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Permission Slips That Work - PTO Today

...The PTO may be liable unless it signed an agreement with the zoo or the climbing wall owner stating that the party operating the climbing wall would be liable for faulty equipment. Using permission slips is a good way to limit liability if the forms are carefully drafted to clearly inform parents of the activities and their risks. But a well drafted consent form is not enough to properly protect an organization from the risks of hosting an event. PTOs also should limit liability by acquiring appropriate insurance and transferring risks to other parties (such as the owner of the rock climbing wall) by contractual agreement. With proper planning, you can protect your group from most risks. Sandra Pfau Englund is an attorney specializing in legal issues for PTOs and other nonprofit organizations. The best PTO advice, ideas, and inspiration delivered weekly. Don’t miss it! Resources for Discussing Anti-Racism and Race Relations With Children How To Book a Guest Speaker for Your Next Sch...

When You Feel Overwhelmed - PTO Today

...PTO work doesn’t mean having a party at every meeting. But increasing the time for informal chatting or even finding cartoons or other materials to lighten the mood can go a long way toward re-establishing your own enjoyment and that of others. Learn to recognize when you are driving yourself too hard, why you feel the need to push, and when you are depleting your inner resources. Balance is the key. Try to sort the essential from the nonessential. You will save time and energy when you focus on your own personal mission and how the work of the PTO connects with that mission. You soon will begin to feel more centered. The best PTO advice, ideas, and inspiration delivered weekly. Don’t miss it! Your Toughest Leadership Challenges Tackled Tools for Building PTO Involvement Help Wanted: PTO and PTA Officers Free Leadership Resources for PTOs and PTAs The 5 Stages of Being a PTO Leader 6 Ways To Be a Successful Leader Comments (2) Comments     # Allan Kenyon 2008-07-18 14:05 Excelle...

Recruiting Preschool Parents - PTO Today

...Another strategy is to host events away from the school, such as a movie in the park or a community party. Include contact information on flyers but resist anything that might be perceived as a hard sell—the goal is to make these parents feel comfortable, not pressured. Child-care centers and preschools are perhaps the most fertile ground for recruiting parents of young children. Ida Centner, mother of a 4-year-old and a 20-month-old, was impressed that the PTA at her neighborhood school, Morningside Elementary in Atlanta, collected box tops at her children’s daycare center. Since attending an open house for prospective parents two years ago, Centner has supported the Morningside PTA at every opportunity, including participating in auctions and other fundraisers. She took her son to the PTA-sponsored book fair recently so he could see the campus. She also supports Morningside by shopping for groceries on days when a portion of sales are donated to the school. Stress less about vol...

Game Show Night Is a Winner - PTO Today

...Don’t miss it! Plus Power Pack: Next Year’s Events The School Events You Love Most Field Day Makeover 10 Easy STEM Activities for Kids To Try at Your Next Family Night Trying Out Taekwondo Makerspace Basics Comments (4) Comments     # Connie Molinaro 2008-05-27 14:50 These are great ideas! How do we contact these creative people to build our own Family Party game? I think this would be a lot of fun for the students and the teachers! # Jessie 2009-02-18 00:51 I think this a great idea! Would love to do this sometime at our school. I think it would be a hit. Thanks for the hard work & effort you put into this website. I find myself visiting it often for ideas or thoughts. # Craig Bystrynski from PTO Today 2009-02-24 01:15 Hi Jessie -- Thanks for the kind words. We appreciate it! -- Craig # William Preston 2011-03-25 19:33 We do a Quiz Mania Family Fun Night that is similar but teams are formed at random of a mixture of parents, students and teachers of both sexes. this allows us t...

A Literacy Event for Halloween - PTO Today

...Your local party store will have a host of Halloween-theme trinkets such as pencils, erasers, notepads, stickers, bouncy balls, and the like. Try to avoid morbid and ghoulish items that might scare some of the younger students. Hands-on STEM and STEAM ideas for parent groups to support learning GET FREE GUIDE One week before the contest, order the gift certificates from a nearby children’s bookstore for the predetermined number of winners. You’ll probably want to have a pumpkin and a poem winner in each classroom. The other thing you have to do during this week is plan the display location and make arrangements with the school’s custodian. Choose a location that will be seen by all students, such as outside the all-purpose room, cafeteria, or gymnasium. Make sure the display tables are set up on the day before the contest. Then, during the two days of the contest (usually October 30 and 31), arrive at the school about a half-hour before the start of the school day to greet the p...

