Back to School Archive

Helpful ideas and tips to get your PTO or PTA in gear for the new school year. See the Back to School resources page for even more tools and programs.

  • Does Your Parent Group Rock?

    Does Your Parent Group Rock? Of course it does, but have you ever received a shirt that says so?
  • Video Blog: Top 3 Tips for Growing Parent Involvement

    If you asked me what one question we get asked the most by parent group leaders, I would say without hesitation: "How do I get more parents involved in our parent group and school?" This is the topic of our video blog this week. Tim talks about his top 3 things PTO or PTA leaders can do to encourage more parents to volunteer and get involved this school year.
  • Make It an A+ Year!

    PTOs can make even more of a difference for schools with good planning, good communication, and a focus on building student achievement.
  • 13 Things To Do This Year

    Get out your to do list and add these items to build involvement and strengthen your group.
  • Do Our Kids Value Our Involvement?

    I ran aross this column in Newsweek from a really involved who was struck that her daughter chose "dad" as role model on a school assignment. Not "mom & dad", just dad.
  • My Tip of the Week: Managing Email Addresses

    What's your plan for gathering a great list of parent email addresses this upcoming school year? I can tell you both from personal experience and from hearing from a ton of groups that effective use of email can make a huge difference for your group. Promoting events, soliciting volunteers, communicating key updates -- all can be more effective (and easier and less expensive) if you have a good email list.
  • New Event Planning Kit Now Online

    Let's face it, PTO school events can make or break your parent involvement equation. A well-planned, well-attended event not only builds community -- it brings in more volunteers! Our new Event Planning Kit takes all the guess work out of creating PTO events that rock.
  • My Tip of the Week: Making a Positive First Impression

    Your First Impression What will be the first communication parents receive from your PTO this fall? What impression will it give? What spirit will it convey?
  • My Tip of the Week: How to Plan for a Successful Year

    Summer is a great time for thinking about what you want to accomplish this year. It's important not to get stuck in the brainstorming process, though. If you want your vision to become reality, it's important to plan. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
  • My Tip of the Week: Preparing for Your First Meeting

    Are you ready for your first meeting of the year? It's the one time when you're most likely to get a lot of new folks attending, and it can really set a tone. For better or worse, people will judge your group based on what happens at that meeting. If you make people feel welcome and needed, listen to what newcomers have to say, and keep the meeting to less than an hour, you've laid the groundwork to build some momentum. But if that meeting doesn't go well, you will have missed a chance to bring in some new recruits. First impressions are lasting, so you may not easily get that chance again.
  • Back-to-School Supply Shopping: How Some PTO Groups are Helping Out

    Have seen countless articles about how the economy is impacting  back-to-school shopping. This recent article talks about how parents and PTO & PTA groups are getting creative for back-to-school shopping during a recession.  Many are taking advantage of the power of a group to help parents out.
  • Back-to-School Night or Open House Tips for PTO Leaders

    Living here in the Northeast, our schools go back fairly late, usually right around Labor Day.  So I consider August 15th the kick-off to back-to-school for our family.  (Already told the kids that this was the last weekend before “operation re-adjust bedtimes” gradually begins.  That went over very well.)
  • Parent Involvement in Middle School

    Came across this article about how 6th graders are "kids are caught in the inbe-tween" when it comes to school. It asks the question: where do these tweens fit in a school system-- elementary school or middle school?  Always an interesting and heated debate.
  • Must have summer read: Our free New Leader Kit!

    We hear it a lot this time of year: "I am so excited to be the new PTO president... but I'm also nervous!" Or, "I had a great year this year, but I am already thinking of ways to improve the board for the next school year." Well, whether you're new to the job or an old pro, our FREE New Leader Kit will be your new best friend. The insider tips will give you the tools you need to lead with confidence -- so you can relax a little this summer.
  • PTO Tips, Tricks & Peeves

    A long-time stalwart of our message boards reminded me today about a great thread that is perfect for this time of year.
  • The Flu, Swine Flu, Your PTO and Your School

    Man, am I glad we have this Teach Flu a Lesson flu vaccination initiative out for schools and PTOs and PTAs
  • Have you Read Your Latest Issue of PTO Today Magazine?

    By now the lastest issue of the issue of PTO Today should be in your PTO or PTA mailbox. Don't let it sit there -- lots of great stuff to make this your best year yet!
  • Make New Families Feel Welcome

    Holding out a helping hand when families first arrive at the school pays off in increased involvement and a stronger parent group later on.
  • Create a School Tradition

    Ambitious events build excitement and involvement. They make your PTO look great, too.
  • Growing Involvement -- YouTube-style

    Here's a new twist (and I bet it will be the first of many of these). Talented volunteer puts together a video selling the importance of volunteering at school. Professional editing and a soundtrack make it really slick. Love it! I feel like I'm watching Oprah.