PTA Leader,

We cannot thank you enough for supporting your members, unit, students, educators and communities during these difficult times. Know that NYS PTA stands ready to assist you in every way, as we navigate these unchartered waters together.  You are leaders in your schools and communities, and we THANK YOU.

During these extraordinary times, and working under both state and federal disaster,  emergency, and pandemic declarations, NYS PTA is attempting to provide adequate and full flexibility to units, councils and regions to allow for appropriate business to continue under these circumstances.

You can reach your Region Director HERE

You can reach NYS PTA staff at

As the pandemic continues, waiting on PTA business is no longer an option to consider.  We must find ways to conduct business virtually or socially distanced.

NEW NYS PTA Continues to Support Parents and Families in Response to COVID-19



Video Recordings of NYS PTA Online Chats

Please also review FAQs section below for more information and answers to many questions.

See here for workshops and webinars, or below for recent webinars.

2/10/2021 – Virtual Nominations and Elections – Online Chat RecordingSlide DeckHandout

2/3/2021 – Technology Tools – Online Chat Recording and Slide Deck Presentation

1/6/2021 – Nominations and Elections – Online Chat Recording

12/8/2020 – Meet the Executive Team – Online Chat Recording

11/13-15/2020Workshops from the 124th Annual Conference

10/13/2020- Membership Your Way – Online Chat and Slide Deck Presentation

10/7/2020 – PTA the Best Way – Online Chat Recording and Handout

8/26/2020 – Are You Ready For Your First Meeting of the Year? – Online Chat Recording

8/13/2020 – PTA in a Re-imagined School Environment Slide Deck Presentation

7/23/2020 – Special Education Advocacy Online Chat Recording

7/9/2020 – Officer and Chair Transitions Online Chat Recording

6/4/2020 – Student Mental Health with Partners MHANYS and NYSSCA Online Chat Recording

5/13/2020 – PTA Finance Online Chat Recording

4/29/2020 – PTA Operations Online Chat Recording Please note – School Board and Budget Elections have been set for June 9, and will be conducted by absentee balloting.

General Guidance for Regions, Councils and Units

As the pandemic continues, waiting on PTA business is no longer an option to consider.  We must find ways to conduct business in-person, virtually, socially distanced, or hybrid.

NYS passed a law that allows Not-For-Profit Corporations to operate business virtually. This was allowed as a temporary measure during the pandemic, and was made permanent. NFP Corporations can now hold their membership meetings either partially (hybrid) or entirely virtual. NYS PTA also allows this separately.

THUS, NYS PTA and NYS is allowing for full flexibility in state, region, council and unit business, including:

  1. Allowing for meetings by electronic means, phone or video conferencing, and/or virtual and/or hybrid means;
  2. Allowing for voting by mail, electronic means, phone or video conferencing, and/or virtual and/or hybrid means; and
  3. Allowing for elections by mail, electronic means, phone or video conferencing, and/or virtual and/or hybrid means.

It is best advice to keep detailed minutes of meetings, decisions, voting, and elections during these times, and (if possible) ratify all decisions once in-person meetings have begun again.

General Advice for Virtual Meetings

Meeting Electronically and Tips for Holding a Virtual/Hybrid PTA Meeting

Other phone/video conference suggestions:

Canceling Events


Canceling Meetings


General Election Information

Given the current state prohibition on social gathering, NYS PTA and National PTA are providing flexibility that allows for voting and elections to take place in a virtual environment. The following information is meant to guide units that consider this option.

IMPORTANT UPDATE –  As this pandemic continues, it is now time to consider holding virtual elections for officers if you have not had a transition yet.

National PTA and NYS PTA have allowed telephonic voting, mailed paper ballots, Survey Monkey-like tools and virtual meeting balloting.

You should look at voting procedures that closely approximate the fairness you would normally require, such as making determinations about who is eligible to vote and how you will verify eligibility.

NOTE – NYS PTA welcomes INFORMED voters for PTA matters. This means:

Nominating Committee

  1. If a PTA has elected its nominating committee and the committee has met and decided on the slate of officers, they should follow their bylaws as closely as possible in publishing the slate of officers and presenting the nominating committee report.
  2. If a PTA has elected a nominating committee, but they have not yet decided on the slate, the committee should meet either by conference call or virtually (e.g. Free Conference Call, Zoom, free GoTo Meeting).
  3. If a PTA has NOT elected its nominating committee: the unit can hold a virtual meeting and elect the committee members according to unit bylaws. 

Other tips:

Advice for Virtual Election Meetings

We offer you some suggestions on how you can ballot vote electronically.

You can GO HERE to view instructions for making a Google form, which could be helpful when holding a ballot vote (via California PTA).

We have also received many questions on how you can vote using polling or survey websites.  We have developed the following “Double Blind Voting” example for you to consider.

