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Parent Involvement Archive

Want to find ways to get more parents active and engaged at your school? The articles below have tons of ideas and tips about connecting with dads, reaching out to families, and more. Find more information on the Parent Involvement resources page. (For articles about volunteer recruitment and building your PTO’s volunteer base, go to the Volunteers archive.)

  • Why do People Volunteer?

    Sometimes it's easy to lose sight of why we volunteer for our school's  PTA or PTO. We've all been there at one time or another: maybe it's a committee chair who doesn't follow through on what they said they'd do... or the fact the only non-board member who shows up regularly for meetings is a nay-sayer who consistently tries your patience. Whatever form the distraction takes, don't let it steal your focus away from the reasons you volunteer in the first place. Your kids.
  • My Tip of the Week: Opening Doors to Involvement

    I've said for a long time that the key to growing involvement is to start by getting parents into your building. You don't grow involvement by asking for help. You grow involvement by serving. Many attendees at your family events yield more volunteers down the road. Not to mention the fact that -- even if those attendees never volunteer -- your school is already a better place for everyone when parents are interacting with teachers and one another.
  • Tip of the Week: Don't Fall into the Volunteer Comfort Zone

    Kind of a controversial tip for you this week, and it starts with a question: Has your leadership started slipping into a "this is what works for us and we're the only ones involved, anyway" mindset?
  • Del Valle ISD in Texas PTA and PTO Controversy

    I’ve been following this story in the Del Valle district in Texas with interest, largely because it is so unusual. The super there is taking a fairly strong stand against the formation of an independent parent group of any kind. Most of the articles on the topic have been referring to PTAs, but I understand that the policy is meant to apply to any independent (from the district) parent group. There was an editorial in the Del Valle paper last week about the PTA and PTO controversy
  • My Tip of the Week: Face Drama Head On

    Yup -- drama-filled PTO moments (and how they scare away and chase away good volunteers) seems to be a theme this week. We've had message board threads about presidents with bad attitudes and clashing leadership styles, among other things, and have seen stories in the news on the same kind of stuff. Ugh. The good news is, we can take steps to limit the drama. Seriously.
  • My Tip of the Week: Find a Way to Work with your Principal

    After a decade of talking with PTO and PTA leaders on the phone, in person, and through our online message boards, we've found that one of the most common themes is how to deal with principal problems. Can the principal decide what kind of events we run? What if she gets in our way? Who has final say over fundraising and finances?
  • Beat the Midyear Volunteer Slump

    A focus on recognition and communication can help energize your group's recruitment efforts.
  • Taking Involvement Online

    A parent puts her technology skills to work to increase involvement and improve the school.
  • Time Management

    Enjoyed reading a blog called Musings of a PTO President and her post titled "Do it Before Breakfast" this morning over coffee.  Good reminder to take stock of how you manage and spend your time.
  • Homemaker Extraordinaire

    This mom has the tools to make a difference—and she knows how to use them.
  • Working Moms Are Top U.S. Volunteers

    A survey identifies working mothers as the most likely to give of their time.
  • Adjusting to Middle School Involvement

    Ways to maintain an active role even after the kids get older.
  • 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.
  • Customer Service Secrets You Can Use

    The most successful businesses know how to create loyal customers. You can learn from their techniques to build strong parent involvement.
  • Teaching Parents To Be Involved

    A California kindergarten teacher gets moms and dads into the classroom.
  • Confront the Fear of Quitting

    Concerns about how they'll be treated if they stop volunteering makes some parents avoid getting involved at all.
  • Create a School Tradition

    Ambitious events build excitement and involvement. They make your PTO look great, too.
  • When It's Time To Change

    This time, Dad has to volunteer.
  • This Dad Is Having a Blast

    A background in design and illustration can make for one explosive family night.
  • Just Say No to Dues

    Dropping dues from your budget can pay off in higher involvement and more willing volunteers.
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