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JJIBC - Relations with Booster Groups and PTOs

JJIBC - Relations with Booster Groups and PTOs

MSAD #35 recognizes the role of Board approved organizations, such as booster groups and PTOs, in assisting the schools in enriching the educational experience of all district students. The purpose of this policy is to create a clear understanding of the relationship between booster groups/parent organizations and MSAD 35 with particular emphasis on legal, financial and equitability issues

Only those groups and community organizations that have been approved by the Board may use the name and or logo of MSAD #35 or its schools. All groups will abide by Title IX non-discrimination policies and practices. The Superintendent may make recommendations to the Board concerning groups seeking approval.

Section 1 – Prerequisites for Recognition

In order to be approved as a booster group, a group must meet the following criteria:

A. The group must apply to the Superintendent in writing for initial Board approval (see JJIBC-E1). The application must provide details of the structure of the organization, including its name, purpose and goals, the intended use of funds generated, the names of its officers and a copy of its Bylaws; 

1. The group must be comprised of and operated by adults rather than students;

2. Coaches/advisors may not serve as officers or be responsible for any financial management of their group. 

3. The district recommends, if possible, that any district employee, coach, or teacher whose own children may benefit from the operations of a booster club or parent organization not serve as an officer in that booster club or parent organization unless the role is unable to be filled.

4. Any changes to the information specified in (B) above must be submitted to the Superintendent at least thirty (30) days before they take effect. The Superintendent will recommend to the Board that recognition of the group be revoked if the changes will render the group no longer compliant with this policy or Board goals. 

B. The group must be established either as a non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or provide a tax ID number, and provide appropriate documentation to the Superintendent. 

C. The group and its members are required to comply at all times with this policy and all other applicable Board policies, administrative procedures and rules, as well as state and federal laws and the applicable requirements of the Maine Principals Association.

1. The Athletic Administrator or Principals' designee, will hold two (2) informational meetings each school year to review current Board Policies, procedures, and rules that govern the MSAD 35 Booster Groups & PTO's. 

Section 2 – Governing Rules for School Sponsored Groups

A.  Booster groups must submit to the Athletic Director or appropriate building administrator, a proposed budget, fundraising activities and spending plan for each year at least thirty (30) days before the beginning of the season or activity (see JJIBC-E2). Booster groups are expected to consult with the coach or activity advisor about possible needed items in preparing its plan; however, individual coaches/advisors are not authorized to approve specific purchases. The Athletic Director or building administrator will consult with the Business Manager before approving booster group plans. The School Board reserves the discretion to deny entire or portions of booster club plans based on program needs as well as operational and legal considerations.

1. Any plan or project (including concession stands) that may require construction, conversion, expansion or renovation of school facilities, or that may increase maintenance costs for facilities, will require Board approval. Any such proposal must be submitted to the Superintendent for consideration by the Board’s Facilities Committee prior to being presented to the full Board for a vote.

2. Any changes or additions to the plans must receive the approval of the Athletic Director and building administrator in advance (See JJIBC – E4). 

B.  Groups’ gifts should enhance education or activities for all students. The Board will consider gender equity and budget implications regarding booster group donations, and all expenditures proposed by booster groups will be reviewed to ensure that MSAD #35 remains in compliance with Title IX requirements. 

C.  Booster and PTO groups may not directly pay for coaches or for any other professional services. All approved payments for coaches and/or other professional services will be made by MSAD #35 and reimbursed by the booster groups.

1. Booster and PTO groups shall not obligate MSAD #35 or any school or program in any way, financial or otherwise.  The Board and its employees are not liable for the activities or obligations of any booster group.

2. Payments to individuals/service providers in booster funded positions (pitching coach, guest author, dance choreographer, etc.) shall be processed through the district and reimbursed by the booster group.

3. School Board approved groups may provide gifts to school staff members/volunteers, using organizational funds, not to exceed $25 per person, per activity. Gift cards are not to be meant/used as compensation.

By the end of each school year, all groups will send a report (using form JJIBC-E5) to the Accounting Manager, Superintendent’s Office, noting when gift card(s) are given to coaches/volunteers so that a record can be maintained and handled appropriately for each coach/volunteer.

D.   All groups must maintain bank accounts and tax-exempt status separate from MSAD #35.  Each booster group must provide a complete set of financial records and an expense report (see JJIBC – E5) by June 30th each year to the building administrator. Failure to provide such records annually, or upon request from MSAD #35 is sufficient grounds to revoke recognition of the group.

1. No monies collected by groups will be deposited directly into student athletic/activity accounts.

2. Groups may not use the school’s sales tax exemption for purchases or sales.

E.  All fundraising activities must be approved in advance by the building principal (see JJIBC-E3), and no fundraising activities may be conducted within the school during regular school hours, unless pre-approved by the building principal.  Lotteries and other activities construed as illegal gambling under Maine or federal law are expressly prohibited.  All fundraising must comply with Board Policy JJE (ex. no door-to-door solicitation by students).

F.   The group’s president or designee must make application to the building principal for all uses of school facilities for fund raising projects, in accordance with the Board’s facilities use policy and procedures (policy KF), and all uses of school facilities by booster groups must comply with the Board’s policy and procedures. 

G.  Groups shall not select coaches or activity advisors, or unduly influence the selection process.

Section 3 – Group Responsibilities/Code of Ethics

Booster Groups

It is the responsibility of the building principal to chair a committee to screen and recommend coaches, assistant coaches and activity advisors to the Superintendent for appointment. Booster groups are not responsible for selecting coaches, assistant coaches or activity advisors. A member of a booster organization may or may not be asked to sit on a screening committee for the recommendation of coaches, assistant coaches and/or activity advisors to the MSAD #35 administration. Employment, evaluation, and direction of coaches are the sole responsibility of MSAD #35 and related information will remain confidential. Booster groups may not directly or indirectly influence decisions made by school personnel (e.g., playing time, leadership positions, roles in a play, etc.).

Parent Organizations

A member of a parent organization may or may not be asked to sit on a screening committee for the recommendation of hiring of employees. All information gathered during the interview process will remain confidential. Parental Organizations may not directly or indirectly influence decisions made by school personnel (e.g., class placement, roles in a play, etc.). 

Section 4 – Revocation of Approval 

The Board, with the recommendation of the Superintendent, reserves the discretion to revoke recognition of any group if it is found that the group is not complying with this policy or other applicable Board policies; if the group’s operations and purposes are inconsistent with the Board’s goals; and/or if the group violates state and/or federal laws or any applicable requirements of the Maine Principals Association. 

Any group that has not been recognized by the Board, or that has its recognition revoked is prohibited from: 

  1. Using the name and/or logo of MSAD #35 or any of its schools, or from representing themselves as an approved group.
  2. Fundraising or organizing activities or events in support of or for any school-sponsored athletic team or other extracurricular activity.
  3. Other restrictions may be imposed as deemed appropriate by the Board and/or Superintendent. 

If the recognition for a group is revoked, or if the group is dissolved, any monies remaining in the custody or control of the group shall be paid over to the student activity account within thirty (30) days.


Cross References:

EFE—Competitive Food Sales

KF – Community Use of School Facilities

KCD - Public Gifts and Donations to the Schools

KHB - Advertising in the Schools

GCSA – Employee Computer, Cell Phone, Electronic Devices and Internet Use

JJE – Student Fundraising Activities


Policy Adopted: November 20, 1991

Policy Revised: November 3, 1999; June 15, 2005; November 28, 2012; July 16, 2014, April 15, 2015 and April 27, 2022