Updated and signed: Eileen Matarese and Karen Jarsky 2013-2014 PTO Co-chairs

Charter of the
Carolyn T. Douglas Elementary School
Parent Teacher Organization
21 Elm Street, Acton, MA 01720

Article I: Name

The name of this organization is the Carolyn T. Douglas Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization, from here on referred to as “Douglas PTO.”

Article II: Objective

The purpose of the Douglas PTO is to promote quality in education by facilitating parent and faculty communication, by encouraging parent involvement, and by providing programs and funds to support the school.

Article III: Basic Policies

Section 1
We are organized exclusively for educational purposes and proceeds will be used for the benefit of the Carolyn T. Douglas Elementary School, from here on referred to as “Douglas School.”
Section 2
The Douglas PTO shall be non-commercial, non-sectarian, and non-partisan.
Section 3
No part of the activities of the organization shall be carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation {except as otherwise provided by Internal Revenue Code section 501 (h)}, or will be participating in or intervening in (including the publication or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.

Article IV: Membership

Members of the Douglas PTO shall include the Douglas School Faculty, and all parents or legal guardians of Douglas School students.

Article V: Organization

Section 1. Board Composition

The Douglas PTO Board Officers shall be composed of the following:

  • Co-Chairpersons
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Principal

The Douglas PTO Board Members shall consist of the following (note, some positions are not part of a quorum. See article V, section C on Voting):

  • Interschool Council Representative/s
  • Health & Safety/Health Advisory Council Representative/s
  • Cultural Enrichment Chair/s
  • Snack Program Chair/s
  • Technology Secretary/ies
  • Assistant Treasurer/s
  • Faculty Representative (Voluntary, not quorum)
  • Volunteer Committee Chair/s
  • PTO School Committee Liaison/s
  • Hospitality Chair/s
  • Playground Committee Chair/s
  • Gardening Committee Chair/s
  • Douglas Digest Chair/s
  • PTO Website Webmaster/s

Section 2. Job Description and Duties

A. Board Officers

All Board Officers will make timely reports, as appropriate, to the Douglas PTO, attend Douglas PTO Board and General meetings, submit articles to the Technology Secretary for the Weekly News Emails as needed, and keep records of activities for transfer to the succeeding chair or co-chair.

Lead Douglas PTO Board and General meetings, coordinate Douglas PTO activities with the Principal, are responsible for the ongoing activities of the Douglas PTO. Either Co-Chairperson may appoint special subcommittees as needed. The Co-Chairpersons serve a two year staggered term, so that each year one co-chairperson is serving a first-year and one is serving a second-year term. The Co-Chairpersons preside over the annual budget preparation, the Douglas PTO subcommittees, all Activity Chairs and volunteers.
Attends Douglas PTO Board and General meetings, maintains the records of Douglas PTO finances and provides a treasurer report to the Douglas PTO, pays bills, reimburses out of pocket expenses, sends scholarship check, prepares the annual financial reconciliation, assists the Co-chairs in preparing the annual budget; prepares Douglas PTO non-profit tax returns and the necessary returns to maintain the Douglas PTO’s 501(c)(3) tax status.
Attends Douglas PTO Board and General meetings, records minutes at Douglas PTO meetings and distributes minutes for approval at the following meeting, displays minutes on Douglas PTO Bulletin Board in school lobby.
Douglas School Principal:
Co-leads Douglas PTO General Meetings, coordinates Douglas PTO activities with the Chair(s), serves as liaison with Douglas School staff, chooses Faculty Representative to the Douglas PTO Board.

B. Board Members

All Board Members will make timely reports, as appropriate, to the Douglas PTO Co-chairs, and attend Douglas PTO Board and General meetings.

Assistant Treasurer:
Collects and deposits receipts from fundraisers; produces Direct Solicitation tax deduction thank you letters.
Cultural Enrichment Chair/s:
Coordinates the Cultural Enrichment Program in collaboration with Douglas School teachers; develops ideas for developing the Cultural Enrichment Program.
Douglas Digest Chair/s:
Edits, publishes, and distributes the Douglas Digest to each family in Douglas School.
Faculty Representative/s (Voluntary):
Serves as a liaison between the Faculty and the PTO. Not part of quorum.
Gardening Committee Chair/s:
Maintains lobby plants and outdoor gardens, provides flowers/plant for Veterans Day and Memorial Day speakers, and coordinates outdoor projects on Senior Service Day.
Health and Safety/Health Advisory Council Representative:
Considers health issues in the school and works with the nurse and principal to address concerns.
Hospitality Committee Chair/s:
Arranges for refreshments for parent attended functions and school activities as appropriate.
Interschool Council Representative/s:
Serve on Interschool Council chaired by Superintendent of Schools, which includes representatives from all Acton-Boxborough schools and other community organizations. The Interschool Council meets several times a year to discuss a variety of school issues. The Representative will report findings to PTO Co-chairs.
Playground Committee Chair/s:
Reviews playground equipment needs each year; responsible for playground budget.
PTO School Committee Liaison:
Attends Acton Public School Committee meetings and reports back to PTO Co-chairs.
Snack Program Chair/s:
Oversees operation of snack program including communications to the Douglas Community regarding snack program donations and offerings.
Technology Secretary/ies:
Maintains and respects the confidentiality of the Douglas School parent email list; distributes Weekly News Emails and “Timely Messages” as requested and approved by the Co-chairs and Principal.
Volunteer Committee Chair/s
Coordinates volunteers for ongoing PTO activities and social functions which support our schools; helps fill vacant positions throughout year and at end of year; continuously checks in on committees before their events regarding their volunteer needs. Reports back to the PTO chairs as needed.
PTO Website Webmaster/s
Maintains PTO website. Works with PTO Co-chairs to modify existing pages or create new pages as needed to highlight upcoming events and provide communications to Douglas community.

