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Trying to bring the PTO back to life!!!!

15 years 6 months ago #146882 by jajea
Momof2....Like CC, my heart's in Alabama too...even tho I just live 2 miles across the Georgia state line...hahaha But that's still about an hour away from "home" in Alabama.

This site has awesome tools to help a PTO officer. The file exchange is wonderful. I've gotten so many ideas that has helped our PTO to be organized. The best part of this site, though, is this message board. Such helpful and smart people. Can't tell you how many times I have just clicked around and found the answer to my questions.

Are you the only officer at this time??? If so, then I would start with trying to recruit at least a treasurer and secretary. Since you have the account information, if nobody has offered any other information from the past years and it's not easily located, don't worry too much about it. Just look at it like you are starting over. Then, like CC says...get those bylaws in place !!!!!

If you are in need of a quick fundraiser, here's one that works great for us...Nacho, candy, coke sale. I know some schools have restrictions on JUNK food, but ours is ok with us doing this sale because we don't abuse it. It's also considered a Friday treat for them. They LOVE it. We get the stuff from Sam's (candy bars from local stores if we can find them at 3/$1.00) We have just over 300 students and we use 2 cans of nacho cheese, 2-3 boxes of chips, at least 200 candy bars (about .40 from Sam's), and about 30 2 liter drinks....It takes less than $150 to purchase the items. We sell the nachos/candy bars for $1 and the drinks for .50. We get cups donated from local fast food restuarants. You might could even get them to donate bowls to serve the nachos. We usually clear around $400 for each sale. We are having 6 this year. We will make a little more, too, because one of our teachers picked up candy bars the day after Halloween for less than a quarter per bar...WOOHOOO !!!! .Anyway...it takes a couple of crock pots for the cheese...2 or 3 volunteers to serve and it's EASY $$$$$.

Definatly try to work with your principal. Make sure he knows you want to work together for the benefit of the kids and school as whole. If he doesn't seem too open at first...just make sure you keep him informed on what is going on with the PTO...get his permission for any events...ask his advice when you think he could be of help...in other words...make him a believer that you are determined to have a great PTO.

Good Luck. Try not to stress over things (been there, done that, still doing it..haha). Not everything will work out as you plan...some will far exceed your expectations....just keep your focus on what is best for the kids/school. Most of all...try to enjoy it.
15 years 6 months ago #146881 by CrewChief
War Eagle! Ready for the Iron Bowl next Saturday? I don't think Auburn has a chance this year. My friend is coming to visit this week. She's a die hard Auburn fan but even she hopes Alabama wins so they have a run for the title.

Anyway, back to business....

You're doing yourself and your team a big favor by coming here for advice. There are lots of smart, experienced and helpful people here. Sometimes they have an answer for you before you're even sure what the question is.

Since you're basically starting from scratch, head to the File Exchange from the PTO Share tab at the top of this screen. You will find all kinds of sample documents. Start with Bylaws/Policies in the Organization section. If your group doesn't have bylaws (or can't find them) these samples will help you see how other groups run things and help you decide how you want to run your own group.

As for overlapping with other groups, I imagine that happens a lot in a k-12 school with competing fundraising groups. It might be a good idea to contact their leaders/advisers to see what they have planned for the year. You might find that the things you want to do have already been done by them for a long time and are their traditions. It will help you decide what direction your group should go.

Make friends - good friends - with the principal! Even if he's backing off, he still plays a vital role and you need a positive relationship with him. Approach him and ask him to help during the transition. You don't want him back in 100% control of the group but as the principal, he needs to be somewhat active and very supportive if you're to be successful.

Most of all, take baby steps. Don't try to do it all at once, especially this time of year. Too much is going on and you'll get lost in the muck. Take time over the holiday season to gather everything up, spend some time brainstorming with your team, and come back in the new year with a plan.

Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same."

