As you gear up for a new year as the PTA president, there are several questions you need to have answered before your PTA can plan the year. Some of these questions - logistical ones - may be able to be answered by the outgoing president or another PTA member. Others can best be answered by the principal themselves.
Why You Need a PTA President + School Principal Meeting
A start-of-the-year meeting between the PTA president and the school principal is important for many reasons. Here are five of the biggest ones.
One, you establish a working relationship with him/her and let them know that communication is a priority for the PTA.
Two, you find out what the administration goals are for the school year. This information will help the PTA plan events that are aligned with those goals.
Three, you clarify expectations and guidelines for logistical practices at the school. You and your volunteers need to know what supplies and rooms you can and cannot use, for example.
Four, earning money to support the school is a key component of PTAs and you want to know what resources the school needs and how the PTA can financially help the school. You also need to be aware of other fundraising events the school is holding so that the PTA can plan fundraising events at other times.
And five, you want to make sure that you are clear on how to best communicate with the principal so that you can get events approved and questions answered quickly.
Questions for a PTA President to Ask the Principal
First, Big Picture Questions
1. Are there any specific goals or initiatives the school is working on this year that we need to be aware of?
2. How do you feel the PTA can best help you reach school goals or support the school?
3. What improvements do you hope to see in the PTA this year?
4. What events/procedures/etc. did the PTA do last year that you/your staff appreciated and want to continue?
Second, Fundraising Questions
5. How many fundraisers is the school (separate from the PTA) having and what are the dates for those fundraisers?
6. Are there other scheduled events that will require monetary output from parents and when are they?
7. Are there any resources, services, or events that the school would like the PTA to earn money for this year?
Third, Logistical Questions
8. Is there any wall space or bulletin boards that we can use for PTA news and events?
9. Can we use the facilities for morning and/or evening meetings - what logistics do we need to take care of in order to do this?
10. Can we include a link to our PTA website in all school newsletters that go home? If so, who do we need to send that blurb to?
11. What supplies are we allowed to use? May we use paper, envelopes, laminating machine, copier, etc. or do we need to provide those items/pay for those services separately?
Fourth, Contact Questions
12. Is there a dedicated office member that serves as a PTA liaison? If not, who should I contact about small matters such as office supplies or building logistics?
13. How early do I need to meet with you/contact you to get approval for events or fundraisers? What information do you need from me to make the decision?
14. What is the best way for me to contact you about any other questions I may have? How soon can I expect a response?
Making the Most of your PTA President + School Principal Meeting
After the meeting, make sure you:
- Record your notes so that you and your PTA officers can easily understand the information.
- Send these notes to the principal so that he/she can clarify misunderstood points or confirm that the notes are correct.
Now that you are clear on the administrations goals for the school, your PTA can create a detailed plan to support and bolster the school's agenda.
Want a printable handout with these questions ready-to-go? Download it here!
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