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Parent Network Handbook



Montessori Academy’s Parent Network program is a volunteer association that serves the community of parents, staff and children to achieve our goal for a partnership between the home and school.


The Montessori Academy Edison Lakes Parent Network is a volunteer group which encourages partnership between the school, families, and the community.  Through shared activities and service, The Parent network hopes to help all participants enjoy a deeper academic and social experience. 


In order to foster the mission of The Montessori Academy (herewith known as TMA) and to promote the education of children of TMA, the Parent Network is committed to supporting TMA’s programs and activities, its parents, faculty and administration and to assure an open forum for communication between those individuals.  
Our Parent Network shall strive to:         
1.       Develop a closer connection between school and home by encouraging parent involvement.
2.       Facilitate communication between parents, staff and administration.
3.       Enhance the educational experience by supporting academic and enrichment activities.
4.       Provide information and volunteers to advance the efforts and image of TMA.
5.       Generate funds to support the Parent Network activities and to assist in raising fund to support programs within TMA.


1.       The Parent Network shall be non-commercial, non-sectarian. Neither the name of the organization nor the names of its officers in their official capacities shall be used in any connection with a commercial concern or for any purpose other than the regular work of the organization.
2.       This organization shall not seek to direct the administrative activities of the school, or to control its policies.
3.        All funds shall be kept in a checking account in the name of “TMA Parent Network”, requiring the signature of a member of the Parent Network Officer and held at a local financial institution.
4.       Reimbursement requests should be made within 45 days of the expenditure, otherwise the request may be denied.
5.       Contract signing authority is limited to the President or the President’s designee with the Presidents knowledge and approval.
6.       The Treasurer must be bonded to ensure integrity of fund management.


Amendments to the bylaws may be proposed by any Parent Network member.  Amendments presented at a Parent Network meeting shall be considered for voting at a subsequent meeting, 2/3 approval of all members present and voting is required to adopt an amendment to the Bylaws. 


In the event of dissolution of the Parent Network, any funds remaining shall be donated to TMA.




1.       The Parent Network is an auxiliary organization composed of all current TMA families with the purpose of supporting and enriching members of The Montessori Academy community. The Parent Network membership includes all parents, guardians and families of The Montessori Academy. General membership shall entitle the individual to attend regular meetings and participate in the discussions by the organization and vote as necessary.
2.       Membership is automatic and annual dues will not be charged.
3.       The Parent Network will establish policies and procedures to be approved by the Board of Trustees. 
4.       The Parent Network will elect officers at an annual meeting of parents and establish committees as necessary to carry out its fundraising and social activities.  The President of Parent Network will serve as an Honorary Trustee to the Board of Trustees and have the same rights and privileges as an Honorary Trustee.


The fiscal year of the Parent Network will coincide with TMA’s fiscal year and shall be from July 1 through June 30 of the following year.


1.       General Meetings shall be held monthly between September and June.
2.       Notice of all regular meeting dates and elections shall be published at least a week in advance.
3    Minutes of all Parent Network shall be recorded and retained as a public record on the TMA website under Parent Network.
4.   Special Meetings of the Parent Network may be called by the Officers of the Parent Network and shall be announced at least one week in advance.


The leadership structure of the Parent Network must comprise two "co-chairs" and whenever possible, one to two additional “event coordinators.” The number of “event coordinators” may vary depending upon interest and availability of parents who are willing and qualified to serve in this capacity. These officers shall be appointed by a Nomination Committee and approved by the Head of School. Positions we be determined before the end of the school year. The term will be for one year and begin in July. If a position becomes vacant, a new officer may be recommended by the existing officers but must be approved by the Nomination Committee and Head of School. 
All chairs and event coordinators serve as representatives of PN and therefore the school. This requires that all chairs and event coordinators appointed exhibit leadership skills. They must be friendly and welcoming to all new and existing families. They must endeavor to demonstrate support of the HOS, Board of Trustees, teachers and staff in the handling of school and classroom matters and refrain from any negativity. They must conduct themselves in a manner that bolsters community and encourages involvement.

Nomination Process and Committee

Any parent interested in a leadership position within the Parent Network is welcome and encouraged to nominate him/herself or someone else they believe should be considered. The consent of all nominees will be secured before his/her name is presented.
Nomination forms will be available and distributed through the weekly newsletter prior to the end of the school years for positions becoming available in the following year.
Nominations are to be submitted to the Head of School.   If only one individual is nominated for each and/or any position, the Nomination Committee will not be necessary for this position(s).  The individuals on the Nomination Committee will be selected by the HOS and may include board members, staff and or teachers.  This committee will convene in private and names of committee members may not be disclosed based on the discretion of the HOS.  Members of the committee will contact all interested individuals and will then meet with the full committee to discuss the candidates and appoint co-chairs.  All individuals will be contacted by via email and apprised of the selection results.
If no one is nominated for a position and/or if additional names are requested, the HOS along with the Nominating Committee may contact potential applicants and access their potential interest.

