PTO Elections

Hello, Families! Welcome to Spring!

As we move into the last part of the school year, we also need to look ahead and take care of some business! All faculty/staff members, parents, and guardians of children attending Irving Elementary School are automatically members of the Irving PTO, so this information affects each of you.

The dynamic relationship between our families and staff is what makes our school such a great place, and now is a perfect time to deepen and enhance your involvement with Irving Elementary.

The PTO Executive Board has several positions opening at the end of this school year, and the PTO is accepting nominations at this Thursday’s meeting at 6:30p.m. in the Media Center. (Childcare provided)

The open positions are for 2-year terms:
Co-Presidents (2) – lead collaboratively, delegate, strategize
Vice-President of Communications – get the message out
Vice-President of Volunteers – recruit and communicate
Co-Secretary – keep track

Even if you are unable to attend this Thursday’s meeting, you can submit your name for nomination via a member of the Nominating Committee: John Hodge, Talley Hann, Hannah O’Connor and Lori McConnell.

Thank you!
Irving PTO Nominating Committee

Position Descriptions:

All Executive Board Members:
– Attend Monthly Executive Board Meetings
– Attend one or two summer meetings to create budget and calendar
– Vote on issues via email
– Staff info tables at Forms/Fees, Kindergarten Open House, etc.
– Jump in as needed

In conjunction with the other secretary, this position requires:
– Taking minutes at regular PTO and Executive Board Meetings
– Keeping record of email votes
– Working with other Board Members to create the annual event calendar
– Updating the exterior bulletin board
– Maintaining and updating PTO documentation
– Participating in all other regular PTO business as a member of the Executive Board

VP of Volunteers
Most of the work is currently done by email, but recruiting new committee chairs is generally easier in person. The bulk of the work is usually at the end of summer and beginning of the school year. This involves:
– Working with the rest of the PTO board to finalize dates for PTO events and communicating them to the chairs
– Recruiting for any unfilled committee chair positions. For the past couple of years, we’ve asked committee chairs to give a report at the PTO meeting following their event and let us know then if they plan to chair again–that way, it’s easier to get a new chair lined up for the next year
– Recruiting 1st-grade parents to do Can-Do Kids
– Recruiting 5th-grade parents to chair the Send-Off Activities (the 5th-grade parents have already been lined up for 2014-2015)
– Compiling blue volunteer forms collected at Forms and Fees Day and other beginning-of-year activities and put the info into the spreadsheet
– Updating the committee chair contact info for the Directory

Then throughout the year, the work is more “maintenance”–it includes:
– Keeping an eye on the calendar in order to give lists of volunteers (who submitted blue sheets) to the chairs
– Helping chairs recruit volunteers if they need more
– Reminding chairs, after their events, to report on them to the PTO board

No special equipment other than a computer with email and Excel.

VP of Communications
This position is in a state of evolution, but the way it is envisioned is to oversee all aspects of communication. This could involve recruiting people to take on many of these tasks, with the VP serving in an oversight position.
– Email listserv – send emails out highlighting timely information
– PTO website – update and keep current as needed
– Facebook – monitor and maintain
– Digital Backpack
– Flyers – marketing
– Newsletter – proposed for future

This position also participates in all of the other regular PTO business as a member of the Executive Board.

The president positions have an ebb and flow of work that varies depending on how much assistance an event or issue requires. Some weeks there is literally nothing, others it can be up to maybe 10 hours or so, but that’s rare. The board members are not expected to cover for events that need assistance, unless they simply want to. The committee chairs are very competent in what they do, and the presidents are there to be a resource to guide them, not to supplement their activities. Most presidents will have activities they want to be involved in separately from this role.

The presidents try to work together to keep abreast of extra- and co-curricular activities to provide general oversight and guidance and to improve processes. This often involves talking with a committee chair or volunteer to approve or discuss something so they can move ahead. It helps to be inside the school with some regularity, and that can be for just a few minutes at drop off or pick up. Most communication is done via email since most of our parents have varied schedules. The president should check in with committee chairs well in advance of their events to make sure things run smoothly.

The general PTO meetings are the first Thursday of the month and one of the presidents sets the agendas and leads them. The presidents should be aware of the by-laws and follow the general meeting procedures of Roberts Rules. The PTO board meets sometime the week before the general PTO meetings and the presidents set that agenda. Board meetings are used to work through information in advance of the general meeting. The presidents bring items to either the board or the general membership for a vote as needed.

One of the presidents (or another representative) are also expected to represent Irving at monthly PTO Council meetings. This is a forum for D97 presidents to discuss common issues, share best practices and be a resource to each other. Council meetings are also attended by key D97 staff, including Dr. Roberts, and D97 board members. The presidents are expected to share information from these meetings with their school as appropriate. PTO Council is generally the 3rd Monday of the month from 7-9pm and little other time is required.

Work over the summer includes the oversight of developing the annual budget, which gets presented at the first PTO meeting of the year. This process is flexible, but in the past has meant 2 board meetings with emails with the treasurer in between. The treasurer compiles the budget with guidance from the presidents.

There are shared files on Google Docs and the outgoing presidents are available as a resource.

Overall, it helps for the presidents to be somewhat familiar with non-profit governance, and to be comfortable making decisions and recommendations in a team environment, working closely with the principal, board members and committee chairs.

Nominations & Election per PTO By-Laws
Nominations will be made by the Committee at the April PTO meeting, at which time nominations may also be taken from the floor, and those nominations will be accepted by the general membership.

An election should occur at the May PTO meeting. Write-in candidates will also be accepted at that time. When there is more than one candidate for an office, the election shall be by ballot with a simple plurality of the membership present for the election.

The newly elected officers shall be installed at the June meeting and assume their responsibilities at that time.

Thank you for your consideration!

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