School Support Organizations (SSO’s) are a valued resource of the Germantown Municipal School District (GMSD). They are all much appreciated supporters of our schools. Volunteers with our SSOs work hand in hand with our schools and are required to follow certain guidelines and policies defined in the Tennessee Code Annotated 49-2-6 and the Germantown Board of Education Policy FM 2.404 School Support Organizations.
Organizations that support Tennessee schools are required to register as nonprofits with the State of Tennessee and are subject to audits by the Germantown Board of Education and the State Comptroller. SSO’s may not operate if they have not completed the proper paperwork to become an official SSO for the District or if they do not remain in good standing or complete the required District annual reports.
SSO’s must be approved to operate by the Principal of the school they are affiliated with and/or the Superintendent. Under “The School Support Organization Financial Accountability Act of 2007” (SSOFAA), each SSO must provide documentation to the District Office that they are a registered nonprofit in good standing (they are not required to become federally recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization); must document their goals and objectives; and must provide the names and contact information of their officers.
School representatives cannot act as a treasurer or bookkeeper for a school support organization, or be a signatory on the checks. A majority of the voting members of the SSO’s board shall not be composed of school representatives. At the end of each school year, each SSO must provide a statement of all income and expenses to the District Office.
SSOs must abide by the guidelines and policies of the Germantown Board of Education to be able to use the school name, logo, or facilities to raise money. In addition, before scheduling a fundraiser, groups must get approval from the school principal and/or the Superintendent. Either a Principal or the District Office may suspend or revoke the authorization of any school support organization for a failure to abide by the policies and procedures regarding school support organizations.
The GMSD Finance Department has put together a School Support Organization Handbook, which is available online. Also available online are the required annual reports for GMSD’s SSOs, other required forms for various activities, and additional materials and information for SSO’s to review and use to meet the requirements to ensure compliance with the policies that apply to all SSOs in the state of Tennessee as well as other resources that SSO’s may find useful.
Please contact the Finance Department if you or your SSO representatives have any questions.