Harambee PTA Bylaws 2012-2013

ARTICLE I: Organization Name

The name of this organization is Harambee Parents Taking Action Association, hereinafter referred to as “Harambee PTA”, located in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Our purpose is to cultivate a sense of support, pride and enthusiasm; to encourage parent involvement in Harambee. To foster closer relationships between home and school, so the parents and teachers may work together effectively in the education of children. This organization shall provide service for school functions, engage in fundraising projects, encourage parent, teacher, and community involvement, and cooperate with school administration in providing educational opportunities.


The policies shall be developed through meetings, conferences and committees and shall not direct or control the administrative activities of the school.


SECTION I: General PTA Members

General PTA members shall be the following:

  1. All parents, step-parents, or guardians of students.

  2. All teachers, administrators and support staff.

SECTION II: Voting Members

Voting members shall be the following:

  1. All members who are elected as a representative of each grade shall be designated as voting members.

  2. Voting Members shall have the right to vote on all issues before the organization, to elect officers, and to hold office.

SECTION III: Membership Dues

Membership dues shall be paid at the beginning of each school year. Member shall receive receipt and membership card. Member must have paid his or her dues to be considered as a representative of a Family and to have voting rights.

The Executive Board shall consist of the following elected officers to minimally include a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

ARTICLE VI: DUTIES & Responsibilities

SECTION I: Duties of the Executive Board

The duties of the Executive Board are of the following:

  1. The Board has the authority to reassign specific job duties as required.

  2. The board shall establish the objectives of the organization and determine the policy for the development of the objectives.

  3. No member shall hold more than one office at a time.

  4. To create standing committees and to appoint chairpersons.

  5. To approve the plans of work of the committees chairperson.

  6. To transact necessary business in the intervals between meetings.

  7. Put together a yearly budget to be approved. To work from that budget to pay the bills.

  8. Special meetings of the Executive Board may be called by the President or by any member of the Board if needed.

  9. Hold monthly general member meetings throughout the school calendar.

  10. Removal of position is possible if said person has not performed their duties.

  11. Appoint new board members if and when the need arises.

  12. Get the school CEO’s or his/her designee approval. The school CEO or his/her designee needs to be made aware of planned activities. He/ She may or may not approve an activity if they deem it not in the best interest of the school. Any material such as newsletters, activity information, etc. that is to be sent home with the children needs prior approval of the CEO or his/her designee.

SECTION II: Duties of the President

  1. Shall preside at all regular or special board meetings. Communicate with the Vice President if unable to attend.

  2. Coordinate the work of the officers and committees so the objectives may be accomplished.

  3. Serve as an authorized signatory of all PTA checks.

  4. Submit PTA News to the principal or Chief Academic Officer (CAO) for the monthly newsletter.

  5. Shall cast the deciding vote in case of a tie at all board and membership meetings, otherwise is not able to vote.

  6. Execute decisions of the Executive Board.

  7. Serve as primary contact for CEO, Management, and/or the principal.

Attend Monthly School Board Meetings

SECTION III: Duties of the Vice President

  1. Attend PTA meetings. Communicate with President if unable to attend.

  2. Perform duties of the President in the absence or inability of that officer to serve.

  3. Should the President be unable to complete his/her term, the Vice President would assume the office of President.

SECTION IV: Duties of the Secretary

  1. Attend PTA meetings and record the official minutes. Communicate with President if unable to attend.

  2. Publish and distribute a summary of the minutes within 5 days after the date of the PTA meeting. This will serve as confirmation and a friendly reminder of any tasks.

  3. In the event the President and Vice President are unable to attend a meeting the Secretary will preside.

  4. Update and distribute all PTA Event information after it has been approved by the board.

  5. Update and distribute the By-Laws to all board members and other interested parties.

  6. Update and create all PTA forms.

  7. Other miscellaneous typing.

  8. Create and maintain attendance log for all meetings.

  9. Forward all appropriate materials to the Website Support Team for web page updates of important PTA related information.

  10. Share responsibility of maintaining the PTA email account ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) with the Communications Committee Chair.

  11. Maintain and create an organized filing system of all PTA documents, forms, etc.

SECTION V: Duties of the Treasurer

  1. Attend PTA meetings. Communicate with President if unable to attend.

  2. Serve as an authorized signatory on all PTA accounts.

  3. Maintain and reconcile all PTA accounts.

  4. Keep an accurate record of receipts and expenditures

  5. Present a financial statement at each PTA meeting.

  6. To insure all deposits are made within 3 days or sooner.

  7. To ensure that all payments, reimbursements, etc. are made within 30 days, the close of month, quarter, year, or sooner.

Provide books to be audited annually by an Auditing Committee of three (3). The books shall be turned over to the Treasurer with a signed statement that the books are in order. The Auditing Committee shall be appointed by the President and Vice President.

