A large meeting hall with many attendees

ParliPro Basics

Simplified parliamentary rules are often the best choice when it comes to having guidelines to run effective school support organization meetings. Having no rules for meetings leads to unorganized, often chaotic meetings while using a strict Roberts Rules of Order method can lead to imbalanced meetings, dominated by those few who understand Roberts Rules. Parent Booster USA’s ParliPro Basics can be handed out at meetings and easily understand by all present. Following these simple rules ensures that all voices are heard and hopefully better decisions are made.

  • Chair calls the meeting to order.
  • Meeting participants review agenda. Amendments, if any, are proposed to the agenda. Participants approve agenda.
  • Once the agenda has been approved, including the time period to begin and end discussion of each item, the agenda may not be changed or amended without a motion to amend the agenda, a second, and approval by a 2/3 majority affirmative vote.
  • The Chair conducts the meeting, allowing the indicated time period for discussion and/or presentation of each item.
Six Steps to Every Motion
  1. A member stands, is recognized and makes a motion.
  2. Another member seconds the motion.
  3. Without rewording, the presiding officer restates the motion to the assembly.
  4. The members debate the motion. No member may speak for a second time until all members who wish to speak are heard once.
  5. The presiding officer asks for affirmative votes & then negative votes
  6. The presiding officer announces the results of the vote
Privileged Motions

These motions do not relate to the pending motion. Privileged motions do not require the speaker to be recognized and do not require a second; they cannot be amended or debated; no vote is necessary.

Question of Privilege

Can be used if you cannot hear or see the proceedings, but you have a feasible solution. You can stop the proceedings and get the problem corrected.

Incidental Motion

The following incidental motion does not require the speaker to be recognized, nor does it require a second. However, a 2/3 majority affirmative vote is required.

Object to Consideration

This motion may be made to kill a motion before it is discussed, if you can get a 2/3 majority of the assembly to agree with you to kill the motion.

Call for the Orders of the Day

If the agenda specifies a certain time for each item and the meeting gets stuck at one item too long, e.g., it is 10:16a and you are interested in the item scheduled for 10:15a but the meeting is stuck on the 9:05a agenda item, you can “Call for the Orders of the Day” and automatically force the meeting to move on to the appropriate item.


Running an Effective Meeting

Sandra Pfau Englund

Aug 30, 2019

Booster club bylaws often reference Robert’s Rules of Order as the “rules” for managing a meeting. Have you ever read Robert’s Rules? It’s a good way to get a good night’s sleep!

O.k., so, having no rules leads to muddled, oftentimes chaotic meetings. On the other hand, using strict Robert’s Rules of Order can result in confusion or imbalance, dominated by those very few who understand Robert’s Rules. According to Sandra Englund, founder of Parent Booster USA, it’s far better to use a simplified form of parliamentary procedure. Using Sandy’s Simple Parlipro for Nonprofit Organizations, you provide a solid framework for your meeting that encourages everyone to participate and stops any one person from controlling it.

Meetings should not be all about the rules. According to David Gillig, Senior Vice President of Children's Hospital and Health Center in San Diego, a meeting should be 80% inspiration, learning and fun, and 20% business. Busy parents are more likely to attend if they feel as if they will gain something for themselves, and their kids, out of the meeting. We recommend that you start the meeting with something fun or educational — our parent engagement blog talks more about this.

Place reports at the end of the meeting; consider providing digital or written copies of reports that parents can read outside of the meeting. No one wants to sit through standard reports. One exception is financial reports. Always include the treasurer’s report. The treasurer’s report should include a written budget and a report that shows how money was raised and spent. Making bank statements available is a good way to help ensure accountability. You can read more on financial accountability here.

It’s good practice to put start times for each item on the agenda. This helps ensure that the meeting stays on track and flows effectively. It’s particularly important if you are discussing any controversial issues in which it is more likely that someone will filibuster! Having a rule that each person gets an opportunity to speak once, before anyone is given a second opportunity to speak, helps encourage more participation.

Below is a sample agenda to help you get the most out of your booster club meetings. Start your meeting by reviewing the agenda. This is where you can explain the “rules” you’ve set for the meeting, including for example, that you will work to stay on-time to help ensure that the meeting starts and ends accordingly. You can also mention here, or just before the Q&A time with the principal, that each person will be provided the opportunity to speak once before anyone speaks for a second time. The report time is kept brief to allow the bulk of time to be given to the information provided by the principal. Minutes need approved; although a little unusual, we included approving the minutes at the end to allow more time for the more important matters up front.

ABC Booster Club
1. Call to order & Review of Agenda 6:00p
2. Guest speaker – Principal Melissa Everly discusses school remodel plan 6:05-6:25p
3. Q&A 6:25-6:35p
4. Financial report 6:35-6:45p
5. Other reports 6:45-6:55p
6. Approve minutes from prior meeting 6:55p
7. Next Meeting 6:59p
8. Adjourn 7:00p

Planning and structuring your meeting for success if the key to having an effective meeting.


With PBUSA membership, we file all the IRS and state paperwork. We keep your booster club up and running year after year.