Involving School Administrators and School Community

Whether at the county, school district, or local school level, administrators can help ensure that a PTA is an informed and contributing part of the school community. PTA leaders and members often take their cues from the administrator’s direction. An administrator’s active support, cooperation, and inspiration are vital to the success of a PTA.

The administrators should:

  • Become familiar with the Purposes and basic policies of the PTA and their interpretation through publications such as the California State PTA Toolkit.
  • Encourage teachers, staff members, parents, and students to join and participate with the PTA.
  • Invite teachers and staff members to contribute ideas for programs and projects.
  • Assist the PTA in reaching out to community and local business leaders as potential members for coalition building and as resources.
  • Encourage the development of PTA membership and informational packets for distribution to parents of new students enrolling in schools and the community at large.
  • Advise the PTA on school district policies regarding classroom visitation, field trips, class parties, parent participation, directory information, etc.
  • Attend meetings and events of the PTA.

Presidents are encouraged to photocopy and share the Attending Convention and Conferences section with their school principal or other designated school representatives.

Share “Partners in Education” brochures, Forms chapter, with respective partners:

Working with the PTA President

The administrator should:

  • Meet with the PTA president or president-elect to establish lines of communication and arrange for meetings on a regular basis throughout the year.
  • Invite the president to staff meetings when relevant.
  • Review goals and the yearly school/district plan.
  • Discuss opportunities for working with PTA together in the areas that are of interest to members and relate to local needs (parenting skills, health, safety, home-school partnerships, and education issues).
  • Offer suggestions about presentations, professional speakers, and community resources.

Working with Officers and Committees

The administrators should meet with PTA committees to assist in program and event planning, arranging for meeting places, and using facilities and equipment. PTAs may be required to have school district facility use permits on file.

A Hold Harmless Agreement means that the signer assumes total liability for a facility while the signer is using it. Many school district Facility Use Permits include a Hold Harmless Agreement, which, if signed, would mean that the PTA assumes the total liability for that facility during the PTA’s usage, whether the cause of an injury or accident is due to anything under the control of the PTA or not. If the school district requires the PTA to sign a Hold Harmless Agreement for use of school premises, the PTA should contact the California State PTA insurance broker. If directed by the insurance broker to sign a Facilities Use Permit Addendum, refer to the Toolkit. (PTA Use of School Facilities).

The site administrator serves as an advisor to the nominating committee or may be elected to serve as a member of the committee.

The administrators should meet with the budget committee to help develop the PTA budget. The PTA budget should reflect the goals of the PTA, including the PTA’s programs and projects. Therefore, items for schools that should be supplied by the school or school district (curriculum, equipment, etc.) should not be reflected in the PTA budget.

Promote Family Engagement

The administrator should:

  • Promote PTA-sponsored family engagement programs and projects.
  • Encourage and promote a PTA volunteer program where needed: library, classroom, art docent, computer labs, etc.
  • Encourage PTA members to attend meetings and workshops sponsored by council, district and state PTA.
  • Encourage PTA members to attend workshops and training sessions sponsored by school districts, county offices of education, and community organizations to become informed on children’s issues.
  • Involve parents/guardians in staff development, planning, and implementation of programs and events.
  • Encourage advocacy.
  • Encourage PTA participation with school/district groups, advisory committees, and community service groups.
  • Encourage PTA to study local governmental and state legislative issues and to be informed about PTA positions on these issues.
  • Support family engagement in setting educational goals for the school/district in partnership with the association, council or district PTA.
  • Encourage PTA members to attend school board meetings and local governmental meetings to become aware of issues related to children, youth, and families.

Facilitate Communication

It is important for the PTA to communicate regularly with parents. The typical method is a newsletter produced in cooperation with the school administrator. If PTA does not publish a newsletter, arrange for the PTA to share in school-prepared notices or bulletins.

The administrator is responsible for the accuracy of school information, 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.

Self Assessment

Principal

Do you attend PTA meetings, including meetings of the executive board?

Do you take time to plan with the PTA president?

Do you let the PTA president know about your school’s plans and needs?

Do you personally feel you know and understand the PTA program?

Do you encourage your teachers to participate in PTA activities and encourage their attendance at meetings?

Are you careful not to dominate the PTA?

Do you make your PTA feel welcome and part of the school?

Do you invite your PTA president to attend some of the staff meetings?

Do you cooperate with the PTA in the use of school facilities?

PTA President

Do you invite the principal to all PTA meetings and activities?

Do you consult the principal on all plans early in the school year?

Do you constantly seek to understand your school better?

Do you build some of your PTA programs around the school programs?

Are you careful not to make excessive demands on the time of your school personnel?

Are you careful not to interrupt or interfere with the school program?

Do you keep personal matters and personality conflicts out of the PTA?

Are you a good manager?

Are you friendly with everyone—school personnel and PTA members?

Do you work well with others and give credit where credit is due?

According to your profile, how are you doing?

It is useful to reflect upon one’s performance to identify areas for improvement and acknowledge the development of new skills. Using the numbers 1 through 5, with “5” indicating the “best practice,” how would you evaluate yourself or, how would you evaluate each other?

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