PTAs are encouraged to communicate with PTA members and the school community. Each unit must determine what will best meet the needs of its members and community, and what will best suit its budget. Options include:
PURPOSES OF PTA PUBLICATIONS
Encourage involvement with the child in the home and in the school.
Inform every family in the school of the aims and accomplishments of the unit.
Encourage attendance at PTA meetings and parent involvement in PTA projects and activities. Foster cooperation with the school in keeping parents informed about school functions regulations and/or procedures on child related issues.
Inform the community about PTA activities and school functions.
GUIDELINES FOR ALL PUBLICATIONS
All material must be cleared with the PTA president and school principal before printing. The principal is responsible for the accuracy of school information and compliance with the State Education Code and school district policy Article VI, Section 1i, Bylaws for Local PTA/PTSA Units).
The PTA president is responsible for the accuracy of PTA information and compliance with PTA policies.
Never present material critical of any individual or group. To do so may expose the PTA to a libel suit.
Incorporate the current statewide membership theme and PTA logo in PTA communications. This will show a unity of effort and purpose, as well as demonstrate the units participation in a national organization.
Avoid publishing the last name and phone number of a volunteer who handles PTA funds.
Publish only a summary of actions taken from the PTA association meeting minutes.
Do not publish, without written permission, personal information about students or adults. This includes:
Date all materials.
Always make it easy for the reader to identify and find the PTA. List the following items:
Refer to the California State PTA Toolkit Style Guide for correct PTA terminology and formatting.
SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVING CONTENT
Feedback is necessary to find out whether the publication is achieving its goals. Take an opinion poll at an executive board meeting. Insert a questionnaire in several issues to learn which information is most helpful to readers.
Encourage others to contribute to the newsletter, website, and other publications. Tell them how much space is available for their articles. Offer suggestions to assist them in their efforts.
Make suggestions that encourage others to contribute. Be on the alert for coming events that should be publicized. Go after stories.
Report the results of events, publicize membership campaigns, or announce PTA award recipients.
Remember, people dont read, they skim. Make sure each message is easy to find. Keep messages brief and to the point. Strategically use bullets, quotes, charts, and graphics.
Graphic design (both print and electronic) should be clean and simple. Avoid graphics that overwhelm the reader and distract from the content.
Proofread everything! Twice!
PTAs must work closely with the school to meet the language needs of all who receive the publication.
To translate information and materials, seek help from bilingual parents on the executive board; teachers or support personnel in the classrooms or the school district; or the foreign language departments at local high schools, community colleges and universities.
Some units present side-by-side translations of articles on each page while others print or post a separate issue. Still others offer all information in English with short recaps of major information in languages needed in their school community.
The California State PTA offers grants to unit, council and district PTAs to pay for translation services (Outreach Translation Grant for Unit, Council and District PTA 7.17.2, 312).
PTA in California
Basics for PTA Leaders
Promoting Your PTA
Television & Media Literacy
Order PTA Materials
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