INDEPENDENCE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PTO BYLAWS
ARTICLE I: NAME
Independence Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization
6255 New Independence Parkway
Winter Garden, FL 34787
Affirmation of Bylaws (See link for PDF version with officer signatures approved 11-10-21)
□ These bylaws were voted upon and approved at the general membership meeting of this PTO on __________________________________ (Date).
Signed: _____________________________________________________________________________________ (PTO President)
Please Print Name: ____________________________________________________________________________
Signed: _____________________________________________________________________________________ (PTO Secretary)
Please Print Name: ____________________________________________________________________________
***Must be signed and dated and a digital copy shared with members, easily accessible at all times.***
ARTICLE II: ARTICLES OF ORGANIZATION
The organization exists as an unincorporated organization of its members. In the absence of separate articles of organization, these bylaws shall be deemed to be the articles of organization. In the event of any conflict between these bylaws and the articles of association, these bylaws shall govern.
ARTICLE III: PURPOSES
Section 1: Objectives
The purpose or purposes (Objects) which the organization will pursue are:
a. to promote the welfare of children and youth in home, school, and throughout the community.
b. to bring closer the relationship of home and school so that parents and teachers may cooperate together in the education of our children
c. to enhance the educational facilities and opportunities for the students of Independence Elementary School which are not otherwise provided for in the school and district budgets.
d. to engage our families and community in united efforts to secure the physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being of all children enrolled at Independence Elementary School.
e. This organization shall neither seek to direct the administrative activities of the school nor control its policies.
f. This organization may make suggestions to the administration concerning activities of the school, if such suggestion is made toward the betterment of conditions for all concerned (i.e. students, teachers, administrators and families).
The purposes of the PTO are promoted through advocacy and education in collaboration with parents, families, teachers, staff, students, and the community; developed through conferences, committees, projects, and programs; and governed and qualified by the basic policies set forth in Article IV.
The organization is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, or scientific purposes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
ARTICLE IV: BASIC POLICIES
The following are basic policies of this organization.
The organization shall be noncommercial, nonsectarian and nonpartisan.
The Independence Elementary School PTO shall not participate in nor fund propaganda, nor otherwise attempt to influence legislation. The Independence Elementary School PTO shall not participate in, nor intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. At PTO meetings, issues directly related to the educational experience of the children of the Independence Elementary School and/or OCPS may be discussed, however, the Independence Elementary School PTO shall not take any official position nor encourage any specific action on the part of its members.
No part of the net earnings of the organization shall be distributable to its members, officers or other private persons except that the organization shall be allowed to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments in agreement with the organization’s objectives and approved budget.
The organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (i) by an organization exempt from Federal Income Tax under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170 (c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The association will be able to use a PTO debit/credit card issued to the PTO or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), for business purposes only. All charges must adhere to the budget adopted by the Organization. Any charges not approved by the budget, must be approved by the membership prior to the payment. A receipt or documented paper trail must be on file for every bank transaction.
An annual financial audit/review must be completed at the end of each fiscal year.
The annual IRS 990 must be filed by November 30th each year.
ARTICLE V: MEMBERS AND DUES
The following membership rules apply:
Membership in the PTO shall be made available to any parent, guardian, or other adult standing in loco parentis for a student at the school or any teacher or staff member employed at the school who subscribes to the objects and basic policies of the PTO, without regard to race, color, creed or national origin, under such rules and regulations not in conflict with these bylaws.
While general meetings will be open to any parent, guardian or staff member of IES, only members of the organization shall be eligible to participate in the business meetings, or to serve in any of its elective or appointive positions.
The organization shall conduct an annual enrollment of members, but persons may be admitted to membership at any time, expiring on June 30th of that school year.
Membership dues will be assessed at the discretion of the Executive Board and determined prior to the beginning of each school year. Dues may be, but are not limited to, registration forms, monetary fees, or volunteer hours (in lieu of fees).
For the purpose of annual enrollment the membership year shall be July 1 through June 30, coinciding with the fiscal year of the Organization.
No member or volunteer will give themselves any type of discount or take items for free unless it is approved by the Executive Board in advance of the event.
