The Newsletter for PTA leaders in San Diego and Imperial Counties

November-December 2023

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PTA News

A Message from our President

Happy Holidays!

There are many holidays in December, and many ways for PTA to participate! Don’t plan too much though, because there are not many school days!

You can start to prepare for 2024! Please mark your calendars for Ninth District PTA’s Annual Meeting and Founders Day celebration on February 28th. We will gather for breakfast and a meeting but for the first time since I have been involved with PTA, we will be at a new location! The registration information will be out in January, but please plan NOW for an exciting morning of food, inspiration and celebration!  

Are you curious about how California laws affect your child's education? Consider joining California State PTA for the annual Legislation Conference, held in Sacramento on January 22 & 23rd. The first year I went, I carried around the proposed California Budget in my bag for several months after, and would bring it out to show people how education is funded! You could be the life of the next PTA meeting! Please keep reading to use the link below to register.

We are inundated with requests to start PTAs at schools that do not have them. This is great for our organization, but the members at your PTA are just as important! Please continue to ASK people to join and either use Totem to sign them up, or forward the dues that the unit has collected in order to qualify for the various California State PTA membership challenges. Those members help our State PTA advocates speak up about those laws you could learn about at the Legislation conference!

I look forward to connecting with you in 2024!

Shawna Straw


Ninth District PTA

Congratulations to the following Units for receiving grant funding from National PTA!

Running Your PTA



Check out our YouTube Channel for PTA training webinars

Don’t forget to subscribe to help us grow! If you would like to schedule training for your Council, please let us know how we can help you.

Please contact Anne Emfinger, Leadership Director



Insurance/Worker's Comp Update: 

Reminder to pay your Insurance. Insurance premiums are paid directly to AIM. Your President or Treasurer should have received a link to pay this in October.

  • Insurance rate of $282 per unit for the policy year beginning January 5, 2024, and ending January 4, 2025. 
  • Workers’ Compensation surcharge rate of 5% for the policy year beginning January 5, 2024, and ending January 4, 2025.  

Workers' comp portal should go live on 12/15, all Units must submit the report even if they did not pay anyone.

Questions? please contact Steph Cole, Treasurer


Please remember to remit your manual membership dues monthly. Send your membership dues up the channels so all of your members are counted. Memberships paid directly to TOTEM do not need to be remitted.

If you need help, please reach out to your Council or contact Ninth District PTA Membership Director, Lori Fentress at

If you need membership supplies like envelopes, more membership cards, etc. you can contact the Ninth District PTA Office at 


CA State PTA’s Annual Legislation Conference is January 22-23. Please join us and learn more about what it means to be an advocate for all children. This two-day, jam-packed conference will help you learn more about current legislation, budget issues,and special interest areas from experts in the field. You will also have the opportunity to meet and speak with lawmakers and share your specific concerns.

For our Ninth District PTA attendees, we will host an orientation ZOOM on January 16 @ 6:30 with our local legislation team to help you prepare prior to the State PTA Conference. We will share information from our local advocates and team members on what you can expect from the conference, advice and tips from an experienced PTA volunteer and Assembly staffer on how to make the most of your meeting with legislators and review talking points. We will close with a basic Q & A. 

We are in the process of scheduling meetings with legislators and that schedule will be shared at the orientation.

Once you register, please reach out to us at so we can be sure to include you on the Ninth District PTA orientation ZOOM.


State registration is now open:

For more information, please contact Helen Crenshaw at

Save the Date for Birth of Brilliance Virtual Conference. For more information, please visit



All Art Entries moving forward from Council or Out-of-Council Units were due to Ninth District by December 1st. For more information about Reflections, please contact Mary Patterson at

Community Concerns

International Human Rights Day, December 10th 

Human Rights Day is observed every year on December 10th. It marks the day in 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to annually observe December 10 as Human Rights Day.

This year, Human Rights Day calls on everyone to stand up for someone’s rights! Many of us are fearful about the way the world is heading. Disrespect for basic human rights continues to be widespread across the globe. Extremist movements subject people to horrific violence. Messages of intolerance and hatred prey on our fears. Humane values are under attack. 

Friday C.A.F. E. (San Diego Chapter)       

 Zoom Meeting 

November 17, 2023

"The Poverty Simulation" - Building Staff Empathy for Families

Sandra Candler Wafer

Family and Community Engagement Supervisor

Cajon Valley Union School District



8:30-10:00 AM PDT 

VENUE: Via Zoom

Meeting ID: 271 180 6004


Recording of Unit Parliamentarian training on Nov 7: Due to a glitch in the Zoom recording, the video of the training was corrupted. However, a PDF of the slides from the presentation is available to those who would like such. Contact for information.

Nominating Committee election: Units must elect their nominating committee at least TWO MONTHS prior to their annual election meeting, according to their bylaws in Article V, Section 4. Especially read 4(c), which outlines how many members and alternates must be elected. The Parliamentarian may assist the nominating committee in following proper procedures.

Auditor vs. Financial Reviewer: The latest versions of the bylaws templates (eBylaws and fillable PDF's) now refer to the old Auditor role as the "Financial Reviewer," but the duties and responsibilities are the same. This is merely a name change, but units should be aware of the new terminology and use it going forward.

