Livonia PTSA Council Courier

August 2020 - We've Got This!

Let's Make It A School Year To Remember!

We have a little over a week before the 1st day of school. I know there is a lot of anxiety and fear of the unknown with what this year will bring. But what I do know is that we have some of the best PTA units around who are dedicated to making this year great no matter what! Some of you are getting creative, and it's refreshing to see. We need to adapt to this new normal (hopefully it won't be normal much longer) and we need to continue working together and helping each other. So if your unit has come up with some great ideas on virtual events or safe in-person events, I encourage you to share them on the Officer's Forum Facebook page. This year, more than any other year, we need each other's ideas and guidance. Sharing is caring after all!

I'm wishing you all and your kiddos a happy first day of school! I'm also wishing our LPS staff, teachers, and leaders a happy first day as well! I know this has been a trying time for everyone, so remember to give yourself some grace as well as others.

Stay healthy,

Andrea Malenfant

Council Newsletter Chair


Hello everyone!

As the new school year quickly approaches, I'd like to take a moment and inform you about the changes to this year's Membership dues. Council has voted to change the dues each unit pays to Council for their members. You no longer need to send Council $0.50 per member each month. Instead, you will submit a one time payment of $100 (Niji-Iro and Jackson Center submit $75) for your member dues. This payment is due to Council by October 28, 2020. I have uploaded the new Remittance form, which can also be used as an invoice, in the Membership and President's hubs within Memberhub. Please note, this change is ONLY for Council dues. All payments and dues owed to MI PTA still need to be submitted by the 28th of every month.

In order to make these changes, Council made an amendment to our bylaws stating this change. Please review your bylaws to make sure they are within compliance. Since this change is coming down to you from Council, you will not need to post these changes for 30 days prior to presenting it to your members. The changes will, however, need to be reflected within your unit's bylaws.

Since the school year is starting virtually, getting your members to purchase a membership may be a bit trickier than normal. A great way to reach your members and have them purchase a membership is by utilizing your school's Memberhub Store. However, Memberhub has changed their payment system and no longer uses WePay. They are now using a program called Stripe. Each treasurer will need to make sure their new Stripe account is properly set up and ready to go. If you plan to use your Memberhub Store, please make sure your treasurer has made this change.

I'm really looking forward to this school year. We all know this year will be a whole new experience for all of us, and I look forward to seeing the creativity from each and every one of you! If you have any membership questions, please feel free to email me at

Sara Bennett

Livonia PTSA Council Membership Chair

PTA Shout Out!

If you attended the Michigan PTA Virtual Business Convention Meeting, then you know the good news! If not, then we'll fill you in! This shout out goes out to a few of our local units who won membership awards that were announced during the Michigan PTA business convention meeting!

Kennedy Elementary PTA - Membership Award for 100% Staff

Jackson Center PTA - Petoskey Stone Award for Membership Growth Range of 50%

Webster Elementary PTA - Honorable Mention Membership Award

Congratulations!! Keep up the great work!

LPTSA Council Spotlight!

The Livonia PTSA Council does not just consist of an Executive Board, but many committee chairs as well! We would like to spotlight Council Members so you can get familiar with us and our friendly faces! This month, we will spotlight 4 members!

Robb Drzewicki - Council Corresponding Secretary & Male Engagement Chair

Robb began his PTA journey as a Perrinville Dad, serving on the Board until the school closed during a restructure. He remains an active advocate for students through the Livonia PTSA Council. His sons, Jackson and Jameson are students at Riley and Hoover and will attend their Dad's alma mater, Stevenson High School some day. "The PTA has always been full of volunteer leaders, and I'm very proud to be able to work with parents, teachers, and administrators who really care."

Andrea Malenfant - Council Recording Secretary, Bylaws Chair, And Newsletter Chair

I started becoming involved in PTA my daughter's Kindergarten year at Cleveland Elementary. I then served on Cleveland's PTA Board for 3 years. 2 years as VP and my last year as President. I learned so much and was extremely proud of all we did for the students, staff, and school. But I'll admit, at the end, I was kind of burned out. Elementary PTA is probably one of the hardest PTA's because there are so many events that are done. When my daughter was graduating from Cleveland I thought my PTA days might be done. But then, here comes Debbie Yates planting the seed about Council in my ear! At first I didn't think I would do it, but she made me realize that I truly do enjoy being an advocate for not only my kids, but for all of our kids. And so long story short, here I am starting my second year of Council on the EB!

I'm married with 2 amazing kids. My daughter will be entering 6th grade at Cooper and my son will be going to Kindergarten at Grant's Center Program. I'm a Dental Hygienist and occasionally sub at my previous office. When my son turned 3, I decided to step back from dental hygiene for a bit to be with my kids more. In my free time I enjoy crafting, Zumba, baking, and good times with friends.

