The Principal Archive
No matter how well-run it is, a parent group can't accomplish its goals without support from the principal. You'll find ideas and advice in the articles below for developing a strong relationship—or fixing a bad one—with your school's principal. Find more helpful tools and info on the School Principal resources page.
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- Principal Q&A: Advice for PTOs, Part 2 - More of your questions answered by our expert, an experienced principal, teacher, and PTO president.
- Principal Q&A: Advice for PTOs - Straight answers to your tough questions from our expert, an experienced principal, teacher, and PTO president.
- What Principals Fear From Parent Groups - Your principal has to carry many responsibilities. Are you adding to them?
- How To Work With a New Principal - A change in school leadership is the perfect time to look at the role of the PTO; parent leaders and administrators share how they forge strong relationships.
- Principals Do the Darndest Things - Crazy principal antics to encourage student involvement in a PTO fundraiser just might get your school featured in the local newspaper.
- Is Your School Parent-Friendly? - From the staff to the building to the materials sent home, there are steps PTO leaders can take to help make their school a place where parents feel comfortable.
- Quit Being So Nice! - Sometimes doing what’s best for your group and school means stepping on toes.
- Kids Talk: If I Were Principal - Excerpts from elementary and middle schoolers' essays on how the kids would improve involvement at school.
- Help Build Student Achievement - An expert challenges PTOs to increase parent involvement in ways that are connected to the curriculum.
- Get the Principal on Your Side - The right—and wrong—ways to build communication with school administrators.
- Problems With the Principal - Use this approach to create a working relationship with the principal and find common ground on even the thorniest issues.
- Real Disputes With the Principal - PTO leaders found that laying a foundation for compromise with the principal beats slugging it out.
- Married to the Principal - Firsthand advice to make the PTO-principal relationship a successful one.
- Make Peace With the Principal - Even if you're at odds over certain issues, it's important to find common ground with the principal.
- Negotiating With the Principal - Focusing on the benefits of working together can help smooth the rough spots in your relationship with the principal.
- Dealing With Disagreements - Find the right words so that difficult conversations don't derail the group's work.
- Energize Your School - A strong parent group can instill pride, promote a positive attitude, and get parents involved in the school all year long. Follow these tips to help your PTO build—and maintain—school spirit.
- NCLB: What It Means for PTOs - The No Child Left Behind Act has schools asking PTOs and PTAs to emphasize literacy and other key topics in their activities.
- Whose Rules, School or PTO? - Collaboration between PTO and school is crucial to success, but it's also important to know who has final say when disputes arise.
- Get Teachers on Your Side - Capture your teachers' hearts—and their help—with a focus on curriculum, classroom tools, communication, and appreciation.
- School Safety: Parents' Role - Parent involvement plays a key role in creating a safe environment on school campuses.
- Make the Principal Your Partner - Good communication about priorities and respect for each others' roles makes for a strong partnership.
- What Should PTOs Pay For? - Tighter school budgets mean parent groups are asked to fund more and more items that used to be paid for by the administration.
- Keep Up With District-Level Issues - For a greater understanding of the issues facing your school, have a delegate regularly attend meetings of the school board.