Before you kick into full gear for next year, can I ask you a small favor? Change the way you think about and speak about your parent group.

The most effective parent groups are essential parts of their school, and they act like it, and they speak confidently about their goals and role and activities. That doesn't mean that you need to be a Fortune 500 company or hire a PR firm for press releases, but it does mean that if you act like your parent group is just a second-fiddle part of the school, then everyone else will follow your lead.

We should and do talk respectfully about the importance of great teachers and principals. Great parent groups are the third leg of that triangle that makes a school successful.

My piece called “Just a PTO? Say It Isn't So” from a few years back offers other suggestions on this topic. Hope it makes for good summer reading.