Lynda Scheel - Council Clothing Depot Chair

I joined the Livonia PTA Council as a Board Member in 1997 and have served as President, Vice President, Secretary & Chair of various committees. I currently serve as the Council Liaison for the Clothing Depot. I first joined PTA as a parent at Tyler Elementary in 1985. I was recruited to join the Tyler PTA Board as their Tyler 4’s Pre-school Leader, and I never looked back. I went on to serve on Livonia PTA/PTSA Local Boards as the chair of various committees, VP, Treasurer, Secretary, and as President of Tyler Elementary, Holmes Middle School and Stevenson High School. I also served on the Michigan PTSA Board of Managers from 1996-2005 in various officer postions.

I truly enjoyed being active in PTA, and this lead me to also becoming more active in our community. I was on the LPS School Board for 8.5 years, the Livonia Planning Commission for five years, the Livonia City Council for two years, and I am in my fifth year as the City of Livonia Treasurer. I also serve as VP of the Livonia Brownfield Authority and as a LPS Education Foundation Board Member.

My husband Doug and I live in the house that my parents built in Livonia. (I went to Tyler, Bryant and Stevenson). We enjoy camping, hiking, reading, and spending time with our three adult children (and their spouses) and our seven grandchildren.

Amanda Walworth - Council ELVS Chair

I have served on Perrinville PTA as Secretary and on Cass PTA as Secretary. I also served as committee chair for Family Fitness Night and Halloween Happenings for two years. I've been on Council since 2015 as ELVs chair and then STEM committee chair for 3 years. I also served as the 2018 -2019 2nd VP.

I have a ten year old son, Logan, who is in the Center Program.

I've been a Livonia Jaycee since 2016 having served as Management VP in 2017 and then President in 2018, and now I am the member of another non-profit board. I work as a Project Manager in Healthcare IT and I enjoy reading, cooking, and traveling.

Planning Your Meetings for the 2020 - 2021 School Year

As your Unit plans for the 2020 - 2021 school year, please keep in mind the following suggestions for meeting dates (this is really helpful for those with students in multiple schools to avoid meeting/event conflicts!)

K-4 Elementary - set your meetings for the FIRST WEEK of the month
5-6 Elementary - set your meetings for the SECOND WEEK of the month
Middle School - set your meetings for the THIRD WEEK of the month
High School - set your meetings for the FOURTH WEEK of the month

Council will continue to meet the THIRD WEDNESDAY of the month.

What Are Standards of Affiliation (SOA)?

Standards of Affiliation are requirements from MI PTA that keep a unit in good standing and therefore allows the unit to continue to conduct business. All SOA requirements are due to MI PTA no later than December 1st. All units that have completed the SOA requirements will receive their letter of Good Standing from Michigan PTA in MemberHub. Not sure what the requirements are? Check it out:

Each year, officers should be updated in MemberHub. When Michigan PTA contacts officers, only the current year officers are pulled by the system. If they can't contact the leaders responsible for business, they can’t service the unit properly.

Members and Membership Dues
Each Michigan PTA Unit is asked to submit names and payments for Michigan and National PTA dues. Entering names into MemberHub does NOT make the person a member. Members have to be entered specifically as members and not just people. $5.50 per each member should be sent to MI PTA either by check or electronically through Memberhub by the 28th of each month.

Unit Renewal Dues
Unit renewal dues of $40 which covers the administrative costs of processing standards of affiliation are due each year on June 1st. This year the deadline has been extended to October 1st due to the COVID - 19 situation.

Each unit must have bylaws. Bylaws are the rules that govern your unit. Bylaws must be renewed every three years or any time they are amended. Renewed bylaws must be submitted through MemberHub for approval from MI PTA. Units waiting on approval from MI PTA are considered in compliance for bylaws until otherwise notified.

A new budget must be created each year and should be voted on and approved by the membership. An approved budget should be sent to MI PTA via MemberHub.

Financial Review or Audit
An audit is a way to track your unit's finances. Council holds an audit party each year so units do not have to find and independent CPA, although a unit can choose to go that route. Audits should be completed after the fiscal year ends and a copy should be sent to MI PTA via MemberHub.

Each year, Units must submit to the IRS their 990 and then should submit a copy to MI PTA via MemberHub. Most Units only have to submit the 990N postcard which is about 8 questions on the IRS website. This should be done immediately! Since our fiscal year ends June 30th, the 990 must be submitted to the IRS no later than November 15th.

Failure to submit this documentation to the IRS will put a unit’s tax exempt status in jeopardy—even if you fulfill everything else required by Michigan PTA.
A copy should also be sent to MI PTA via Memberhub no later than December 1st.

