Student involvement is the commitment of a PTA/PTSA to actively involve students in the leadership of the association. Parents, teachers, and students work together as a team to train youth to be future advocates and community leaders. The California State PTA encourages and supports student participation in PTA leadership, events and programs. Refer to Student Involvement Templates for ideas for involving students in elementary, middle and high school activities. (California State PTA Toolkit, Involving students)
Once the membership has voted to have a student involvement committee, the president will appoint a chairman, subject to ratification of the executive board.
- Include adults and students on the Student Involvement Committee.
- Discuss student involvement with your PTA/PTSA executive board.
- Survey the school community to find out what types of activities would encourage student involvement.
- Develop a plan for student involvement. Set reasonable goals based on available resources and the desired outcome.
- Recruit student membership, making a formal commitment to youth involvement in the form of a motion or an action item.
- Review and revise bylaws according to California State PTA procedures if the association decides to incorporate students into the legal name of the association.
- Request that the executive board plan meetings during a time the majority can attend; be considerate of schedules so students and adults can be equally represented.
- Publicize PTA/PTSA meetings to students with school posters, morning announcements and school newsletters.
- Promote student membership. Highlight benefits of involvement such as PTSA scholarships, community service opportunities, and enhancement of college and job applications.
- Develop and implement programs that are relevant and that involve both students and adults. Include students in the initial planning stages as well as in the execution of the projects.
- Publicize activities through the PTA/PTSA newsletter, fliers, marquees, school website, e-mail blasts, social media, personal telephone calls and local newspapers.
- Evaluate activities/accomplishments at least once a year. This will show how students were actively involved, and how students can continue to be involved in PTA/PTSA activities.
- Encourage students to have an active voice in your PTA/PTSA. Payment of membership dues entitles students to all membership privileges and responsibilities.
- Elect students as officers. California Corporations Code and civil laws allow students to hold office in PTA/PTSA.
Think of student involvement as a process:
- Make student involvement a PTA/PTSA priority.
- Encourage the support and participation of students as stakeholders in their school community.
- Work as a collaborative team with students, teachers and community members to bring about positive change.
Financial / Legal Issues to Consider When Involving Students
Checking accounts – in accordance with PTA policy, two signatures are required on all checks issued for payment. Students may be signatories on the PTA/PTSA account as long as they have been approved as one of the signatories by the association and it has been noted in the minutes of the association. Contact your local bank, as bank policies may differ from those of the California State PTA.
Contracts or Binding Procedures – all contracts or binding commitments of the association must be approved and voted on by the association in accordance with PTA policy. Refer to Finance, Developing the Budget, California State PTA Toolkit. After approval by the association, if the officer authorized to sign contracts is under 18, that individual is still authorized to sign a contract under the PTA bylaws and with the authority of the local PTA. If there is a default on the terms of the contract, allegations would be filed against the PTA, not the individual signing officer.
Insurance – California State PTA provides comprehensive general liability coverage and basic bonding insurance that covers all unit, council and district PTAs/PTSAs in the state when involved in allowable PTA activities. These policies make no distinction regarding, and are not limited by, the age of the PTA volunteer. Youth under the age of 18 are not excluded from these insurance policies.
Parent Approval – Have on file a signed contract signifying the approval of the student’s parent or guardian if the student is under the age of 18 (Insurance and Loss Prevention Guide, Parent’s Approval and Student Waiver).