Any items, prizes, candy, food, etc. remaining after any PTO event will be the property of IES PTO. Remaining perishable items may be disbursed by present Executive Board members as deemed appropriate. No Executive Board members, committee chairs, or volunteers will independently distribute any non-perishable property of the PTO to other individuals or keep non-perishable PTO property for themselves. The PTO Executive Board will decide how any remaining non-perishable, tangible items will be dispersed after each event.
Revocation of membership may occur by a majority vote of the Executive Board Committee for corruption or any act that brings dishonor to the organization or negates the objectives of the organization. Removal shall take place after the Executive Board has met in an effort to discuss the problem and attempts have been made to resolve the problem. Removal shall be done by a majority vote of the Executive Board Committee. No Executive Board member has the right to change any decision that the Executive Board Committee members have made. If an Executive Board member intentionally does not follow through with the decision of the Executive Board, it will result in removal from the Executive Board.
ARTICLE VI: OFFICERS AND THEIR ELECTION
Each officer of this PTO will be a current member (see Article 5, section 4).
Section 2: Officers and their election
The required officers of this organization shall consist of a president, a secretary, and a treasurer. Additional officers may include a vice president and parent/teacher liaison.
Officers shall be elected by ballot annually in the month of May. However, if there is only one nominee for any office, election for that office will be held by voice vote. A majority vote shall elect.
With the exception of the treasurer, officers shall assume their official duties following the end of the school year and shall serve for a term of one year, with no limit on the number of consecutive years one may be elected to her/his position. The treasurer shall assume all duties after the books have been audited. The audit is to be completed between the end of the school year and July 1, which is the end of the fiscal year.
Section 3: Nominating Committee
A nominating committee will be appointed by the executive board in the month of April. This committee will be composed of one current officer and 2 or 4 additional members. The current officer will act as the temporary committee chair until the committee elects its own chair.
The nominating committee shall nominate one person for each office to be filled. The committee chair will share its nominees with the general membership, no later than 2 weeks before the election meeting in May. Additional nominees may be made from the floor during the May election meeting. Nominees must be current members of the organization.
Only those persons who have consented to serve if elected shall be nominated for or elected to such office.
Members of the nominating committee may be elected to office.
Section 4: Vacancies
A vacancy occurring in the office of president shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by the vice president. A vacancy occurring in any other office shall be filled for the unexpired term by a person elected by a majority vote of the executive board on which they shall serve. Notice of such election must be shared with the current membership.
Section 5: Voting Rights
In order to vote in the budget approval process, annual election of officers, or amendment changes, members must have fulfilled the current membership obligations (see Article V, Section 4) more than 30 days prior to the election.
ARTICLE VII: DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Section 1: President
The president shall preside at all meetings of the organization and the executive board at which the president may be present; will serve as the primary contact for the Principal/Administration, represent the organization at meetings outside of the organization, and coordinate the work of all officers. The president will conduct an informal, monthly audit of expenses, alongside the treasurer. The president will also perform other duties as may be prescribed in these bylaws or agreed upon by the organization or by the executive board.
Section 2: Vice President
The vice-president shall act as aide to the president and shall perform the duties of the president in the absence or inability of that officer to serve. The vice president will oversee the training of room parents/committee chairs. The vice president also oversees social media pages, groups, and websites. The vice president will also perform other duties as may be prescribed in these bylaws or agreed upon by the organization or by the executive board.
Section 3: Secretary
The secretary shall record the minutes of all meetings of the organization and of the executive board and share copies of general meeting minutes on the PTO FB page and anywhere else deemed appropriate by the officers. The secretary will maintain the IES PTO email account forwarding inquiries to the appropriate officers. The secretary shall see that all notices for the meetings are given in accordance with these bylaws, including, but not limited to, adding the meeting dates as “events” on the PTO facebook group. The secretary also keeps a copy of the minutes book, bylaws, rules, and any other necessary documentation. The secretary will also perform other duties as may be prescribed in these bylaws or agreed upon by the organization or by the executive board.
