If the event is held in collaboration with community organizations or other PTAs, each participating unit, council or district PTA should follow
The California State PTA strongly urges unit, council or district PTAs to refrain from serving alcoholic beverages at PTA functions. PTAs may not engage in the sale of alcoholic beverages. (See the Insurance and Loss Prevention Guide, Red Section.)
Begin six months in advance, if possible.
Discuss and obtain approval to hold an event from the PTA executive board and principal or school representative.
Ensure the event will not conflict with other unit, council or district PTA observances.
Obtain a vote of approval for the event at a meeting of the association. Include a motion to disburse monies to cover the estimated cost involved.
If being held off campus, obtain permission for facility use from appropriate manager. If asked to sign a Hold Harmless Agreement, contact the California State PTA insurance broker.
PTA president appoints the event chairman and committee. Determine the goals of this committee. Articulate what the committee hopes to accomplish with the activities.
Appoint at least seven members to the planning committee. Unit bylaws and standing rules may have information to guide the project. If possible, include the principal or a faculty member, the public relations/publications coordinator (if there is one), and a student (Event Planning Worksheet, Forms 369).
Discuss budget needs with president and treasurer. Ideally, the budget should be planned with a line item for the event. The planned activities must stay within the budget. If necessary, the community may be asked to partner by donating materials, hospitality items and perhaps even a grant or sponsor to underwrite the planned activity or event. Be realistic in estimating the costs. Remember to include possible custodial costs, publicity, and postage.
Decide on a focus area, if any. Brainstorm ideas with the committee. Decide on activities that have the best chance for good participation from the student-body, the parents, and the community. If the PTA has never held this event before, do not overwhelm the faculty with activities.
Keep in mind past traditions but also investigate new ways to hold an appropriate event that will fit the school and community.
The Americans With Disabilities Act requires that disabled persons must be reasonably accommodated by modifying policies, making physical changes and obtaining equipment to assist their participation in any activity. For PTA meetings/events, this could include seating to accommodate an attendant accompanying a member or reserved seating in a location to accommodate a member's special need, providing written handouts to supplement discussion and/or providing qualified readers or interpreters for individuals having a hearing or sight impairment.
Select a theme as the major focus, and decide on the type of program (e.g., family dinner, musical program).
Review event material — make copies as needed. From previous chairman or committee, obtain the procedure book, National PTA Annual Resources for PTAs, Our Children, and PTA in California.
Discuss rules and expectations with facility management. Put all agreements in writing. Determine if permission or permits from school district or city are needed.
As early as possible, check school calendar and decide on a date.
Notify parents and community to "save the date" for the event. Also send notes to past and present PTA presidents, leaders and award recipients, and school district and community members.
Notify staff explaining event goals and requesting their support.
Schedule at least three committee meetings prior to event.
Begin three months in advance, if possible. Develop a timeline utilizing check sheets. Assign committee members specific duties.
SERVICE PROVIDERS/SPEAKERS/PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS (AT LEAST TWO PEOPLE)
One person should be designated as the contact person on invitation letters
One person should assist with paperwork (Service Provider/Speakers/Program Participants Check List, Forms 375).
PUBLICITY CAMPAIGN (AT LEAST ONE PERSON)
Publicity may include the use of one or more of the following:
PTA newsletter articles.
Posters for placement at local business locations.
Radio/cable television PSA “spots”
HANDOUTS/FLYERS (AT LEAST ONE PERSON)
Handouts may include the following:
Flyers to parents.
Attendee record form.
Permission slips, if necessary.
Service provider station signs.
OPERATIONS (AT LEAST ONE PERSON)
Overseeing facility, equipment, and overall operation.
Checking all participating service providers/speakers/program participants requirements.
Coordinating with school district and school custodian.
Ensuring all equipment is in working order.
Consulting with appropriate facility management.
Considering whether additional service providers are needed and reviewing other logistic issues.
Cleaning up after the event.
OUTREACH (AT LEAST ONE PERSON)
This committee member will
Organize volunteers and coordinate hospitality.
Select invitees from the local area. Send a letter of invitation requesting participation, including a response deadline.
Begin two months in advance.
Send follow-up letter to confirm service provider participation, including a map of the school and parking location (Participant Response Form, Fig. 7-1, 287).
Develop flyers to inform parents and community of the event.
Develop news releases.
Request equipment from school district or facility manager to meet service provider needs.
Begin one month in advance.
Be sure to have sufficient tables and chairs as required by participating service providers. This information will be available upon receipt of response form.
Provide custodian/facility manager with a detailed drawing of the layout for tables and chairs.
Plan for access for the disabled.
Recruit and schedule volunteers. Utilize nursing schools, dental schools, and public health agency health promoters.
Plan refreshments, such as coffee and donuts in the morning or a light lunch for all participating service providers and volunteers.
Check to ensure all equipment requirements can be met.
Distribute event flyers and e-mail announcements to parents and community.
Prepare service provider station signs.
Day of the Event
Have nametags ready for all service providers/speakers/program participants and volunteers.
Check to make sure hospitality area is in order and refreshments prepared.
Check setup of the event stations and all audio-visual equipment.
Welcome the service providers/speakers/program participants and be sure to give them an evaluation sheet (Evaluation Form, Forms 367) that should be collected before they leave at the end of the event.
Have volunteers sign in, including addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses.
Have at least two designated troubleshooters for the day and make sure that the service providers and volunteers know who they are.
Clean up the facility and leave it in as good or better condition than it was.
After the Event
Tabulate the evaluations.
Send thank you notes to all participating service providers/speakers/program participants and volunteers.
Write an event report and place it in the procedure book. Include ideas for changes gleaned from the evaluations and comments from participants.