District Guidelines for PTA/PTO Organizations
Guidelines for PTA/PTO Organizations
Frisco Independent School District believes that the combined efforts of teachers, students and parents make a successful school. We are glad to have PTA and PTO organizations working to promote and enhance the education of our students. In an effort to clarify the roles of school officials and PTA volunteers, the District offers the following guidelines:
PTA President - Principal Relationship
PTA and PTO organizations are present in the school at the invitation of the school principal and the District. The volunteers serving in the schools must follow the principal's instructions and the District policies. If a PTA volunteer is not cooperating with school rules and the directions of the principal, that volunteer may be asked to leave the campus.
PTA Campus Use
Each campus is the responsibility of the principal. He or she answers for any and all activity in the building during school-related activities, including PTA events. With that in mind, PTA presidents should work closely with their principal about PTA meetings. The principal at each campus will designate his or her preference for scheduling meetings, supply storage, janitorial service, etc. For any event that is not a traditional evening PTA event or program during the school day, (fall festivals, craft fairs, etc.) PTA presidents should first consult the campus principal for approval and then contact Jean Corzine at the FISD Service Center about facility use and rental. Many churches and community groups lease our facilities on weekends. USE OF LADDERS: If PTA needs a custodian to do something for 10 or 15 minutes - a principal could allow that and not worry about reimbursement. However if PTA's want custodians for help that will take up blocks of time that the custodians need for cleaning classrooms or on a weekend - the PTA should ask the principal to contact Mohamed Mohamed (manager of custodial services) and arrange scheduling and payment agreement prior to the event. No ladders should be brought from outside sources. If a lift is needed, Mohamed Mohamed should be contacted prior to the day the lift is needed.
The reasons behind these decisions involve liability, safety and the fact that our custodial staff has been reduced and each custodian has certain tasks that are expected to be performed during their work.
Campus Additions or Improvements
Any changes to a campus such as painting, murals, environmental gardens, permanent benches or trees must be approved by the principal. The principal, before granting approval, must take the matter to the central office for review and approval. Groups should remember that they are responsible for upkeep and maintenance, not the school staff. It is important to note that PTA members change frequently and PTA volunteers may not want to be responsible for maintaining a project they were not involved in - such as gardens or paintings.
PTA and other parent organizations may serve the refreshments of their choice after school hours on campus (no alcoholic beverages) but should be aware the kitchen is not available. Events during the school day are subject to the FISD Nutrition Guidelines, available on the FISD website. Any daytime event that includes food must be cleared through the principal and the nutrition department. Because of the District's agreement with Coca-Cola, any beverages besides punch or coffee served on school property must be Coca-Cola products if purchased with campus money. The Coca-Cola Company agreement with Frisco ISD does allow for parent groups to donate or accept donations of non-coke products as long as they are not used as sale items. The contract reads:
(c) This Agreement shall not be construed to prohibit District from accepting incidental donations of beverages from parents or parent groups, provided that District shall not solicit broad-scale beverage donations. By way of example and illustration only, District is not prohibited from allowing parents to donate Competitive Products for use in a classroom party when District does not solicit such donations and such donations are voluntary donations by individual parents.
This rule includes bottled water. This is non-negotiable. A complete list of acceptable products is available from Charalotte Stubbs at the Administration Building.
The FISD Child Nutrition Department reminds PTA parents that food safety regulations prohibit storage of outside products in the kitchen. It is not possible for the campus cafeteria to store food for parties and events. The cafeterias are locked at night and are not accessible for use unless food service personnel are available to supervise. PTA may not have access to the kitchen during the day. Any requests for ice must be coordinated with the principal and cafeteria manager. The FISD catering service is available for PTA refreshment needs but requests must be made several weeks in advance. Forms for access and after hour usage may be found on the website.
If PTA is going to collect (through the room parent who is a function of PTA or otherwise) and deposit funds into PTA accounts and then reimburse for party purchases, PTA has to be considered the sponsor of the party. If PTA is going to be the sponsor of the class party then all room parents must be a PTA member. Funds will be asked to be donated for each party and then deposited into PTA funds. PTA will supplement these funds if necessary to ensure all parties are equal for all students. After the party, PTA Room Parents will be reimbursed for expenses they incured, excluding tax (must stay within set budget guidelines for each party). The Principals still oversee how and when the parties are conducted.
If the school is going to be the sponsor of the class party then funds will not be allowed to be in the PTA bank account. The PTA can still provide a Room Parent Coordinator or Chairman to help with organizing the room parents for that school. The teacher or room parent can collect the funds, but we do not encourage the idea of an individual being responsible for keeping track of money over time. Parents can use these funds and then account for the expenditure with documentation/receipts or be reimbursed in the same way. Schools can place funds in the activity fund and reimburse from that account, as well, but then school district approved vendors must be used. This would call for advanced planning on the part of the school.
If the PTA wishes to rent inflatable bounce houses for the school fund raiser or fifth-grade end-of-year party, the PTA must have principal permission and adequate liability insurance and be prepared to take responsibility for any incidents or injuries that might occur.
The Council of PTAs serves as a District-wide information source for PTA presidents and principals. Information should be shared with the council concerning programs that might be beneficial to other schools. The council is also the appropriate forum for notifying schools about programs that did not live up to the expectations of the school booking the event or vendors who were not satisfactory. Concerns about PTA conduct at a particular school or PTA activities (conduct of meetings, agendas, notification of events, etc.), which are not covered by FISD policy should also be dealt with at the council level.
