Introduction to PTA

Many new PTA officers are also new to PTA, so here is an overview of the PTA structure and your role in this dynamic organization with an awe-inspiring history.

The National PTA is the largest, most effective child advocacy organization in the world. State, District, Council and Unit PTAs are linked together to represent “Every Child” with “One Voice” at every level of policy making regarding children and families. 

 PTA Structure.pdf 

  • Units are the PTAs and PTSAs at local schools. Units can also be organized around other common interests such as multi-school programs or geographic areas for members who are not affiliated with a specific school. Examples of this would be a Special Education PTA and, in the case of the state of California, the Golden State PTA.
  • Councils are made up of units generally along school district lines. Councils may include units from other school districts if they so desire.  Peralta has four councils: Alameda, Berkeley, Fremont, and Pleasanton.
  • Districts are comprised of councils and those units that do not belong to a council. In addition to our four councils, we are comprised of units in Albany, Castro Valley, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and Union City.
  • State PTAs represent the units, councils and districts of their states at the National PTA and are responsible for implementing the Purposes of the PTA in their state. The California State PTA provides leadership training, field services, workshops, materials and publications. It advocates on statewide issues that affect the education, health, and wellbeing of children and youth.
  • National PTA is the largest volunteer child advocacy association in the nation. It gives parents and families a powerful voice to speak on behalf of every child and provides excellent tools to help children be safe, healthy, and successful in school and in life.

PTA vs Unaffiliated Parent Group-Brochure.pdf

What is Peralta District PTA?

Peralta District PTA, which represents all PTAs in Alameda County, is one of 28 District PTAs organized by the California State PTA. All other districts are referred to by their numbers – 6th District, 2nd District, etc. We are the only district with a name. (Our identifying number on State PTA computers - and as a aresult for some forms - is “99”!) 

For the fiscal year/school year 2015-2016, Peralta District PTA had 38,034 PTA members, which averages almost 250 members per PTA.. Representing approximately 150 units in the county of Alameda, we serve as a connecting link between the local unit/council PTAs and the California State PTA. We are charged with collecting information for the State PTA; we also forward dues and insurance to the State PTA.

How do we support our Alameda County units?

  • We provide ongoing support and information to the PTAs in Alameda County.
  • We provide at least two trainings each year for all the officers and chairmen of the PTAs and PTSAs in Alameda County and other trainings for specific groups when needed. Please contact us if you have training needs that we can offer.
  • We send a monthly newsletter which contains articles and news of interest to PTA leaders to all officers for whom we have contact information. An important goal of our newsletter is to help remind you of financial due dates that will keep your unit in good standing with the IRS, the FTB, and the CA Attorney General’s Office.
  • We have a web site that is packed with information you can use. If the web site looks daunting, please consult "Website Navigation” below. It will help you find the location of what you seek! The web site contains the names and emails of our district officers and chairs, so please contact us when you have questions!
  • We provide forms and support for PTA officers who are just learning about their jobs and the paperwork the council or district needs for submission of dues and insurance.
  • We coordinate the National PTA's “Reflections” art program in Alameda County and sends many entries each year to the State PTA for judging at the state level.
  • We may celebrate Founders Day each year at one of our association meetings and often honor those outstanding people and organizations who have contributed to PTA and to the community.
  • District PTAs are charged with the formation of new units and we respond to inquiries for more information about PTA and becoming a PTA.
  • We encourage attendance at the annual California State PTA Convention, held ever year alternately in southern and northern California. Grants - usually aimed at first-time attendees - to help cover registration, transportation and hotel costs are offered each year.
  • We encourage PTA members at all level of PTA to participate in the Legislative Conference held every winter in Sacramento. Participants learn what works, how it works, and meet those who “do the working!”
  • We make available information on various grants that are given out every year by Peralta District PTA and California State PTA. Please consult the web site and our VP of Programs for more information on grants.

Please see the PTA Glossary for definitions that will be helpful for you to know.

Please feel free to contact us if /when you need information that you cannot find! All Peralta District PTA officers and chairmen are here to help you.

Web Site Navigation

Peralta District PTA has many ways of reaching out to unit and council PTA officers, and one of these ways is through our web site: We encourage you to become familiar with its contents – it will save you a lot of time and effort when you need information. Website Descriptions

HOME PAGE: Our web site is easy to navigate.

  • The Home Page contains information on current topics of interest to all units and councils, dates of district meetings, and information on events as it becomes available.
  • Current News includes a link to the current newsletter and any timely reminders.
  • Report Due Dates include the date the report is due to Peralta and the name of the officer to whom your report is to be sent. It is easier for everyone for the reports to be sent by email, but if you don’t have scanning capabilities, email your officer for her home address, and you can send the report via USPS.
  • The same holds true for Financial Due Dates – please send them to the appropriate Peralta officer.
  • Additional Due Dates are posted for various programs and grant applications. These are due dates to Peralta! If you are in a council, please follow your council due dates so that your council officers can forward reports to district. 

This section includes links to the CAPTA web site that gives alerts and updates on pending legislation and also presents PTA position statements. 

This section gives information on State PTA and National PTA Conventions. Be sure to include delegate expenses (registration, meals, transportation) in your next year’s budget. Some units may have very tight budgets. Please look at this opportunity as an investment in your unit. The more your officers are trained and inspired, the stronger your unit will be. Make an investment in your own PTA’s future – ATTEND CONVENTION!

"Finances" is a huge section. It contains information for not only your financial officers but for all PTA officers. Please make sure you know what information is contained in this section for future reference. If you still have questions after memorizing this section, please feel free to email your district financial officers! 

"Forms" contains many of the forms you will use in your PTA activities. If you need a form that is not on our web site, please access the CAPTA Toolkit, which can be downloaded from the CAPTA web site.

This section describes the duties of the historian, one of which is to help the president fill out the Annual Historian Report that is turned in to your council/district. 

"Membership" includes due dates of your membership dues to council/district, information on cards and envelopes, and an overview of membership benefits.

"Newsletter" contains all newsletters from the past 12 months to help answer questions such as, “What did we do last year?” 

This section gives the Peralta District PTA list of officers, their phone numbers, and email addresses. Please contact anyone if you need a home address for mailing purposes. We have several OPEN positions and are always looking for enthusiastic, organized people with a few hours to give to their parent organization! 

This section includes information on bylaws – what they are, why you need them, and how you update them. This section also includes information on nominations and elections and parliamentary procedure. 

Included in this section is information on Arts, Reflections, Founders Day, the Health Commission, Awards, and Scholarships and Grants. 

Our Annual Training for PTA Leaders is usually help on the first Saturday of June, and another evening training is held at the end of the summer/beginning of the school year. District officers may also be contacted during the year for trainings organized by councils or several combined units. 

If you need information that is not on our website, please feel free to contact us. Thank you.
Nancy and Jenny Mitchell – web site coordinators

Reference Documents