Springfield Council of PTAs Monthly

Volume 3, Issue 6/September 2019

Please Make Every Effort to Attend Our SCPTA General Meeting TOMORROW!

Wednesday, Sep. 4th, 9:30am

516 West Meadowmere Street

Springfield, MO

Our meeting will be held tomorrow at Parkview High School. We're so looking forward to seeing everyone at our first Council meeting of the school year! Please feel free to bring any unit officers and members who would be interested in attending with you!

Please allow for extra time to enter through the East or North entrances of Parkview and present your state-issued picture ID for the new Visitor Management System. Thank you!

A Letter from Your Council President

By Julia Spiva


Council Goals:
1. To provide leadership development for local units and council board members
2. To serve as a resource for education, parenting information and legislative issues
3. To encourage parent and public involvement in the Springfield Public Schools

What can these meetings or SCPTA do to help me and my unit?
What does the Springfield Council of PTAs do anyway?
What ONE THING can Springfield Council of PTAs do for your unit today?

If you have ever asked yourself any of these questions, the Council has the answers you are looking for and we are here for you! YOU are Council, and we are here to serve YOU! We are here to provide help, give ideas and guidance. The Council provides many communication tools to help keep your unit on track and up to date with the Missouri PTA and the National PTA programs. We provide leadership training at our Officer Orientation in September. We also try to provide up to the minute information and training through our e-newsletter, website, text alert system and Facebook. We keep you informed about legislative issues that affect your children and their education. We practice parliamentary procedures and are available for questions on how to take these good practices back to your units. The Council exhibits correct budgeting and treasurer’s habits to take back to your units, also. Our Council meetings are held to support the responsibilities of the Council and provide guidance as to how a unit can use such programs locally within their unit or school. You will find a calendar on our website at scptamo.com that lists all scheduled meetings and contact information for Council officers and chairpersons.

At the SCPTA general council meetings held the first Wednesday of each month at 9:30 a.m., the vice presidents will report about the dates, deadlines, and results of each of their programs. When it is pertinent to the moment they will speak at the meetings, but there is always a VP report in the newsletter. This year we are happy to report a new agenda of sorts. You will still see the faces of our Council board at all meetings, and we urge you to get to know us by staying for the working meeting where we will be there to answer your questions and help you. We plan to bring in speakers for all of us to learn and keep up to date with SPS happenings and progress, community events that pertain to our kids and a legislative town hall. If you are still unsure if the Council is worthy of your time, please take a look at our annual budget. If you look at specific line items you will see the money and programs that we are providing back into the community and the schools. Programs like RIF, Reflections, Scholarships, the McBride and CARE Fund, Project Graduation, the Clothing Bank and the 4th Grade Play, just to mention a few, which all benefit students all over Springfield.

So please come to the meetings to get to know us because we want to be there for you and your units. Don’t forget to RSVP for Officer Orientation coming up on Wednesday, September 18, from 6to 8 p.m. at Kraft Administrative Center on St. Louis Street. We are here for you!

Can We Help?! That's What We're Here For!

Big picture

Tips from The Treasurer

By Leslie Norman


Hello, everyone, and welcome back! Treasurers, please submit Council dues & donations using the link to this form: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1tSAb85ZOBQ90CdGFNKPqtwfbv0dExFjH.

New this year...we have a PayPal payment option! Search for treasurer@scptamo.com or use the QR Code above.

Reminder...now's the time to get last year's books audited & submit Form 990 to IRS. This must be completed by December 1st to remain in good standing.

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

We Really Need YOU at The Clothing Bank

By Mandy Mitchell, Vice President of Public Health & Safety


I am honored to be serving as your chair of The PTA Clothing Bank this year and to do my part to carry on such a great legacy!

The Clothing Bank continues to serve more and more students--many displaced due to turmoil in the home; many grandparents are suddenly finding themselves as caretakers of their grandchildren, and many families feel the financial weight of caring for several children with special needs. Whatever the scenario is, we are told over and over again what a blessing we are to these children. I can assure you all that we continue to fulfill our mission of helping every child have a chance to succeed.

With the help of our own Clothing Bank heroes, we were able to serve 188 students during two days in June. And with the support of many helpers, we served 436 students in only a handful of hours the last two Thursdays in August!

We've rearranged some things for socks/underwear pickup and checkout, and the place is looking great and functioning very well, but we need your help! This is your Clothing Bank and my Clothing Bank and every single unit's Clothing Bank and we cannot make it work without all of you. Please come see us on any Thursday anytime from 9 to 5 and I promise you an experience that will warm your heart!

Still Time to Submit Your 2019-2020 Officers to SCPTA

Congratulations to all new and returning PTA/PTSA Unit Officers and thank you from all of us for your gift of time and dedication!

