Bylaws/Standing Rules

Committee Red Book Table of Contents


Dear PTA Committee Chair(s):

On behalf of the entire PTA Executive Board, thank you for volunteering this year at Markham. Please know that your time and efforts will have a positive impact on our school. Markham's dedicated parent volunteers truly make a difference and help to make our school special!

The Red Book and the Markham PTA Website (Red Book Link) should help you to make the most of your volunteering experience at Markham. It will provide you with valuable information such as procedures, resources, tools, and lessons learned from past chairpersons. This will hopefully save you considerable time and energy and avoid redundant work. Your prior chairperson spent time detailing their work efforts, and we will ask you to do the same for your successor at the end of the school year. In doing so, we will be creating a valuable resource library for the future.

Please note that every committee has an Executive Board liaison that is available to answer any questions you may have related to your event and provide you with any assistance you may need to fulfill your committee tasks. Remember to copy them on important correspondence and give them regular reports. The entire board is available to you as well, and wishes to offer our support in whatever way you need.

Please remember that volunteers have signed up to be on your committee, not just to work the day of the event. Contact every volunteer personally and utilize them throughout the entire process. Please try to utilize everyone that has asked to volunteer. This may include picking up items for the event, making flyers, etc. You may delegate more than you anticipated, but we want to make sure all parents have the opportunity to participate in their child's educational experience.

Once again, thank you in advance for your time, effort and dedication. Your help will enable us to be successful in providing programs and valuable resources to enrich the lives of the students, families, and staff at Markham.

Best Regards,

Your PTA Executive Board

Job Summary




Contact and Use Your Committee Volunteers

By mid September in your Red Book and on the PTA Website there will be a list of volunteers for your committee, please contact every single one of them. You can use e-mail, g-mail, telephone, or a note home with the child. Even if your event is in the distant future, please contact the volunteers soon, just to let them all know they haven’t been forgotten and to introduce yourself as committee chair.

Utilize your volunteers through out the entire process. This may include picking up items for the event, making flyers, etc. You may need to delegate more of the work than you had planned or think of new ways to use the committee.

Please try to find a way to use all of your volunteers. Never tell an eager volunteer, “No, thanks, we don’t need your help.” Every year, volunteers are turned off because no one called them. If your committee’s job isn’t big enough for all of your volunteers, please be courteous and call or email everyone and explain the situation. We have several very unhappy potential volunteers every year who never heard from anyone. Your committee volunteers should not have to call you to make the initial contact.

Once you are given your list of volunteers, please place it in your red book.

Co-Chairing a PTA Committee?

Read these tips to make sure you stay friends through it all…

  1. Divide the Responsibilities Clearly. Start by agreeing how you are going to divide the responsibilities. For a complex project, like an auction, be specific and write it down. If you’re not sure of the tasks involved in your project, speak to the past chairperson, review the project files,a nd brainstorm. Make sure your committee volunteers know the division of responsibility, too.
  2. Communicate Frequently. Successful co-chairs talk with each other a lot. As issues arise, you need to discuss, decide and move on. Don’t assume to know how your co-chair feels. Talk.
  3. Be Reliable. Do what you say you’ll do. Live up to your assignments. Having a co-chair doesn’t mean you can slack off. It’s not their job to pick up after you since no one person is in charge.
  4. Stay on Task. Resist temptation to do the work of the other co-chair. You’ll avoid duplication of effort and possible hurt feelings by sticking to your scope of responsibilities. Feel free to offer advice, but don’t push them aside.
  5. Be Flexible. Sometimes, it’s just unproductive to debate a minor point. Be flexible and compromise once in a while. Keep in mind the real reason you’re working on the committee – the students.

Volunteer Clearances

Due to the recent changes to Pennsylvania state law (PA Act 153 of 2014), many volunteer positions will require clearances this year. For more information, see the school district policy on volunteer clearances.

Once you have received your clearances, they must be taken to the school for review. Please do this between between 9am and 3pm.

If you are volunteering for a position that requires a clearance, you will need to complete the following two forms:

PA records check:

PA Child Abuse Records Check

If you have not lived in Pennsylvania for the past consecutive 10 years and you wish to volunteer for a position that requires a clearance, then you will also need an FBI fingerprint check. A company called CogentID does the fingerprinting.

You must register with CogentID before you can be fingerprinted. You can register by phone by calling 1-888-439-2486 or online by following the steps listed below:

1) Go to the CogentID website,

2) Select Pennsylvania Dept. of Education

3) Select Register Online

4) Follow the screens and enter your information

Print out or save your Registration Confirmation. You will need the registration ID when you are fingerprinted

There is a list of fingerprint locations on the CogentID website. You take your registration # and your driver's license to that location. They will take your fingerprints and mail the results to you.

