Ah, it’s almost summer. If you are a new PTO or PTA president, you’re likely sneaking in time to get ready for the next school year—we know you too well to believe you’re off relaxing 24/7.

Still, we’d recommend you keep the PTO work to a minimum. Think of it this way: Isn’t it better to start the school year refreshed than already feeling a little frazzled? If you can, try to limit yourself to basic PTO homework, like these five items: 

1. Meet with your board. Get together to discuss general issues. It’s important to understand what board members think about the big picture, like the PTO’s mission. Also, review some basics, like what’s the best way to communicate—group emails, texting, an app? You’ll want to know this before school is in full swing. For more tips, read Build a Strong Executive Board

2. Do some light reading. Review the group’s bylaws and a summary of Robert’s Rules. There’s no need to memorize any of this; you’ll have these file on hand next year. But you want to have a general understanding about organizational issues and rules. 

3. Review last year’s activities. Do a quick read of last year’s meeting minutes and newsletters. This is especially helpful if you are new to the group; it will give you a sense of the group’s “personality.” Plus, you may find activity ideas that will work for this school year! 

4. Organize your welcome packet. Review your group’s welcome packet and update as needed with new information, like the 2016-17 school calendar. Or, if you need to create a welcome packet, we have a step-by-step guide for you. 

5. Reflect. Try this one at the beach or by the pool. You can think of it as multitasking! Take time to think about what kind of leader you want to be and set personal goals. Not sure? Think about leaders you admire, from past PTO leaders to national figures. Consider how to adopt the leadership styles or tactics you’ve observed.