit, the vendor, concessionaire or service provider may file an annual copy of coverage with the California State PTA insurance broker.

Learn MoreToolkit, Finance section
Questions? – Contact the California State PTA insurance broker

Presenting Programs

  • Arrive early and check site for requested equipment, room set-up and hospitality arrangements
  • Allow extra time to test all sound and audio-visual equipment before program starts
  • Greet presenter, provide nametag, agenda and briefly review presentation format and content
  • Introduce presenter and topic and, after the presentation, extend the group’s appreciation
  • Act as host during social time
  • Send thank-you notes promptly, along with authorized expense reimbursements, photos or press clippings

Evaluating Programs

  • Review completed programs as a committee on what worked best, report to PTA board or association and make recommendations for future planning groups
  • Pass on program flyers and publicity to historian for PTA records
  • Maintain a procedure book, noting successes and failures, ideas for future presentations, copies of correspondence, program resources and references

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