How To Archive

Step-by-step instructions and tips on key PTO and PTA topics, including fundraisers, budgets and bylaws, playgrounds, and more. Find more resources and articles in the Topics A-Z.

  • How To Start a PTO

    Step-by-step tips for getting a new parent group up and running at your school.
  • Are Men Getting More Involved?

    Yeah, I think so.  I certainly feel a bit less unique these days as a dad in the PTO and PTA world. And this story from the Chicago Trib adds some more color to the dad involvement issue.
  • Stop the PTO Drama, please....

    This recent column of mine on diffusing PTO drama has been garnering a lot of feedback, so I thought I'd highlight here in the blog, as well.  Seems to have struck a chord with many.
  • PTOs, Over-Reaction, Bad Policy, and the Backpack Express

    What was once a very minor annoyance is becoming a more common challenge for many PTOs and PTAs. We've tracked several communities where school parent-teacher groups (PTOs and PTAs) have been banned from using the backpack express to communicate with parents.  I'll explain below, but cutting to the chase -- this is horrible policy that does harm to schools.  And it doesn't have to be this way.  Nuance and a backbone are both wonderful things.
  • Tim's Update on the New PTO Today Community

    Learn how to get the most out of our site, connect with other PTO and PTA leaders, get personalized tips, and receive special product offers for your group... Watch Tim's latest video blog.
  • Video Tutorial: How To Increase PTO Meeting Attendance

    Tim answers the Question: how do you increase PTO or PTA meeting attendance? He also provides some tips on parent involvement.
  • How Not to Manage Volunteers

    I love Twitter! It's such a great place to stay on top of the latest trends, news, and also to find some talented bloggers. Today I found a link to this blog post about a PTO wannabe. If the post wasn't so infuriating it would be funny!
  • Video Tutorial: Who Is the Boss of Your PTO?

    Who decides how our PTO money is spent? How do I deal with a controlling principal? Should the principal have the final say on what goes into our newsletter? We get questions like these -- and many more -- on our site all the time. The basic question is who's the boss? This week Tim addresses this question in his video tutorial, where he talks about the importance of making the principal your partner.
  • Video Tutorial: How To Combat Parent Group Drama

    Maybe it's because we have a few months of school under our belts and people are feeling more comfortable.... or maybe it's because the holidays are upon us and patience is wearing thin due to overload... but it seems that we've been hearing about an awful lot of drama going on in parent groups lately! That's what promped us to do a video tutorial on how to combat PTO or PTA drama.
  • Belkin on Dads Getting Involved at School

    I always find Lisa Belkin's pieces on parenting and school interesting, and the discussions that follow are almost always lively and thoughful, too.  Good stuff.
  • A Principal on PTOs

    We have an interloper in our midst! Just kidding... but we do have a principal who's posted a really interesting question and perspective on our message boards.
  • PTA Power Moms?

    While I certainly don't agree with all the opinions in this linked blog post, I do think it's very important for PTA and PTO leaders to think about impressions all the time and work to combat the too-common idea that leaders are cliquey and not open to new and/or more casual volunteers. How do you work against that impression?
  • Save the date...PTO expos coming Spring 2008

    Have you marked your calendar yet for one of our PTO Today Expos this coming spring? Looking forward to seeing a few thousand of our closest friends at one of our 5 events in March and April.
  • Bonus Tools

    More resources for you and your group.
  • Procedures Book: Your PTO's Instruction Manual

    Helpful information and resources to create policies and procedures books for your leaders.
  • PTO Manager Software

    Happy Half-Birthday
  • How To Inspect Your Playground

    Playgrounds take a lot of wear and tear. Here's what to look for to make sure your playground remains a safe environment for kids.
  • How To Manage Your Budget

    These basic bookkeeping procedures will help you keep your PTO budget in order.
  • How To Choose School Performers

    Enrichment activities and school performers bring fresh insight and perspectives. Find the best fit for your school.