This year's back to school season was one to remember, for sure. From starting back fully online for the first two weeks, to navigating the first few days of Hybrid learning, we all experienced some bumps along the way. Luckily, the Irvington community came together in some really great and unexpected ways to help support one another and help make things as smooth as they could possibly be. Here are some highlights we're excited to share:
As you can probably guess, fundraising for the PTSA is going to look a lot different this year given that we can’t safely run many of our regular events. That’s why we’re asking families to make their full tax deductible donation now, at the beginning of the year, using our online donation site .
But donating in cash is not the only way you can support our work in the community. We’ve partnered with a number of local and national partners -- including Amazon, Stop and Shop and DeCicco’s -- who’ve pledged to make donations on your behalf to the PTSA whenever you shop with them. You can even set the Bulldog Family Fund as your preferred charity when you are using Share your Wish. Getting set-up is quick and easy. Read on to learn more.
As an all-volunteer organization, the PTSA's strength comes from our members; that’s why we’re so excited to have you join our ranks. This guide includes some important information about your membership, as well as some ideas on how to make the most of what comes next.
So what is the PTSA anyway?
Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) began in the early part of the last century as a way to facilitate community support for and participation in schools. In recent years, many PTAs -- including Irvington's -- have expanded their missions to more actively include the voices of students in their work, changing their names to Parent Teacher Student Associations (PTSAs).
The Irvington NY PTSA is a chapter of the broader New York State PTA, and by extension the National PTA. By becoming a member of our chapter, you’ve joined millions of families and school staff across the country who come together to support and sustain strong school communities. Just like other membership organizations you might be familiar with -- from your university’s alumni association to the ACLU -- PTSAs like ours rely on on our members to do our work and achieve our goals.
How is the PTSA organized?
Organizational Leadership: The PTSA is governed by our Executive Committee (EC), a group of members who've volunteered to take on expanded leadership roles. The EC meets monthly to conduct the business of the PTSA and is committed to representing our membership's needs and concerns in all we do.
School Leadership: Each school has 2-3 Vice Presidents and a number of Grade and Class Parents who meet regularly with the school administration via our Parent Advisory Council (PAC) program. The school VPs sit on the Executive Committee, along with the Presidents, Executive Vice President, Development VP and Treasurers.
Committee and Program Leadership: Our strategic advocacy committees, programs and events are all run by volunteer chairs whose job it is to engage general members and prospective members in the work of supporting our schools. Each chair is supported by an EC representative to help set them up for success.
General Membership: The base of the PTSA organization is made up of our members. We rely on our members to power the rest of our work and help us have impact in our schools and community.
What is my official role as a member of the PTSA?
Our members are responsible for voting on and approving our annual budgets and other official matters related to the running of our chapter. We'll be inviting you to join General Membership meetings a few times a year, during which you'll have the opportunity to review issues on the table, ask questions and vote. In this way, we ensure that we stay aligned with the needs of our membership.
What can I expect from the PTSA as a member? What does the PTSA expect from me?
The PTSA is committed to representing the concerns of our membership in everything we do. You can count on us to solicit your input when designing our programs and amplify your voices in our interactions with school and district leadership. You can expect to hear from us regularly through our email newsletter and social media accounts with updates on what we're planning, what we've achieved, and how you can get involved.
Our expectations for our members are very flexible. All members of the PTSA are encouraged to participate in the committees, programs and events that resonate most for them throughout the year. This might include attending an event, volunteering for a program, contributing a donation, or leading a strategic initiative. Simply filling out a survey or sending us an email with your concerns once in awhile helps us do better work.
Where do my membership dues go?
The membership dues you paid break down as follows:
How long does my membership last?
Each year, we ask our community to opt-in to supporting our mission by becoming a member. There are two membership options available, but both are good for one school year. We ask you to renew each year to ensure you're still interested in being part of our work. Your 2020-21 membership is good through the end of this school year.
Now that I've become a member, what should I do next?
Here are some suggested next steps for new members:
Tell your friends: Your decision to join the PTSA shows your strong commitment to our schools. Communicate your commitment to your friends and family by sharing the suggested message and one of the social badges below. PRO TIP: Right-click on the image of your choice below, then save it to your device.
Follow us on social: We post updates and announcements to our Facebook and Instagram accounts regularly.
Check your email: As a member, you will automatically receive our monthly email newsletters and occasional blasts regarding important news, events and announcements. Not getting our emails? Send a message to email@example.com to troubleshoot.
Volunteer: Most years, we run a wide variety of programs and events that require volunteers. This year, with so much up in the air, we're surveying our members to understand your volunteering preferences to help inform our planning. Fill out the volunteer form on our website, and we'll reach out when matching opportunities become available.
Join a Committee: We have a number of strategic committees that are driving real change in our district. Take a look at the options available and join one or two that interest you.
Donate: When you became a member, a portion of your dues went towards our general fund. But membership dues alone cannot cover all of our costs each year. That's why we suggest our members make an annual donation of $75 per child per year. You can make your annual donation here, or learn about other ways to fund our work such as our Amazon Smile and SpiritWear programs here.
I have additional questions / concerns / thoughts.
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime. Our members are our priority; we'll get back to you just as soon as we can.
Join us in our work to bring out the best in Irvington schools.