Markham Messenger

Published weekly via email, the Markham Messenger is the PTA’s primary communication tool to reach parents, students, teachers and staff.

The Markham Messenger is published on Sunday evenings (or the first day of the week if there is no school on Monday). Articles for the next week’s Messenger are due the Monday before the current week’s Messenger is published.

Committee Chairs should submit articles via email to the Messenger Editor at as a word attachment in Verdana 10-point type. When possible please send documents as a pdf file.

Any URLs or PDFs to be included with the article should be in the email. Documents to be clicked through to in articles should also be in the email.

Articles should be succinct and use links to access additional information. Articles should not contain clipart or paragraph formatting.

Readers should have a way to communicate with the person submitting the article, so please include an email address or a phone number for questions or feedback.

If possible, plan for inclusion of articles two Messengers prior to the date of the event/deadline for best exposure of the information.

In order to keep the Messenger relevant, the editors will typically include the same article twice before removing it/making it into a reminder with links. Update and resubmit articles, or send a series of submissions with instructions to the editors, when requesting that an article runs consecutively in more than two issues.

Unfortunately, due to the approval process articles cannot be accepted late.



  1. Reimbursement for expenses after purchase.
    1. Retain receipt after purchase.
    2. Print the Expense Reimbursement Form from the link online or obtain a copy from the school office in the Treasurer’s Mailbox.
    3. Complete form and attach receipt.
    4. Submit form and receipt to the Treasurer through the Treasurer’s Mailbox in the office.
    5. If you have lost your receipt or were unable to obtain a receipt at the time of purchase; use the Lost Receipt Reimbursement Form. This form will require President’s approval.
    6. Your check for reimbursement will be placed in the PTA Reimbursement Mailbox and you will be notified by email when the check is available for pick-up.
  2. Paying vendors directly.
    1. If the Committee Chairperson receives an invoice, submit two copies of the invoice to the Treasurer through the Treasurer’s Mailbox in the school office.
    2. If the Committee Chairperson needs a check in advance, notify the Treasurer via email or written request in advance with these details:
      1. Purpose of check
      2. Vendor name (check payable to…)
      3. Amount of check
      4. Date and time check is needed
    3. Please provide any paperwork in Committee Chair’s possession to document the expense.
  3. Cash payments will not be made.


  1. Checks being collected by Committee Chair.
    1. Make sure checks are made payable to Markham PTA.
    2. Maintain a list of checks.
    3. Submit checks for deposit to the Treasurer through the Treasurer’s Mailbox in the office. (This should be done on a regular basis, checks are not permitted to be held for long periods of time.)
      1. Include a printed copy of your deposit list with the checks.
      2. Email the Treasurer a copy of your deposit list.
      3. Please notify the Treasurer via email that you have placed a deposit in her mailbox.
  2. Cash being collected by Committee Chair.
    1. Maintain list of cash received.
    2. Submit checks for deposit to the Treasurer through the Treasurer’s Mailbox in the office. (This should be done on a regular basis, cash is not permitted to be held for long periods of time.)
      1. Include a printed copy of your deposit list with the cash.
      2. Email the Treasurer a copy of your deposit list.
      3. Please notify the Treasurer via email that you have placed a deposit in her mailbox.
  3. Checks/Cash collected at Specific Fundraising Events.
    1. The Treasurer and an assistant will periodically clear out cash boxes/cash registers and double count the checks/cash.
    2. At the completion of the fundraising event, the Treasurer and an assistant will double count all checks/cash. The income will remain in the safe until the Treasurer makes the deposit.

Cash Box

  1. Submit a written request to the Treasurer through email or the Treasurer’s Mailbox in the school office. Include the following details:
    1. Name and Date of the Fundraising Event.
    2. Amount of cash needed for start-up cash.
    3. Number of cash boxes needed.
  2. A check will be made payable to the Committee Chair for the amount of start-up cash requested.
  3. Your check will be placed in the PTA Reimbursement Mailbox and you will be notified by email when the check is available for pick-up.

Beginning of Project Checklist

Listed below are the items you may need to consider as you begin your project. Some of these items may not be applicable to your event.

_____ Take a look at the past information in your Red book.

  • There may be information that will help you do your job.

______Attend the Committee Chair Meeting in September.

_____ Place information in the Markham Messenger.

  • Take a look at the Messenger Deadlines no later than one month before your project begins.

_____ Reserve a room with the School Secretary.

______Attend the PTA Meeting prior to your event.

_____ Check the PTA closet for supplies.

_____ Contact all of your Volunteers.

_____ Contact the Treasurer for a cash box.

  • The Treasurer needs contacted one week before the event in order to get a check prepared.

