Frequently Asked Questions. Have a question that isn’t answered below? Email us.
What is the PTA?
PTA stands for Parent Teacher Association. Each school’s PTA organization It is a national non-profit organization that speaks up for the health and wellbeing of all children. More about PTA at http://www.pta.org/.
What does the PTA do?
The PTA provides support to Santiago Hills through programming, staff support, classroom support and school improvements. Examples of PTA programs include the Jog-A-Thon, Masters of the Art for primary students, AWISH, Step Up To Writing, Book Fairs, Movie Night, reading incentives, and many more (a complete list of programs can be found here). The PTA allows our school to have an administrative clerk and additional hours for the library and technology staff. Classroom supplies such as agendas, Chromebooks, and PE/nurse supplies also come from the PTA. In recent years, the PTA has funded several school improvements, including rubberization of the playground and new shade structures on the playground and eating areas.
Why should I join the PTA?
By joining the PTA, you are able to vote in PTA elections and on various proposals, including budgeting decisions. In addition, you are supporting and becoming part of an organization that
- Raises funds and coordinates support for the programs, classroom, and school enhancements listed above
- Gives you access to interact with the school principal and staff, offering an opportunity to voice concerns and shape the future of the school
- Provides a forum for family-school communication – connect with other parents to share experiences and help build a stronger community within Santiago Hills
- Has a say in legislative action. Your membership makes PTA’s voice stronger when PTA representatives speak to decision makers at the local, state, and national levels. The more the number of PTA members at a school, the stronger the voice of that school is.
How much does it cost to join the PTA?
Membership dues are $10 per year. For each membership, $4.50 goes directly to Santiago Hills. The remaining $5.50 goes to local and national PTA dues.
What do I get when I join?
Your PTA membership packet includes
- Member-only access to the school’s online directory
- Discount coupons to places such as Legoland, Aquarium of the Pacific, Discovery Cube, Baskin-Robbins, McDonald’s, Pick Up Stix, and more
- Various discounts offered by the national PTA
How can I join the PTA?
Do I have to be a PTA member to attend PTA meetings?
No. All parents and school staff are welcome at PTA meetings. We are happy to add your ideas, suggestions, and concerns to the agenda. However, only members have the right to vote or serve on the board.
Can I be part of the PTA financial decision making?
Yes. PTA members who attend our meetings can participate in financial planning and vote on the annual budget. You must be present at the meeting to vote. Many of our programs, such as Masters of the Art, are offered at Santiago Hills because at PTA member proposed them at a meeting.
If I join, am I required to attend meetings or volunteer on committees?
No. While we love to have your support, we understand that not all of our members are able to attend the meetings or volunteer their time, and there is no obligation to do so.
I work full time. Do I need to volunteer if I join PTA?
We have plenty of parents who work full-time who also make time to volunteer either for special events, technical projects, on campus or at home.
I pay taxes. Why does the PTA need money to fund programs and services?
Tax dollars only go so far and over the past few years, state and federal funding for education has decreased significantly. IUSD and IPSF are generous in contributing to our schools but cannot provide funds for everything. The PTA steps in to be sure the excellent level of education for our children is not affected by lack of funding for special programs and technology.
What is the difference between the PTA and IPSF and why do they ask for separate donations?
Funds raised by the Santiago Hills PTA are used 100% within our school to support programs and material needs. IPSF, the Irvine Public Schools Foundation, raises money to benefit the district as a whole, maintaining its reputation for excellence. While the PTA is limited in how many staffing hours it can fund, IPSF funds have more flexibility toward staffing provided they are equitable across the district.
What is the Pledge Drive?
The Pledge Drive is our annual fall fundraiser and one of only two fundraisers we hold each year (the Jog-A-Thon in the spring is the other). Rather than asking our students to sell wrapping paper or candy, we simply ask for donations. The PTA receives 100% of the proceeds from the Pledge Drive. Many companies will also provide matching contributions, so ask your employer and you may be able to double your donation.
Can I donate to the pledge drive if I am not a PTA member?
Yes. We welcome all donations from both members and non-members.
How can I donate to the Pledge Drive?
The easiest way is to fill in the online form here.
Do I have to donate to both PTA membership and the Pledge Drive?
No. You can choose to purchase a PTA membership or make a donation to the Pledge Drive without any obligation to do both. The fee for PTA membership is your annual dues while your Pledge Drive donation directly supports our fall fundraiser.
How can I get more involved?
We are always seeking more volunteers to chair or assist on all of our program committees. A list of committees can be found here. We also hold Board elections each spring if you are interested in serving on the Board. Please contact the PTA president or committee chair to ask how you can help. All of our volunteers, from board members and committee chairs to program committees and day-of event volunteers, are extremely valuable to our organization and critical for our ongoing success.
I still have questions. Who can I ask?
Please send any further questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or join us at our next meeting. We would love to hear from you.