Section 4: Treasurer
The treasurer shall have custody of all of the funds of the organization and shall keep a full and accurate record of receipts and expenditures. She/He shall pay out funds in accordance with the approved budget, as approved by the organization. She/He shall present the proposed budget for approval at the first general meeting of each school year. She/He shall present a financial statement at every meeting and at other times when requested by the Executive Board; and shall make a full financial report at the end of the each school year. The treasurer is also responsible for filing taxes with the IRS.
The treasurer’s accounts shall be examined annually by an auditor or an audit committee of not less than three members who, satisfied that the treasurer’s annual report is correct, shall sign a statement of that fact at the end of the report. The audit committee shall be appointed by the executive board. The committee’s report shall be given at the next regular meeting after the audit is completed.
The treasurer will also perform other duties as may be prescribed in these bylaws or agreed upon by the organization or by the executive board.
Section 5: Parent/Teacher Liaison
The parent/teacher liaison shall act as the liaison between the Executive Board, Teachers, and IES parents. The Parent/Teacher Liaison will build relationships between teachers, room parents, and classroom parents that will enhance student learning, build involvement, and promote school improvement. The Parent/Teacher Liaison will coordinate regular, scheduled volunteer opportunities throughout the school. They will work with Committee Chairs to set up the volunteer sign ups for events and oversee the Staff Appreciation committee. The parent/teacher liaison will also perform other duties as may be prescribed in these bylaws or agreed upon by the organization or by the executive board.
Section 6: Additional Officer Responsibilities
All officers shall serve as the contact person for one or more committees/events. These committees/events will be selected by and agreed upon by the officers. Each officer will assist in coordinating the work of these chosen committees so that the purpose of the organization is served. All officers will deliver to their successors all official material not later than ten days following the end of the school year.
ARTICLE VIII: GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS
Section 1: General Meetings
Regular meetings of the organization shall be held at least four times during the school year. One week (7 days) notice will be given to members before a meeting date. Meetings may be conducted in person, by conference call, or other electronic media, as needed. Votes cannot be cast by unsecured digital means. Membership verification will be made for all voting methods.
Requests to present agenda items at either a General or Executive Board meeting must be made to any Executive Board member at least three days prior to the meeting and include the topic and length of time needed to make the presentation. Items considered greatly important or that warrant immediate attention may be added, disregarding the three day advance notice.
The order of business at General Meetings, to assure a prompt and productive meeting, shall be as follows: Call to Order, Welcome, Approval of Previous Meeting’s Minutes, Business of the Executive Board, Treasurer's Report, New Business and Adjournment.
The goal of all general meetings will be to limit the length to no longer than 90 minutes.
A majority of officers shall be present at any general meeting in order to constitute a quorum needed to conduct the business of the organization.
All staff members are invited to attend all PTO meetings.
Section 2: Special Meetings
Special meetings of the general membership may be called by any two (2) members of the Executive Board, or five (5) general members by submitting a written request to the Secretary via the IES PTO email. Notice of the special meeting shall be sent to the members at least three (3) days prior to the meeting using Independence Elementary School’s accepted communication tools/methods.
ARTICLE IX: EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETINGS
Section 1: Executive Board Meetings
Regular meetings of the executive board shall be held monthly during the school year, the time to be fixed by the board at its first meeting of the year. A majority of the executive board members shall constitute a quorum needed to conduct business. Special meetings of the executive board may be called by the president or by a majority of the members of the board. A treasurer’s report must be given at every board meeting. Executive Board meetings are closed in the interest of time and efficiency. Exceptions may be made to invited guests representing official executive board business. Any member may request meeting notes of executive board meetings at any time. Meeting minutes will be provided within 48 hours of the request.
Section 2: Responsibilities of the Executive Board
The responsibilities of the Executive Board shall be:
to transact necessary business in the intervals between general meetings
to create, oversee, and facilitate standing committees
to approve the plans of work of the standing committees
to prepare and submit to the organization for approval a budget for the fiscal year
to select fundraisers, vendors, and events for the year
to approve routine bills within the limits of the budget
ARTICLE XI: STANDING AND SPECIAL COMMITTEES
The following rules and guidelines will apply to all standing and special committees:
The Executive Board may create standing committees as it may deem necessary to promote the Objectives and carry on the work of the organization. The term of each chair shall be one year or until the appointment of a successor.
