Parent Teacher Organization
ARTICLE I – NAME
The name of this organization is the Benfield Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), 365 Lynwood Dr., Severna Park, MD 21146. It is an independent not-for-profit organization.
ARTICLE II – PURPOSE
Section 1: Purpose
The purpose of this organization is to promote a partnership between home and school and to serve as a forum for parents and teachers to work together to focus on the needs of the children, families, and teachers at Benfield Elementary.
Section 2: Objectives
The Objectives are promoted through advocacy, educational and social programs for students, parents, teachers and the general public. They are advanced through committees, projects, programs, meetings and conferences, and are governed and qualified by the basic policies set forth in Article III.
The Objectives of this PTO are:
- a) To enhance each child’s education by offering opportunities which encourage participation by parents, teachers, and community members.
- b) To support the county, state and federal educational organizations which exist for the care and protection of students and promotes knowledge of public education issues and encourages participation where appropriate.
- c) To provide additional education experiences through meaningful enrichment programs and appropriate materials which enhance the school environment for all students.
- d) To support and facilitate communication between the home and the school, so parents and teachers may collaborate in the education of our children.
- e) To evaluate and promote programs and events to ensure they support the PTO Statement of Purpose and the goals of Benfield Elementary School Improvement Plan.
The organization is organized exclusively for the charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes within the meaning of section 501c(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or corresponding section of any future Federal tax code (hereinafter “Internal Revenue Code”).
ARTICLES III – BASIC POLICIES
The following are basic policies of the Benfield Elementary School PTO:
- a) The Organization shall be noncommercial, nonsectarian, and nonpartisan.
- b) The Organization or members in their official capacities shall not endorse a commercial entity or engage in activities not related to promoting the Objectives of the organization.
- c) The Organization or members in their official capacities shall not – directly or indirectly – participate or intervene (in any way, including the publishing or distributing of statements) in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office, or devote more than an insubstantial pan of its activities to attempting to influence legislation by propaganda or otherwise.
- d) Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, 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 501c(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170c(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.
- e) The Organization shall work with the schools to provide quality education for all children. In addition, the organization should actively participate in the decision-making process establishing school policy, recognizing the legal responsibility to make decisions has been delegated by the people to boards of education and state and local educational authorities and their appointed representatives.
- f) No part of the net earnings of the Organization shall benefit or be distributable to its members, directors, trustees, officers, or other private individuals except the Organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purpose set forth in Article II hereof.
- g) Upon dissolution of the Organization, after paying or adequately providing for the debts and obligations of the organization, the remaining assets shall be distributed to one or more non-profit funds, foundations, or organizations whom have established their tax-exempt status under Section 501c(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
ARTICLE IV – MEMBERS AND DUES
- a) Membership in this PTO shall be made available, without regard to race, color, creed, gender, or national origin, to any individual whom subscribes to the Objectives and basic policies of this PTO.
- b) Any parent, guardian, or other person standing “in loco parentis,” with a child enrolled and attending Benfield Elementary School may become a member of this organization.
- c) Any member of the staff working at Benfield Elementary School may become a member of this organization.
- a) This PTO shall conduct an annual enrollment of members at the start of each school year, but may admit persons to membership at any time.
- b) Annual membership dues will be determined by the executive board before the start of each school year.
- c) Each PTO membership will entitle up to 2 adults (defined in Section 1) full benefits of such membership. Each adult member shall be entitled to vote on each matter submitted to a vote of the membership, if present at the meeting at which such vote is taken. Each member shall have the privilege of making motions and serving on committees.
ARTICLE V – OFFICERS AND THEIR ELECTION
Each officer must be a member of this PTO.
An officer whom has not actively enrolled in the PTO for the current school year within 60 days of the school year starting will be considered to have resigned. Each officer is expected to attend at least half (50%) of all meetings, not to miss two meetings in a row.
Section 3: Officers and Elections
- a) The officers of this organization shall consist of a President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President Fundraising, 3rd Vice President Volunteer Coordinator, a Secretary and a Treasurer. Each position is allowed co-sharing of positon up to three individuals.
- b) Officers, with exception of the treasurer, shall assume their official duties at the end of the school year and shall serve for a term of two years or until their successors assume their official duties. The treasurer shall assume his/her duties at the beginning of the fiscal year and serve to the end of the fiscal year or until a successor is elected.
- c) A person shall not be eligible to serve more than two consecutive terms (4 years) in the same office.
- d) An officer whom has served in an office for more than one-half of full term (i.e. more than 1 year) shall be deemed to have served a full term in such office.
- f) Vacancy occurring in any office shall be filled for the remainder of the term by a person elected by a majority vote of the Executive Board, notice of such vacancy having been given. If a vacancy occurs in the office of President, the 1st Vice President shall serve notice of the election.
