John Stanford International Elementary

John Stanford International

Board Decision Matrix

JSIS PTSA Decision Making Matrix

For use with the following types of decisions:

  • Whether to devote resources to an activity outside our usual activities (examples: Starbucks Christmas giving program)
  • Whether to articulate a position on an issue (examples: school closures, bond measures, latte tax for education, etc.)
  • Whether to fund a new/unfunded request (example: music for International Dinner) or to increase an existing funding request
  • How to spend the capital account — the money outside our current allocated budget, designed to support capital improvements.

Up-Front Guidelines:

  • Anyone in the JSIS school community can bring a request to the board.
  • People making a request should consult the school calendar to make sure there are no date conflicts; include solid budget figures; and submit the request in writing at least two weeks before the next board meeting.
  • No one board member should make a decision on behalf of the board, nor should any board member indicate the board?s likelihood of approving a decision before it?s been presented to the full board.
  • A board member who has a conflict of interest in the decision making process, can provide information but must abstain from a final vote.
  • Requestors should be allowed to stay in the meeting for the discussion because board meetings are open to all.
  • PTSA activities must have PTSA board approval in advance; committees should make sure their activities fall within PTSA guidelines. Checks for PTSA all-school activities should be made out to PTSA instead of an individual parent.
  • Exceptions to the guidelines in this document will arise and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Decision Points

  1. Does the decision fall within the PTSA?s traditional purview? (e.g. Support for student tutoring)
    1. If no, we need to
      1. designate the decision to the appropriate decision-maker ? BLT, principal, etc. (e.g. further tutoring requests)
      2. OR defer the request (e.g. 5th-grade bench that exceeded parent contributions ? requestors were asked to go back to the parents first).
  2. Does the request fit within our current goals? (those developed at our retreat ? i.e., strengthen communication, increase fund-raising capabilities, etc.)
    1. If no, does it support a traditional PTSA goal? (e.g. something not specifically stated in current goals, but traditionally supported by PTSA. (Flower pot replacement was approved, though ?beautification? is not part of this year’s stated goals.))
  3. Is the request being made on behalf of a PTSA committee?
    1. If no, is there strong leadership in place to support the activity?
  4. Does the activity serve a large proportion of our community?
    1. If no, can it be expanded? (e.g. Latino Night was not originally designed for attendance by all JSIS families, but was changed to welcome all.) If the activity is too limited, the request most likely will not be approved.
  5. Does the request conflict with existing PTSA activities? (e.g. it would require competing volunteer resources or parent donations, or cause a schedule conflict)
    1. If yes, has the requestor explained how to resolve this conflict? If not, the activity most likely will not be approved.
  6. Does the activity involve a political or religious organization?
    1. If yes, does it fall within PTSA-approved guidelines for endorsement? (e.g. PTSA can state that it supports a school levy, but not a political candidate.) If not, the activity most likely will not be approved.
  7. Is there a parent/teacher/staff member willing to spearhead the activity?
    1. If no, the request most likely would not be approved.
  8. Does the request involve an outside business?
    1. If yes,
      1. Is it with a business who we’ve partnered with before , OR, has the requestor thoroughly researched whether the business is a desirable partner? If not, the activity most likely will not be approved.
  9. Does it involve funding?
    1. If no, go to #18.
  10. Would funding the request adhere to JSIS and state PTSA policy? (e.g. State policy is to not fund staff positions.) If no, request most likely will not be approved.
  11. Does this request fall within the approved budget for the current school year?
    1. If no, should it be added to next year’s budget as a permanently funded item?
  12. Has the requestor developed a budget?
    1. If no, request cannot be approved until a budget is provided.
  13. Will the activity generate an income?
    1. If yes, will the income offset the expenses?
  14. Will the PTSA take on a fiscal responsibility for the activity?
    1. If yes,
      1. Has the board approved the activity? (e.g. International Dinner DVD sales checks were made out to PTSA but this was not approved in advance)
      2. Is the activity a good use of PTSA resources? (e.g. Pay for K would have required PTSA to prepare/manage monthly billings.) If no, the request most likely will not be approved.
  15. Has the requestor sought other resources to support the request? (e.g. volunteers, donations)
    1. If no, requestor needs to explain why. See #18.
  16. Does the request involve re-allocation of funds? (e.g. Using un-claimed teacher stipend funds to support teacher attendance at a conference; Using adult language class tuition to cover the cost of student tutoring)
    1. If no, go to next question.
    2. If yes, does the request correlate to the original intent of the funds? If not, the request must be considered independent of any re-allocation..
  17. Does the request involve a dollar amount larger than $200?
    1. If yes, see #18.
  18. Do we have all the information we need to make the decision?
    1. If no,
      1. Can the people submitting the request come to the board to make their request in person? (This is recommended whenever possible.)
      2. If requestors cannot attend, they should submit their request in writing to the board, and include the following information: How the money would be used; why it is needed; who is requesting it; how much is being requested, when it would be spent, whether donations or other resources were sought. Request should be submitted two weeks before the board meeting.
  19. Will the activity substantially improve attendance at, satisfaction with, or success of an event?
    1. If no, the activity most likely should not be approved.
  20. Should teacher/staff input be solicited? (e.g. reader board)
  21. Is the PTSA Board authorized to make this decision on behalf of the community?
    1. If no,
      1. Is the PTSA willing to endorse this request to the appropriate authority? (e.g. BLT, principal or PTSA community at large.)