If your PA/PTA has elected one or more new members of the executive board, board members should think about the process of transitioning from outgoing to incoming officers. To keep your PA/PTA operating efficiently and effectively, records and knowledge must be transferred as completely as possible.
CR A-660 contains specific requirements regarding the transfer of records,* including:
- Records must be transferred at a meeting** on school premises that includes the incoming and outgoing officers and the principal. This meeting must be held as soon as possible after the election but no later than June 30th.
- All PA/PTA records must be maintained for 6 years and outgoing executive board members must transfer all records to the newly elected executive board members–including all parent contact information.
- The outgoing recording secretary is responsible for transferring to the incoming recording secretary recording secretary: the PA/PTA’s bylaws, meeting notices, agendas, and minutes from both general membership and executive board meetings.
- The outgoing treasurer is responsible for transferring to the incoming treasurer: all financial records (see CR A-660 section III, E.1.), as well as information on the method of record keeping used by the PA/PTA.
Beyond these minimum requirements, it is important to ensure that as much of the knowledge and lessons learned regarding PA/PTA operations, activities and events are passed on from year to year. Your PA/PTA can come up with its own set of rules for board transitions, which can be included in your PA/PTAs bylaws or described in another document.
Below are examples of best practices of some NYC public school PA/PTAs:
- Each outgoing board member prepares a write-up for his/her replacement, which includes: the officer’s work during the year, the officer’s day-to-day activities, and any recommendations or tips for the incoming officer.
- After the June transfer of records meeting (or whenever that meeting occurs), outgoing officers meet individually with their newly elected replacements to provide detailed information on their roles and responsibilities.
- Immediately after the election, the appropriate outgoing and incoming board members go to the bank to switch signatories on the PA/PTA bank account. (Your bylaws specify which officers are signatories.)
- During July, the incoming executive board meets with the school administration/principal.
- Committee chairs (who run individual activities or events) transfer information to new committee chairs whenever appropriate during the school year.
- Throughout the school year, executive board members and committee chairs keep accurate and thorough records and store them in well organized paper and/or computer files. This practice allows new officers and committee chairs easy access to information regarding past operations, activities and events. (These records should include lessons learned when planning and running activities and events and any tips for next year.)
- The PA/PTA maintains a Google Calendar, which includes all important dates for the executive board (e.g., when to file taxes, when to start planning for certain events, etc.)
- The PA/PTA maintains certain documents in Google Docs so that all current and future officers can access the information and documents do not need to be re-created each year.
* Records to be present and transferred at the transfer of records meeting include:
- PA/PTA bylaws
- PA/PTA Election Certificate Form
- PA/PTA Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- PA/PTA bank account numbers and all bank statements
- All financial records (See the Financial Affairs page for a list of examples)
- Meeting notices, agendas, minutes and attendance sheets from all general membership and executive board meetings
- All PA/PTA email addresses and passwords
- Login information on all PA/PTA accounts
- Keys/combinations for the PA/PTA’s storage locations
- PA/PTA contact lists
** DOE’s June Transfer of Records Guide suggests the following flow of the transfer of records meeting:
- All parties should sign an attendance sheet.
- Meeting should be chaired by a member of the outgoing executive board.
- The meeting chair should ask each outgoing officer to present the records that she/he was responsible for maintaining. Incoming officers should be given an opportunity to ask questions following each presentation.
- A list of all records discussed and transferred should be created during the meeting. All meeting participants should review and sign the list. The list of records should (must) be maintained by the PA/PTA.
- In addition to records that are actually transferred, the outgoing officers should inform the incoming officers of any physical property — such as computer, printer, photocopier — owned by the PA/PTA.
- Following the exchange of records the meeting chair should encourage outgoing officers to share school protocols regarding PA/PTA operations (i.e., building access, photocopy requests, extended use of permits, etc.)
- After the meeting, all transferred records should be placed in the locked location designated for storage of PA/PTA records.