Tips for Operating Local Units

How do we get a copy of the Missouri PTA Tool Kit and National PTA Back to School Kit?

The Missouri PTA Tool Kit will be emailed to all unit and council presidents in early July (if you are unable to receive email contact the Missouri PTA Office.  The National PTA Back to School Kit is available mid July.  All local and council PTAs must register on National PTAs website to receive their kit.   Watch National PTA for notification of when to register for your kit.

What is the difference between standing committees and special committees?

Standing committees are permanent committees created to perform continuing functions and may be listed in your bylaws.  Special committees are appointed or elected as the need arises to perform a specific task (i.e., nominating committee).

What committees should our PTA have?

Standing committees necessary to carry out the work of PTA may include bylaws, membership, parent engagement, publicity/communications, budget and finance, legislative, newsletter, and Reflections.  Other committees are determined by the needs and plans of the local unit.  The names of committees may vary slightly from unit to unit.  The president, in consultation with the other officers, appoints chairpersons of these and other committees.  Refer to your unit bylaws and to the Missouri PTA Tool Kit for other committee ideas.

How do I get ideas for programs and projects?

One of the advantages of PTA is the many “idea” resources that are available to your unit.  Check out the National and Missouri PTA websites.  Read past editions of National PTA’s Our Children magazine online on the National PTA website.  Utilize the PTA Programs Quick-Reference Guide from National PTA. Call your council and network with PTAs in your area.  Attend Missouri PTA Convention and leadership trainings.    Connect with Missouri PTA and other units in your area through social media.  The great thing about PTA is you do not have to “reinvent the wheel.”

What are procedure files? 
Procedure files are a set of materials reflecting the work of a particular office or committee.  The files are compiled by each officer and committee chair for their own use during their terms and passed on to their successors.  The procedure files contain records of events, programs, and projects; and include details of arrangements, evaluations of results, and lists of available resources.  They are a good way for each officer and committee chair to build upon the success of his or her predecessor.  A complete list of what should be kept in procedure files can be found in the Missouri PTA Tool Kit that is provided to each unit’s president.

What is a plan of work? 

The plan of work lists the goals of your PTA and the expected means by which those goals will be reached.  They include a calendar of activities, budget, and membership plan.  The plan of work guides the unit’s activities for any given fiscal year.  Committee chairs also prepare a plan of work for their committees, which must be approved by the Executive Committee/Board.

How is a plan of work put together?

In the spring, over the summer or as school begins, survey your members as to their perceptions of their children’s and the school’s most urgent needs, and how the PTA can help them best meet those needs.  Once identified, these needs should be grouped and prioritized.  The highest priorities should guide you in setting the PTA goals for the year.  Your goals will drive your projects, programs, meetings, and other activities, and will determine your calendar of activities.  To make your plans a reality, estimate how much money your PTA will need to reach its goals.  Working with these plans, identify sources of funds and create a budget.  Do not worry.  There is more information on budgets in the Financial Management Section of this guide.