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Parent Involvement Archive

Want to find ways to get more parents active and engaged at your school? The articles below have tons of ideas and tips about connecting with dads, reaching out to families, and more. Find more information on the Parent Involvement resources page. (For articles about volunteer recruitment and building your PTO’s volunteer base, go to the Volunteers archive.)

  • 6 Qualities of Successful Parent Groups

    What makes a great PTO or PTA great? PTO Today staff members break down the essential elements.
  • How To Prioritize PTO and PTA Involvement

    Why parent involvement matters—and how your group can make it a priority.
  • Ways To Improve Parent Involvement

    Six commonsense steps that can help increase interest in volunteering.
  • Ideas To Make Your PTO or PTA More Fun

    If parents have a good time, they’ll be more likely to keep coming back. Here's how to make volunteering more fun for everyone.
  • 10 PTO Leader Resources for Dealing With Difficult People

    We had a lively discussion on our PTO and PTA Leaders group about what to do when parents complain and drag you down. Many leaders offered great tips for dealing with difficult people. (Catch a few gems in the video at the bottom of this post.) We wanted pass along some of our best resources on handling negativity and what leaders can do for themselves to stay positive and enjoy (not just tolerate) the upcoming school year! 1. Don’t avoid your most challenging parents. When you try to understand the likely reason why someone is confrontational, you’re better able to diffuse these awkward situations. Resource: How To Deal With Difficult People 2. Share responsibilities so you’re not a (cranky) one-man show. Be willing to offload tasks so you stress less and have more time to devote to your important goals. Resource: Polish Your Delegation Skills 3. Reach out to fellow leaders for comfort and validation. Try connecting with other PTO and PTA leaders locally and online to share experiences with folks who really get you. Resource: Build a Leader Network: Help Is All Around You 4. Give yourself a break. Schedule occasional downtime or just pure fun so you stay healthy (mentally and physically). Resource: A Key To Avoiding PTO Burnout: Take a Breather 5. Embrace personal organizational systems. Find the time-saving tactics that work best for you and commit to using them so that you’re doing less PTO busywork. Resource: Reduce Your PTO Stress 6. Meet criticism with a smile (even if it’s a slightly fake one). When a parent points out what stank about a recent event, thank them for their feedback and move on. Resource: How To React to Critics 7. Put the kibosh on gossip. (You think you can’t, but you can!) If you hear putdowns, address them quickly and publicly by saying you know there have been rumblings (don’t mention anyone by name!), but here’s what’s really happening. Resource: Stop the PTO Drama 8. Get a fix on what makes what makes your volunteers tick. When you understand personality types, you can better resolve the inevitable problems that crop up among volunteers. Resource: Managing Personality Conflicts 9. Get a fix on what makes you tick. Take our quiz to understand your strengths as a leader. Knowing what you’re good at better prepares you to handle any situation. Resource: Rate Your Leadership Skills 10. Try to have a good laugh at least once a day. One of the best ways to get rid of negative energy is to have a good belly laugh. Check out our Facebook page when you can because we are committed to posting something silly on a regular basis. We believe in the power of laughter...check out the image below! Resource: PTO Today on Facebook As a bonus, we wanted to share some advice from PTO and PTA leaders that we collected for this video:  Originally posted in 2016 and updated regularly
  • Ideas for Adult Social Events

    Have some fun with these parent group social events—just for grown-ups!
  • Volunteers: Use Them or Lose Them

    The way you follow up with interested parents can make or break your volunteer recruitment efforts.
  • 27 Easy Jobs for PTO Volunteers

    Offering volunteers a range of tasks that can be done fairly simply (and many at their convenience) increases your chances of getting them on board.
  • Focus on Parent Involvement for a Great Year

    Make building involvement your main goal at back-to-school time. Small steps can make it happen.
  • Build School Spirit From the Start

    Seven ways PTOs and PTAs can encourage a strong school community.
  • You Really Do Make a Difference at School

    A look at some of the key ways parents make a difference at school, and some specific ways you can help the most.
  • Is Parent Involvement Dying?

    Today’s school parent groups have nothing to worry about—if they connect with families in modern ways.
  • 6 Clique Fixes

    You don’t think your PTO is a clique, but others may see it differently. Avoid that perception with these commonsense steps.
  • Quick Involvement Boosters for PTOs

    Looking to get more parents involved? Sometimes, trying a fresh approach is all it takes.
  • 6 Ways To Boost Parent Involvement

    Use these tips to get the help you need.
  • 10 Ideas for Building Spirit at Your School

    More school spirit means a better experience for kids. Here are 10 great ideas for boosting spirit at your school.
  • 5 Ways To Build School Community

    Creating a sense of unity benefits students, teachers, and families.
  • Cool It With the Flyers! Ask Parents To Help Out, One at a Time

  • Fostering a Sense of Community During Catholic Schools Week

  • 7 Ways To Help Prevent Name-Calling at Your School

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