Bylaws

Marsh Grammar School Parent-Teacher Organization       

Original Bylaws (1989) ~ Revised 2012

Article I: Name and Location

The name of this organization is the Marsh Grammar School Parent-Teacher Organization, hereinafter referred to as the Marsh PTO. The Marsh PTO is located in the City of Methuen, Essex County, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Article II: Purpose

The mission of the Marsh PTO is to support the academic, emotional, social, and physical development of students and to enhance the teaching and learning environment at Marsh Grammar School by: 

  1. Fostering open communication and effective collaboration between parents/guardians, teachers, administrators and support staff.
  2. Recruiting, equipping, and supporting parent/guardian and community volunteers for school and Marsh PTO activities.
  3. Raising funds and donations of goods and services from the wider community to support this mission.
  4. The Marsh PTO shall seek to improve the quality of education for all students at Marsh Grammar School.
  5. The Marsh PTO shall encourage the involvement of all parents/guardians and teachers of Marsh Grammar School students without regard to race, color, national origin, citizenship, gender, religion, economic status, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status.

Article III: Basic Policies

  1. The Marsh PTO shall not engage in any activities that are counter to Marsh Grammar School or Methuen School District policies or procedures.
  2. The Marsh PTO shall be non-commercial, non-sectarian, and non-partisan.
  3. Neither the name of the Marsh PTO nor the names of any of its members in their official capacities shall be used in conjunction with a commercial concern or with any partisan interest or for any purpose not appropriately related to the promotion of the purpose of the Marsh PTO.
  4. This organization shall not seek to direct the administrative activities of the school or to control its policies.
  5. No part of the net earnings of the Marsh PTO shall be used for the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the Marsh PTO shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions. That the Marsh PTO executive Board may allow, upon vote, memorial distributions to a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt organization, or certain other memorial funds, not to exceed $100.00.
  6. No part of the activities of the Marsh PTO shall promote propaganda or otherwise attempt to influence legislation [except as otherwise provided by Internal Revenue Code section 501 (h)] or participate in or intervene in [including the publication or distribution of statements] any political campaign on behalf of any candidates for public office. It is intended that the Marsh PTO shall be entitled to exemption from Federal Income Tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal revenue Code and shall not be a private foundation under Section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  7. “The Marsh PTO shall keep records of all public meetings and finances. These may, but are not required to be published on the website, if any is in current existence.”
  8. No Officer or Director shall receive any pay for their duties.
  9. Notwithstanding any other provisions, the Marsh PTO is organized exclusively for charitable and educational Purposes and shall not carry on any activities not permitted to be carried on by an organization exempt from Federal Income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.

Article IV: Membership and Dues

Membership to the Marsh PTO shall be those persons who:  Are the parents/guardians of a child enrolled at Marsh Grammar School.  AND/OR Are a member of the staff at Marsh Grammar School. There are no dues.

Article V: Meetings

Section 1. At least five General meetings of the Marsh PTO shall be held during the year.

The schedule for these meetings shall be presented by the Executive Board at the first General meeting and made available to Marsh PTO Members.

A written notice of the meeting time and location will be given to Marsh PTO members at least 5 days before a General meeting.

Members present at a general meeting shall constitute a quorum. No absentee ballots may be cast for any vote.

Binding commitments of resources of the PTO (financial or service) shall be presented and voted on at a general meeting, except as otherwise provided in Article VII, and shall be approved by a majority vote of members present.

Section 2.  The Executive Board will meet at least 5 times during the year and when deemed necessary by the President(s) or a majority of its members.

Executive Board meetings are restricted to Executive Board Members and Committee Chairs. The June Executive Board meeting shall be open to all newly elected officers in addition to current officers. The July Executive Board meeting reverts to the restrictions as stated above. Voting at executive Board meetings is restricted to Executive Board members, pursuant to Article VI below.  A majority of the Executive Board members shall constitute a quorum.

Minutes of all Executive Board meetings shall be recorded by the Recording Secretary, distributed to Executive Board members and made available upon request to Marsh PTO members.

Section 3. Special meetings of the Marsh PTO may be called by the Executive Board or by written request of 25 Marsh PTO members.

