School Organization Transitions — Creating a Procedures Book
Although the school year is only about halfway through, now is a great time to start thinking about how to set up your PTA, PTO or PTSA successor. This advice applies to any non-profit, actually, and it is something I have done for all of the nonprofit boards I have served on. If you’re lucky, when you came in to your role, you received a procedure book. You may only need to augment the book with what you did this year. If you did not receive such a book or if you aren’t sure if the one you received is complete, this blog will give you tips on how to create one and what it should contain.
What is a Procedures Book?
It is a book that gives the incoming board member all the information they need to know to accomplish their role.
What Should It Include?
Typically this would include the following items:
- Your parent teacher organization by-laws
- A list of board positions, and any committees and 1–2 sentences about each
- A contact list for all PTO officers and committee chairs for the past year as well as incoming year
- Key contacts for school district and staff list for home school
- Key contacts for any other local or state PTAs or PTOs
- The meeting minutes for the last 3 meetings and details on where to find historical info
- Previous year’s budget
- For treasurer role, any bank account numbers and balances
- List of technologies uses and any login info. If you have had any challenges that you need to overcome with a technology, share that info. For example, if Zoom sometimes doesn’t work but logging out and logging back in solves that, make a note of it.
- Calendars: School calendar, Prior Year PTA calendar
- Policies: any relevant PTA policies not covered in by-laws, membership welcome packets and handbooks as well as a copy of school policies handbook
- Tips/Learnings: It is really helpful to note anything you learned from the time in your role. For example, if you are the social chair and you noticed that some events had better attendance or engagement than others, note that. If people share suggestions for improvement, note that. Anything you can do to pass on your learnings can really help the next person.
- Year in Review: A summary put together by the PTA as a whole outlining the goals of the PTA, how the PTA did vis-a-vis those goals, what should continue to the next year, and what didn’t go well is really helpful. This gives new leadership great insight into how they can further the mission of the organization.
When Should You Create This?
The sooner the better. The more of the book you can create real-time, the easier it is to create.
Should You Have One For Each Position?
Ideally, you would host it online and have the sections relevant to all, shared with all and the specific sections shared only with the successor for the particular position. You can easily share it via a Google document.
Where Can I Get More Details?
There are some really good transition documents online: PTO Today, National PTA, California PTA. You can also check out the Multipurpose Room podcast for episodes with tips on PTA transitions.