Message Boards



The forum is in read only mode.

Welcome to the Message Boards
Join the conversation! No soliciting or ads, please. Registration is not required but encouraged to get the most out of our community features.

Looking for advice? Join us on Facebook

Get advice, ideas, and support from other parent group leaders just like you—join our closed Facebook group for PTO and PTA Leaders & Volunteers .

Is this appropriate?

12 years 1 month ago #156043 by MZab
Is this appropriate? was created by MZab
Hi there. I'm in my school's PTO. Right now we don't have insurance so I don't want to be an official executive member but I am extremely involved - volunteering, sending out the emails, running the FB page, etc.

Our PTO is a bit disorganized to say the least, mainly from what I understand is because the people who ran it before the new group came in, left without passing off the reigns, so to speak. So everything last year was learned on the fly.

Parental involvement in our school is very low. We have one woman whose son is about graduate that we will lose and we sadly lost another great volunteer who passed away a few weeks away. We have about the same 10 volunteers for every event but it is getting to the point where it is very difficult for us to keep running events when no one else wants to pitch in, or as we all know, gives excuses as to why they can't.

I'm wondering if it would be appropriate to send an email to the PTO and ask them what they would like to see change for next year. I know this school year isn't over yet but for us, it practically is. There isn't much more going on so we might as well look to a brighter next year. I was thinking of asking them what they would like to see done differently, do they have suggestions, etc. I don't intend on saying, 'hey, why did you guys pay dues just to sit there and look at emails I send you' because that might turn them away. lol But maybe there is something that we are doing that is putting people off.

I didn't discuss this with the Pres or VP or any other executive member yet and I wouldn't send it without doing that first. I'm just wondering what more experienced people think of this idea.

Thanks for your feedback.
12 years 1 month ago #156045 by
I would not do this as an individual, but as a group. It seems like you need a strong leader to step up and things sometimes are "roses trying to bloom" and it keeps raining. If it was me the first thing I would do is to address the principle. You may or may not be "out of your comfort zone" sometimes a lack of communication w/ cause these breakdowns and restructioning is what is left. I always try to do extensive homework on each subject before I stick my foot in my mouth..although sometimes it happens...You have to take the good and bad. Then again maybe it would take just one person to make a diffence, but turning 45 in a cuople of monthes tells me to tread lightly becaue what you perseve as an issue may not be one. There are reasons why groups before as they do, we have to remeber TEAM WORK~ is not only for our children but adluts also.
12 years 1 month ago - 12 years 1 month ago #156047 by Lisa @ PTO Today
Replied by Lisa @ PTO Today on topic Re:Is this appropriate?
Like the attitude of thinking of next year as a clean slate!

How about sending out a survey to all the parents at the school and possibly one to teachers too? We have a bunch on our File Exchange that you could tailor to your needs.

Also might be helpful to read our article on how to create an effective survey .

So speaking of a clean slates- how about inviting the board to view this series of videos:

8 Habits of Highly Effective Parent Groups

A lot of what Tim talks about in this video speaks to your concerns of turning people off or rather now to encourage more parent involvement.

Keep us posted!


Follow us on Twitter .
Connect with us on Facebook .
12 years 1 month ago #156053 by barb_r
Replied by barb_r on topic Re:Is this appropriate?
Mzab ~

Approaching next year NOW is the way to go. I became PTO President last year a few months into the school year. Prior to that I had served on the PTO Board for almost 6 years. So, I had experience with the group and knew some of the challenges.

That being said, knowing the challenges and changing them are two different things. Especially if there is a reason that may or may not be easily seen by those who basically "live PTO" for their children's school.

We did exactly what you are suggesting. I had one parent/board member that found 2 survey's on the file exchange program here, took them and personalized them to fit us. We sent the survey out towards the end of the year to both the parents and the teachers. We then took the time to REALLY look at the feedback and see how to implement the changes. The survey's are a great starting BUT if nothing changes, even slightly, after the results are in, people will keep the same impressions of the organization or worse yet, have an even more negative impression of the group.

Make sure you have full (or as close as you can get!) board and school support and make it clear what the parents are being asked and WHY. Also, be prepared for some of the results. They may "hit" where the group thought they were doing the best work which means a beloved event may be a thing of the past next year. And remember, not everyone will end up happy. We have one niche in the school that is constantly at odds with how we are doing things. While I would love for them to join us, their negativity will not prevent us from doing what we feel is best and what we feel the majority of the parents want.

If there are two things I would REALLY encourage you (and your board) to remember they would be:

1. Not everyone likes change. The survey is the simple part in making the impact you are seeking to make. Don't let the negative nellies hamper the process.

2. Change takes time. The survey is a starting point but after a few changes, do another survey, etc. I am going to suggest to my board that we do another survey at the end of this school year, etc. We don't want to "over" survey BUT while great progress was made there is still room for growth and we need to know how to do that!

Sometimes it isn't easy to see for the forest when standing amongst the trees... just be ready for the sky view you may get!
12 years 1 month ago #156059 by
I agree w/ Barb~This my first year in a new school district and I have ~soI 'd like to think~a few really good ideas. My fellow PTO members seem welcome to hear the ideas, but hesistate on really listening, and wanting a little change or something new.
I asked today if I could do a brief survey w/ the teacher's re teacher apprt. day and got a fast No. If we sent out survies for every event or other person the teachers would be wasting their time completing these. I couldn't even ask when was the last time the PTO did a "all general type survey w/ a little of alll around info for the year... Got a little fustrated.
Would you happpen to know if all PTO members are entittled to the bylaws(copy of)? And is reallly necessary for me to know these "details"?
I agree CLEAN SLATE YEAH!!!!!!! Spring is in the air ladies, my gram gave me a poem and the most important part kinda goes like this~
I'm convinced that life is 10% of what happens to me and around me,
and 90% is how I decide to react to it~
so with this thought, it is with you, we are in charge of our attitudes, and there fore
we are in charge of our life and day.

When I get that needing that extra nude to ask about something to a faculaty member I just met in Aug re ideas and they probably think what is she thinking...I am just trying to take all my experience and a mom to go for the best. Sometimes they feel like they are all my children and just , yeah , maybe or not ```well what do you think~
1. internet safety night 2. Push our Go Green more( 3. well the teacher survey 4. Please don't make me order pasta for their luncheon in May...A few ideas that would be nice.
We have about 500 students and only about 30% parent involvement.
12 years 1 month ago #156072 by MZab
Replied by MZab on topic Re:Is this appropriate?
Hi everyone. Thank you so much for the feedback. It is really appreciated.

Every time I look at this board, I'm in work. I have seen the files to download but I'm hesitant to do it in work so I have to make sure I check it out over the weekend from home. Once I get a copy of a survey I like, I'm going to approach them with it. I don't really think they will have a problem with me doing it as much as some of them may not be interested in following through with suggested changes. However, those few, I do not believe, will be in leadership roles next year so I think it will be easier to listen to the masses and implement some of the suggested changes. One of those changes, I know, is going to be communication. We are seriously lacking in that department.

As for the by-laws, if there are any, I don't know about it. We are the most disorganized PTO I have seen. The person who was running the PTO a few years ago wasn't able to continue and no one stepped up to volunteer except the current president, which is how she got the job. Her heart is truly in the right place but getting things done doesn't always happen in an organized fashion. I really believe that is part of the discouraging part to people. They aren't necessarily involved in the planning of the activities as much as they are just asked to go here and there to fill in the spots where we need them. I know that has to change as well.

I'll keep you updated on how things turn out. Thanks again!
Time to create page: 0.074 seconds
Powered by Kunena Forum
^ Top