There are a number of different parent leadership groups operating within the Mastery network. Understanding the function of each group will enable your school to create effective partnerships with parents.
Parent Teacher Associations (PTA)
This school-based organization is associated with the National PTA whose mission is to “make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children”. PTA is an inclusive organization and membership is open to all adults who care about children and schools. Members of the PTA to support the mission of each school while also advocating for national PTA-approved positions. Members of local PTA chapters are required to pay dues. Moreover, each local PTA unit has non-profit status, typically granted automatically as a part of the group’s affiliation with National PTA and payment of annual dues. If parents are interested in starting a local unit of PTA, visit their website at www.pta.org.
Parent Association/Parent Teacher Organization
These are independent school-based parent leadership groups focused on supporting the mission of each school through volunteering for school-based activities, fundraising to support school initiatives, promoting activities to increase parental involvement, or providing voluntary support to students, staff, and faculty. Unlike local PTA units, PAs/PTOs do not belong to a national umbrella organization and therefore may adopt their own bylaws and set their own agenda. Goals of each PA/PTO vary and often reflect the desire to meet the specific needs of the school and local community. Requirements for membership vary based upon the PA/PTO’s bylaws. However, parents and school staff work closely together to promote both the school’s and the PA’s/PTO’s initiatives.
School Advisory Council (SAC) (Renaissance Schools Only)
This parent-led council is an organized and maintained by the School District of Philadelphia. Its oversight role is to monitor the school-based charter agreements between the School District of Philadelphia and each Mastery Renaissance school. Parents on this council have a specific role to monitor the academic progress of each Mastery Renaissance school and to report Mastery’s progress annually to the district.
Mastery Parent Advisory Council (MPAC)
A network-wide organization comprised of parent leaders representing each Mastery school. MPAC members provide input and guidance to the Mastery leadership and ensure two-way communication between schools and the Mastery Board. MPAC is also responsible for nominating parent representatives to the Mastery Board. MPAC meets with Mastery’s CEO and other leaders to discuss Mastery finances, growth plan, academic performance, safety, and other network-wide issues.
Parent Action Team (PAT)
A network-wide parent leadership group that uses the organizing strategies of relationship building, research and public action to address internal (school) and external (community) parent concerns at each Mastery school. In addition to addressing local, school-based issues, this group also uses the organizing strategies of research and public action to address city and/or statewide education policy issues. For more information on the Parent Action Team or Mastery parent organizing campaigns, please contact Winslow Mason, Community Organizing Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 267-908-1673.