SECTION V: Duties of the Treasurer, Continued

  1. Place all monies in a depository appointed and approved by the Executive Board

  2. Work with the Board to put together a yearly Budget and present it at the beginning & end of each school year.

  3. Upon the end of the election, assist the newly-elected Treasurer of their responsibilities.

SECTION: VI: Duties of Family Representative

  1. Attend PTA meetings. Communicate with President if unable to attend.

  2. Shall be a liaison between Harambee teachers and parents within that family. Also, to present any issues and possible solutions to the upcoming meeting as they arise.

  3. Set up a way to distribute all necessary information to assign grade.

  4. Coordinates with other committees on an ongoing basis to ensure that the appropriate volunteers are present when needed.

  5. Work with the parents and chairpersons on coordinating volunteers for all PTA and school-related events.

  6. Attend Family “Break-out groups” at each Monthly Parent Meeting. The Monthly Parent Meetings are held every 2nd Tuesday of the month.

  7. Retrieve Parent aide schedule from teachers.

  8. There are three clusters within the school— K-2, 3-6, and 7 and 8. The Family Representatives within each cluster can choose which one can become the Cluster Representative. They are responsible for assisting with the coordination of class trips, events, etc.

SECTION VII: Duties of General Member(s)-At-Large

  1. Attend PTA meetings.

  2. Chair at least one event.

  3. Volunteer when needed.

SECTION VIII: Duties of Committee Chairpersons

  1. Attend PTA meetings.

  2. The chairperson of each committee shall recruit the members for his or her committee with possible assistance from the Family Representative.

  3. The Chairperson shall report the plans and activities of the committee to the PTA Board, which must approve all such reports.

  4. Request control of the cash box when necessary.

  5. All committee chairpersons shall use their budget in order to purchase necessary supplies and materials. Any money spent in excess of the budget without approval will not be reimbursed.

  6. All committee chairpersons must update their records at the conclusion of the event and reconcile, relinquish said records to the Secretary and/or Treasurer at that time.

  7. Keep receipts of purchases; file necessary paperwork with receipts to Treasurer for reimbursements, within 30 days.



SECTION I: Monthly PTA Meetings

Monthly PTA meetings are held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month throughout the school calendar year. Members are welcome to attend and provide input to the PTA Executive Board.

SECTION II: Special Meetings

Additional meetings of the organization may be called, either by vote of the Executive Board or by petition of the members. Special meetings may be called by the President or by any two (2) or more members of the board. The time and place of all Special Meetings shall be announced at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting, except in the case of an emergency.

SECTION III: Executive Board Meeting

There will be monthly Executive Board meeting. The time and place of the meetings shall be announced to the Executive Board.

SECTION IV: Agenda Items, Duration, and Quorum

General meetings shall last no longer than one (1) hour. At that time, a vote shall be taken on whether to continue on a topic. Only topics on the agenda will be discussed. If time permits, we will vote on other topics wished to be discussed. All unfinished business shall be carried over to the next meeting. The quorum shall be 3 out of 5 executive board members present.

If anyone has any topics they would like to discuss, please feel free to send it to the PTA Secretary at least 3 days prior to the next meeting.

SECTION V: Postponements & Cancellations

In the event of bad weather, meetings may be canceled and rescheduled at the discretion of the President.



SECTION I: Office Terms

Each officer shall serve a term of two school years. The term of the office shall end the last day of the school year. The new officers shall begin their term immediately thereafter. If a person does not want to step down at the end of his/her term, an election should be held to keep their position. They will sign up for another two-year term. No more than two terms for a total of four years may be held in any one office.

SECTION II: Office Transition

Immediately following the election, the newly-elected officer shall begin working in tandem with the outgoing officer until the completion of the outgoing officer’s term. Only the outgoing officer shall have voting authority during this period of transition. . Only when applicable. Each outgoing Officer shall present a résumé of their responsibilities to the newly elected Officer and assist them as needed for up to one year.

SECTION III: Removal From Office

The removal of any officer shall be for gross incompetence, intentional neglect, misconduct, and/or failing to meet the clearances required by the school. An officer may be removed from office if absent from three (3) consecutive meetings, or by a majority vote of the membership for failure to fulfill the duties of their office. A special meeting will be held to answer the complaint.

SECTION IV: Office Vacancies

Any vacancy in office due to death, resignation, removal, or inability to serve shall be filled by special elections. However, should a vacancy occur in the office of President, the Vice President shall immediately assume the office.

SECTION V: Office Resignations

Offices not renewing their terms must make it known to the Board in writing no later than December.



SECTION I: Regular or Member(s)-At-Large Voting Rights

All regular members who have attended 5 or more meetings shall be designated as “voting” members. Voting members shall have the right to vote on all issues before the organization, to elect officers, and to hold office. PTA members shall also have the right to vote on all issues before the organization, and including the right to elect officers or hold office. All members will have one vote and must be present to vote.

