The Newsletter for PTA leaders in San Diego and Imperial Counties

October 2023

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PTA News

A Message from our President

PTA volunteering - What’s in it for me?

I recently met with a PTA that is working on operating as a team now that their PTA year has started with all new officers. They are also re-evaluating their programs to be sure they are fulfilling the mission of the PTA - positively impact the lives of all children and families. We talked about strategies to have more teachers join the PTA, and one of them questioned “benefits” they could offer, to entice them to be members. 

Ideally, people just want to join because PTA is the largest children’s advocacy organization in the country, turning 127 years old in February 2024! Individual PTA members benefit from connecting with what’s happening in their schools, participating in valuable programs, joining others to advocate for change, and demonstrating their commitment to public education. If that isn’t enough, PTA Member Perks make joining PTA an even greater value. California State PTA has some perks available here. The unit and council PTA can also contact local businesses to create their own Member Perks.  

Beyond these tangible benefits for PTA members, there are many more benefits to being a PTA Leader. If you count your payment in smiles and thank yous, then you won’t look at volunteering as being something you don’t get paid for. If you don’t feel that you are getting paid enough, then perhaps you need to reframe your expectations. If you approach each task with our mission in mind - to positively impact the lives of children and families - it might make it easier to see the value in the time and talent you bring to volunteering. I also have to remind myself of this, and to remember that volunteering can be good for you!  Feel free to send me a message about how much you receive for volunteering - I’d love to hear from you.

Shawna Straw


Ninth District PTA

Running Your PTA



We are looking to schedule regional trainings across the county. If you have a facility we can use, please let us know.


Check out our YouTube Channel for PTA training webinars

Don’t forget to subscribe to help us grow!

Please contact Anne Emfinger, Leadership Director for questions


Important Treasurer Reminders

Insurance Renewal:

The AIM Insurance renewal portal has gone live. Instructions and the link to pay have been shared with Council and Out of Council Treasurers and Presidents. Payment is due (received, not postmarked) by December 20th, 2023. After that date, late fees will apply. Additionally, if you have any facility reservations with your districts, or insurance-contingent plans, in the early part of the new year, make sure you upload the new document as soon as you receive it to avoid any disappointment on approved events.


Tax Season is upon us and the deadline for those with a July-June fiscal year is November 15, 2023. I am available for tax filing appointments starting this week and running through early November. Please complete this Google Form to register. Please note, these appointments are only for units whose gross receipts fall under the $50k threshold for filing the 990N and 199N electronic postcards. If your organization is required to complete the long-form 990 or

990EZ, you are strongly encouraged to hire a CPA in your area. This is a fully justifiable PTA expense. Don't delay, file your taxes by November 15th to avoid delinquencies and potential penalties.

Questions? please contact Steph Cole, Treasurer

Financial Reviews (formerly known as audits)

So many of you are probably wondering, why the change from audit to financial review. Well without getting too technical the people in our PTAs that perform our reviews are typically not licensed financial auditors and our reviews do not meet the requirements of an independent audit. Therefore, the term financial review is replacing the term audit. 

The purpose of our financial review is to verify PTA financial procedures are being followed and income/expenses are utilized for the purposes that were approved by the association. Our insurance also requires a financial review to be completed by a committee of at least two people. Here is a link to an article from the California State PTA that explains more about the financial reviews. Financial Reviews

I hope that your 2022-2023 Financial Reviewer and their committee have completed the year-end financial review for January 1, 2023- June 30, 2023. If not, your Executive Board will need to appoint a review committee to work with your current Financial Reviewer to complete the year-end review. (If you do not have an elected Financial Reviewer your Executive Board will need to appoint one.) If you need to create a committee, please read your bylaws regarding the criteria for a financial review committee.

Once complete, you will present the report to the Executive Board and your Association. Finally, the Financial Review Report, checklist, and recommendations should be uploaded to MyPTez or submitted to your council to be forwarded to Ninth District PTA (out-of-council units forward the report directly to Ninth District PTA). If you have difficulty uploading the report to MyPTez you may also send it to Deborah Childers at (I will be having my email address changed soon but it is auditor for now!)

I am working on scheduling a Financial Review workshop in the next month. Here is a link to a survey to help with selecting a date and time that will work best for most people. If you completed this survey before, you do not need to complete it again.

Finally, one helpful tip that will help you have a successful financial review is each month during your executive board meeting, review the monthly bank statement and verify the reconciliation your treasurer has completed. The bank statement is to be signed and verified monthly by a non-check signer, and if you verify each month during your meetings, your financial review will be one step closer to being completed. Below you will find a link to financial review forms that are fillable PDFs and some suggestions for completing a financial review.

Financial Review forms - Financial Review Guidelines


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 


Preparing for a Meeting

Some items to have at every meeting

 Bylaws and Standing Rules

 Current agenda

 Minutes from the previous meeting

 Most current membership list – remember the secretary is the keeper of the

official list to ensure only members vote

 List of officers, committee chairs and committee members

 Motion blanks

o See example below

 Paper for voting by ballot

 Current issue of Robert’s Rules of Order – 12th Edition

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


Historian Information

Fall is one of the busiest times of the year for PTA, with board meetings, association meetings, membership drives, and events which means a lot of volunteer hours are accumulating. Council Presidents/Historians please remind your Units of the importance of collecting those hours. Remember if you do not already have a Historian on your board, it is important that the President collect those volunteer hours. You should be collecting those hours every month.  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.


Register here for the upcoming Zoom Training on the Power of Local Advocacy

For more information, please contact Helen Crenshaw at


For more information about Reflections, please contact Mary Patterson at

Grant Opportunities

Updates to Ninth District PTA Office Hours

Please note the Ninth District PTA office is now open by appointment only. Please call, text or email to schedule an appointment.

Ninth District PTA

San Diego Office of Education

6401, Linda Vista Rd., Annex A

San Diego, CA 92111

Office: (858) 268-8077



Save the Date for Parliamentarian Training! Join Ninth District PTA Parliamentarian Bruce Bergman on November 6th at 6pm via Zoom

Ninth District PTA Parliamentarian training is for Unit Parliamentarians and Presidents (if Out of Council).

This training will cover:

- Basic responsibilities of the unit parliamentarian

- How you can help your unit officers and members

- Important unit dates/events for parliamentarians

- Managing the nominating committee process, and spring elections

- How to modify and submit bylaws for update

- General Q&A 

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


Communication is key to building our community! Here are some quick and easy ideas on how you can improve communication at your site.

  • Newsletters-Consider sending a newsletter once a month or once a week depending on what events are happening, this is a great way to share to your membership what you are doing and what events are coming soon. Allowing these to be translated for multiple languages can be helpful and inclusive for all families.
  • Website-a great resource to put information that your families need to know about. Consider adding information about your unit or council, adding a list of events, and resources can be helpful for families to stay in the loop. If possible, try adding a button to translate your information so it is accessible to all families.
  • Social Media-Instagram and Facebook are quick ways to reach your school community. With simple and fun graphics you can engage and inform everyone about what fundraisers or events are current. One thing to consider is adding a linktree in your bio which provides a way to link all of your communication sites in one spot. Visit this link from California State PTA regarding Social Media guidelines.
  • Talking with parents at drop off or pick up-having the ability to talk one on one with families helps people get to know you and can be a positive way to encourage more people to volunteer. Next time you are waiting to pick up your student, say hi to someone you don't know, maybe you'll make a new friend or get a new volunteer!

Need more tips and tricks for communications, contact Ninth District Director of Communications Jemima Dutra at

Visit our Ninth District PTA linktree
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