Planning & Organization Archive

Being a PTO leader is fulfilling, but it can leave you drained, too. You'll find tons of ways to keep your energy level high and avoid burnout in the articles below. Find more helpful tools and info on the Planning & Organization resources page.

  • My Tip of the Week: Meet with your School Principal

    Before you make definitive plans for next year's PTO or PTA calendar, have you sat down with your principal and asked about her top two or three priorities for next year? If not -- have that conversation first.
  • My Tip of the Week: Three Words Your Group Should Never Say

    This may sound strange, but I believe "the kids' money" is the most damaging phrase uttered at PTO and PTA meetings. Seriously, no three words have led to more bad decisions for school parent groups.
  • Get Your PTO Up and Running

    Follow this road map for how to create a successful PTO or PTA. We outline key steps to success, beyond the organizational basics.
  • January PTO To Do List

    Start the new calendar year right with these suggestions for January parent group activities.
  • A Year of Great Ideas

    Our parent involvement calendar is full of fun ideas and tips for every month of the school year. Use it to help you plan, or follow it event for event!
  • June PTO To Do List

    Ideas to help plan your June parent group activities and close out a great year.
  • May PTO To Do List

    Start with these ideas to plan your parent group activities for May.
  • April PTO To Do List

    Suggestions to help plan your parent group activities for April and beyond.
  • Your PTO Year-End To Do List: Spring/Summer 2021

    16 steps to close out the pandemic school year and get ready to come back strong in fall 2021.
  • February PTO To Do List

    Use this list to help plan your February parent group activities.
  • My Tip of the Week: Give Your Next Job to a New Volunteer

    Are you taking up your parents and supporters on their offers to help your group? Every parent group says it wants new blood, but tons of parents complain that parent groups are cliques -- so something isn't connecting. My column on cliques has more about this dilemma.
  • Tax PTA or PTO Donations? Ludicrous

    Rant-time: This just may be the dumbest parent group-related proposal I’ve ever seen. The Seattle school district thankfully just canned a plan to charge PTOs and PTAs a 3.3% fee on donations. Yes, you read that right: a fee to donate.
  • Video Blog: What Is a Teacher’s Role in a PTO?

    Phew! Teacher appreciation week is behind you! We really enjoyed hearing, over on our Facebook page, about what your groups did to thank your teachers. The question often comes up, though, what role should teachers play in a PTO? This week Tim answers this question and offers advice on how to effectively work with teachers.
  • My Tip of the Week: Make a Good First Impression on New Volunteers

    Every year, there's a whole new crop of parents at your school. Not all of them will want to become volunteers, but some will. How those eager new parents are treated as school begins, as they attend their first meeting, and as they make their first suggestions will play a huge part in whether your group is able to add new energy to your team.
  • Find the Right Person for the Job

    Matching an open leadership position with the right person just got a little easier; check out these key roles and the talents and skills they call for.
  • Plan Ahead for PTO Success

    Think beyond your next project with these practical tips for developing new parent group leaders, setting and reaching goals, and anticipating your school community's needs.
  • Defining the Role of a PTO

    What role should your PTO play? That answer will change as the needs of your school community change.
  • Creating a Long-Term Plan

    Strategic long-term planning can help your group reach its goals.
  • 13 Things To Do This Year

    Get out your to do list and add these items to build involvement and strengthen your group.
  • Sample PTO Strategic Plan

    Use this shortened version of a strategic plan—based on one created and used by a real PTO—to help your group get started with its own long-term planning.