Riverside School PTA
Guidelines for School Procedures
PTA Mission: The Riverside School PTA is a welcoming and inclusive organization, which will continue to enhance the spirit, cooperation, and involvement within the PTA and with the administration, office staff, and the teachers.
PTA Teams: The Riverside School PTA’s numerous committees are organized into teams headed up by VP’s. Communication regarding your committee’s efforts should flow through your VP and not through the administration or teachers.
Transitioning/Record-Keeping: Please ensure that you transition with the committee chairs from the prior year and that you receive from them all important materials pertaining to their particular committees, such as time lines, budgets, best practices and important hints. PTA committee continuity is important so please remember to keep good records of your committee work that you can pass along to your successor committee chairs.
Best Practices: Upon completing a project, the committee is asked to complete a best practices exercise so that we can continue to work in an effective manner.
Front Office: Please be supportive of office staff and remind your committee members that Lori and Tina are school, not PTA, employees. Their supplies are the school’s, not the PTA’s. Supplies for PTA needs can be borrowed from the PTA box located in the baskets under the birdhouse. Additional PTA materials are located in the PTA closet outside the nurse’s office (the key to that closet is located with a red band on the board above Dannielle's desk).
General PTA Meetings: General PTA Meetings are typically held two - three times during the school year. These meetings are open to all parents and teachers. Board members and committee chairs are expected to attend.
PTA Membership: We expect all PTA Executive Board members and Committee members to join the Riverside School PTA.
Executive Board Meetings: Executive Board meetings will be held once a month. If you would like to discuss an issue during one of these meetings, please notify your VP who will arrange to have the item put on the agenda.
Committee Meetings: Please check with the office in advance to sign up for a meeting place to avoid a scheduling conflict if you arrange a committee meeting at school. If not otherwise reserved, the Café is generally available from 9-10:30 and from 2:30- 3:15. We also encourage you to meet at people’s homes.
Board of Ed Meetings: Regular Board of Education meetings are generally the third or fourth Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Dates and locations will be published in the Peek and are on the Greenwich Public Schools web site: www.greenwichschools.org. These meetings provide valuable district wide information.
Budget: Please be mindful of your committee’s budget, which is included in the overall 2012-2013 PTA budget, and please be fiscally responsible. Note that fundraising committees’ budget numbers are net of expenses. Expenditures must stay within budget unless prior approval has been obtained from the Executive Board. If you think you might be tracking to go over budget, please let your VP know as soon as possible. A copy of the budget is available to review in the media center.
Gift Cap: A Gift Cap is established each year by the Board of Ed for each school. The Gift Cap for the 2012- 2013 school year for each of the 11 elementary schools is $74,957. A reporting procedure, the Gift Cap Report, is submitted by each school twice each year and is intended to capture all contributions that benefit the student, staff, or facilities. Events that are self-financing, or programs and services that primarily benefit parents, such as a directory, speakers, family outreach programs, or PTA administration costs, are not included in this report.
Treasury: Please refer to the posted Treasury Guidelines for Treasury information.
The PEEK: The PEEK newsletter is an important communication vehicle for our school. Please get in the habit of checking online each Friday for the PEEK as paper copies will not be distributed. The deadline for submissions for text for the PEEK is Wednesday at noon. Please e-mail text directly to Lori White (Lori_White@greenwich.k12.ct.us) and the PTA Co-Presidents Tami Lopez and Catherine Polkinghorne. Make sure you also copy your team’s VP on all PEEK submissions. The Principal and PTA Co-Presidents must review and approve all PEEK submissions and attachments. Please submit handouts such as order forms or flyers for approval by Tuesday at noon. Actual copies do not have to be physically in the office until Thursday afternoon at the close of school.
School Web Site: The school web site, www.greenwichschools.org/rs, is an essential communication vehicle and we ask everyone to consult it regularly. Fionnuala Browning is Riverside’s web master and should be consulted on all web site questions and postings. Please forward items you wish to include on the web site to the PTA webmaster, Kerry D'Angelo, firstname.lastname@example.org and copy the PTA Co- Presidents. Lori White posts all dates and events on the school calendar feature on the web site.
Photocopies: School photocopiers are not available for PTA related photocopying use. The Board of Education has its own facilities which we encourage you to use -- the Print Shop (625-7410) at the Board of Ed Havemeyer building on Greenwich Avenue. Its prices are substantially lower than other vendors and you merely need to check with Wilkie or Richard there to make sure they can meet your deadline. They accept submissions via e-mail in pdf format or you can drop off/pick up if you frequent Greenwich Avenue regularly.
In addition, the PTA has a contract with Colonial Printing - 637-9909, and they bill us directly. For billing purposes when you use Colonial please be sure to include your name and committee. Colonial also accepts submissions by email to save you an extra trip.
If you can have your printing done elsewhere less expensively (or for free), please do so. Please also be aware of copying expenses. We ask that you please not make color copies due to the expense. Whenever possible, use the school web site or email to communicate. In addition, to keep costs down and save trees, we ask committees to avoid multiple attachments to the Peek -- one flier per event should be sufficient.
Thank You’s: It is important to thank people but the PEEK is not the appropriate place for singling out people to thank. A general thank-you is fine to put in the PEEK and is particularly valuable if you can share specific information about the success of an event [e.g., “Thanks to all those who contributed to the Fifth Grade Food Drive. We donated over 375 non-perishable items to Neighbor to Neighbor.”]
Publicity: Please contact our Publicity chair, Kerry D'Angelo, email@example.com with any PTA events or programs that you feel deserve attention from the media. You will need to provide all details of the event or program to her as soon as they are available. Riverside School has had excellent coverage in the local papers. If you have photos from events, please give them to Kerry D'Angelo.
Communication: Please keep your team’s VP informed of your committee’s activities. More communication is always better than less. Copy your VP’s on e-mail exchanges, and please remember they are always asked to report to the Exec Board, generally on the first Tuesday of the month. Be proactive in letting them know what’s going on. Remember they are your support team and also your advocate.
Email: E-mail is a very effective means of communication but in order to keep it that way, we need to be mindful of not abusing it. If you have something you would like communicated to the parent body, please inform the PTA Co-Presidents who will include it in their weekly e-mail to parents. Also, please be mindful that what goes in an e-mail is often forwarded/circulated to a broader audience. If you are dealing with an issue that could be sensitive, it’s better to pick up the phone.
Birdhouse Mailboxes: All VP’s and some committees have a mailbox outside of the school office in the “Birdhouse.” Please check mailboxes regularly for correspondence. There are some birdhouse mailboxes and drawers in the sliding basket that are available for temporary use, such as collections for fundraisers. Please contact one of the Co-Presidents if you require a temporary mailbox and we will create a label for you.
Thank you and have a great year!