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Meetings/Robert's Rules Archive

The articles below have tons of information and ideas on how to run effective parent group meetings. Find more helpful tools and info on the Meetings/Robert’s Rules resources page.

  • 18 Ideas for Better PTO and PTA Meetings

    PTO and PTA meetings don’t have to be a drag. Make them more enjoyable with these straightforward steps.
  • Your First PTO Meeting of the Year

    It might only be July, but chances are that your group has at least started thinking about its first meeting. And it’s definitely an important one to think about because if your PTO is like most, it’ll be the most attended meeting of the year. Here’s what I recommend to make sure your meeting goes smoothly—and to encourage folks to attend more of them throughout the year. Let parents know. Be sure to let parents know about your meeting in a variety of ways, and that everyone is welcome to attend. During the weeks leading up to school starting, your social channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) are a good way to get the word out. Be welcoming. Your first meeting is a great chance to make a good impression on many parents. Appoint a “meeting greeter” to do just that as people arrive. Have board members wear name tags and offer them to attendees. Keep conversation positive, and encourage people to share new ideas.  Keep it light. For the purpose of making sure a meeting doesn’t run too long, it’s a good idea to have an agenda. That said, try not to make your first meeting too business-heavy. The beginning of the year is the wrong time to engage in a long debate on the merits of various fundraisers or the best way to handle teacher grants. Add some fun. Making your first meeting fun can do a lot to let potential new volunteers know what their experience in your group would be like. I love these new “human bingo” sheets that get people to open up about things they have in common. Originally posted in 2016 and updated regularly
  • What’s the Big Deal About Robert’s Rules?

    Five key practices that are must-knows to run your meetings effectively.
  • Prepare for Your First Meeting

    If you’re like most groups, you’ll get the biggest crowd of the year at the first meeting. Here's how to make it the best it can be.
  • Infographic: Last-Minute Meeting Tips

    Meeting tonight? Don't stress—we have you covered.
  • Bring Meetings to Parents, Wherever They May Be

    We know you put lots of energy into boosting meeting attendance, and many of you feel it’s an uphill battle. But instead of feeling frustrated about getting parents in the door, how about taking the meeting to them?
  • PTO Meetings Resources List

    What are the best ways to plan and run PTO meetings? We’ve made it easy by compiling this list with links to our best articles and downloadables.
  • PTO Leaders Share Ideas To Make Most of Meetings

  • PTO Meeting Magic

    A well-run meeting lets you get more business done in a shorter time.
  • Make Meetings More Fun

    Is it hard for your group to get people to come to meetings? With some creativity, you can increase attendance—and parent involvement.
  • Eliminate a Negative Vibe at PTO Meetings

    Critics got you down? Using a diplomatic approach to handle difficult situations (and people) can often help get things back on a positive path.
  • The One-Hour Meeting Manager

    If your PTO meetings run longer than an hour, they’re too long. Here’s how to make them shorter and more efficient.
  • Robert’s Rules: Sticky Situations

    Straight answers to common questions about voting, agendas, and best practices for your meetings.
  • Make Your First Meeting Count

    Use these tips to harness the energy of a new year for your PTO and set a positive tone you can build on all year long.
  • How To Take Meeting Minutes

    What to write down and what not to, plus tips to make the job easier.
  • Public Speaking: Overcome the Jitters

    Some advance preparation and a few best practices will help your next presentation go smoothly despite any butterflies.
  • Measuring Meetings

    There are much better ways to gauge the success of your parent group than counting how many seats get filled to go through a monthly agenda.
  • 9-Point Meeting Checklist

    Follow these simple steps to make your meetings painless as well as productive.
  • The Secret to Successful Leadership

    The most overlooked skill—delegation—might just be the best one you'll ever learn.
  • Taking Aim at the Head Table

    It's time to update the old meeting model where officers sit at the front of the room and everybody else makes up the audience.
  • Boost Meeting Attendance

    Do you struggle to get people to come to meetings? The problem might be publicity or timing—or it might be the meetings themselves.
  • Successful Meetings: 14 Tips

    Done right, meetings help keep the group cohesive and on track. Done wrong, they can become a time pit and involvement killer.
  • My First Meeting: Presidents Remember

    Parent group presidents recall the worrying, the nerves, and the lessons learned from their first time wielding a gavel.
  • Put Meetings in Perspective

    Parents have limited time to devote to volunteering. Should you ask them to spend it attending meetings?
  • Robert's Rules: What You Should Know

    Robert's Rules do help you run an effective meeting. And you don't have to know a whole book's worth of details—just a few key concepts.
  • Meeting Minutes Dos and Don'ts

    Minutes are a legal document and an important record of your decisions. Guidelines on when to take minutes and what to record.
  • From Controversy to Consensus

    The way you handle the decisionmaking process can determine whether a difficult issue grows into an acrimonious fight.
  • When Conflict Splits Your Group

    Ways to prevent controversy from escalating, and how to bring the PTO back together if it already has.
  • Meeting Minutes: Just the Facts

    Keeping complete and accurate minutes is an important legal obligation. Here's why certain types of information should—or shouldn't—be included.
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