Liability Insurance
Insurance is a fairly new requirement for SOA. Every policy may be different but MI PTA requires that units get at least $1 million in liability coverage. Coverage for officers and coverage to protect you in case you have to cancel big events can also be considered. Officers may compare companies to get the best coverage for the Unit. This is a Michigan PTA requirement and a copy of your insurance certificate should be sent to MI PTA via MemberHub by December 1st.

If you have questions about SOA you can contact your Council Liaison or cal MI PTA at 734-975-9500

Big picture

Reflections News

Now that the school year is almost here, that means Reflections season is about to begin. I've got an amazing team of volunteers coming together to lead the program in their units. There are only a few schools left who haven't identified a chairperson yet. My goal is to offer Reflections at every school this year. In a year like this, our kids could use an artistic outlet.

This weekend I'll start sharing flyers and marketing materials with the chairs, so that they can start promoting the program in their schools. Please consider adding Reflections to your PTA meeting agenda for the next few months, so that your chair can get the word out, share information, and answer questions.

Reflections Key Details for 2020-21

Theme: "I Matter Because..."

Deadline for submissions: Friday, November 13, 2020

Tentative date for awards ceremony (if we can have one): Thursday, January 21, 2021

Thank you for your support!

Debbie Yates

Livonia PTSA Council Reflections Chair

Diversity & Inclusion Survey *

After contemplating the role the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and the PTA in general will be playing in this unique year, I decided that it would be a good idea to get some feedback from students and families. I've created a survey that will help us understand how our families are feeling and how they would like the PTA to support them. I would like to ask you to share this survey with the families at your schools. I'll share the results, so that you can take it into consideration as you plan your year.

Survey link:

I'm also looking for people who would like to join me on the Diversity & Inclusion Committee. I have lots of ideas, but could use a few warm hearts to help make things happen. Please let me know if you're interested.

I believe the PTA has a great opportunity to transform the way we support our families this year. Our role as advocates has never been needed more.

Thanks in advance for your assistance!

Debbie Yates

Livonia PTSA Council Diversity & Inclusion Committee

Let's Talk About PEP!

That's right! It's that time again! And this year, we have some new updates to PEP! Be sure to download the newly updated PEP checklist below and give copies to your board members. Remember, in order to receive PEP points, you must send the required documentation to the PEP email:

For example, if you are inviting your liaison via email to your PTA meetings, make sure you Cc the PEP address!

And don't forget, the highest earning units at the end of the year will receive a gift from Council! Let's make this the best PEP year yet! Who will take 1st place? Good Luck!

Council Liaisons

Here are the Council Liaison assignments for 2020-2021! Consider your liaison your PTA best friend! Contact them for all of your PTA questions and advice. If they don't have the answer, they can find it for you!

Buchanan | Robb Drzewicki |

Churchill | Debbie Pline |

Cleveland | Kellie Dummer |

Coolidge | Andrea Malenfant |

Cooper | Robb Drzewicki |

Emerson | Mandy Gerstenbrand |

Franklin | Kellie Dummer |

Frost | Patty Novak |

Grant | Nikki Watson |

Hayes | Sara Bennett |

Holmes | Nicole Dant |

Hoover | Debbie Yates |

Jackson Ctr | Lynda Scheel |

Johnson | Mike Testa |

Kennedy | Mandy Gerstenbrand |

Niji-Iro | Debbie Pline |

Randolph | Donna Blauet |

Riley | Lynda Scheel |

Roosevelt | Melissa Kachaturoff |

Rosedale | Sara Bennett |

Stevenson | Amanda Walworth |

Webster | Debbie Pline |

Where Will Your Unit Go To Have A Meeting? MI PTA Has The Answer!

During this very unique time where most units are not able to go to our school buildings in person; where the number of people we can gather together inside is limited, makes having PTA unit meetings a challenge!!

The cost of the Zoom account for more than 3 people is not in every unit budget, so during this time where the restrictions for in-person causes restrictions, MI PTA would like to offer the use of the state subscription for hosting units meetings for PTAs that need it. Reserve this resource for your unit meeting; we will set up the meeting parameters, provide you the invitation details and be online for your meeting to support your tech needs.