Duties of Co-Chairs

Once appointed – the co-chairs will work together to serve as liaison between the school and the Parent Network.  Both co-chairs will also be responsible for representing the organization as the official spokesperson and must work together to coordinate events and meetings.   Co-chairs shall serve for a term consistent with the school fiscal year, or from July 1 through June 30. Co-chairs may serve subsequent terms with approval of the Nominating Committee and the Parent Network.
Both co-chairs are responsible for determining how they will divide the following responsibilities between them:

  1. Setting the agenda for each meeting.
  2. Presiding at all Parent Network Meetings.
  3. Submitting all public communications to HOS for approval before distribution.
  4. Recommending the organization of sub-committees as appropriate.
  5. Appointing members of subcommittees.
  6. Monitoring the functioning and reporting of all subcommittees.
  7. Delivering to the successor in office, all records in his/her possession by fiscal year end.
  8. Serving as an advisor to the PN officers for one year after term has ended in order to ensure continuity.
  9. Submitting a written report detailing responsibility and recommendations to the future board by fiscal year end.
  10. Managing the recruitment of volunteers for the various Parent Network committees.
  11. Managing the recruitment of future Parent Network leadership.
  12. Coordinating all fund raising activities and working with the Director of Finance regarding the management of funds.
  13. Serving as custodian of all organization funds, and dispersing funds as authorized on behalf of the Parent Network.
  14. Providing written monthly financial reports at all General Membership meetings and to the Executive Board in any month when no General Membership Meeting takes place.
  15. Facilitating an annual audit of the financial records and practices during the summer of each year.
  16. Preparing any materials needed for distribution or reference at General Membership meetings.
  17. Managing and accounting for all funds collected, donated, and spent by the Parent Network.


The following responsibilities may be performed by co-chairs or delegated to Event Coordinators:

  1. Co-coordinating the preparation and filing of the minutes of the Parent Network and its sub-committees.
  2. Taking minutes at Executive Board and General Membership meetings.
  3. Finalizing minutes, obtaining necessary approvals, and posting minutes in a timely manner.
  4. Keeping the files of communications, papers, and documents belonging to the organization.


Event Coordinators are responsible for the following:

  1. Scheduling and planning events
  2. Distributing any information for communication to TMA community (Monthly blast email, weekly school memo, Facebook community page, etc.)
  3. Securing volunteers to help with events, projects, or planning
  4. Providing detailed instructions and notes on all events to keep the PN events manual up to date



1.       The Parent Network is, and always shall be, a not-for-profit corporation.  All funds collected by the organization belong to the membership of the whole exclusively. 
2.        All funds collected are and always shall belong exclusively to the Parent Network and shall not belong to or be appropriated by any other entity. 
3.       Expenditures of Parent Network shall be the exclusive right of the membership of the Parent Network
4.       All collections of and expenditures of funds by the Parent Network shall be to advance the goals and objectives of the Parent Network.


1.       When Parent Network schedules an activity that requires payment such requests are made to the Parent Network Form using a reimbursement request form.  A purchase order and/or a contract or receipt is required for the advance purchase.
2.       When Room Parents make purchases that have been confirmed by the Parent Network President with a purchase order, the expenses will be reimbursed when requested by a reimbursement request form.  Original receipts must be submitted.  The Parent Network does not reimburse sales tax, so the purchaser should use a tax exempt code when making the purchase.


Within the Parent Network, Room Parents are established and are the direct link between the classroom and the parent community.  The Room Parent works directly with the teacher to involve the class families in the school activities and for support of class events.  Whenever possible there should be at least two (2) Room Parents per classroom.
The Room Parents provide leadership in the following areas:
1.       Together, with the Parent Network, the Room Parents organize and direct social and/or fundraising events.
2.       For the Classroom Community:  Serve as the liaison between the class families and school sponsored events to encourage participation and attendance.
3.       Work with the classroom teacher to plan class activities in order to give families a chance to know each other and for children to socialize for example: class pizza parties or game nights.
4.       Help the classroom teacher to secure parent volunteers for special class, such as Windfall Projects.
5.       Room Parents are expected at Parent Network Meetings.
6.       Facilitate Parent Network fundraising.


1.       On-site Events are scheduled through the Executive Assistant to the Head of School. 
2.       Requests must be made with enough advanced notice to secure use of the facility and to inform parents. 
3.       Executive Assistant to the Head of School will coordinate the use of the facility with the Director of Finance and confirm with the Room Parent/Teacher that the event is scheduled.  They will also coordinate with the Director of Finance to assure the gym/kitchen area is prepared for group use, etc. 
4.       A staff member is required to be on-site for all events to take care of the facility details such as lights, alarms, equipment and so on.


1.       Off-site events are also scheduled through the Executive Assistant to the Head of School so that the event is included on the school calendar. 
2.       If expenses or contracts are necessary, coordinate with the President or Treasurer of the Parent Network following procedures for expenditures and contracts.


1.       All communications regarding any Parent Network, Room Parent or Teacher planned class/school event must be submitted to the Administration Staff for approval.  Please submit information directly to Executive Assistant to the Head of School.
2.       School communications are primarily through the Weekly Memo which is sent home electronically and via hard copy.  It is also posted on the web site in the Parent Network Section under Events. 
3.       Flyers and other publicity documents are prepared by the Parent Network and approved by the Head of School.  Flyers are available via hard copy at the front desk and electronically via the weekly memo and the website under the Parent Network Section under Events.
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