I've always thought PTO meetings are overrated. There's way too much energy spent worrying about attendance and how to make them more attractive. Let's face it -- meetings are boring. And they always will be. They'll never draw a large number of parents, and that's OK.

My advice? Don't get too caught up in the idea that meetings are a major measure of your group's success. Here's my column called "Measuring Meetings" for more on that.

I do think meetings still have value and create an opportunity for in-person sharing and connecting. We have a new article, "PTO Meeting Magic," with quick tips on how to keep your meetings focused and on track.

Just don't expect miracles, and don't spend too much time trying to get people to attend. (Save that energy for getting folks to your family events.) And tear down any obstacles to alternative volunteering. Smartphones, good home web access -- these tools make it easy to share information and collaborate outside of the traditional meeting formats.