Secretary HandbookClick here for the printable copy

RECORDING SECRETARY DUTIES

First, read the duties of secretary as listed in your bylaws Article VII, Section 3.
The recording secretary is responsible for keeping accurate records of the proceedings of the association.

I. MEETING NEEDS:
1. Paper and pencil or a lap top computer to take notes
2. Secretary’s Notebook
3. Copies of last month’s minutes awaiting approval

II. TAKING MINUTES
1. Record the minutes of all meetings – general, board of directors, and executive committee.
2. The notes taken in a meeting must be accurate but not verbatim unless recording a motion
3. Use the agenda as a guide and look at previous minutes are helpful
4. Keep in mind the following:
a. Record the date, time, and place of meeting, who called the meeting to order and the time of adjournment.
b. Take attendance with a sign in sheet (to establish quorum as required by bylaws)
c. Sit near the presiding officer so that you hear everything clearly and accurately
d. Use your judgment about what is important. If in doubt, include it. Record the actions not the opinions of the members
e. Record the name of the person who makes a motion, better yet, have the motion written and signed. File along with the minutes
f. Write –Adopted- or –Failed- at the end of the motion, record the vote for/against if it was by ballot.

III. TYPING MINUTES
1. Within the week after the meeting, while everything is fresh in your mind, type a rough draft.
2. If portions are unclear, make the appropriate calls
3. If your Presidents requests, send them the rough draft
4. All minutes should be signed by the secretary
5. The final copy of the minutes should be typed and copies made for all attending the next meeting

IV. CORRECTING THE MINUTES
1. At each meeting, the minutes of the previous meeting are read either by the secretary or in silence by all present.
2. The President then will ask if there are any additions or corrections to the minutes.
3. If a correction is made, note it on the original copy and state the correction in the next set of minutes.

V. INDEXING THE MINUTES
1. Minutes are kept chronologically in a minute notebook (a three ring binder) and kept for 7 years.

If your PTA has a CORRESPONDING SECRETARY
THINK OF ALL TYPES OF COMMUNICATION, NOT JUST LETTERS!

1. Copies of letters sent by the PTA should be kept on file by both the secretary and the president
2. Letters from the PTA should be written on PTA letterhead (NOT school stationary)
3. Letters should be written in business form. They should be brief and contain all necessary pertinent information.
4. If the president composes the letter, it should be signed by him/her. If the secretary composes the letter, it should be signed by him/her.
5. A willing corresponding secretary could make him/herself almost indispensable to the very busy president.

Some suggested other duties could be:

a) Maintain a PTA Bulletin Board somewhere highly visible in the school
b) Awards – be responsible for completing various award nomination forms. A few awards are: The National PTA Phoebe Apperson Hearst Award due in February, the PTA Councils award in May.
c) Send the list of newly elected local PTA officers to the PTA Council and MD PTA in June
d) Organize and publish a directory of parents and students to be used only for PTA communication and noncommercial community activities
e) Be the editor for the PTA newsletter
f) Be responsible to display the PTA Objects and Mission during each meeting
g) Remember to send thank you notes to guest speakers or others who helped in a PTA program.
h) Make sure that the names of those who have volunteered during the school year are published with a recognition and thank you in your newsletter.
i) Be responsible for the social media updates the PTA website, PTA Twitter account, etc.

OUTLINE FOR SECRETARY’S NOTEBOOK
Section 1. Organizational Papers
Contact list of officers and chairs with phone numbers and email address
Copy of current bylaws
Approved budget
Insurance policy (unless maintained by the treasurer)
Membership list (copy from membership chair)

Section 2. Executive Committee/Board of Directors Minutes
Agenda
Attendance sheet
Treasurer’s report
Approved minutes
Committee reports
Handouts
File these items monthly, in chronological order.

Section 3. General Meeting Minutes
Agenda
Attendance sheet
Treasurer’s report
Approved minutes
Committee reports
Handouts
File these items monthly, in chronological order.

