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How do we hold parents responsible for attending PTA

20 years 2 weeks ago #109928 by mykidsmom

Anytime a parent can make a 1-day shoe sale has no excuse making their child's no more than hour long meeting or taking time to go up to the school for various functions.

No harm done but my husband is the one that helps set-up and work these shoe sales that are often from 7 AM till 10 PM. Retail hours are often right up there with factor hours :( throw in holidays and seasons....some of our teachers know I'm married and would someday love to met my husband!

Probably not the best example but your point was made.

** Tim, would love to hear the whole version!
20 years 3 weeks ago #109927 by katlynn71
This is to TheMetzyMom....I would love to use your Top 10 Reasons to be in PTO for the upcoming school year. Could you please post it? Thanking you in advance!
20 years 4 weeks ago #109926 by pals
towanda...I have to say that getting parents to the meetings use to be my number one headache. after a pta with only 4 active parents dissolved I was asked to run our pto.There were no fun events only two bookfairs and fundraising. That was in january of 2002, that first meeting there was 7 of us,two teachers and five parents. The principal was unable to attend. I thought back to why i never joined the pta and listened to the comments around me. parents were saying that they wanted to be informed, have fun and not be totally tied down to meetings. It has been a long road, we have pushed and pushed and our volunteer list is at 47. Meeting attendance is averaging around 16. Am i happy? We are a school of 487 kids, 235 familes. I am happy with it. When asked how volunteering has grown so much in such a short time the parents will say because they feel appreciated and needed.I make sure that every volunteer gets a handmade thankyou for whatever they do..even attending a meeting. Also for volunteer week I personally recognized each volunteer whether it was a one hour of 50 hour volunteer.They need to feel needed and have fun. my goals have changed to getting more families out to our events and getting more parents to volunteer. I am going to be working with my principal over the summer coming up with a HUGE volunteer program and parent involvement list. We will also focus on "if every family gave two hours a year..." It takes time and I have added volunteers through some of our events, when someone approaches me I try to be very upbeat and very welcoming. Our school use to have a click now they have a family....good luck

[ 05-23-2004, 07:39 PM: Message edited by: pals ]

"When you stop learning you stop growing."
20 years 4 weeks ago #109925 by newyorkcitymom
I just posted a topic that is related to this issue. Where is your school located(urban or suburban area)? What is your population?
20 years 1 month ago #109924 by kwtorres
We have an extremely high rate of volunteerism at our school (we require 20 hours per family and we are a school of choice - which says we have parents who are paying attention to education). There is also an abundance of activities which the parents organize and provide. Yet, at our PTO meetings, the attendance is about 10 - 12 people, mostly all Board members.

I have come to the conclusion that if people have a beef, then they will attend. If not, they leave it up to the people who are already doing a job of which they approve. I measure support by participation in our fund raisers and social events, not by meeting attendance. Also, if I need something, I call and ask. Usually, it is not difficult to find someone to help if I define the task and tell them what resources they will have.

We have scheduled meetings in the morning, and in the evening, social and business. Teacher attendance is almost non-existent either way (we hear the comment that "we are not being paid", with a few exceptions), and usually it is the same parents attending with maybe two people who are different. Also, we've tried food, guest speakers, informative discussions and important decision-making. It doesn't seem to matter. Those who care enough to voice an opinion will voice it. Quite a few prefer email as to committing the time to attend a meeting. We share their comments, but when it comes to a vote, they choose not to be there. I take that as they want to be involved, but are satisfied with the outcome of those who are going to see the project through.

Door prizes, food and the like are a lot of work for one or two parents who usually are doing so much of the work anyway. I think if people want to get involved, they will. Food or prizes won't lure them. I'd rather use the door prizes we ask our businesses to contribute to give to our teachers as gifts at Teacher Apprec or Christmas, or as raffle prizes for raising money and drawing people to other events - not meetings.

In short, our meetings have low attendance, but we have extremely active parents throughout the school, doing what they can in other ways. We provide good communications as to what is going on, with a multitude of opportunities to come to meetings or get involved. As long as we provide opportunity, parents can't complain about direction or ignorance (or we put them in charge). We have added more positions on our board to encourage more "brains" at our meetings.

Just a note to Towanda: I could not agree with you more about parents not taking responsibility for their child's education, or behavior. (Don't get me started on my soap box). The truth is, if the parents don't "get it", I don't think we can make them. Those parents will never be "involved" and if they are, you'd probably prefer not to deal with them as they're not thinking in terms of "doing good" for the school or for any reason other than to make sure their child is taken care of. Many people are not programmed that way (I think it is taught).

While it seems there are many "excuses," I think this is reality ( and yes, they sound like excuses to me, too.) I have very high expectations and have to lower them in order not to be frustrated or disappointed and to learn to be flexible. This is where we have to consider the "excuses" and give them some validity. It allows me to enjoy my job as PTO Pres so much more.
20 years 1 month ago #109923 by melloweer
Now see.....I thought we were talking about parents that don't volunteer anywhere. Parents like us that volunteer anywhere in their child's life are awesome parents. It's the ones that do nothing that frustrate me since we could use them so badly (I'm sure other groups too)I know the teachers at my school really appreicate the parents that do volunteer PTO or otherwise, and vice versa to the parents. I also have a 3 year old that goes with me when I have things to do at the school, shes a great help even at 3 and the teachers are wonderful and let her come in their class (even if its not my son's class) and sit in if they are having free time. We help the teachers, the teachers help us.......its those that sit on their hind end (for lack of better wording) that bother me the most.
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