School Organization Transitions - Creating a Procedures Book
Updated: May 26
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, and it is something we have done for all of the nonprofit boards we have served on. If you're lucky, you received a procedure book when you came into your role. You may only need to augment the book with what you did this year. If you did not receive such a book or aren't sure if the one you received is complete, this blog will give you tips on creating one and what it should contain.
What is a Procedures Book?
This book gives incoming board members all the information they need to know to accomplish their roles through a school organization procedures book.
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 the incoming year
Key contacts for the 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 the treasurer role, any bank account numbers and balances
List of technologies used and any login info. If you have had any challenges you need to overcome with technology, share that info. For example, if Zoom sometimes doesn't work but logging out and logging back in solves that, note 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 the 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 notice 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 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 helpful. This gives new leadership great insight into furthering the organization's mission.
When Should You Create This?
The sooner, the better. The more of the book you can create in 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?
Some really good transition documents are online: PTO Today, National PTA, and California PTA. You can also check out the Multipurpose Room podcast for episodes with tips on PTA transitions.