C. Voting

Section 1.
Quorum for PTO General Meetings: all PTO members who attend PTO General Meetings may vote upon decisions that are put before them. A quorum for PTO General Meetings will consist of 50% of designated PTO Board Members, where each Board Officer counts as one vote, and all other board titles count as one vote (for example, only one board title co-chair is required), and at least two members at large. The voluntary Faculty Board position does not count towards a required quorum. A quorum must be met to validate any vote before the Membership. (Article 5 Section 1 outlines which board members are part of a quorum and voluntary.)
Section 2.
Quorum for PTO Board: all PTO Board members may vote upon decisions that are put before them. A quorum for the PTO Board will consist of 50% of the Board Members, exclusive of the Principal, for both voting at Board Meetings and Email voting. A quorum must be met to validate any vote before the Board. Voting may be taken by email roll call when necessary.
Section 3.
All motions shall be adopted by a simple majority of those present and voting. One exception regarding Quorum for PTO General Meetings: a 2/3 vote is required for motions to change bylaws. See Article X.

Article VI: Elections and Terms of Office

Section 1. Nominating Process

A. The Volunteer Committee Chair shall propose all nominations for open positions, and subsequently send Board Officers and Board Members a nominating form allowing individuals to nominate themselves or others.
B. The Co-Chairpersons, Treasurer, Secretary or any Board Member shall serve up to a two year term. If there are no nominations for a particular position, the current Board Officer or Member may continue for an additional year.
C. Only those who have consented to serve may be eligible for nomination.
D. A vacancy occurring in any board position prior to the expiration of their term shall be filled for the unexpired term by a volunteer, by a vote with a quorum met and rule carried by a simple majority of the remaining members.

Article VII: General PTO Membership Meetings

Section 1.
The PTO shall meet at least every other month at Douglas School, unless otherwise arranged by the Board. All PTO members are invited to attend.
Section 2.
Any changes in established meeting dates will be presented to the membership with 1 week notice.
Section 3.
Special PTO meetings may be called as required by the Chair.
Section 4.
A calendar of PTO activities shall be published annually on the Douglas PTO web site at the beginning of each school year.

Article VIII: Finances

Section 1.
The fiscal year of the Douglas PTO shall begin September 1st and end August 31st.
Section 2.
If an emergency should arise between Douglas PTO meetings, a majority of Board Officers may authorize expenditures up to and including $200.
Section 3.
If an emergency or non-budgeted item should arise between Douglas PTO meetings of more than $200 and less than $1000, a vote by the Board Members, where a quorum is met and rule carried by a simple majority, is required for approval.
Section 4.
Any new expenditure by a subcommittee of the Douglas PTO that is greater than $500, and internal to that sub-committee’s budget, must be approved by a simple majority of the Board.
Section 5.
If an expense within a budgeted item or non-budgeted item over $1000 is brought forth between Douglas PTO meetings by the PTO Chairs or subcommittee chairs, and cannot wait until the next General meeting, the PTO Co-Chairs must call an emergency meeting that meets requirements of the Quorum for General PTO Meetings (see Article V, Section C), make a presentation, and vote with rule carried by simple majority. Otherwise, these expenses must be presented at the next General Meeting, where a quorum is met and rule carried by a simple majority.
Section 6.
Once a budget item has been voted upon by the Douglas PTO, the proceeds must be spent for the express purpose for which it was intended, as the motion was presented. Any unused funds must be returned on or before the end of hte fiscal year, August 31st, to the Douglas PTO general fund. Notification of intent to use the funds in a particular way should be presented to the Douglas PTO no later than the last Douglas PTO general meeting of the fiscal year.
Section 7.
If a committee determines the need to reallocate unused funds for a purpose other than that which was voted upon by the Douglas PTO, the funds must first be returned to the Douglas PTO general fund. The committee would then make a presentation to the general membership of the Douglas PTO followed by a motion and a vote, where a quorum is met and rule is carried by a simple majority.
Section 8.
The monies gifted to the local school district for funding of direct services to students at Douglas School are to be used that school year. If the funds are not used in that academic year, they are to be credited to the Douglas PTO general fund.

Article IX: Dissolution

In the event the PTO should be dissolved, all assets will be given to Douglas School to be used to enhance the educational experience of the students at the discretion of the Principal in consultation with one PTO Board memeber, one School Council member, and one parent selected by the Principal.

Article X: Amendments

Section 1.
These by-laws may be amended at any regular general meeting of the Douglas PTO with a quorum met and by a 2/3 vote of the members present, provided that notice of the proposed amendment and a copy of the proposed change shall have been distributed to the general membership at least two weeks prior to the general meeting.
Section 2.
The PTO Co-Chairs should review the bylaws each year, and may form a subcommittee to submit revisions when needed. The subcommittee should include a minimum of five members, including both current PTO Co-chairs, Douglas School parents, and/or Douglas PTO Board Members. The requirements for the adoptions of a revised set of bylaws shall be the same as in the case of an amendment.

This is a complete and accurate copy of the original document which was approved and adopted by our membership on May 1, 1990, revised in June 1994, revised on June 14, 1995, revised on October 9, 1996, revised on June 14, 2004, revised on May 8, 2012, and revised on June 3, 2014.


Download a PDF of the Bylaws