SECTION II: Election Draw or Tie

President shall vote only in the case of a tie or draw in a vote of the Executive Board or the organization.


SECTION I: Budget & Expenses

A budget of anticipated revenue and expenses for the year shall be presented to the organization at the beginning of the school year. This budget shall be used as a guide for the activities taking place during the year. Any substantial deviation from the budget must be approved in advance by the organization.

SECTION II: Record Keeping & Reconciliation

The Treasurer shall keep accurate records of any disbursements, income, and bank account information. All deposits and/or disbursements shall be made within a maximum of thirty (30) days from the receipt of the funds and/or orders of payments.

SECTION III: Financial Report

The Treasurer shall present a financial report at each PTA meeting and shall prepare a final report at the close of the school year. The reports and the accounts shall be examined annually by an Auditing Committee.

SECTION IV: Designated Funds

A designated fund is money put aside for a specific purpose. Any money put into a designated fund shall only be used for that purpose. It cannot be used for any other activities without approval of the President and Treasurer.


No loans shall be made by the organization to its officers and members.


Upon agreement of the Executive Committee or at a regular meeting, any officer or officers may enter into contracts or agreements for the purchase of materials or services on behalf of the organization. Forward all contracts or agreements to the Secretary for PTA records.

SECTION VII: Authorized Signors

Two authorized signatures shall be required on each check. Authorized signers shall be the president, and treasurer. There will a limit of 3 debit withdrawals per month and must be approved by Board before any money withdrawn if it was not already part of an approved project.

SECTION: VIII: Reimbursement

No reimbursements will be made without valid receipts.

SECTION IX: Compensation

No PTA members should receive compensation for services.

SECTION X: Fiscal Year

The Harambee PTA fiscal year is consistent with the school’s July 1 – June 30 fiscal year.

SECTION XI: Dissolution of the Organization

Upon the dissolution of the organization, any remaining funds should be used to pay outstanding bills, and with membership’s approval, spent for the benefit of the school. Remaining amount of funds from the Harambee PTA account should be deposited into the School’s Student Activities account.



SECTION I: Nominating Committee

A nominating committee of 3 (2 members, 1 Officer) shall bring forth the nominations for the General Elections.

SECTION II: Nomination Deadline

Nominations should be made at the meeting prior to the voting meeting. A slate of persons running for offices shall be presented at the voting meeting. Further nominations may be received from the floor. If all slated to run for office have accepted the nomination then the elections shall proceed by written ballot.

SECTION III: Qualifying Nominees

Qualifying nominees must attend 5 or more of the general meetings.

SECTION IV: Date of General Election

Officers shall be elected at the April PTA meeting. Only the qualified members are required to vote.

SECTION V: Voting Methodology

There will be a ballot vote if there is more than one candidate for any office. If there is only one candidate for any office, by motion from the floor, the election for that office may be by a show of hands. All candidates will leave the room and wait in the office so that the voting may take place.

SECTION VI: Majority Votes

A majority of the votes cast by the Voting Members shall be necessary for election. Should no person receive a majority of the votes cast, a runoff between the two (2) who received the largest number of votes shall be immediately held.

SECTION VII: Even Number Voting

Elections occurring in even numbered years (i.e.2012) shall be for the offices of Vice President, Treasurer, and Family Representative. Elections occurring in an odd numbered years (i.e. 01) shall be for the offices of President and Secretary. We may or may not hold elections yearly (See Article VIII: Terms of Service). Needs to be reviewed

These bylaws can be amended at any Harambee PTA meeting by a two-thirds majority vote of the members in attendance. Notice shall be given at least two weeks prior to the meeting through the school website, all-call service, and/or school calendar. These bylaws may also be reviewed and/or revised by the Executive Board as necessary to meet changing conditions in the school and community and brought to a vote of the General Membership.

These By-laws were adopted by the Harambee PTA by a majority vote during a General meeting properly called on August 22, 2012 and shall take effect immediately.

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Parent volunteers are needed for the following school positions:
  • Lunchtime Attendant – Lunchtime Attendants are responsible for making sure the watoto are following the lunchtime guidelines. (Monday to Friday from 11am – 2pm)
  • Brothers On Patrol (B.O.P.) Team – The B.O.P. Team is a group of Harambee men (staff and faculty) that provides a safe environment for our watoto before and after school. The team is responsible for: 1) standing on post within the 2 to 3-block radius of the school and/or the high traffic areas to provide crossing guard duties, and 2) preventing and resolving any conflict resolution issues between Harambee watoto and the neighboring schools and community. (Monday to Friday 8-8:20am and 3:15-3:45pm.)