Committee Chairs shall recruit members and volunteers for his/her committee with assistance from the Executive Board.
The Chair of each standing committee shall present a plan of work to the Executive Board for approval. No committee work shall be undertaken without the consent of the Executive Board.
The power to form special committees and appoint their members rests with the organization and the Executive Board.
Committee chairs will follow financial procedures as supplied by the Treasurer and keep receipts of purchases, file necessary paperwork with receipts to treasurer for reimbursements, within 30 days and before the end of the fiscal year.
ARTICLE XII: FINANCES
Section 1: Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the organization shall begin on July 1 and end on the following June 30.
Section 2: Budget
A tentative budget shall be drafted in the fall for each school year and approved by a majority vote of the members present at the first regular meeting of the year.
After the approval of the budget, any changes or updates to the budget, which exceed $500 per line item, must be approved by the General Membership, by a majority vote.
Section 3: Expenditures
No funds shall be dispersed as to bring the overall bank account balance below $200.
At the close of the school year, there must be a carry-over balance of at least $2500 for the upcoming school year.
The remaining balance of funds above $1,000 will be allocated by majority vote of the Independence Elementary School PTO Executive Board prior to the end of the current school year. Upon majority vote, and at their discretion, the Independence Elementary School PTO Executive Board may choose to retain said funds in a prior year category to offset costs for the upcoming year, or for a planned large future purchase.
All reimbursements must be preapproved by the Executive Board. A reimbursement request form must be completed for every reimbursement request. A receipt/invoice must be included. No reimbursement shall be issued without a receipt/invoice and an approved (signed) reimbursement form. Reimbursements must be submitted within 14 days of purchase date, unless preapproved by the Executive Board.
There shall be no commingling of Independence Elementary School PTO funds with the personal, professional, or business accounts of any individuals, groups, or businesses.
PTO funds should go directly from the school to the bank for deposit. If the bank is not open, monies will be stored in a lock box on the school campus.
No more than 10% of the July 1 bank balance may be spent by the Executive Board as start up/beginning of the year costs before a budget is approved by the general membership. The only exception to this amount will be mandatory Administrative fees such as insurance and finance management software fees.
Section 4: Banking
The financial institution of the Independence Elementary PTO will be a Federal of State Chartered Bank or Credit Union.
Authorized signatures on PTO checks shall be anyone elected to the Executive Board. A minimum of two (2) signatures must be included on any check drawn from PTO funds. All authorized signers must have online access to the PTO account.
The signature on any check cannot be the payee.
ARTICLE XIII: PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the association in all cases in which they are applicable and in which they are not in conflict with these bylaws.
ARTICLE XIV: AMENDMENTS
These bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the organization by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting. Any member may make a requested amendment change by submitting, in writing via IES PTO email, the specific change(s). Notice of the proposed amendment must be given at least 14 days prior to the meeting at which the amendment is voted upon so that notice can then be given to the general membership.
The amendment shall become effective after the date/time it is approved by two-thirds of the members present and voting.
A committee may be appointed to submit a revised set of bylaws as a substitute for the existing bylaws only by a majority vote at a meeting of the association or by two-thirds vote of the executive board. The requirements for adoption of a revised set of bylaws shall be the same as in the case of an amendment.
ARTICLE XV: DISSOLUTION
The organization may only be dissolved following a majority vote of the members present at a meeting called and publicized for the purpose of dissolution.
The president shall be responsible for notifying all state and federal agencies of the dissolution.
The treasurer shall be responsible for ensuring all outstanding debts are paid off and adequate time to clear has passed.
The secretary shall present an inventory of all remaining assets to the Executive Board. Assets shall be distributed as equitably as possible to teachers and staff members to benefit the students of Independence Elementary.
Upon the dissolution of this organization, the remaining funds shall be used to benefit the students and families of Independence Elementary School.