That packet parents get at back-to-school time, the contents of the school website, your volunteering forms, the back-to-school parent meeting -- those are all "first impression" items that make a huge difference in how your group is viewed for the entire year. If you wait until next September to give those items some attention, you'll have missed out on a big opportunity. Many new parents and returning parents use those tools and have more contact with the school and your group during the four weeks around back-to-school time than they will the entire rest of the first semester.

The tip is: Do what you can now and this summer to make sure those early points of contact are really positive. Update the PTO section of the school website. Review your volunteer sign-up sheets and make sure they send just the right message. Get your (nonfundraising) welcome messages included in the back-to-school packets that go home from school. The payoff is significant.   We have several good resources on this front:

I'm all for well-deserved rest and relaxation. But hopefully these few steps will make your back-to-school season a bit more relaxing, as well.