Setting up a Double Blind Voting System using polling or survey websites

As example, Jones School PTA has to have a ballot election.

I am a member of Jones School PTA, and I get an email from the PTA Secretary, saying:

“Dear Lorey, your member voting number is 37 for our upcoming ballot vote. You will get a separate email from the PTA President with a link to the vote. In the name section of the poll/survey, please vote by using number 37 as your “name.”

I then get another email from the PTA President, with the link to vote.

I then use my number 37 to vote (instead of using your name).

So how do you set up voting numbers and the poll/survey, and make sure confidentially is kept?

The unit secretary assigns each voting member of the unit a different number.  This can easily be accomplished by copying the names of your members and pasting the names into an excel sheet. The secretary could use the number of the line from the excel sheet as the voting number for each member.  You could also do this in a word document if you don’t have access to excel, and assign the numbers yourself.  The secretary then saves the document.  The secretary has a helper to ensure the document has no errors before numbers are sent. No one except the secretary (and the helper) see this excel file with numbers.

The secretary and their helper send individual emails to all members eligible to vote giving each an individual voting number.

The president (and a helper) then set up the poll or survey, asking the election or ballot question.

No one except the president (and a helper for verification purposes) sees the backend voting information of the polling/survey platform.

The results are announced.

NOTE – if someone has access to the voting number list, that person DOES NOT have access to the poll/survey system login. If someone has access to the poll/survey system login, then that person DOES NOT have access to the voting number list.  Thus, the ballot can be conducted in confidence.

Nearly any online polling software can then be used to accomplish holding a ballot/vote using this double blind member number voting system.

Here is an example created for PTA purposes in doodle:


Helen is secretary. Lorey is the President. Helen and her helper Jane assigns the numbers to members, after verifying they are eligible to vote. Carol is a member, and Helen and Jane assign Carol number 2. Only Helen and Jane know which number is assigned to which member.


Helen sends an individual email to members eligible to vote with their individual numbers.  Jane, Helen’s helper, could help with this process.  The email says:

Dear Member Carol,

We will be having a vote on Vice President for our association. You will receive an email from President Lorey with a link to vote. In place of “Name” please type in your assigned voting number of “2.”


Lorey and her helper build the vote, using the “write text option” in Doodle (instead of the “time and date option”). They then click “hide responses” on the doodle poll.  They send out the link to vote to all members eligible to vote.


Carol votes, using member number 2.


Lorey and her helper (neither of whom have access to the member number list) review the voting data and produce the tally. Helen and Jane, who assigned the numbers, never see this vote data. 


Lorey and her helper announce the results.


Check back frequently, as these will be continuously updated. If you have another question, please contact us at so we can add it to our FAQs.

We have families emailing us with questions on where to go for information. What do we tell them?

Always start with sending families to your school district website. You can also share the NYS PTA COVID-19 website, which has family resources and other information on things like unemployment, and links to state education and health departments.


Our Unit/Council Bylaws have expired and we are unable to hold a meeting.

You should now consider a virtual meeting under new COVID-19 flexibility.  Until your meeting happens, or until your bylaws are approved, you may follow the current expired bylaws. As the pandemic continues, waiting on PTA business is no longer an option to consider.  We must find ways to conduct business virtually or socially distanced.


As the pandemic continues, waiting on PTA business is no longer an option to consider.  We must find ways to conduct business virtually or socially distanced.

Our nominating committee hasn’t been able to meet. How long can we wait?  

Please see the detailed advice above on nominating committees.

We can’t hold the election for next year’s officers. What do we do?

As we are well into the new school year, you should now consider holding your meeting electronically or virtually.

No one has expressed a desire to run against our nominated slate of officers, so do we need to hold the in-person election meeting?

If your bylaws allow nominations from the floor without advance notice, an in-person meeting (or virtual meeting) is preferable to handle any floor nominees.  If the slate has an unfilled position, you will also need to request nominations from the floor to fill that opening.  Proper notice must be sent to all members of the election meeting, and the list of voting members must be available to qualify voters and floor nominees at the meeting.

I’m uncertain about the guidelines for elections. Can you help?

Guidelines for elections can be found in Section 7 of the NYS PTA Resource Guide posted on the NYS PTA website HERE. Electronic election guidelines are found in this document and other recent NYS guidance mailings.  You can also reach out to your region director for assistance if needed.

Can we post documents for the meeting on our website, in MemberHub or on our Facebook account?

Yes, so long as you make sure they are non-editable documents, like a PDF. Importantly, make sure that there is nothing confidential in the documents or nothing you wouldn’t share at a regular PTA meeting.


NEW – NYS PTA GUIDANCE ON INSURANCE AND GATHERINGS – please read this document for the most up-to-date insurance information.

From our AIM family to yours, we hope you are doing well and staying healthy in these trying times. We wanted to reach out and remind all PTAs that right now your funds may be more exposed than they have ever been.

