Run an Effective Meeting
As you prepare for your first PTA meeting of the school year, here’s some quick tips and tools to run an effective, welcoming meeting.
Best Practices to Drive Engagement
- Plan for monthly General Membership Meetings
- Ask your Principal to send your PTA Meeting invitation to the entire school community!
- PTA meetings typically last 30-60 minutes. Try to start and end on time.
- Establish a standard meeting time/place and share the schedule at the start of the school year.
- Set an Agenda format and use it throughout the year. Remember to distribute your Agenda a few days in advance.
- Provide an opportunity for your Principal or other school staff member to share updates on academics or school operations.
- If attendance is low you may like to try holding a PTA meeting at the start of a family event.
- Summarize follow-ups at the end of your meeting and share the next meeting date.
- If you offer a virtual option, all members must be able to simultaneously hear each other and participate during the meeting.
- SEND DAY OF MEETING REMINDERS!
Create a Welcoming Environment
- Welcome attendees at the door, or as they join the Google Meet
- Use name tags, or labels in Google Meets, particularly at the beginning of the year to share names and officer roles
- Make an effort to mingle & talk to new attendees
- Be open to discussion
- Share celebrations and challenges
- Consider offering childcare, translation services and/or a light snack depending on the needs of your community.
Using Parliamentary Procedure
While you may be meeting with a small group of people, using parliamentary procedure (aka Robert’s Rules) can help formally acknowledge and document decisions made during your meeting. Providing a standard structure also allows all members to participate equally and can be helpful in reducing emotional debate during a challenging discussion.
Quorum is the minimum number of paid members that you need to have in attendance at your meeting to conduct business. Examples of business include approving minutes, adopting a budget or amendment, adopting your organizational structure form or voting on a motion. If you don’t meet quorum, you can still hold your meeting to discuss, but you can’t take action/vote unless you have a quorum. Any votes would need to be deferred to the next meeting when you have quorum. It’s helpful to have your membership join QR code or link available at every PTA meeting so attendees can join your PTA to help meet quorum and participate in discussion and voting.
- Executive Committee and Executive Board quorum is each a majority of officers/chairs then in office.
- General Membership Meeting quorum is either ten (10) members or fifty percent (50%) of the membership, whichever is less.
Recording Meeting Minutes
- Minutes should be taken at all Executive Committee, Executive Board and General Membership Meetings
- Include a list of attendees and the start and end time of the meeting
- Minutes don’t need to transcribe the discussion, but rather should document the decisions made and the rationale
- Record who made a motion, who seconded, and the result of the motion
- End your minutes with
- Respectfully prepared by: [Secretary’s name]
- Approved by [board, etc.] on [date]
- Ask your board to review prepared General Membership meeting minutes and then distribute minutes as soon as possible after the General Membership meeting
- Note: Your Treasurer will need a copy of all meeting Agendas and Minutes for the Annual Financial Review
Financial best practices are everyone’s responsibility. At your first PTA meeting of the year your Treasurer should share 1) completed Annual Financial Review and 2) a Proposed Budget.
At every PTA meeting your Treasurer should share 1) Reconciliation Report (Bank statement vs Check Register) and 2) a Budget vs Actual Report. Your Treasurer should also have the bank and/or paypal or other electronic account statements available for review by non-authorized signers.