Article VI: Officers and the Executive Board and Their Elections

Section 1. The Marsh PTO’s Officers are President, Vice-President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Events Coordinator and Treasurer. 

Only members of the Marsh PTO shall hold these offices.

The Executive Board is comprised of the Marsh PTO officers, one School Principal (Either the Supervising Principal or one of the Associate Principals) and two Teacher Representatives (one from the upper and one from the lower school).Two teachers may also jointly hold their position and again only one vote is allowed. Teacher Representatives for Lower School (K-4) and for Upper School (5-8) will be nominated annually by their peers and approved by the faculty to act as liaisons between the Marsh PTO and the faculty.

Two people may jointly hold all offices except Treasurer and President.  Only one vote is allowed for office positions held by more than one person.

No person shall hold more than one position on the board.

Each officer is elected for a term of two years.  Each year is defined as beginning on July 1 and ending June 30.  The election year of the President, Corresponding Secretary and Events Coordinator A shall occur in May of odd numbered years.  The election of Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary and Events Coordinator B shall occur in May of even numbered years. Provided however, that in the May 2017 election, the Board will appoint a Vice President to service a one year term, which will constitute a full term. An individual may not serve in the same office for more than two consecutive full terms.  Teacher representatives shall be nominated by their colleagues for a 2 year term in an even year.

Article VII: Officer’s Duties

The duties of the Executive Board shall be to:

·         Schedule and announce at least five General and five Executive meetings of the Marsh PTO.

·         Prepare and submit for adoption an annual budget to the Marsh PTO.

·         Authorize the expenditures that have been budgeted by the Marsh PTO.

 ·         Transact necessary business during the intervals between General or Executive meetings, and any business that may be assigned to it by the
      Marsh PTO.

·         Recruit and appoint chairpersons of the Standing and Special Committees. 

·         Help recruit volunteers for committees, events, and fundraising events.

·         Review the work plans of committees.

·         Receive resignations from persons serving in any position within the organization.

·         Perform or delegate duties related to public relations and the media.

·         Send cards and/or flowers for Congratulations, Get Well, and Sympathy etc. as deemed necessary by the Board. Have authority to spend up to and including, $50.00 on same without the requirement of a Board cote. Provided however, that notification be sent to the Board members and the Treasurer provides his/her approval to each spending and notifies the Board of his/her approval or disallowance. In the event of a disallowance, the matter will be put to vote by the Board.

·        Approve miscellaneous expenditures or advance funds up to $750.00 for activities and fundraising events that is not on the approved budget
     with a majority vote of the Executive Board. Staff Members must present request through appointed principal first.

·         Delegate responsibilities to officers and committee chairpersons as needed.

Section 1. The duties of the President(s) shall be to:

·         Chair all general and Executive Board meetings and prepare agendas for these meetings.

·         Meet regularly with the school principal to discuss school-wide issues and concerns.

·         Ensure that officers and committees perform their respective duties.

·         Ensure that the Executive Board fulfills its duties in a timely way.

·         Sign checks in the absence of the Treasurer.

·         Perform other duties as assigned through the Executive Board.

·         Disseminate pertinent information to the website coordinator.

Section 2. The duties of the Vice President(s) shall be to:

   ·         Perform all duties of the President(s) when the President(s) are unavailable.

   ·         Coordinate the work of committees to ensure that they are properly organized.

   ·         Perform other duties as assigned through the Executive Board.

   ·         Coordinate all fundraising for the PTO-fall fundraiser, spring fundraiser (if needed) all fundraising ideas comments and concerns.

Section 3. The duties of the Recording Secretary(s) shall be to:

·         Record and have available for distribution the minutes of all general PTO meetings. A summary of the minutes will be submitted for translation, as      appropriate.

·         Record and submit minutes of all Executive Board meetings to PTO Executive Board members.

·         Keep record of the attendance for each meeting and a roll of officers and committees.

·         Work in conjunction with the Corresponding Secretary.

·         Perform other duties as assigned through the Executive Board.

Section 4.  The duties of the Corresponding Secretary shall be to:

·         Maintain a central computer for information pertaining to Marsh PTO at a designated location in the school.