Embezzlement is our #1 claim here at AIM and in times of uncertainty, embezzlement claims become even more common.

That is why it’s more important than ever to be vigilant and maintain proper oversight of your finances. Unfortunately, many families are struggling with unemployment and having to make difficult decisions for their household. In times like these, “borrowing” from your PTA may seem like a temporary solution for those bearing the brunt of these unforeseen circumstances.

We understand accounting normal practices such as 2 signatures on all checks, may not be possible in this time but we strongly encourage all our insureds to maintain close oversight of your bank account.

In addition, you may consider doing the following:

  *   Confirm all PTA cash has been deposited into your account.
  *   Use checks instead of cash or debit cards
  *   Monitor online bank activity weekly while continuing your normal review of monthly statements

Our Unit/Council is unable to do our monthly reconciliation of the checkbook and we’re worried about our insurance coverage. What should we do?

Unfortunately, this requirement is part of the AIM insurance policy so we aren’t able to waive it.  We suggest that your unit/council make sure to go back and review any months that they were not able to reconcile as soon as they have the ability to do so. They could also look for a way to do this electronically.

Our Unit is unable to pay our insurance due to lack of funds. What should we do?

This issue will be handled on a case by case basis, so you should contact your region director as soon as possible for assistance.

When we will get our insurance bill?

Insurance bills have been mailed by AIM. If you do not receive your bill, please call AIM at 1-800-876-4044.

Do we have to sign our insurance forms and pay like normal?

Signing your forms and paying your insurance bill is a requirement of the insurance carrier, we cannot change that. As a reminder, your insurance for the coming school year begins once you complete your forms and make your payment.

Do we still need to have two people sign checks?

If safe to do so, yes. However, safety must come first, and that might not allow two signatures on checks until we are past this pandemic. A process you should consider is as follows:

Can we pay bills using electronic payments or transfers?

Yes, see above guidance.

Can we present financial documents at virtual meetings?

Yes, you can present anything you would normally present at an in-person meeting, like a treasurer’s report or audit. You can even present the budget for the next school year.

Can we approve bills that need to be paid?

Yes, just like a regular meeting, you can transact business as usual.

We are worried because our spring fundraisers are cancelled. How will we be able to support our students next year with less funds?

Realize next year may be different, but that is ok.  We know your board, members and schools can find unique ways to still support your students that may be low cost or no cost. Making a difference is what matters.

Can we donate funds to other charities, or families we know need financial help?

Under federal law, PTAs may donate to other 501(c)(3) organizations ONLY if they have similar missions, and the association voted to do so. However, please use caution when considering this, as unit level finances themselves may be impacted by COVID-19.   You can read more about this on page 28 of the NYS PTA Resource Guide section on Finances.

Further, the IRS is very clear that a public charity like PTA may NOT gift funds to individuals or families. PTAs are not organized for that purpose, so we may not give money (including gift cards) to individuals or families in our school communities, regardless of need.

However, there are several other things that PTAs CAN do to help:

  1. PTAs may share information about benefits/fundraisers being held for individuals or families in need, or local charities who are assisting those in need, or community based projects.
  2. PTAs may encourage individual volunteers to personally donate.
  3. PTAs may sponsor a food/diaper/necessities drive or solicit donations of those items to be given to a local food bank. “Necessities” could include personal protective equipment (PPE) for local hospitals and medical facilities if that’s a need in your area.
  4. As a reminder, checks can NEVER be made out to PTA unless it is truly PTA business, and no deposits may be made to the PTA account on behalf of another organization or family in need.

Again, check out the finance section of the Resource Guide for tips.


What do we do with items that may have been donated for an event or fundraiser (like silent auction items)? 

If donations were solicited for a specific event you now cannot have, it is best to ask the donors if they can be used for a different event in the future (email might be easiest).

Do we need to vote to cancel events, even though we can’t hold due to school closures and COVID-19 restrictions?

No, right now schools are closed. You don’t need permission or a vote to cancel an event when school is closed or when NYS has social distancing restrictions in place, but your Board should inform your members, school and community. 

We held a chocolate fundraiser (as example), and right now the company is storing the chocolate people already purchased. What do we do?

If there is a safe way to deliver the chocolate that is not an added expense, try to deliver.

Ask, will the company ship the chocolate directly to the buyer for no or very low cost? Can your school district deliver the chocolate when they are delivering student meals?

If there is not a safe way to deliver, then inform your families that their order is on hold with the company, and they will receive it as soon as practical once social distancing restrictions have been lifted. 

Technology Examples

See examples of free/low cost technology which your unit might use if you decide to have a conference call or virtual meeting/election:

Conference call technology (offered for informational purposes only, not a recommendation):

Balloting or Online Polling Technology (offered for informational purposes only, not a recommendation):