Section 4. Miscellaneous
School Newsletters
PTA Newsletters

HELPFUL HINTS
1. Using a lap top computer is helpful to write the minutes as the meeting is taking place.
2. Take attendance at each meeting to establish quorum. Create a master roster sheet for the board of directors to sign at each meeting. Keep attendance records. Record absent members, note if they were excused or unexcused absences. Verify local bylaws. There may be provisions for removing non- productive members who repeatedly miss meetings
3. Request that all motions and amendments be written, then file these copies of the motions with the minutes. Index cards are handy to write down motions. Record the name of the person who made the motion.
4. Minutes should be written up in a timely fashion (within the week after the meeting). Decide with your president how to disseminate them to members, i.e. e-mail, back packs, school mailbox, and at next meeting.
5. Be concise. Record the action of the group, not the discussions or personal opinions
6. Use the agenda as a guide in writing up minutes
7. Committee reports that are written ahead of time can be recorded as “see report attached”
8. Record the number of votes on each side in a vote by ballot or in a counted vote.
9. Corrections to the minutes -Do be specific when recording corrections in the minutes. Record the date, page, and line in the minutes of the meeting in which the correction was made.
10. Request written reports from all chairs. Create a standard form and give enough to each chair for the year. Request that they file one each month, even if there wasn’t any activity that month. This will allow the board of directors the ability to build a working notebook documenting when each committee has activity and will be helpful when trying to interest someone new to take a position. This will document month’s of activity and approximately how much time was invested
11. Meetings – verify the bylaws as to the number of day’s notice that different types of meetings require.
12. Create an Action Item list after the meeting. Note what motions were made and if action is to be taken and who is to complete the task.
13. Whenever possible, use all media available to advertise your events and meetings.
14. Create a mailbox file system for the board of directors. A plastic crate with a hanging folder for each member works well. Use a sticky note stapled inside each hanging folder with the name of the current person in that position (and their child’s name, grade, & teacher to send correspondence home via the child’s backpack. This works well at the elementary level)
15. If one of your duties is to sort the PTA mail, as mail is received, drop in each appropriate folder and encourage members to look in the mailbox every week. Post on the front of the mailbox the number of copies needed to disseminate information to everyone.
16. If a member is absent from a meeting, be sure to put all handouts into their hanging folder.
17. Create a correspondence notebook with dividers for each month. Discuss with the president who will maintain the notebook. It should be brought to each meeting so all members have the opportunity to review the correspondence.
18. Create an emergency telephone tree and distribute to all board of director members. This is very useful if there is an emergency or a cancellation due to inclement weather. Emails are not always the best way to communicate immediate information.
19. Written correspondence will be directed to the president. You may be asked to send out invitations, thank you notes or letters as necessary. Make sure that there is a budget line item for postage and stationery to cover your expenses.
20. Create PTA letterhead stationary that can be used by your board of directors if there is none. Logo must be standardized using National PTA logo. For more information, http://www.pta.org
21. Executive committees/Board of Directors run differently at each local PTA. Some PTAs enjoy refreshments and encourage members to sign up for a specific month; and others acknowledge birthdays. These items could be listed at the end of the minutes along with the date of the next scheduled meeting.

SAMPLE AGENDA
General or Board of Directors PTA meeting
Date
Call to Order
Attendance List – Quorum Check
Purpose of the National PTA Read
Introduction of Guests, Agenda
Agenda
Minutes
Treasurer’s Report
Reports of Officers & Committees
Principal’s Report

UNFINISHED BUSINESS/ITEMS TO BE ADDRESSED

New Business & Motions
Reminders
Adjournment
Calendar of upcoming dates of activities

________________PTA
BOARD OF DIRECTORS ATTENDANCE ROSTER
(SAMPLE OF MEETING SIGN IN) – (ADAPT TO YOUR NEEDS) – (ADD OR DELETE COMMITTEE CHAIRS AS NEEDED)

Type of Meeting:_____________ Date:_____________

Position Signature

President _____________________________
First Vice President _____________________________
Second Vice President _____________________________
Treasurer _____________________________
Recording Secretary _____________________________
Corresponding Secretary _____________________________
PTA Council Delegate _____________________________
PTA Council Delegate _____________________________
Teacher Representative _____________________________
Committees: (add or delete committees as needed)
X committee name _____________________________
Z committee _____________________________
Y committee _____________________________
A committee _____________________________
B committee _____________________________
C committee ____________________________

Principal _____________________________
Guests _____________________________
_____________________________

WHAT RECORDS SHOULD MY PTA KEEP?