- g) Elections occurring in even numbered years shall be for the offices of President, 1st Vice President, and Treasurer. Elections occurring in odd numbered years shall be for the offices of 2nd Vice President Fundraising, 3rd Vice President Volunteer Coordinator, and Secretary.
Section 4: Nominating Committee
- a) There shall be a nominating committee composed of no less than two members whom shall be appointed by the Executive Board at a regular meeting in February. The committee shall elect its own Chairperson. The committee shall not have more than one member whom is a current executive officer.
- b) Within 30 days of being formed, the committee will give notification of the entire membership of vacant offices for that election year.
- c) The nominating committee will accept all candidate interests for each vacant office and report these names to the entire membership in April, additional candidate names can be accepted up to the time of election. In the absence of prospective candidates, the committee will attempt to recruit eligible individuals.
- d) Only those persons whom are current members of the PTO and have signified their consent to serve if elected shall be presented for election to such office.
- e) Nominating committee will be responsible for preparing and tallying ballots for the election.
Section 5: Voting of Officers
- a) Officers shall be elected via ballot in the month of May. Notification of elections will be given to the general membership by the Nominating Committee thirty (30) days in advance.
- b) Absentee ballots may be accepted for the election of officers.
- c) Absentee ballots will be made available to the entire membership at least 7 days in advance of election date and will be accepted until time of election.
- d) All absentee ballots must be signed and placed in a sealed envelope and received by a member of the nominating committee.
ARTICLE VI – DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Section I: President
The President shall serve as the principal executive officer of the organization; and preside at all meetings of the organization and of the Executive Board, but vote only in case of a tie at such meetings. The President shall be a member ex officio of all committees except the Nominating Committee. He/She will coordinate the work of the organization’s officers and committees to meet and further advance the organization’s objectives and will work to secure and subsequently distribute relevant documentation from previous to new officers/committee chairpersons to ensure a smooth transition of leadership from year to year. The President will be responsible for all committees and functions relating to the communication, hospitality, and volunteer coordination, and will serve as the primary liaison to principal, staff, and members of the PTO. The President will be responsible for preparing and posting the agenda for each PTO meeting, and will maintain all relevant documents pertaining to our 501c(3) status. The President will be primary co-signer with the Treasurer on PTO checks and may perform such other duties as may be prescribed in these bylaws or assigned by the Executive Board or organization. If the PTO is able to use the bank debit card to process payments, approval, in writing, from the President (or the 1st Vice President if the President is unable) and the Treasurer is required. Electronic communication (email or text message) is acceptable for written approval.
Section 2: Vice President
1st Vice President
The 1st Vice President shall act as an aide to the President, and perform the duties of the President in the absence or inability of that officer to serve. He/She will be responsible for all communication between Executive Board and general membership. The 1st Vice President will serve as parliamentarian at PTO meetings and may perform other delegated duties as may be prescribed in these bylaws or assigned by the Executive Board or organization.
2nd Vice President Fundraising
The 2nd Vice President shall act as an aide to the president and be responsible for all revenue producing initiatives and committees. He/She will serve as liaison between the Executive Board and the respective committee co-chairperson. He/She may perform other delegated duties as may be prescribed in these bylaws or assigned by the Executive Board or organization.
3rd Vice President Volunteer Coordinator
The 3rd Vice President shall act as an aide to the president and be responsible for recruiting committee chairs and volunteers, coordinating committee efforts and volunteer assistance for teachers and school initiatives (including room parents, picture day, field day, and other committee driven activities). He/She will serve as liaison between the Executive Board and the respective committee co-chairs. He/She may perform other delegated duties as may be prescribed in these bylaws or assigned by the Executive Board or organization.
Section 3: Secretary
The Secretary shall act as a custodian of all organizational records including, but not limited to, the bylaws, membership lists, agendas, minutes, and relevant PTO correspondence as well as all documents pertaining to the organization’s status as 501c(3). The Secretary shall record minutes of all PTO and Executive Board meetings and make available a copy of minutes within 31 days after each meeting. Additionally, the Secretary shall prepare, or supervise the preparation of the Master Calendar and ensure that all PTO meetings are publicized to the membership. The Secretary may be required to perform other delegated duties as assigned by the Executive Board or organization.
