It’s amazing to think we are getting ready to close out another year at our PTA! Over the years, I’ve found that making a few administrative tasks a top priority now makes life much easier when school starts up again. Here’s what we’re working on:

Boosting involvement. Right now, we are reaching out to current committee chairs and volunteers to see what they are interested in doing next year. We’re also focusing on new parents. We just hosted a morning PTA Volunteer Q&A meeting at a local coffee shop and had a great turnout! We met many new faces and filled half our volunteer slate in two hours!

We also asked outgoing committee chairs to provide a quick description of their position, so we could share this with prospective members quickly on email. While this is another "ask" at the end of a busy school year, we found that committee chairs who were "graduating out" were happy to share their wisdom gained over the past few years. 

What you need to know about parent group insurance (in plain English)

Finalizing the budget. We’re wrapping up the budget and making sure all committee reports are in with final numbers. We’re also getting feedback from school leaders and volunteers to review what worked for specific events so we can make improvements or adjustments in next year’s budget. One tip to share: We make notes throughout the year, especially concerning unexpected expenses, like the cost of mailing 300 gift cards or unexpected lunches for visiting students. Having those notes now makes a huge difference!

Making a plan for next year. While we are still in parent group mode, we will be meeting with the principal and teachers who were involved in the PTA to discuss objectives or plans for next year. For example, our PTA sponsored two assemblies for boys and girls focused on self-respect and anti-bullying. We'd like to start an after-school club next year using the curriculum developed by one of the groups that put on the assembly. So, we sent out a fundraising survey to see whether our members were interested in supporting this program, and we think it’s important to get input from the principal and teachers, as well. 

Squaring away the schedule. To help us set our calendar for the next school year, we recently met with parent group presidents from four local PTAs, and we reviewed our schedules to avoid conflicts. We have three elementary PTAs which feed into our middle school group, so it's important to make sure we aren't double-scheduling parents who may want to attend both. We followed up the discussion with an email of each group's meeting dates.

Last, I’d like to share a piece of advice. If you’re a parent group leader, make sure you take a moment to remember that you did your best. I know we will! You and your team of volunteers accomplished more than you may realize right now! 

Here’s to a great new year!

Originally posted in 2015 and updated regularly