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Re-starting a stale PTO

23 years 3 weeks ago #94163 by nhptomom
Replied by nhptomom on topic RE: Re-starting a stale PTO
First off, pat yourself on the back for getting involved!

Second, speak with the school admin and lay down some basic ground rules for how they think you ought to support the school. Conflict betweent he PTO and admin is never a good thing.

Third, talk with your other interested friends. Have one be a secretary to record minutes of meeting and to help you with general paperwork (copying, collating, etc) and have another be a fundraiing resource. This person can look into fundraising options and present them to you and the rest of the PTO.

Start slowly and realistically so you don't burn out. Remember, delegate, delegate, delegate. Beinf President doesn't mean you do it all!! Good luck.
23 years 3 weeks ago #94162 by JHB
Replied by JHB on topic RE: Re-starting a stale PTO
It's great that you are enthusiastic and willing to help - it sounds like they need you. It sounds like a good opportunity to start over with a group that all wants the same thing. Good luck!

A lot of the information you want already exists in other posts if you have time to really explore the forums. Yes, you need by-laws. And if you are going to bother, I suggest you do it right the first time. We had simplistic bylaws that proved almost worthless when we faced some real problems (missing money). You can build slowly, it doesn't all have to be done at once. Email me directly if you want any of our stuff. We are basically starting from scratch process-wise, but I have:

Constitution & by-laws
Budget (not too detailed)
Year-at-a-glance Timeline
Chart stating what (our) PTO is and ISN'T
1 page flyer on cash handling
1 page description of "Grade Parent" role
Membership form
Volunteer form

My documents are in Word and/or Excel from Office 2000. Email me directly if you want any of these.

[This message has been edited by JHB (edited 11-10-2000).]
23 years 1 month ago #94161 by H/AMom
Replied by H/AMom on topic RE: Re-starting a stale PTO
Like you, I became our PTC president this fall. Our school is in its second year (K-5)and last year was a HUGE joke. I STONGLY suggest that you create a committee to establish some by-laws. Be prepared to revise them several times over the next year. We revised ours four times! I saw a thread on this web page about by-laws - we got our basic ideas from another PTO/A's bylaws then adapted them to meet our needs.

As far as membership, we require only that you have a child in the school. We do, however, classify between "Active Member" and "Inactive Member". Our school has a good turn out (about 40 parents a month- with an enrollment of 260) every month, but it is hardly ever the same parents. We actually had to turn away volunteers for our Halloween Party last month! The thing about not requiring anything for membership is that parents are less reserved about getting involved when it is not perceived as a HUGE commitment. Parents will sometimes look at dues or attendance requirements and see that as a statement that they are going to be extremely active (even when they turn out to be those kind anyway!). Some parents can only help for a couple of months out of the year (we have several pregnant moms that are due in Jan and Feb) and may decide not to get involved at all if they can't meet the attendance requirements.

One way to have activities without an actual PTO fund is to have events with a minimal fee attached or a mini fund-raiser at the event. You could charge a $3.00 per child fee for a Halloween party (if held after school for a couple hours, parents will jump at the chance to have their child attend).
Or, try haveing a raffle ar bake sale at a "Holiday Pagaent"- or a cake walk at a school play. If you are not having "big" fund-raisers, your parents will not complain about "attendace fees". I suggest, however, that you get going on a fund-raiser (or two)! Get inventive, the best fund-raisers are those that don't feel like one! We have actually had "Salon Days" where parents who are nail techs or hair stylists have volunteered their time and skills and have done haircuts and manicures for parents and students- with all the procedes going to the PTC! It was great- everyone needs a hair cut once in a while. Other favorites are fund-raisers masquarading as events - Daddy/Daughter Dances, Mother/Son Bowling and Twighlight bowling are always fun!

Whatever you do decide to do, be PATIENT (and try to make time for your own hair cuts!) Good Luck! - Bonnie
23 years 1 month ago #94160 by MissBurkee
Re-starting a stale PTO was created by MissBurkee
I became the President of our PTO this fall. I had never been to a meeting before but had heard that only a small number of people (around 10) attend meetings. As I sat through the meeting I started thinking of ways to get others involved and became very excited about being the President. At the end of the meeting I talked to the current President and said I'd like to take it over. She handed me her stack of "stuff" (catalogs, fundraising ads, etc.) and that was it. I had no training and very little information. There are no by-laws and no budget. The only thing you need to do to be a member is show up. Can anyone give me suggestions on what to do to get some sort of order going? My first meeting was very successful - I had about double the turnout, an agenda that I stuck to, and some very willing volunteers. The Principals of the schools are excited that things seem to be looking up. I just need to set some guidelines. Shouldn't we have by-laws? Is there anyplace I can find something to start with? And how do we set up a budget when we will be doing much more than has ever been done? One more thing... what about membership? As is stands now, if you show up at a meeting you are a member. Even if we don't charge a fee, shouldn't there be some sort of registration? I am so excited about getting this PTO going, any helpful hints would be greatly appreciated! Thanks :)
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