There is still time to submit your unit's officer information for the 2019-2020 school year USING THE GOOGLE FORM BELOW.

We will use this information to communicate with Presidents and board members throughout the year by email, text and the REMIND app, so please submit as much as you can.


  • Please submit officers even if they are the same for the next school year
  • If you have not yet filled all positions, please send in the officer information for the positions that are filled. You can always add others when they are voted in.

Diversity & Inclusion

By Toi Allen


I have some exciting news to share. I am so pleased to be serving as the new Diversity & Inclusion Representative on the Council Board. We are aligning with Springfield Public Schools and National PTA in helping our units create cohesiveness and an atmosphere that attracts more members to engage in the world of PTA. I am honored to walk alongside our Board and community to help advise and to share the needs of our units to bridge any gaps. Our theme will align with SPS's "Power of One" as we work towards the betterment of ALL our students through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

SPS has hired Yvania Garcia Pusateri to serve as the new Chief Equity and Diversity Officer. In addition, SPS has put together an Equity and Diversity Advisory Committee that will create action steps to focus intentionally on Historically Underrepresented and Under-Resourced Groups (HUGs). This committee will meet twice a month at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and the public is invited to attend.

Here is the list of upcoming meetings:

September 10, 24

October 8, 22

November 12, 26

December 3

Here are some questions from National PTA to consider for your unit:

Is your PTA unit a diverse group? Have you been working to include everyone in your school community? National PTA is providing you with the tools and best practices you need to make sure you as a PTA are working to be a diverse and inclusive unit. Follow the link below for some great tips:

Jan Harp Domene was committed to making sure PTA reached out to all diverse families so that every child one voice would be a reality. Her legacy is kept alive through the Jan Harp Domene Diversity and Inclusion award. PTA’s can apply for this award which is awarded each year at National PTA’s convention in June. The award deadline is in April.

Is Your Unit in Good Standing? Tips from MOPTA

How do we become a Unit in Good Standing?

These are the main elements of being a Unit in Good Standing:
  1. Membership Dues (State & National) turned in regularly by dates required
  2. Unit Annual Financial Review (formerly known as “Audit”) to State Office by December 1st
  3. Fiscal Year-End Report to State Office by December 1st
  4. Submit a copy of the required IRS tax form to the state PTA by December 1st
  5. Have bylaws approved every 3 years according to the procedures of the state PTA
  6. Submit officer’s list to State Office by March 31st
  7. Adhere to the Purposes & Basic Policies of PTA

What happens if our PTA is “not in good standing”?

If a PTA is not in good standing, neither the unit nor the students attending the PTA’s school are eligible to receive awards and recognition, e.g., membership awards, Reflections, etc.

If our PTA is “not in good standing,” how do we fix it?

If a unit has become “not in good standing,” as soon as it has fulfilled the requirements, it is again considered “in good standing.” Call on your officers from Springfield Council of PTAs for their assistance!

How often do our bylaws have to be reviewed?

Bylaws are required to be reviewed/updated and sent to the state office every three years.

What if we don’t have all the positions filled requested on the Officer’s Form?

Fill in the information known on the officer’s form by March 31st, and then send the other information as positions fill.

What is the “Fiscal Year-End Report”?

This report is compiled by the treasurer at the close of the PTA unit’s fiscal year showing all actual receipts and expenditures.

Big picture

Membership -- Step by Step

  1. Form a membership committee – Try to split membership recruitment into different jobs, one or two people concentrating on business memberships, another on signing up all your faculty members, another on individual memberships and someone else to input your online/computer records. Have a creative parent or student make membership posters to display at school.
  2. Set your membership goal - Your goal should be based on the previous year’s totals and any changes in your school attendance. Be realistic, take the factors that directly affect your school into consideration when making your goal.
    Create an Incentive program for Membership – work with local businesses or school administrators for in-school incentives
  3. Select your Theme and/or campaign activities - Use the Missouri PTA theme below or brainstorm with your committee on a great theme idea unique to your school. Use your theme consistently throughout the year so it becomes recognizable. Coordinate activities and events around your theme.
  4. Create a Sign-up Form – Whether you use a membership envelope or a sign-up sheet, tie your sign-up form into your membership theme. Make sure to ask for name, address, phone number and email address on your form.
  5. Plan a Membership Kick-off - You may want to set aside a Membership Drive Month in the fall or a kickoff week – just remember your membership drive will last all year. Getting off to a great start is essential. Involving your parents, faculty, and students will ensure that you meet or exceed your goals.
  6. Get your Membership cards ready – Each card should include your unit’s membership number, PTA unit name, member’s name, and expiration date. Consider using the online membership card print option in Just Between Friends or use the template MOPTA has provided on this website, to print out all of the above information except for the member name and they’ll be ready to give out immediately when someone turns in their sign-up sheet.
  7. Be a Visible Presence at all Activities – Have a membership table at Back-to-School days, meetings, book fairs, sporting activities, and other school events and parent/teacher conferences.
  8. Keep your Recruitment Going – Write articles for newsletters and post flyers at school. Keep your membership goal and current membership number highlighted on your PTA bulletin board, website and at your membership table.
Big picture

The First 30 Days In Office -- The Definitive Guide

Our National PTA has some excellent resources, but The First 30 Days may be one of the best! You'll want to share this with your executive committee and even your board, especially if anyone is new to PTA to get off to a great start!