Fillable PDF's: Updated fillable PDF's for 2023 are available now for Units and Councils, including the Bilingual Spanish and English version. These are downloadable from the Parliamentarian section of the Ninth District website here: for units that do not wish to use eBylaws, or which need the Bilingual version.

When meetings collide: Reminder: a unit which has an Executive Board and General Association meeting occurring on the same day in the months in which they occur together, should be advised that for this to be legal, the Executive Board meeting must occur after the Association meeting. In other words, on that date, the Association meeting must be completed earlier in the day, and then the Executive Board meeting must occur after that. This is to ensure that Executive Board agenda items and business for the upcoming month cannot be brought into the previous month's scheduled Association meeting.

Please contact Ninth District PTA Parliamentarian, Bruce Bergman for questions at

Financial Secretary

Best Place to Store your PTA Documents

Storing PTA documents can be a challenge. Some schools give you a storage closet on campus. Other PTA leaders store their documents at home or on their personal computer. But sometimes those documents are hard to find, and the new board has to scramble to locate documents from prior years.

Did you know PTAs have a way to store documents online that will be available to board members forever! It’s called myPTEZ, and all PTAs can create a free account. Once you have an account, you can upload all your important documents and they will always be there for future board members. Plus, once the documents are uploaded, you don’t have to do the additional step of forwarding them to your PTA Council or District.

If your PTA is not already using myPTEZ to upload documents, contact Ninth District PTA office manager JoAnn Butler at , and she’ll help you sign up.

Laura Schumacher, Financial Secretary


What To Include in The Minutes

Whether the minutes are hand-written or produced on a laptop or device to take notes at a meeting, remember to include the following information: 

Meeting Details

  • Name of the PTA. 
  • Date, place and type of meeting. 
  • Start time and end time of meeting. 
  • Attendance list. 
  • Name and title of presiding officer. 
  • Approval of previous meeting’s minutes ‘as written’ or ‘as corrected’ with a list of corrections. 
  • Summary of treasurer’s report listing date and balance on hand in the last report, income, expenses and date and balance on hand in the current report. 
  • Motions to adopt budget, financial reports, financial review reports and resolutions. Note the name of the member who makes the motion. 
  • List of payments authorized or expenditures ratified to pay bills. 
  • Motions to approve projects, fundraisers, contracts and bylaws changes, noting person’s name making a motion and the votes result - adopted or defeated. It is not necessary to note the name of the member who seconds the motion.
  • For motions with a counted vote, record the number for and against the motion.
  • For motions requiring a two/thirds vote, record the number for and against the motion.

Summaries of Reports/Presentations

  • Summary of officer, chairmen and administrator reports with important, written reports attached. 
  • Election results with nominees’ names and the number of votes each nominee received in those cases of a balloted election.
  • Brief reference to program presented at an association meeting, noting type of presentation, presenter, title and organization represented. 

In addition, at the end of the minutes, add your signature and title: e.g. ‘Jane Doe, Secretary’. 


  • It’s always best to complete the minutes soon after a meeting. Send a copy to the president to review before distributing minutes to the group that generated them.
  • There are several ways to share minutes with your members. For a smaller group, such as a board, you can email the minutes for review before the next meeting. 
  • For association meetings, you can prepare hard copies of minutes as handouts or to post at a meeting. And, you can also publish minutes in a unit newsletter if it is sent only to PTA members. However, it’s important to keep in mind that PTA minutes are produced only for members and are not for public distribution. For this reason, they are not posted on any website, on social media or in a newsletter in their entirety. 
  • Instead, for association meetings, provide only a summary of the minutes online and in school newsletters that highlights the main actions taken at the meeting. 


  • Minutes are presented for approval at the next meeting of the group as a standard agenda item. This action is recorded in two, different places in the master copies of the minutes: 
  • Minutes of current meeting – Note that previous meeting’s minutes were approved ‘as written’ or ‘as corrected’ and list the corrections 
  • Minutes of previous meeting – Write the word ‘Approved’ and the date after your signature and title 
  • The president can also appoint a committee, ideally three people, to approve minutes during the term. This helps to save time at a meeting. 
  • When using this method to approve minutes, committee members must be present at the meeting to
  • Read the minutes on behalf of members
  • Report on corrections at the next meeting 
  • Sign and date approval of the minutes after secretary’s signature on the master copy of the minutes 


  • Corrections to minutes are made when they are presented for approval at a meeting. They can also be made at any subsequent meeting when an error is discovered. 
  • Only the group involved in the meeting – the board or the association – may correct minutes from one of their previous meetings. 
  • To record a correction in the master copy of the minutes, use a red ink pen to
  • Circle the incorrect words 
  • Write, in the margin, the correction, the date and your initials


Minutes are the legal, permanent records of a PTA as a nonprofit organization and are kept forever. At the end of the term, the master copy of the minutes, from board and association meetings, should be bound by sending minutes to be stitch bound at a print shop, gluing minutes into a bound notebook, or by digitally merging minutes and attachments into one file. All minutes must be passed on to your successor. 

Adapted from California State PTA Job Description for Secretary

Questions? Please contact Sue King, Ninth District PTA Secretary at


Historian Information

There is more information available on the Ninth District website about the Historian position along with links to forms for Historian Reports. 

Please contact Sonya Vargas, Ninth District Historian at for any questions or information.

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