Introduction to PTA

For Those New to PTA….

Many new PTA officers are also new to PTA, so here is an overview of the PTA structure and your role in this dynamic organization with an awe-inspiring history.

The National PTA is the largest, most effective child advocacy organization in the world. State, District, Council and Unit PTAs are linked together to represent “Every Child” with “One Voice” at every level of policy making regarding children and families.

  • Units are the PTAs and PTSAs at local schools. Units can also be organized around other common interests such as multi-school programs or geographic areas for members who are not affiliated with a specific school. Examples of this would be a Special Education PTA like the one here in Fremont and, in the case of the state of California, the Golden State PTA.
  • Councils are made up of units generally along school district lines. Councils may include units from other school districts if they so desire. An example of this would be San Lorenzo and San Leandro in Peralta District PTA. Peralta has five councils: Alameda, Berkeley, Fremont, Pleasanton, and San Lorenzo.
  • Districts are comprised of councils and those units that do not belong to a council. In addition to five councils, Peralta is comprised of units in Albany, Castro Valley, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, San Leandro, and Union City.
  • State PTAs represent the units, councils and districts of their states at the National PTA and are responsible for implementing the Purposes of the PTA in their state. The California State PTA provides leadership training, field services, workshops, materials and publications. It advocates on statewide issues that affect the education, health, and wellbeing of children and youth.
  • National PTA is the largest volunteer child advocacy association in the nation. It gives parents and families a powerful voice to speak on behalf of every child and provides excellent tools to help children be safe, healthy, and successful in school and in life.

What is Peralta District PTA?

Peralta District PTA, which represents all PTAs in Alameda County, is one of 29 District PTAs organized by the California State PTA. All other districts are referred to by their numbers – 6th District, 2nd District, etc. We are the only district with a name.

Representing approximately 150 units in the county of Alameda, Peralta serves as a connecting link between the local unit/council PTAs and the California State PTA. Officers are charged with collecting information for the State PTA and forwarding dues and insurance to the State PTA.

What is Fremont Council PTA?

Fremont Council PTA is composed of all Fremont PTA units and represents then at Peralta District PTA functions. At the present time we have 30 units representing all attendance areas.

How does Fremont Council PTA support our Fremont units?

  • We support and advertise the Peralta District PTA training for officers and chairmen on the first Saturday of June and at their first association meeting (Monday night) in October. Trainings by councils for their units may be arranged during the school year.
  • We have a web site packed with news you can use. If the web site looks daunting, please consult "Navigating the Fremont Council PTA Website” article. It will help you find the location of what you seek! The web site contains the names and emails of our council officers and chairs, so please contact us when you have questions!
  • We provide support for those financial officers who are just learning about their jobs and the paperwork the council needs for submission of dues and insurance. Through the collection of various required reports, we become aware of those units that are doing well and those units that may need more assistance.
  • Fremont Council PTA coordinates the “Reflections” art program in Fremont and sends many entries each year to the District and State PTAs for judging.
  • At our Founders Day celebration, we honor those who have contributed to PTA and to the community. We present Honorary Service, Continuing Service, and Golden Oak Service Awards to those outstanding people and organizations in the city of Fremont.
  • We encourage PTA members at all levels of PTA to participate in the Legislative Conference held every winter in Sacramento. Participants learn what works, how it works, and meet those who “do the working!”
  • We encourage attendance at the annual California State PTA Convention, held ever year alternately in southern and northern California. We, along with the District and State PTAs, provide grants to help cover registration, transportation and hotel costs.
  • We forward information and announcements from CAPTA in electronic form so that this information can easily be forwarded to PTA members. On our web site, we have links to other sites that may have more up-to-date information or more detailed information than what is kept on the council web site.

Please feel free to contact us if /when you need information that you cannot find! All Fremont Council PTA officers and chairmen are here to help you.

Web Site Navigation

Welcome back to another exciting PTA year! Fremont Council PTA has many ways of reaching out to unit PTA officers, and one of these ways is through our web site: We encourage you to become familiar with its contents – it will save you a lot of time and effort when you need information.

Our web site is easy to navigate. The Home Page contains information on current topics of interest to all units, dates of council meetings, and information on events as it becomes available. Officers and their email addresses are also found on the home page. We encourage you to contact any of our officers if you have questions.

On the left is a listing of the pages that comprise the web site.

  • “Announcements” contains information that you need to know at the present time. This section also appears in the newsletter.
  • “Calendar” contains the schedule of council meetings, financial and paperwork due dates, grant application deadlines, and other information such as training dates. Go here often!
  • “Forms” contains many of the forms you will use in your PTA activities. If you need a form that is not on our web site, please access the CAPTA Toolkit, which can be downloaded to your desktop from the CAPTA web site.
  • “Newsletter” contains all Peralta District PTA newsletters from the past 12 months to help answer questions such as, “What did we do last year?”
  • “Bylaws” contains information on updating your bylaws, which has to be done every three years.
  • “Finances” contains information for not only your financial officers but for all PTA officers. Please make sure you know what information is contained in this section for future reference, as you won’t be able to memorize it all after the first read-through!
  • “Historian” describes the historian’s duties and contains reports that are due to Fremont Council PTA.
  • “Leadership” is a new section with information for PTA presidents on transitions, running your unit, effective meetings, and team building. Check it out!
  • “Membership” contains information on cards and envelopes and also includes the card template and FAQs. This page will be updated as new technology is used to send out membership cards.
  • “Parliamentarian” includes information on nominations and elections and making motions. Know how to run effective meetings.
  • “Secretary” includes a job description and tips for keeping good records.
  • “Volunteers” is another section designed to find and develop a strong volunteer base – fascinating reading for all PTA officers.
  • “Advocacy” describes the basic policy that was the founding of the PTA. In  election years, we will be updating this section with new information.
  • “Convention” describes the annual CA State PTA convention and has links to the CAPTA web site for more information. We encourage ALL UNITS to budget for at least one or two delegates to take advantage of the tremendous training workshops offered by the State PTA. Your members deserve a well-trained board.
  • “Enrichment” contains information on the Fremont Education Foundation and Music for Minors II.
  • “PTA Training” contains general information on PTA training opportunities through the council, district and State PTA.
  • “Programs” is another section that we hope to expand as the year goes on. We will be focusing on programs that have been successful with Fremont units that you might want to consider for your unit.
  • “Reflections” is a section full of details about the annual Reflections program, including general participation rules and abridged guidelines. More information can be found on the district and state web sites. and
  • "Special Ed Committee" defines this committee and it’s work in the FUSD community. It gives the calendar and events for parents of special needs children and all those interested in special education issues
  • “Job Descriptions” is taken directly from the Toolkit. If you want to know how to do your job, this is the place to go!

As usual, we encourage you to download the complete Toolkit from the CA PTA web site. Having all that information at your fingertips will save you a lot of time, hassle, and stress, and everyone will think you are the smartest person in the world!

Have a good year!
Nancy and Jenny Mitchell

Reference Documents