The following information is from the National PTA website:


Congratulations! You've just been elected to be a leader of your PTA!

If your team takes each of the following steps in (roughly) your first month in office, you'll be off to a fantastic start! These are great things to do during the summer months as you prepare for the school year.

#1: Reach out. Your state PTA and National PTA are here to help and support you. Getting connected right away will make your job much easier! Here's how:

  • Contact your State PTA. Provide your state PTA with names and contact information for you and your fellow officers. Ask who to call if you have any questions. Find out what training opportunities have been scheduled for the near future that can help you and your board get off to a good start. Visit your State PTA website.
  • Explore National PTA resources. This Local PTA Leader Kit is a great place to start. After you've read this, you can learn more from National PTA through eLearning courses, National Programs (like Reflections), the One Voice Blog, e-Newsletters, and Our Children Magazine.
  • Get Social.
    • Facebook: Follow the National Parent Teacher Association to get updates and connect with other PTAs.
    • Twitter: Follow @NationalPTA for updates on education-related issues and PTA efforts.
    • Pinterest: Follow National PTA for the latest parenting and leadership ideas.
    • Instagram & Flickr: Follow National PTA and share photos from your own events.
    • YouTube: Check out the National PTA channel for informational webinars and get inspired by other PTAs and #PTAProud stories.
    • For even more ideas and connections, search for your state and other local PTAs on your favorite social media platforms.

#2: Listen. Before you begin planning, it is important to understand your unique community's strengths and needs. You will do more of this in the months to come, but for now:

    • Talk to the outgoing president and officers. What worked last year? What did not? Thank them for their work and ask if they can help you arrange meetings with key teachers, administrators, and community leaders. Who do they see as volunteers to encourage and grow?
    • Introduce yourself to the school personnel and administration. Ask about their priorities for the year and tell them you are interested in helping them achieve their goals. If your PTA is a community or district-wide PTA, reach out to district and community partners in your area and offer to work collaboratively.
    • Introduce yourself to families and members of your PTA. Ask what they think is working or not working. It is important for members to see a smooth transition and to feel that new leaders welcome their questions, ideas, and participation in the year ahead. A great way to start is with a survey. Every interaction is an opportunity to encourage members to renew and new families or teachers to join.
#3: Gather. There are several items you'll want to put your hands on right away, to be sure important records aren't lost in the transition. PTA records and materials belong to the unit, not to any one individual, and all materials should be passed on to the new leaders. These include:
    • Your PTA's Bylaws. You and your board are responsible for following the bylaws, so you need to know what they say. If they are old and no longer relevant, one of your first moves should be to establish a bylaws revision committee to start the work necessary to make the document work for your current PTA. Your State PTA can help.
    • PTA Procedure Book or "Board Book". Whether it is an electronic file, a cardboard box full of papers, or a binder thick with documents, get up to speed on what has happened in the past.
    • The most recent audit. You may need to talk to the treasurer about this. If an audit did not occur after the latest transition of officers, make sure to get one done as soon as possible. You will want to start fresh with a new set of books, so be sure the previous accounts are "closed" or "zeroed out" and audited.
    • Bank statements and electronic access. Make sure you have the usernames and passwords, documents, accounts, etc., to access your PTA's financial information.
#4: Protect. Take these few, critical steps right away to safeguard your PTA's nonprofit status and protect your unit from theft, fraud, and liability.
    • Your unit is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit (all PTAs are), so ask your outgoing president or treasurer for the most recent IRS Form 990 filing. For more info, see Your 501(c)(3) Status.
    • Change the signatures on your PTA's bank accounts. You will want to be sure previous officers no longer have access to your financial accounts. A transition letter from the outgoing treasurer to the bank may be necessary to enact this change.
    • Ask your state office if you are required to have insurance and when the payment is due. Insurance can protect your board members, events, and PTA property.

Springfield Council of PTAs

Council Goals

  • To provide leadership development for local units and council board members
  • To serve as a resource for education, parenting information, and legislative issues
  • To encourage parent and public involvement in Springfield Public Schools
Big picture