·         Maintain the data in PTO manager including volunteer hours.

·         Secure building use for all PTO events

·         Ensure that appropriate appreciation is expressed for the work of committee chairpersons, volunteers and teachers.

·         Send cards and/or flowers for Congratulations, Get Well, Sympathy etc. as deemed necessary by the Board.

·         Work in conjunction with the Recording Secretary.

·         Perform other duties as assigned through the Executive Board.

Section 5. The duties of the Treasurer shall be to:

·         Keep and report the accounting of the Marsh PTO.

·         Secure the funds and financial records of the Marsh PTO.

·         Keep accurate records of membership and dues and issue Membership Cards.

·         Collect funds from PTO events and all other revenue sources.

·         Write and sign all checks for disbursements as authorized by the Marsh PTO in accordance with its budget.

·         Provide a summary report, including beginning and ending balances, at each meeting.

·         Coordinate the preparation of all required state and federal filings.

Section 6.  The duties of the Events Coordinator shall be to:

·         Recruit chairs and volunteers for all PTO events

·         Supply chairpersons with appropriate checklist to run each event

·         Supply Corresponding Secretary with list of volunteers and hours

·         Set event dates for the school calendar year before the first general meeting

·         Supervise the formation of all fundraising committees.

·         Appoint chairperson(s) for each committee.

·         Review and present all fundraising plans for approval by the Executive Board.

·         Gather and present reports and information as needed by the Treasurer and Secretaries.

Section7.  The duties of the Teacher Liaison(s) shall be to:

    ·         Communicate events to the staff at monthly staff meetings

    ·         Participate in events run by PTO 

Article IX: Committees

Standing (formed each year) and Special Committees may be created with the approval of the Executive Board.  Each Standing or Special Committees shall have one or two Chairpersons appointed by the Executive Board.

 Each chairperson is responsible for the following duties: 

·        Submit a work plan to the Executive Board.                  

·        Assist with the recruitment of committee members. 

·        Coordinate the work of the committee that he/she chairs.     

·        Provide a summary of progress for Executive Board meetings.    

·        Provide a written report to the Secretary following the completion of the committee’s task(s).  

·        Handle money and expenditures in accordance with the Treasurer’s guidelines.    

·        Express appreciation to volunteers and students who participate in the work of the committee.                           

·        Provide information to the Parent Liaison for the school’s calendar/newsletter.

Standing Committees consist of the Nominating Committee, Scholarship Committee, School Store and Website Coordinator.  These standing committees are an integral part of the Marsh PTO activities.  A chairperson(s) shall be appointed by the Executive Board. 

Nominating Committee

·         The Nominating Committee shall consist of at least two parent/guardian members of the Marsh PTO who are not currently serving as officers
      and one school principal.  They shall be nominated by the Executive Board and elected by simple majority vote of the members present during a
      regular meeting but no later than March 31st. 

·         The Nominating Committee shall send a detailed description of each officer’s position and forms to indicate interest in a particular office to all
     Marsh PTO parent/guardian members at least 30 days prior to a scheduled election. The Nominating Committee will work with interested members
     to ensure that they are candidates for each office and will take additional measures to recruit candidates to share offices and fill vacant offices
     as necessary.

·         The nominating committee shall make a proposed slate of officers no later than two weeks before the May meeting.

·         Officers shall be elected by written ballot at the last regular meeting (May) of the school year.  However if there is but one candidate for any
     office by motion from the floor the election may be held by hand.  Officers shall be elected by simple majority vote of the members present
     during a regular meeting. Contested elections will be held by secret ballot.

·         In the event that an office is vacated mid-term, the executive board will have the ability to appoint a new officer. A current officer may be
     appointed for the vacated office, but he/she must submit a resignation for his/her current office, which would become effective only upon
     election to the new office.

·         A vacancy in the office of President the Vice President will automatically assume the role of President.

Scholarship Committee

The Marsh PTO will award at least one annual scholarship to an outstanding, graduating senior, Marsh School Alumni.  The criteria for this scholarship will be decided upon by the Scholarship Committee and may differ annually.  The Executive Board will set the dollar amount of the scholarship(s) given.