1) We recommend that for donation considerations for individual items valued over $500 that the organization should make a donation of cash, if possible, to the particular campus activity fund. This allows the district to purchase the item which enables us to keep accurate asset inventory records, insure the item as part of the district assets, and should remove any liabilities for the PTA regarding the item purchased. The PTA may continue to elect to specify what the campus purchases with these funds.
2) If someone just donates an item valued over $500, we will ask the principal to provide a description to Tim Sanz (R. Wilkinson), so we can present it to the board for acceptance/approval of the item. Upon approval of the item, it will be included in the assets inventory and insured.
3) We will consider repairs of these items. We will ask the campus principals to request a work order for general repairs and these items will be considered in the same process with other district equipment.
4) We can not legally agree to replace items, but we currently have an insurance policy where we can insure items that go through this or are district approved. We can review previously donated items over $500 by the PTAs/PTOs and formally ask the board to accept the donations so that we can insure them as well. We have negotiated a lower deductible to $2,500.
5) The organizations do not need to donate funds designated for programs/speakers through the activity.
Fundraising: Click here for more Guidelines
PTA/PTO groups must abide by the FISD Fundraising Guidelines. The guidelines are updated periodically and are available from the campus principal. These guidelines were adopted as the direct result of parent concerns about equity between campuses and the need to control the number of fundraising activities throughout the year. Each PTA fundraising chair and president should request a copy from the principal at the beginning of each school year. The campus principal will be responsible for filling out the fundraising form for PTA/campus if students from the particular campus are participating in the fundraising activity. (Principals, we will make sure you get a copy or have access to this form as needed).
The PTA is not currently required to meet the approved vendor requirements for fundraisers, but we do hope to move forward in looking at that as a recommendation in the future to minimize potential liability limits for the PTA.
PTA/PTO should not solicit funds from the following businesses, which regularly do business with FISD or have relationships with FISD. Parent groups may approach businesses on this list for donations of items for silent auctions or drawings, etc. Vendors/businesses who should only be asked for monetary donations at the district level - no campus solicitations.
North Dallas Bank and Trust
Mario Sinacola and Sons
Centennial Medical Center, Tenet HealthCare Foundation
Copy Center and RICOH use
PTA/PTO volunteers are invited to use the District's copy center located at the CTE Center. Guidelines, deadline information and forms are available from the center or at the District's Communications office. Pricing for PTA/PTO organizations is the same as campus pricing for teachers and principals. The school copier and copy paper is for teachers and staff. The Technology Department also arranges for a RICOH machine to be available for PTA use, though the PTA is responsible for the contract. Campus Technology staff may offer RICOH training.
All PTA volunteers who are going to be working on the campus and around students must go through the screening process used by FISD. The PTA Volunteer Coordinator should work with the campus designee to confirm the approved volunteers as the District conducts its screening process. Volunteer applications for FISD are now done on-line. The background checks are batch processed through Safe Schools. A list of approved volunteers is printed out to Human Resources from Region 10 and is faxed to each campus once a week. The secretary and receptionist at each school will have a copy of this list. Normally, it takes seven days from the date you apply until your name appears on the list. The list of approved volunteers is forwarded to the specific campus by the HR department as the prospective volunteers pass through the screening system.
In addition, the campus principal will be responsible for ensuring that all individuals (speakers, fundraiser presenters, etc.) interacting with the students is run through the criminal history check (via volunteer program - web site or form from Janie Franke) and successfully passes prior to any interactions on the campus. (We can do this in 2-5 days. The district did over 7,500 criminal history checks using the web/on-line process last year.)
PTA volunteers are in and out of classrooms and teacher workroom and may overhear confidential conversations. Presidents are asked to set the tone of their PTA by reminding volunteers that repeating information heard at school can be damaging to morale and to reputations. If a volunteer has concerns about something overheard or witnessed on a campus, he or she should follow the District's complaint process.
PTA School Directories
The publication of the school directories by PTA is approved by FISD, as long as the parents have approved in writing the inclusion of their child's information prior to publishing. Some PTAs have sold small ads to offset the printing costs. It is suggested that ads be kept small, business card sized, and that solicitations be confined to parents in the school or the school's business partner to conserve potential donors for larger fundraising activities. The directory does not have to be large or expensive. It should be clearly understood by advertisers and others that the directories are strictly for parent use and should not be distributed to outside sources.
PTA Budget Process
PTA boards should develop their own budgets each year in conjunction with the campus principal. Individual teachers should not be making budget requests from the PTA. If teachers have a request, they should go through the principal. Each principal has an activity fund and PTA presidents and principals should work together so that money is being spent wisely on each campus.
Items from PTA to be included in folders must be pre-approved by the campus principal. Many campuses are making efforts to do more electronic communications.
Activities Sponsored by Non-School Organizations
School volunteers who help with programs such as PTA Reflections Contest or Destination Imagination should remember that FISD policies of participation and ethics still apply. These programs should be used to build character and encourage participation of FISD students. If a child is not a student in FISD, he or she is not eligible to participate in programs such as PTA Reflections, Destination Imagination, or other groups presenting themselves as a school team or representative.