Foothill High School Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) voted in full support of establishing a Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) during its Feb. 18 meeting.
If the Foothill community chooses to move forward with a PTSA, the organization would be affiliated with the national Parent Teacher Association (PTA).
The high school's current PTO is an independent organization.
The discussion to become a PTA started with the current Foothill PTO board and members, according to Foothill PTO president Beth McCarthy.
"The key reasons for considering a move to PTSA are: officer training, oversight and regular audits, liability, and adherence to rules that protect the programs funded through donations and dues," McCarthy stated in an email.
She added that a "rock solid PTO" can provide all of this on its own but there is "no governing body to mandate that process." In addition, a PTO board member's term is generally only one to two years.
Many of the Foothill PTO members worked previously on other school parent association boards at various times together and helped transition Hart Middle School to a PTSA.
"That was a very successful transition and the training I personally received as a new PTSA board member has guided many of the practices I use as president for the Foothill PTO," said McCarthy.
She added that in not-for-profit parent associations, there's often turnover in leadership year after year. In addition, parent volunteers might not have experience in not-for-profit.
"The volunteers have no guidelines to follow," said McCarthy. "It was actually seen as a valuable perk to incoming PTSA board members that they would get proven training on how to do their job well and with integrity."
There are also benefits PTSA members will receive, like community discounts. Foothill PTSA will also have access to countless new programs for students and the community.
Foothill community members will work with the Pleasanton PTA Council to form a PTSA before the PTO is disbanded. The newly formed PTSA most likely will take over with the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.
According to Pleasanton schools superintendent Parvin Ahmadi, other Pleasanton schools not associated with the national PTA are Lydiksen Elementary and Pleasanton Middle schools.
Editor's note: Two inaccuracies were corrected in the article that previously stated Foothill PTSA would no longer be a not-for-profit and the organization would have to report to the school.