Setting Up Your PTA Account

Starting in the Fall of 2021, we are updating how we communicate as a PTA. Our Google accounts will be specific to the volunteer (firstname.lastname@supportabernethy.org) rather than the office/committee.

Here's why we're making the change:

1. Continuity - Typically, parents will volunteer for the PTA for a stretch of multiple years and take on various roles - sometimes even within the same year! It can be cumbersome to juggle multiple PTA accounts or to switch accounts from year to year. Going forward, your PTA account will be your one and only, for as long as you are an Abernethy volunteer.

2. No More Account Sharing - Committee members have had to share email accounts, which is a logistical nightmare. This will allow committee members to email each other without using their non-PTA personal accounts. While collaboration is important to the PTA, so are clarity and privacy!

3. Ease of Transition - Transferring an email account from one person to another is also cumbersome, and makes for a difficult transition. Using individual accounts will allow for smoother handoffs from outgoing officeholders to their successors, including overlaps when necessary.

What happens to my current PTA account?

1. For current PTA email addresses (individual officers and committee heads), we are changing the address to the new format. PTAofficer@supportabernethy.org becomes first.last@supportabernethy.org and now belongs only to one person.

2. You can access the account using your existing password. We recommend you update your password if you've shared the account with someone else in the past.

3. The old address still works as an alias, and you will still receive any messages sent to that account. Nothing will get lost - including your old messages.

4. However, please do not stay logged into your old address on your phones or computers. Instead, please change your login to the new address. Alternatively, you can delete the old login and start fresh with the new one.

5. We recommend using the Gmail app (iOS, Google Play) for your PTA account.

6. For committee co-chairs, we will create a brand new account under the first.last@ format.

How will committee members collaborate?

Each office or committee will have its own Google Group, whether they are one person or multiple.

As an example, Paul and Rose are no longer sharing the PTAPresident@ account - it has been converted to rose.caudillo@ while PTAVicePresident@ has become paul.coleman@.

Together, they now have the president@ address/Google Group. If you need to contact both Paul and Rose, email president@supportabernethy.org - the message will get to each of them separately, and it won't matter who reads it first. They will each read the message at their own convenience and reply as necessary. There's also no more deciphering whether the email you just received is from Paul or it's from Rose.

Paul and Rose will also be able to take and assign conversations as needed. All committees will have this ability, by using their Google Group as a collaborative inbox.

What if I have multiple roles or belong to multiple committees?

Here's where using Groups will be especially useful for our PTA! Volunteers often wear many hats, and until now, that's meant multiple PTA accounts. But PTA officers can be part of as many Google Groups as they'd like or is necessary.

For example, Kate Sullivan is our new Fundraising Chair, which means she'll be involved in Annual Appeal, Tour de Ladd, Fund Run, and Auction.

Annual Appeal is co-chaired by Emily Moore and Julie Humsi. In the past, an email to PTAannualappeal@ would have gone to Emily and Julie at their shared account, and they'd have forwarded it on to Kate. How messy!

Going forward, an email sent to annualappeal@ will be received by Emily, Julie, and Kate - each at their respective PTA accounts. Any of those three will then be able to reply, either from their own PTA account or the annualappeal@ account.

But how do we send emails from these groups?

Glad you asked! Please see our explainer on sending email from Google Groups.

Why use a group for only one person?

1. This will ease handoffs from year to year. An outgoing officer can remain in the group as long as necessary to aid their successor's transition.

2. Officers will be able to view prior years' messages, another tool to ease transitions.

What about file sharing?

If you currently share a PTA account with someone else, please move any pertinent files from My Drive into a Shared PTA Drive. Once the account is yours and only yours, your co-chair will lose access to any files in the committee's My Drive. Relocating the files to a Shared Drive is a simple solution.

Questions? Email Doug at help@supportabernethy.org