Last Updated: Susan Giulietti, Kendra Wilson, Ashley Cook – Voted by Membership May 2022

                                                                     Charter of the Carolyn T. Douglas Elementary School
                                                                                             Parent Teacher Organization
                                                                                       73 Spruce 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):

  • Assistant Treasurer/s/ coordinator
  • Back to School Coordinator/s
  • Catering Coordinator/s (formerly Hospitality Chair)
  • Community Building Coordinator/s
  • Cultural Enrichment Coordinator/s
  • Inclusion Coordinator/s
  • Faculty Representative (Voluntary, not quorum)
  • Outdoor Activities Coordinator/s (formerly Gardening Committee Chair/s & Playground)
  • Marketing/Publicity Coordinator/s
  • Technology Secretary/ies
  • Volunteer Coordinator Coordinator/s
  • Webmaster/s (PTO Website)
  • Year End Coordinator/s

Section 2. Job Description and Duties

  1. 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, and 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. Co-Chairpersons will represent the Douglas PTO at events of district Joint PTO.


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. Secretary will email the webmaster with minutes to be uploaded to the PTO website after each General Meeting.

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.

  1. Board Members

It is expected that all Board Members will make timely reports, as appropriate, to the Douglas PTO Co-chairs, and regularly attend Douglas PTO Board and General meetings with active participation through the school year. 

Assistant Treasurer:

Collects and deposits receipts from fundraisers; produces Direct Solicitation tax deduction thank you letters.

Back to School Coordinator/s:

The Back to School Coordinator/s will be tasked to oversee PTO participation in activities related to back to school, including aligning volunteers to facilitate the events. These activities may include but are not limited to: Newcomer Orientation, Kindergarten Orientation, Kindergarten Screening, 1st Day of School decorations, Yahoo-Boohoo event, Picture Day and the Douglas Directory. The coordinators will collaborate with Douglas Principal/Office Staff and communicate with Coordinators/volunteers about these events and any additional back to school needs. Additionally, the back to school coordinator will represent and/or coordinate representatives at the back-to-school events. Throughout the year, the Back to School Coordinator/s will reach out to new Douglas families with a welcome email, connecting families to the many Douglas resources available to ease the transition.

Catering Coordinator/s:

Arranges catering for PTO Board, parent-attended functions and school events/activities by identifying volunteers as needed. Oversee Coordinator(s) for Fall and Spring Staff Appreciation events.

Community Building Coordinator/s: In an attempt to emphasize joy, value, bravery, wonder and pride, the Chair/s will help facilitate the planning of events to engage the community, through Coordinators/volunteers. These activities may include but are not limited to: Douglas Day, ice cream socials, community picnics, nature walks, talent shows, trunk or treat, etc. The Coordinator/s will be responsible for outreach to the community to assess interest and gather ideas for new activities to foster a sense of community for families.


Classroom & Cultural Enrichment/s: Coordinates classroom cultural enrichment for each of the grades in collaboration with teachers and staff. Research and identify external vendors to deliver engaging classroom enrichment for our students.


Inclusion Coordinator/s:

The Inclusion Coordinator/s will help to foster a sense of belonging within the Douglas community through various activities and events. These activities may include but are not limited to: Veteran’s Day, Cultural Enrichment, International Representatives and Festival of Cultures. The Coordinator/s will collaborate with Douglas Principal/Office Staff and communicate with Coordinators/volunteers about these events and any additional DEI needs.


Faculty Representative/s (Voluntary):

Serves as a liaison between the Faculty and the PTO. Not part of quorum.

Outdoor Activity Coordinator/s: (proposed to combine Gardening and Playground)

Reviews playground equipment needs each year; responsible for playground budget. Liaise with Physical Education Teacher as needed. Maintains lobby plants and outdoor gardens, provides flowers/plants for Veterans Day and Memorial Day speakers, and coordinates outdoor projects on Senior Service Day. The Outdoor Activity Coordinator/s will identify and communicate with coordinators/volunteers about planned events and any additional gardening needs.


    Marketing and Publicity Coordinator/s:
Oversees social media presence on Douglas Facebook page and associated media outlets that are agreed upon by the Board. Creates timely reminders of school/community events, approves new members to the social media pages, and coordinates with Co-Chairpersons and Activity Chairs to identify schedules for media posts and reminders.


Technology Secretary/ies:

Maintains and respects the confidentiality of the Douglas School parent email list; distributes Eagle Eye Weekly News Emails and “Timely Messages” as requested and approved by the Co-chairs and Principal.

Volunteer Coordinator/s:
Oversees the dissemination of the Volunteer Survey at the beginning of each school year. Collates data from the survey to identify volunteer opportunities and keeps the survey up to date with new submissions and documenting volunteer placements. Pushes the survey as needed throughout the school year. Connects with volunteers for Chairs, Room Parents, ongoing PTO activities and social functions which support our school; helps fill vacant positions throughout year and at the end of year; proactively checks in on committees before their events regarding their volunteer needs. Acts as Lead for Room Parent, facilitating communication between teacher/parents, including developing templates and timelines. Sends out the Event/Budget Feedback survey post-events. 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/forms as needed to highlight upcoming events and provide communications to the Douglas community. Troubleshoots as necessary.

Year End Coordinator/s:
Oversees the events/Coordinators/volunteers that are planned at the close of the academic year. This includes, but is not limited to: Canobie Lake Park Day, a local sport team “Douglas night,”, 6th grade Graduation reception and the 6th grade Yearbook. The coordinator will connect volunteers to the events and have regular communication to assess needs and planning for these community events. 

  1. 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: Terms of Office

  1. The Co-Chairpersons shall 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.
    B. The Treasurer, Secretary or any Board Member shall serve up to a two-year term. If there is no interest for a particular position after the second year, the current Board Officer or Member may continue for an additional year.
    C. 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 4-5 times per school year at Douglas School, unless otherwise arranged by the Board. All PTO members are invited to attend.


Section 2.

The schedule of General Meetings for the school year shall be published prior to the first General Meeting each academic year. 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 website 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 the 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 the Board 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.
Per School Committee policy, no PTO funds may be used to pay for school staff. 

Section 9.
Per School Committee policy, donations valuing between $500 and $1000 of capital items, technology, library books or materials, enrichment program materials, guest speakers, curriculum materials, programs or other essential or beneficial items that are standard use for school buildings must first be considered by the Principal and/or Superintendent. Donations valued over $1000 must be approved by the School Committee.

Section 10.
Per School Committee policy, fundraisers must be pre-approved by the Principal and the Superintendent using district-supplied form. Effective September 1, 2022, PTO-led fundraising and solicitations during the school day are prohibited.

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 member, 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, revised on June 3, 2014 and revised on May 25, 2022.