4 Simple (Yet Highly Effective) Ways to Create a Successful School PTA
The new school year is upon us! With the excitement of the new school year comes the behind-the-scenes stuff. And there is perhaps no volunteer organization that can make a bigger impact on your school year than your school’s PTA/PTO. PTAs are important, but how do you maximize their effectiveness?
I’m Arizona school assembly presenter Graham Rogers. Each year, I visit hundreds of elementary and middle schools, libraries, and private events to help them make their programs a smashing success. Each month, I write articles just like this one to help busy administrators and parents tackle important subjects.
H2 – Why Arizona School PTAs Matter
PTAs and PTOs, regardless of the acronym, are vital to representing parents’ interests in schools. These organizations allow parents to be directly involved with their child’s school. They can address concerns and make their voices heard.
Volunteering in your local PTA is also a great way to give back. You’re helping shape your committee for the future. You also get in front of the line to address your child’s well-being, the quality of their education, and much more.
Side note: Your school may have a PTA or a PTO. Unlike PTAs, PTOs have no national standard and may have their own bylaws. But the goals of each organization are the same—to help foster a welcoming community that works for the betterment of its children.
But once you’ve joined your school’s PTA, what then? How do you maximize its effectiveness?
H2 – Successful School PTA Tip #1: Connect with Your School’s Principal
As a parent, you already know how important your school’s principal is. To maximize your PTA’s effectiveness, invite the school principal to join your PTA. With the principal as part of the group, communicating your goals for the school year is easier.
You can also enlist the principal’s assistance in planning your PTA’s goals for the year. Having the principal on board helps other parents see that the organization can be heard when addressing concerns.
You can also ask the school principal to write a letter for your newsletter. Or even contribute an ongoing column.
H2 – Successful School PTA Tip #2: Embrace Diversity
One of your PTA’s cornerstones should be diversity. Welcome into your group and listen to parents of all backgrounds, regardless of economic status, race, single parent, etc. By welcoming parents of every kind imaginable, you’re creating an organization that truly represents your community.
But diversity goes beyond mere membership.
Having a diverse PTA membership means allowing everyone to have a voice. When forming committees to get projects off the ground, strive to have diverse membership in committees, too.
H2 – Successful School PTA Tip #3: Keep the Website Updated
We’ve all seen them. Business websites that still mention coupons, sales, or discounts from six months ago. Every business needs an up-to-date website, even a volunteer group such as your school’s PTA.
In the digital age, up-to-date websites are more important than ever. A good website is (or should be) the hub from which your entire organization operates. Many parents’ work schedules conflict with regular school hours and/or PTA meetings. As a result, having a current website is a great way to help these parents stay informed about the latest happenings in your school.
And perhaps the most important part of an updated website is the calendar. Look for a volunteer whose job is to keep the website updated, even daily if needed. This person should possess the technical skills necessary to handle updating the site themselves.
H2 – Successful School PTA Tip #4: Create Your Goals List for the Year
Part of getting things done is organization. As early as possible, sit down with your planning committee. Discuss your goals for the year. Be realistic but push yourselves too. You’ve got an incredible opportunity to do some great work in your community.
Once your group agrees on the goals for the year, write them down. Once you have your list, plan out the action steps needed to accomplish your goals. By doing this, you’re literally creating a playbook for accomplishing everything you want to complete for the year.
Be specific with each action step. Discuss how long each step should take. Discuss what (if any) finances are needed to accomplish each goal. And when planning your goals, put everything on the table – fundraising, assembly programs, etc.
H2 – Start Your New School Year Off Right
Want to make a great first impression on both teachers and students? Bring in a fun-filled school assembly program. My “Take A Stand, Lend A Hand” Character Education assembly adheres to Arizona’s educational standards. Get more information about this magical, interactive assembly adventure!