1. Host a welcome-back coffee this month with your board and volunteers. Talk about the priorities for winter and spring and set goals. You may get some new ideas for planned events.
2. Review the 2017 calendar and make sure key events are listed on your group’s website and the school’s calendar. Our 2016-17 planning calendar will help.
3. Do a check-in on the business side of things: Any outstanding financial issues? It’s worth taking a look at our articles that address financial best practices. Also, check to make sure you have the right insurance coverage in place, especially if you have outdoor spring events planned.
4. Meet with committee chairs to discuss upcoming events. See how they are doing and find out whether you can assist them in any way. This article on committee management is worth a look to help you guide volunteers who may have questions or concerns.
5. Review (or create) your teacher appreciation plans. It’s really never too soon to get started on this! Will your group do a big event or series of events during Teacher Appreciation Week? We have many teacher appreciation resources that will help you with your planning.
6. Thank your volunteers. There's no such thing as too much appreciation. Use our Facebook graphics for volunteer appreciation now and throughout the year.
7. Meet with the principal to discuss your winter and spring plans. Time permitting, ask the principal for feedback on the school year to date and see whether there are any outstanding issues to be addressed. Check out our articles on working with the principal, which are particularly helpful if your relationship is rocky or these kinds of check-ins cause you stress.
8. Sketch out a basic plan for upcoming general meetings. Are you planning any guest speakers or student presentations in upcoming months? Now is a good time to confirm these. Also, get inspiration from infographic with last-minute meeting tips.
9. Start a low-key search for leadership candidates. It really isn’t too soon. If there are a few parents who have been participating and seem to have leadership qualities, think about how to connect with them in a casual way to gauge their interest in getting more involved. We have lots of resources on transition strategies you will find helpful.
10. Do a social media reboot. Spend a little time looking for new folks to follow on Facebook and Twitter. Do a scan of what’s been posted in the past few months and analyze whether they are working by looking at the comments and shares you get on posts. Check out the graphics in our Clip Art Gallery to add pizazz to your posts.
11. Make a commitment to take time for yourself and keep a balance between your PTO responsibilities and your personal life. Everything seems better when we do this for ourselves!
Originally published in January 2016 and updated regularly.