Question: admin involvement

Our PTSO has been dormant for a long time. Now that parents are trying to revive it, admin is going out of the way to involve itself. What is the best way to deal with this? Most parents are concerned about the level of involvement of the admin.

Asked by shabeena



Community Advice

mum24kids writes:
Can you give some more details? How is admin getting involved? Are they preventing you from forming an independent organization? Are they dictating what activities you support?

Community Advice

shabeena writes:
Yes, they are telling us about election committees, election dates, how Bylaws should look like, what activities to do, what roles (newly created) office bearers would have and so on and so forth....

Advice from PTO Today

Rose H writes:
Hi shabeena,
Are you planning on moving forward as an independent or will your group be part of the school?If you are part of the school, the administration will have some say. They shouldn't be dictating your every move, though. If you will be independent (applying for 501©(3) status), you have some room to make your own choices, but you still need to work with the administration. Better to be partners than adversaries because they can make your life difficult. If you can meet with the administration, try to go over the ground rules and try to connect. They may want to take some time to learn to trust the group again (not sure why it went dormant). In the meantime, it is worth talking to them about the importance of a parent-driven group, how parents will feel more ownership to it than if it is simply an extension of the school administration. If they feel that ownership, there is more of a sense of community at the school, parents pitch in more, and they make it a better place for the kids.

Some articles that will help:

Make the Principal Your Partner

Negotiating with the Principal

What Principals Fear from Parent Groups 

Good luck! 

Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
In the best case scenario, the administration should be helping you with mission and goals, the best ways for you to help the school, and appropriate ways to operate within the school (ie working with teachers, scheduling things during class time, etc.). You should be deciding on the best structure and roles within you group to get those things done.

I'd suggest presenting that split to the principal -- "here are the things we need your help on." Let him know that parents need to have some ownership, as Rose mentioned, in order to be fully committed. If the administration tries to micromanage the PTO, the ultimate result will be less involvement -- the most talented and committed parents will get frustrated and leave. They'll look for a place where they feel their volunteer time is more valued and they can make more of a difference. Good luck!

Community Advice

shabeena writes:
Thank you so much Rose and Craig for the valuable feedback and the support I was looking for. I will keep that in mind, going forward. We have a meeting today, and the admin has got the message. Hope things get better.

Answer this question: