Running Meetings

PTA meetings include meetings of the board, executive committee, other committees or general membership. Check your PTA’s bylaws to determine how many of each type of meeting is required each year.

Want attendance to grow? Run an effective meeting! Here’s how:

  • Schedule meetings at convenient times. Poll members to find times that work best for the majority. Consider meeting outside the school building to attract family members who might not be comfortable in a school setting.
  • Have a clear purpose for each meeting. Members want to feel that something significant was accomplished and their time was valued. Create an agenda for this purpose.
  • Facilitate effectively. As facilitator, your job is to start and end the meeting on time, and keep conversation focused on the meeting’s purpose. Be sure all members feel welcomed and invited to participate. Use parliamentary procedure (Robert’s Rules of Order) to make sure everyone gets heard, no one dominates the conversation and ideas are fully explored before the majority rules through voting.
  • Engage participants. Incorporate activities that get people involved and generate discussion, and use visual aids to grab attention.
  • Ensure a quorum. A quorum is a minimum number of members who must be present to conduct business at a meeting. This number should be noted in your PTA’s bylaws. If a quorum is not met, then you may hold a meeting but a vote cannot be taken.
  • Take minutes. According to the IRS, minutes become part of the organization’s permanent file. Minutes should include a record of attendance and any action that was taken; for example, they serve as proof that funds were expended in accordance with the bylaws and approved budget. Minutes should not include opinion, lengthy descriptions of discussions or detailed quotes from speakers.
  • Plan for social time. Consider adding social time before or after the meeting so that those with busy schedules feel their time is well-used, and those who want to socialize have time to network.