Surviving 3rd Grade Graduation - PTO Today

...When they graduate from college or University I can see the party. Otherwise the sacrifice is not recognized by them # Shahina Saeed 2011-03-28 02:20 I totally agree with Ron. Furthermore, it's been said kids these days are too coddled, and the excess celebration of progressing from one grade to another only compounds the problem of kids expecting "something for nothing". In a time when the economy is so bad that many schools have cut back on necessaties, having a PTO spend money on such celebrations seems garish. Refresh comments list RSS feed for comments to this post Add comment... Name (required) E-mail (required, but will not display) Send Cancel Weekly Newsletter It's never too early to start planning a (safe) holiday shop. Get Your Free Updated Guide Along with your free guide, you will also be registered for our weekly newsletter. By downloading this free guide, you accept that your email address will be shared with our program sponsor. Trending 22 Easy Meal Ideas for Large Gr...

Should You Charge Membership Dues? - PTO Today

...At Greensview Elementary School in Upper Arlington, Ohio, $5 is collected from each member to cover both PTO membership and room party fees. At Barrington High School in Barrington, Ill., most of the PTO's $27,000 annual budget comes from membership fees, and $7,000 of this amount goes to fund the school's impressive college advisory program. The program culminates in a fair attended by 400 colleges and universities. But how does this kind of fee affect membership? The $20 membership fee charged by the Barrington High PTO certainly hasn't hurt participation, which PTO adviser Cinda Pittman estimates at 50 percent of the families of the school's 2,500 students. "In this school district, people just take it for granted," she says, adding that Illinois parents already have to pay almost $300 in book and technology fees each year. "It starts in elementary school with a membership fee of $3 to $5, then $10 at the middle school, and by the time the children get to high school, parents are u...

10 Truths About Parent Groups - PTO Today

...by going out and having a party. And stop by for a cold one anytime. That’s what we’re here for. The best PTO advice, ideas, and inspiration delivered weekly. Don’t miss it! When No One Steps Up To Lead How To Raise More Money Keeping the PTO Momentum Going Is Parent Involvement Dying? The Myth of the Volunteer Trap The Secret to Parent Group Success Comments (4) Comments     # Janet Kinneberg 2008-03-04 00:02 Just wanted to say thanks for the nice articles. You are right; our HSA has done a lot of the soul-searching you describe in various articles, and after two years we are finding that we are finally reaching/including many parents by hosting fun events in addition to the "meetings". It is helpful, too, to keep in mind that at smaller schools like ours with a Pre-K to 8th grade student population, we are getting a "fresh start" with up to 1/8 of the parents every year! Many of us are taking you up on "stopping by for a cold one"! # Susan 2008-12-03 18:07 My child will be at...

Put Meetings in Perspective - PTO Today

...Some version of a pizza party or kids’ prize for the class that has the most parents at the meeting. Baby-sit ’em. Free baby-sitting in the school gym while parents meet in the cafeteria. Bribe the parents. Door prizes, gift certificates for those who attend. Kids’ performances. Third-grade art show one month. Fifth-grade music performance the next. Rinse. Repeat. And now raise your other hand if any of these solutions worked so well that you’re now searching for an extra room for all the parents who just can’t get enough of your meetings. I suspect there may be a lot of people with just one hand up. And if you’re like a lot of parent group leaders I run into, this never-ending quest to get parents to your meetings is a source of consternation. You discuss it. You strategize over it. You commiserate and throw up your hands. My advice: Stop worrying about it. Too many groups measure their success by measuring attendance at their meetings. If that’s you, then you’re meas...

When Schools Merge - PTO Today

..."We brought in a couple of authors, went to the bird sanctuary and the zoo, had a skating party, and a lot more." A New Beginning A consolidation can often mean the merging of two very different congregations. "The major challenge that we faced was merging a school with a limited minority population with one that was at least 70 percent minority," says Cramer. Neighborhood meetings helped air the concerns of parents, while plenty of pre-consolidation activities helped the children get acquainted. Months of pen-pal exchanges and busing students back and forth culminated in a science assembly in which Cramer, sitting on a skateboard, was shot across the stage via the fire extinguisher she clutched. Perhaps the most symbolic unification of cultures was the decision to add the Spanish translation to the original name of the school (River Road/El Camino del Rio). This blending of cultures is also evident in a list of the school's get-togethers in the first year after consolidation: All Sch...

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