Gearing up for your first full year as a PTO or PTA leader (or planning a return to your position in the fall)? Good luck—you’re taking on a really worthwhile endeavor. Here’s what we know from those who have come before you:

1. Be considerate of the previous board’s feelings. You can and should make change, but it’s best to be tactful in your comments about how your group worked previously. No one intended to make mistakes—and remember, like you, they were unpaid volunteers giving their time (and some of their friends are likely still around...). Check out my article called “A Tale of Two Volunteers” for more on this.

2. Good planning can make all the difference for a smooth transition. So take advantage of the summer months to get ahead of things for the fall. We actually have a free Officer Transition Survival Kit that’s super helpful.

3. Finally, even if your predecessors didn’t do this, take a serious look at insurance for your group. It’s a small investment to protect your group’s assets and—perhaps more important—your new leaders. It’s a smart move.

Most of all—thank you for taking on this important work!

Originally posted in 2016 and updated regularly