Bylaws of the

Houghton Elementary School

Parent Teacher Organization

  1. NAME:  The name of the organization shall be the Houghton Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization and the organization is located at 32 Boutelle Road, Sterling, MA 01564.
  2. PURPOSE:  The purpose of the organization shall be to aid the children of Houghton Elementary School by providing support for their educational and cultural needs and to promote open communication between the administration, teachers and parents; to provide personnel, support, services and funds necessary for accomplishing the above objective.
  3. MEMBERSHIP:  All parents and/or legal guardians of children who currently attend Houghton Elementary School and all current faculty and staff of Houghton Elementary School shall be eligible for membership in the organization.  An annual contribution may be requested from the membership. The organization does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, age, ancestry, or national origin.
  4. BASIC POLICIES: Provisions for the regulation of the internal affairs of the organization, distribution of assets on dissolution or final liquidation and the requirements of the IRS Code section 501(c ) are as follows:

    1. The organization shall be noncommercial, nonsectarian, and nonpartisan.

    2. No part of the net earnings of the organization inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its members, directors, directors, or other private persons except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered, and to make payments and distributions for purposes that are exclusively charitable, scientific, literary and/or educational within the meaning of Section 501( c)(3) of the IRS Code of 1986 or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law.

    3. No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the organization shall not participate in or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office, but nothing herein shall preclude the organization from expressing its views with respect to legislation which may affect its operation, assets or finances.

    4. Notwithstanding any other provision in these articles, the organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (i) by an organization exempt from federal income tax under Section 501( c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170( c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.

    5. Upon dissolution of the organization, the Board of Directors shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all the liabilities of the organization, dispose of all of the assets of the organization exclusively for the purposes of the organization  in such manner, or to such other organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, or scientific purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue law), as the Board of Directors shall determine.  Any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by the Worcester Superior Court, exclusively for such purposes, or to such organization or organizations, as said court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.

  5. VOTING:

    1. ELIGIBILITY:  All members present at a meeting are eligible to make a motion and to vote, excluding the Principal and Assistant Principal of Houghton Elementary School.
    2. QUORUM:  Those members present at a properly called monthly meeting shall be designated as a quorum and shall be entitled to take action on behalf of the organization.


    1. MONTHLY MEETINGS:  Monthly meetings shall be held on the second Tuesday of each month during the school year, except when school activities, holidays, or vacations conflict or when there is consensus to move or cancel the regular meeting date.  The agenda shall be published 48 hours prior to each meeting.  Meetings shall not be held during the same week as the Chocksett Middle School Parent Teacher Organization meetings.  Roberts Rules of Order shall be loosely applied to the running of each meeting, where applicable and not in conflict with these by-laws, special rules of order or the Houghton Elementary School PTO Articles of Incorporation.
    2. QUARTERLY MEETINGS:  Quarterly meetings may be held between the Directors and/or Board of Directors of the Houghton Elementary School and Chocksett Middle School Parent Teacher Organizations.  The purpose of these meetings shall be to coordinate activities and fund-raising efforts between the two schools.
    3. AGENDA MEETING:  A monthly agenda meeting shall be held between the Board of Directors and the Principal prior to the publication of the agenda.  The purpose of this meeting shall be to review and edit the agenda of the upcoming meeting.

  7. BOARD OF DIRECTORS:The Houghton Elementary School PTO Board of Directors shall consist of a Second Year Co-Chair/President, First Year Co-chair/VicePresident, Secretary, and Treasurer.   The Board of Directors shall receive no compensation for services on the board.  The responsibilities of the Board of Directors shall be as follows:

    1. Second Year Co-Chair/President:  Second Year Co-Chair/President shall supervise and control all activities of the organization and shall preside at all meetings.  The Second Year Co-Chair/President is eligible to sign all contracts entered into by the organization.
    2. First Year Co-Chair/Vice President:  First Year Co-Chair/Vice President shall assist the Second Year Co-Chair in supervising and controlling all activities of the organization as needed and shall preside at all meetings in the Second Year Co-Chair’s absence.  The First Year Co-Chair/Vice President is eligible to sign all contracts entered into by the organization.
    3. Secretary:  The Secretary shall keep the minutes of the proceedings at all monthly meetings of the organization and shall see that all notices are given in accordance with these by-laws.  Minutes shall be reviewed and approved at the next monthly meeting, after which a copy of the minutes shall be made available in the office for review.
    4. Treasurer:  The Treasurer shall be responsible for all funds of the organization and shall give receipts for monies due and payable to the organization from all sources; shall deposit such funds in the bank as necessary.  The Treasurer shall maintain all financial records of the organization and have them available for inspection by members at reasonable times.  The Treasurer shall have the responsibility for filing in due course such tax and other financial statements as required by law.


    1. PROCEDURE:  Election of directors shall take place during the June meeting each year.  All members may participate.  Nominations may be made at the May meeting or up to one month prior to the June meeting.  Nominations may also come from the floor during the June meeting.  If the election is non-contested, it may be conducted by voice vote.  Contested elections shall be by written ballot.
    2. TERMS OF OFFICE:  The First Year Co-Chair/Vice President’s term shall be one year.  At the end of one year, the First Year Co-Chair/Vice President shall assume the office of Second Year Co-Chair/President for one additional year. No Co-Chair term shall exceed four years total.   In the event that the First Year Co-Chair is unable to assume the position of Second Year Co-Chair/President, the organization may elect a member to the position of Second Year Co-Chair/President for a one year term.  Terms for Secretary and Treasurer shall be one year, not to exceed four years total.
    3. REMOVAL FROM OFFICE:  Any director may be removed from office for just cause by a vote of two-thirds of the members present at any monthly meeting.
    4. RESIGNATION:  Any director may resign from office by providing a written resignation to the Secretary of the organization.
    5. VACANCIES:  Any vacancies will be filled by majority vote at the next regularly scheduled meeting.

    1. BUDGET:  The directors shall present to members at the first regular meeting of the fiscal year a budget of anticipated revenue and expenses for the year.  This budget shall be used to guide the activities of the organization during the fiscal year.  Any substantial deviation from the budget must be approved in advance by the membership at a monthly meeting.  The directors may vote to allow the expenditure of up to one hundred dollars for unanticipated expenses between monthly meetings.
    2. LOANS:  No loans shall be made by the organization.
    3. FISCAL YEAR:  The fiscal year runs from September 1st through August 31st.
    4. FUNDRAISING:  Funds from individual fundraising efforts by Houghton Elementary School shall be retained by that organization.
    5. INSURANCE:  The organization shall maintain current insurance coverage.
    6. MINIGRANTS:  All mini grant requests must be submitted, in writing, 2 weeks prior to the monthly PTO meeting.

Adopted: September 1, 2010

ADDENDUM for the 2011/2012 school year:

The PTO Board will consist of multiple chairpersons (as opposed to 2) along with the Treasurer and the Secretary in order to restructure, reorganize and train a new PTO Board for the following year.  When an article or motion requires board approval, the vote will go in the direction of the majority of all of the board members votes (all of the board is required to vote in the matter).

Revised: May 10, 2011