Section 4: Treasurer
The Treasurer shall have custody of all the funds of the organization and keep a full record and accurate account of receipts and expenditures, as well as make disbursements as authorized by the President, Executive Board, or this organization in accordance with the budget adopted by this organization. He/She will ensure checks have been signed by two persons. The Treasurer and President (or 1st Vice President if the President is unable) will be authorized to sign checks. If the PTO is able to use the bank debit card to process payments, Treasurer will obtain approval, in writing, from the President (or the 1st Vice President if the President is unable). Electronic communication (email or text message) is acceptable for written approval. Spouses nor relatives may sign the same check. The Treasurer will present a written financial statement of total receipts and expenditures at every general meeting of the organization and at other times when requested by the Executive Board. He/She shall prepare and submit to the Executive Board a final report at the close of the fiscal year which will include the total budget expenditures and receipts from that year and a summary of account balances. He/She will also present the final annual report from the prior school year and the proposed budget for the current school year by the general membership meeting in September. The Treasurer’s books and accounting records will be audited after the close of the fiscal year and upon change of the Treasurer by an audition committee. The Treasurer will make the books available to the auditing committee as soon as possible following the fiscal year’s end and/or at the change of Treasurer to facilitate the auditing committee’s task. The auditing committee will consist of no fewer than two people selected by the Executive Board before the new officers assume their duties. No officer authorized to sign checks can serve on the auditing committee. The auditing committee will submit a signed statement that the books are in order and a review has been completed to the satisfaction of the Executive Board. Additionally, the Treasurer will file tax forms as required by state and federal guidelines.
ARTICLE VII – EXECUTIVE BOARD
The Executive Board shall consist of officers of the organization and the principal of the school or a representative appointed by him/her. The Principal shall be considered as a sitting advisor and/or consultant.
The Executive Board shall transact necessary business in the intervals between regular meetings and such other business as may be referred to it by the organization. The Board shall create standing and special committees as well as approve the plans of work and budgets of said committees. The Board shall prepare and submit to the organization for adoption a budget for the year. The proposed budget shall be approved by two-thirds (2/3) vote of those members present and voting, a quorum being present, at the general membership meeting in September. In addition, they shall approve routine bills within the limits of adopted budget. All other expenditures greater than $1,000 shall be approved by a majority vote of those members present and voting, a quorum being present, at the next regularly scheduled meeting. An expenditure of $2,000 or more cannot be voted on unless 14 days’ notice has been given to the membership. Any expenditure of the organization of $2,000 or more requires a minimum of three (3) competitive bids when possible. The Board shall present for review at the regular September meeting of the organization, a written list of the organization’s bylaws. Upon expiration of the term of office or in case of resignation, each officer shall turn over to the President, without delay, all records, books, and other materials pertaining to the office.
A PTO member shall not serve as a voting member of this organization while serving as a paid employee of, or under contract to, this PTO.
Regular meetings of the Executive Board shall be held during the school year. A majority of the Executive Board shall constitute a quorum.
The Executive Board may recommend the removal of any officer not performing duties as outlined in the bylaws. An affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the PTO members present and voting shall be necessary for the removal of an officer, prior notice having been given to the membership and said officer.
ARTICLES VIII – MEETINGS
At least six regular meetings of the organization shall be held during the school year. Dates of meetings shall be determined by the Executive Board and announced at least 30 days in advance (excluding the September meeting). Two days’ notice shall be given of a change of date. Meetings may be held in person or electronically.
Special meetings of the organization may be called by the President or a majority of the Executive Board, seven days’ notice having been given.
The Board Election shall be held in May.
Six members, with no less than three being general members, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business in any meeting of this organization.
A majority vote of the voting members present at any meeting in person or electronically shall be required for all actions to be taken by the organization unless otherwise stated in these bylaws.
ARITCLE IX – COMMITTEES
Only members of the organization shall be eligible to serve in any elective or appointed positions.
The Executive Board may create such committees as it may deem necessary to promote the Objectives and carry on the work of the organization. The term of each chairperson shall be for no more than 4 years unless a successor cannot be found.
The chairperson of each committee shall present a plan of work and budget annually to the Executive Board for approval. Once approved, no additional committee work or expenditure of funds shall be undertaken without prior consent of the Executive Board.
ARTICLE X – FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of this organization shall begin on July 1st and end on the following year’s June 30th.
ARTICLE XI – PARLIALMENTARY AUTHORITY
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised shall govern this organization in all cases in which they are applicable and in which they are not in conflict with these bylaws.
ARTICLE XII – AMENDMENTS
Amendments may be made to the bylaws at any general membership meeting of the PTO by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those members present and voting, a quorum being present, provided notice of the proposed amendment shall have been given to the general membership at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting at which the amendment is to be voted upon.
A decision to totally revise the bylaws as a substitute for the existing bylaws, requires a majority vote of those members present and voting at a general meeting of this PTO, or a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Executive Board. A committee to carry out this task shall be appointed by the Executive Board. The requirements for adoption of a revised set of bylaws shall be the same as in the case of an amendment.
Adopted: August 2020
Amended: December 2021
Calendar of Events