Ultimate Back-to-School Success Guide

Ultimate Back to School Success Guide

For parent group leaders, starting a new school year brings a lot of excitement—and more than a little bit of anxiety. Fall events need to be planned, new board members are learning the ropes, and teachers have their own priorities.

Our back-to-school success guide will help you meet those challenges so you can have a great start to the year! From parent involvement and strengthening your board to getting organized and working closely with school staff, you’ll find concrete steps you can take now—plus loads of links to learn more.

Inside the Ultimate Back-to-School Success Guide

Start Working on Parent Involvement Now
Strong parent involvement lays the foundation for every other effort your group undertakes. The best way to make a good first impression is by focusing on involvement first, before anything else.

Connect With Your Board
Get planning done, sort out who will be doing what, and start building friendships.

Plan an Open House Event
Whether you host your own PTO party or join the school’s larger event, it’s important to be visible at back-to-school time (and to be ready for your back-to-school speech!).

Show Teachers and the Principal Some Love
Lay the foundation for a strong partnership with open communication and small tokens of appreciation.

Get Organized
Resources for membership drives, meetings, bylaws, and more.

Dig Deeper
Links to more resources once you’ve covered the basics.

Your First PTO Meeting of the Year

If your PTO or PTA is like most, the first meeting of the year will be the most highly attended. Here are a few recommendations to make sure your meeting goes smoothly—and to encourage more people to attend more of them throughout the year.

Let parents know. Tell parents about your meetings in a variety of ways, and publicize 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 your best chance to make a good impression on many parents. Appoint a greeter to welcome people as they arrive. Have board members wear name tags and offer them to attendees. Keep conversation positive. Encourage people to share new ideas.

Keep it light. To make 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 grant requests. Instead, talk about upcoming events planned for the year and the enrichment opportunities the group is supporting at the school.

Add some fun. A fun meeting can do a lot to let potential new volunteers know what their experience with your group will be like. Include a few minutes for some icebreakers or a quick game.

Still have questions? Call us at 800-644-3561; we’re here to help.

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