"The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory or defeat but in the true perfection of one's character."
15 years 6 months ago #146880 by momof2inalabama
Thank you for the advice. The principal is still there just not involved soooo much with the PTO. I just dont want to step on anyones toes. As of the other members from last year--None of them showed up at the meeting when we picked the officers. The principal was going to do away with the PTO due to the not so good last years and the teachers that feel the PTO is a good thing wouldnt let that happen, and maybe 10 parents agreed that we would get it back on track, we just dont know who to ask. About the minutes and things from last year,, Who would I ask for that? I just got the acct. balance as of yesterday.:mad: I figured that they would be giving this to me on there own instead of me having to search the whole school to find what I need. I didnt even know until I have read these responses that they are suppose to take minutes at the meetings!!!!I know it's going to be hard work but I believe the children(mostly) and the teachers deserve the best(regarding the PTO).
I just came up with another question?:) Our school is K-12. How should we go about the upper grades. The other problem I am having is that, when I have suggested to do a santa shop for Christmas, of course, the band is doing one. That was a little dissappointing. It seems like everything I have thought about doing(like I have a lot of time before Christmas anyways) either the Band is doing or the Booster club. I thought about doing Santa pictures and the Booster club is doing that. I guess I will just wait until we get back from Christmas Break and just get heads together b4 anyone else.

Can I (before we have our first meeting) plan like a bake sale or does it need to be in a meeting first? I just have so many questions that its hard for me to get the answers.

Thanks for the advice it is very helpful,,,
momof2inALABAMA ROLLLLLLLLL TIDE!!!!!!
15 years 6 months ago #146878 by CrewChief
Momof2 - I LOVE Alabama. I'm Illinois but my heart is in Alabama....

So, who are the 'they' that nominated you? Are they former or current board members that can help with the transition?

Where are the current and former board members? There should be some bylaws, past years' budgets, minutes from the past several years. All of this history should be made available to you.

It's time to get the staff on board. Consider creating Teacher Representative positions. Depending on what grades your school covers, you may need just one or two or several. They should be able to come to meetings and act as liaisons between the PTO and the staff.

The principal is "stepping down"? From the school? From his job as principal? From being actively involved in daily PTO business? If he's still around, but not active with the PTO, there may still be a lot of hesitation from staff and parents.

I agree with FoxMom. It's time to introduce your new PTO to the community and make them all feel like they're part of one big happy family.

Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same."

"The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory or defeat but in the true perfection of one's character."
15 years 6 months ago #146868 by FoxMom
Maybe a flier sent out announcing that you are the new president and would love to have a meet and greet with fellow parents at your school-- set up a day and time--- maybe offer refreshments and childcare-- make sure to let parents know that you are offering these great extras at your meeting~!!! Maybe list an agenda that you will be going over at the meeting- including an update of funds on hand, a list of upcoming events to be talked about and a time for open-forum or Q & A...

I can't believe you haven't had a meeting yet--- we have had 1 each month since September, we have voted on our major goal for our funds--- and have had 7 events/fundraisers already-- at this time we are getting ready for our upcoming Santa's Shop--

I think the biggest thing to keep in mind as you transition in is to keep your parents informed as to what is happening at the school and in the PTO-- as parents find out things have changed, maybe more parents will get involved.
Good luck!!! Fox Mom.
15 years 6 months ago #146859 by momof2inalabama
Maybe someone can give me some words of wisdom and some advice on tyring to get our PTO back on track. For the last 5 or so years we have had a not so good PTO. The parents and teachers have never been asked where they feel the money (we have raised ) should be spent on. It has always been where the Principal wanted it to go. Now that he is stepping down and not getting involved this year like he has in the past, I am having a hard time just trying to get things rolling. They have now nominated me as the President and no one has told me anything about what I need to do.I want to be involved like no one has before and make a difference, but just seems like when I try to ask for help at the school, nobody knows. We still haven't had a meeting yet. Who do I go to, too find out about the funds and things like that. I REALLY want to make a difference in the PTO at our school. I want parents to feel like the contribution and time that they give is worth something. I dont want them to be scared to give there opinion like it has been in the past. But, how do I do that without making the previous ppl MAD!!
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