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.

  • 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.
  • We've Got You Covered

    Our goal: creating solutions to deal with all of the challenges your parent group might face.
  • 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.
  • Parent Involvement Success in Minnesota

    I don't know if Ana Markowski has been reading PTO Today and our parent involvement pages, but -- man-oh-man -- does she ever get this stuff!
  • SchoolFamily.com -- check it out

    Excited to introduce all of our ptotoday.com readers and users to a new site we launched just this morning -- schoolfamily.com.
  • Volunteering = Perks?

    Interested and heated discussion on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution site. The crux: should heavily-involved parents get (or expect) occasional school benefits in exchange for their volunteering?
  • Kindergarten Welcome Shirt

    I just ran across this this one shirt, in particular), and I think I've found the best door-prize ever for a Kindergarten welcome event. Cool stuff. Thought I'd pass it along.
  • Getting Involvement Right in Florida

    Gotta love it when a PTO realizes that involvement takes unique outreach... and then sees great success.
  • Boo Hoo Breakfast

    OK, this PTA creatively calls it the "Kindergarten Cry" but I still love the name "Boo Hoo Breakfast" for an event to welcome/support the new parents at your school, who are letting go of their babies for the first time. Fun way to make that first connection and make a great first impression.
  • Excellent Parent Involvement Q&A

    Unusually strong (and long) piece here from Connecticut with excellent content for parents on the hows and whys for parents of getting involved at school. Good stuff.
  • Maryland District Looking for Dads

    Prince Georges County (MD) making specific efforts to involve Dads. Article includes good research and background on why getting dads involved is so key.
  • New Volunteer, Old Volunteer -- What they'd like to say.

    It's that time of year when the new PTO cubs start bugging the seasoned PTO mama bears. Yup, I said it :-) Whether you're the spirited newcomer or the grizzled old verteran, I hope you can find some peace by thinking about what the other side is going through. This column on the gap between old volunteers and new volunteers could help.
  • PTO Fun Run Details

    Good details in this piece about an Ohio PTO's overall efforts and their upcoming road race community day.
  • Philadelphia Involvement Kudos

    We've worked with these guys a bit in the past, when we've had PTO Expos in the Philly area, but we're continually impressed with the Philadelphia public schools and their outreach to parents. Here's just another example, as district hosts wide-ranging Parent Appreciation Day. Love it.
  • Think Big, Get Big

    Launching an ambitious project can rally support for your group and enhance your image.
  • Back-to-School Supplies

    MD PTA does well.
  • Marketing 101

    Family fun = success.
  • PTO Today on TV!

    Check it out!
  • PTO Today on TV

    Back-to-school advice was the topic this morning for this Fox Morning Show appearance (see video). Still amazed at how smooth and quick those hosts are -- they can make even a stuttering amateur appear a bit less stuttering and amateurish. :-) A lot of the interview tips come from our new SchoolFamily.com website.