To submit a request to set up a unit meeting by using the MI PTA Zoom account, complete this form:

For any additional questions on hosting a virtual meeting, email at or give us a call at 735-975-9500

Virtual Meetings And Bylaws

The question has been asked; Do we need to change our bylaws or policies & procedures to include virtual meetings? Here is some guidance from MI PTA Secretary Liz Jarvis from MI PTA's NewsFlash:

Is your unit holding virtual meetings? What do your bylaws say about it? In most cases, the answer is, “nothing.” Currently, there isn't language in our State or in the local unit bylaws template to prohibit the use of virtual meetings, unless a local unit has added it in their local unit bylaws or standing rules. As a non-profit, membership organization, in addition to the local unit, State and National PTA bylaws, there is the Michigan Nonprofit Corporation Act (Act 162 of 1982). It contains no restrictions which would preclude virtual meetings. It is important to note that PTA units are not bound by the Open Meetings Act, unlike school boards or municipal government bodies. Your rules for a virtual meeting should be similar to your rules for an inperson meeting. Your bylaws give parameters for “meetings” without differentiating between in-person or virtual. We recommend that your unit have standing rules, which outline the “day-to-day” activities of your unit. Guidelines for your virtual meetings can be included there. In addition to rules about how and when a meeting is called, they might include guidelines such as:

  • Everyone should be able to be heard
  • Minutes must be taken
  • Whether to include chat notes in the minutes
  • Voting may require a roll call for any official business
  • Proxy voting is not allowed

So, Zoom away! If you are satisfied that your bylaws regarding minutes covers your virtual meetings as well, you are all set. If you would like to create a set of Standing Rules (also called Policies and Procedures) we can help you get started. If your unit/council would like to request the use of the MiPTA Zoom account to hold a business meeting, please send the request to to reserve that date/time.

Advocacy Update: 2020 Board of Education Election – Virtual Candidate Forum

Election Day is Tuesday November 3rd. The LPS Board of Education will have 4 open seats on the ballot. The PTSA Council will Host a Candidate Forum for our members to learn about the Candidates. There are 6 candidates running; the 4 incumbents and 2 newcomers…

- Madeline Acosta

- Tammy Bonifeld (I)

- Karen Bradford (I)

- Dan Centers (I)

- Crystal Frank (I)

- Nichole Hoskins-Goudreau

Because of the current COVID situation, we will not be able to host with a live, in-person format. The Forum will be Virtual (conducted by Zoom), with only the Candidates and several Council Members (to moderate and ask questions) attending. PTA Members will be able to participate by submitting questions to ask the Candidates. A recording of the Forum will be posted online afterwards for anyone to watch. The details of the Forum are still being finalized. The target date is the last week of September or the first week of October. We will communicate the details as soon as possible and will request support from our local PTAs to help promote. If you have any questions, please reach out to Mike Testa (

Coming Soon - Memberhub Training!

Recently, Council posted a survey in the officer's forum regarding the want/need for Memberhub Training. Based on those results, Council has decided to go forward with this training for those who are interested or those who just want to brush up on their Memberhub skills. Council is currently working on a venue and time. We will be sending out information soon so be on the look out for it!

Important Dates for the 2020 - 2021 Year!

Please note that these dates and times could be subject to change due to COVID - 19 regulations. We will update all units with any updates or changes as soon as possible.


9/8 - 1st Day of School

TBD - Memberhub Training | TBD | TBD

9/16 - LPTSA Council EB Meeting | 6:00 pm -7:00 pm | BOE, Board Room/Collab. Room

9/16 - LPTSA Council Gen. Membership Meeting (budget approval) | 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm | Unit members attend virtually

11/18 - LPTSA Council EB Meeting | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm | TBD

TBD - Council Meet and Greet | TBD | TBD

TBD - Council Workshop | TBD | TBD


1/20 - LPTSA Council EB Meeting | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm | TBD

TBD - Council Workshop

TBD - Chili Cook-Off

1/21 - Reflections Celebration | TBD | TBD

2/10 - Founder's Day | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm | Schoolcraft VistaTech Center

3/17 - LPTSA Council EB Meeting | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm | TBD

TBD - Council Workshop

4/21 - LPTSA Council EB Meeting | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm | TBD

4/21 - LPTSA Council Gen. Membership Meeting (Elections) | 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm | TBD

TBD - YMAD Celebration

5/19 - Officer Training | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm | TBD

6/16 - LPTSA Council EB Meeting | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm | TBD

TBD - Audit Party | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm | TBD

Have You Joined Us On Facebook?

If you are a PTA officer or committee chair, please make sure to join our page for important information, discussions, and more! A lot of great information is shared on this closed group page. It's also a great way to network with other units, share ideas, and ask for help.

Getting Connected to MI PTA or National PTA

Michigan PTA Website :

Michigan PTA Facebook Page :

National PTA Website :

National PTA Facebook Page :

About us...

The Livonia PTSA Council is a group of 22 local PTA/PTSA Units within the Livonia Public Schools District. The Council is organized under the authority of the Michigan PTA for the purpose of promoting conferences, communications, leadership development and coordination of the efforts of the local units.

Interested in joining Council? There are chair opportunities available! Contact President Mandy Gerstenbrand at