Organizing a New PTA
Who may take the initial steps to organize a PTA?
Anyone may take the first step toward organizing a PTA. If the PTA will be affiliated with a school, the support of the school principal and/or superintendent and several teachers should be enlisted. It is not necessary to align a PTA with a school, though it is the most effective type of unit. It is recommended that a key person contact the Missouri PTA office and request that a Regional Director or other state board member assist in forming the unit.
What are the requirements for organization?
- Be committed to the Purposes, Mission, basic policies and guiding principles of the PTA
- Have at least 10 individuals willing to join
- Submit a set of bylaws for approval to the State PTA office along with at least 10 paid memberships and an application form.
Organizing a PTA/PTSA Unit
Contact the Missouri PTA office (email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 573-445-4161) and request an informational packet and the name and contact information for the Regional Director of the Missouri State PTA who is responsible for your area. Read the material in your informational packet carefully before beginning the process. Once you review the informational packet, the Regional Director can assist you in getting prepared for the organizational meeting. Use the checklist to be sure everything is together before sending in the membership application. Remember, the Regional Director or the Vice President of Membership (or other state board member) can be a valuable resource as you go through this process – CALL THEM! Their contact information can be found on the cover letter of your packet.
Set a meeting date and location. Try to pick a date and time that is convenient for as many concerned people as possible. Try to have the meeting in the school building. If that is not possible, choose another central location – a church, a community meeting room, or the school administration building.
Set up temporary committees for special duties. You may think of others, but minimally, these should include:
Bylaws Committee: A bylaws committee of three or more persons should look over the suggested unit bylaws from the Missouri PTA. Articles and sections that have a double star or number symbol are required and must be adopted by all local PTAs and included in their bylaws. Remaining articles should be adjusted to your needs, but must be in harmony with Missouri and National PTA. The committee should prepare copies of the proposed bylaws to be distributed at the organizational meeting.
Publicity Committee: Publicize your meeting. Try to distribute notices to all the parents of children in the school, to the teachers and to anyone else in the community who may be interested. Send a notice to the local paper for publication. Be sure to be clear about the intent of the meeting – a local PTA unit will be organized, bylaws will be presented for adoption and memberships will be sold. Make personal calls to prospective members to explain the reasons for organizing a PTA.
Membership Committee: This group should be prepared to enroll members after the bylaws have been approved. They should prepare a membership form so that accurate records of your members may be kept. Be sure to include address, phone number, children’s names and classrooms on your membership form. They should have charter membership cards available. If you know you need more than the limited number provided in this packet, please call the state office well in advance of your meeting. Remember, it is important to submit the state and national portion of your dues as soon as possible along with your bylaws and the completed application.
For More Information…
Call the Missouri PTA office at 573-445-4161. The office will contact a regional director to assist you through the steps to form a PTA unit.