Question: A struggling PTO with a Principal who doesn't care!!

I've just been elected the president of a failing PTO at my sons school. For the last 2 yrs there have only been 3-4 members of the PTO at the most. The last president/vp/secretary never contacted any parents back never helped organize a thing, and now the only one left is the tresurer who is trying her beat to make this year work. Tomorrow we are having aor first meeting with a principal who offers no help what-so-ever she blocks any effort made by the PTO and would rather no parent involment in the school at all. How to I break this barrier or atleast what can I do if she wants us to have nothing do do with the kids at all!!!! Please Help!

Asked by MStruble



Advice from PTO Today

Rose H writes:
Well, it may be best to look at it this way: You have a chance to make some really substantial changes and turn things around. But it will take time, which is OK.

You might want to start by just reaching out to parents. How did that first meeting go? Can you send thank you notes to the parents who did show up? Then you can try sending out an email or letter to the school community to let them know of the PTO's plans for the school year and welcome input, feedback and participation.

Do you have any fall events planned? It would be great to plan a simple, low-cost event -- maybe a pot luck or spaghetti supper -- not so much to raise money but to give families an opportunity to connect.

As far as the principal is concerned, try reaching out to him/her and simply say, I want this relationship to work -- we both have the kid's best interests at heart -- so how can we make things work? If you straight out ask how to work together, you may get a surprisingly positive response. 

Here are a few article links that you might find helpful:

For building parent involvement:

13 Keys to Strong Involvement

Involvement, Step by Step

For working with the principal:

Make the Principal Your Partner

Negotiating With the Principal

Good luck and let us know how things are working out! 

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