The time has come to welcome in a new leadership team for your parent group.
This transition can be both exciting and scary for the departing members and the incoming team. At your turnover meeting (we recommend doing it over coffee and snacks – make it fun!) it is important to not only help acclimate the new members and make them feel comfortable in their fresh positions, but it is also vital that they are given the tools to succeed in the coming school year.
This is where the procedures book (or instruction manual) comes into play. Think of this as the playbook for your PTO – it houses all the necessary information for new members to learn about fundraising, meetings, elections, events, etc.
To help turn up your turnover process – we have broken down 5 essentials you want to make sure are in your PTO procedures book!
Why Have a PTO Procedures Book?
Ideally, you want to make time for past members to sit down with the newbies and show them ropes for their new position.
But, if communication is not able to happen or if there is limited time to get through all the details of the job, then you want to make sure you have a robust instruction manual to break it all down.
Maybe you already have an instruction manual and you simply need to add to it for the new members. Or, perhaps you are starting fresh!
Either way, the practice of documenting your year as a parent group not only helps pave the way to a successful new school year but it also helps your group evaluate what went well and what could have gone better. If you want help with your end of the year evaluation, check out our helpful guide.
5 Essentials for Your Instruction Manual
1. Bylaws & Policies - The foundation of your parent group.
A vital part of any instruction manual is the section that lists the rules. Make sure to include all the bylaws of your PTO and any school policies that new members need to be aware of moving forward.
- Rules for membership & officers
- Guidelines for meetings & voting
- Financial policies
- Instructions for Roberts Rules of Order
- Miscellaneous guidelines for contract signing, use of funds, etc.
2. Job Descriptions & Committees - Breaking down the core parts of your PTO
Your Procedures Book should have a master list of each member and his/her function. Then, include a job description and list of responsibilities for each person, as well as the relevant committees that are active throughout the year.
- List of members, officers, & committee chairs (with description of responsibilities - and contact info!)
- Section in your manual with a breakdown of timeline, budget, & step-by-step guide for committees (especially for events & fundraisers)
3. Calendar - Keep your parent group on track throughout the year.
An important aspect of any successful group is creating a timeline and sticking to it. Include a mast calendar in your instruction manual - or, if you have a very busy year with many overlapping events, take your calendar online!
- Include annual events & fundraisers
- Make note of holidays and school events/schedule
- Go the extra mile and include staff/teacher birthdays!
- Each event committee should also have a calendar that is separate from the master calendar of events
4. Contacts - Maintain relationships with vendors and community sponsors.
It takes a lot of work to create trust and partnership with outside vendors, partners, and local sponsors for your school. Maintain these relationships even during this time of transition.
- Outside vendors
- Local businesses/organizations
- Companies/services for your fundraising ("cough cough* - that's us!)
- Past members who are available for guidance if needed
5. Samples/Templates - Don't start from scratch when you can use a template.
Save time and gain inspiration by checking out what was created in past years. Include templated emails, flyers, posters, communications, etc. for your new members to use in the coming year!
- Fundraising communications
- School announcements
- Staff/teacher emails
- Parent emails/flyers