_____ Check Copying Timeline. Fill out request for copies in school office.

End of Project Checklist

Listed below are the items that need to be completed before returning your Red Book:

_____ Make sure you have submitted a reimbursement request to the Treasurer for any items you have purchased.

_____ Place a Thank You in the Markham Messenger to thank any volunteers.

_____ Complete the Job and Event Summary Forms and place in Red Book.

_____ Place your records in the back of the book for the next committee chair.

______Attend PTA Meeting to recap event.

_____ Return the Red Book no later than one month upon completion of your task.

        • The book should be placed in the “Red Book” box on the bottom of the PTA mailbox shelf in the office or given to the PTA Historian.


Sending Mail:

If you need to mail something on behalf of the PTA, please follow these guidelines:

  • The return address must read:
    • Markham Elementary PTA
    • Pittsburgh, PA 15228
    • 165 Cresent Drive
  • Place the envelope in the Silver Box on the counter behind the Secretary’s desk in the main office at Markham. Postage will be applied by the District.

Responses Returned to School:

If you send out copies of flyers and request a response be returned to the school, please follow these guidelines:

  • Let the Secretary know that the copy or flyer is being returned to the school.
  • Check to see if you have a PTA Mailbox. The Mailboxes are located directly inside the main office to your left.
  • If you do not have a PTA mailbox, ask the school Secretary which box you can use.
  • Please note, the boxes on the right hand side are permanent boxes that are used by the President and Treasurer.


For simple copying requests of less than 300 copies for a single job, please contact Mrs. Miller at least 1-2 weeks in advance of your event. For more involved requests, please consult with your Executive Board Liaison.


E*blasts are emailed on an as-needed basis by the PTA Communications Officer. E*blasts are sent only when absolutely necessary. They need to be brief, date-driven and deemed crucial to the success of an event or program.


As mentioned at the Committee Chair Kick-off meeting, please use the Markham Elementary Gmail account for your PTA-related email needs.

To access Markham’s Gmail account, please see your red book or contact the PTA Communications Chair.

Here is a list of all of the available "Group" lists:

  • Parents
  • Class-Specific Lists
  • Teachers
  • Teachers and Staff
  • Committee Chairs
  • Homeroom Parents
  • Executive Board
  • Markham Magic Team
  • 5th Grade Committees

If you would like to create a new group in gmail, please contact the Communications Chair in order to accommodate your request.

If you send an email using the Markham Gmail account, remind recipients to respond to your personal email address (if you want them to do so). Otherwise when hitting reply, the emails will go to Markham's Gmail account, which you will need to check and clean out.


PTA supplies are located in the MPR. Our closets are the two closest to the window. The key to the PTA closets are in the President’s mailbox in the main office.

Below is a list of supplies in the closet:

Food Related Items

  • Cups (Coffee & Regular)
  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Utensils
  • Napkins (Paper)
  • Sugar / Sweeteners
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Coffee - K Cups - Regular and Decaf
  • Coffee Stirrers
  • Coffee Filters
  • 1 Keurig Coffee Maker
  • 1 Large Coffee Pot (on the stage)
  • Electric Tea Kettle
  • Tea
  • Tin Foil
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Serving Bowls and Trays
  • Table Cloths
  • Plastic Pitcher
  • Bottled water (on the stage)

Other Items

  • Staplers
  • Tape
  • Pencils
  • Rubber Bands
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Balloon Weights
  • Ice Bucket
  • Garbage Bags
  • Baskets
  • Hand Sanitizer

* Please check the closet before you buy items for your events. All excess items are to be stored in the closet.

* If you need to purchase additional supplies, please contact the PTA 2nd Vice President.

Room Reservation

There are many reasons you may need to reserve a room in the school. These are just some of the reasons:

  • Meeting
  • Holiday Fair
  • Bookfair
  • Ice Cream Social
  • Holiday Parties

All use of the school facilities must go through the school Secretary. Her number is 412-344-2152. Please contact her at least two weeks before your event. The earlier the better!

Set Up

Do you need tables, chairs, trash cans, etc. set up for your event:

Please contact through e-mail or in person, the custodian one week prior to your event with the specifics. He will set it up for you.

Previous Years

  • Meeting Notes/Minutes (Red Book Only)
  • Copies of Flyers or Correspondence (Red Book Only)
  • Resources that have been found to be useful (Red Book Only)

Mt. Lebanon School District

7 Horsman Drive

Pittsburgh PA 15228

Fax: 412-344-2047


© 2019 Mt. Lebanon School District. You are welcome and encouraged to access and print material from the Mt. Lebanon School District website for personal use only. Any other copying, posting to another website, distribution, modification, transmission, or dissemination of any of the Website content is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the School District.

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