The Scholarship Committee shall consist of the Chairperson (appointed by the Executive Board), a faculty member and a PTO member.  The PTO President and one School Principal are advisory members of the Scholarship Committee.

Scholarship committee will be appointed yearly be the executive board. 

Scholarship recipient names will be given to the President or school principal prior to the school graduation and the names shall remain anonymous until awards are given in June.

School Store Advisor

·         Recruit volunteers.

·         Approve the purchase of supplies according to relevance and budget restrictions set by the Executive Board.

·         Schedule store hours as approved by the Administration.

·         Supervise the set up and break down of merchandise.

·         Collect all monies and keep accurate accounting records.

·         Gather and present reports and information as needed by the Treasurer and Secretaries.

Web Site Coordinator

The website coordinator will be appointed by the executive board yearly.

The duties of the Website coordinator shall be to ensure the Marsh PTO Website is up to date.  Information must include but not limited to:  Marsh PTO Bylaws, dates of meetings, current list of officers and contact information, scholarship information and application, and PTO membership application.

Publicity

·         Perform or delegate duties related to public relations and the media

·         Responsible for running off and distribution of all flyers pertaining to PTO events including monthly meetings.

·         Contacts newspapers, cable tv or any media source for the publicity of the PTO

·         Maintains the PTO bulleting board designated by the school

·         Takes pictures and submits all event pictures to the website coordinator.

Non-Profit Committee

The Non-Profit Committee shall consist of a Director and two other members at the discretion of the Director. This committee is for the purposes of obtaining and maintaining non-profit status. The initial duties of the Non-Profit Committee shall be to:

            a. Apply for and obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number for the Marsh School Parent Teacher Association.

            b. Prepare and file Articles of Incorporation with the Massachusetts Secretary of State.

            c. Prepare and file Form 1023 with the Internal Revenue Service to obtain 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.

            d. Register with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Division of Public Charities at the Attorney General’s Office.

            e. Apply for Federal tax Exemptions. Upon receipt of determination letter from the IRS, apply for Massachusetts state income and sales tax exemptions.

            f. Coordinate with Board members regarding updating liability insurance. The annual duties of the Non-Profit Committee shall be to:

            a. File timely annual reports with the Secretary of State.   

            b. File timely annual Federal income tax returns.

            c. File any other required filings in a timely fashion.”

Provided however, that should the Non-Profit Committee require assistance and permission to perform any or all of the above duties, they shall request assistance from the Board to find volunteers and/or hire professionals to meet the above duties.

Special Committees

Special Committees may include but are not limited to:  Fall Festival, Fall Fundraiser, Holiday Shopping, Bake Sale, Pasta Dinner, Cultural Council, Ice Cream Social, Movie Night, Fun Day, Teacher Appreciation Week, 20+ Book Club, Santa Parade, Festival of Trees.

Special committees are dissolved at the conclusion of the event.

Article X: Adoption, Amendments, Review, Dissolution

Section 1. Public notification of the proposed bylaw amendments and the planned date of the ratification vote should be made at least 28 days prior to the vote. This notification shall be in writing to the entire Marsh PTO membership. During this 28-day period, the proposed bylaw amendments shall be available on the school web site, and copies shall be made available through the school office to Marsh PTO members.

Section 2. The proposed bylaws or amendments will be ratified when approved by a 2/3 vote of a general or special meeting, provided the conditions of Section 1 of this article have been met.

Section 3. Current copies of these bylaws shall be kept on the Marsh Grammar School web site and on file at the Marsh Grammar School Main Office and be made available upon request to the general public.

Section 4. The Executive Board shall review these bylaws annually.  Any member of the PTO may propose bylaw changes to the Executive Board.  Proposed changes shall follow the guidelines set forth in Article X.  When deemed necessary, the Executive Board shall appoint a bylaw review committee.

The Bylaws Committee shall consist of at least two parents and one faculty member.

Section 5. The Marsh PTO may be dissolved with a 2/3 vote of a special meeting called for such a purpose. At least two weeks notice of the special meeting and its purpose shall be given to the entire Marsh PTO membership.

Article XI.  Robert’s Rules of Order are the default procedures for this organization.