Here at PTAsocial, we've been busy gearing up to bring you exciting community building ideas, impressive fundraising events, and stellar tips and tools to make your PTA the best ever.
Yes, you heard us right. The. Best. Ever.
Your PTA can be epic this year with just a bit of planning. Follow these 7 steps to get your PTA on the - organized and effective - right track. One that leads to genuine connection, school wide buzz, and lots of parent excitement.
PTA Yearly Planning Step #1: Ask your principal guiding questions
When meeting with the school principal, make sure you ask key questions. These questions will help you clarify school needs, what events are already planned, and other concerns and/or issues. Also use this time to discuss logistics about general meeting nights, hallway displays, and communication methods.
PTA Yearly Planning Step #2: Decide on general missions and goals for the year
At your first officer meeting, share input from the principal and then work together to create general mission statements and goals for the school year.
Contrary to popular belief, PTAs don’t just focus on raising money for their schools. PTAs can also help to foster strong relationships between the school and surrounding community, engage parents in education, and create unique opportunities for children.
When creating general mission statements, think about big-picture wants for your school such as creating a stronger school community, emphasizing the joy of reading, helping parents become more involved, and raising X amount of dollars for X project.
After you have decided on your mission statements, set goals that are aligned with your mission statements. If one of your mission statements is to create a stronger school community, one goal may be:
We will host an hourly monthly coffee and donuts event for any and all parents.
PTA Yearly Planning Step #3: Clarify roles and responsibilities
At the first officer meeting, spend time reviewing the duties and responsibilities of each officer. Discuss any changes that need to be made to those job descriptions.
Make note of any action steps that need to be completed - such as adding names to bank accounts - and set deadlines to make sure the basics are covered.
Clarify who will communicate to the administration and parents and how - see below - so that you are sure information is being conveyed correctly and in a timely manner.
PTA Yearly Planning Step #4: Create a flexible schedule for each PTA officer meeting and general PTA meeting
Create a flexible agenda for both your officer and general meetings. Although changes can be made to this, having an agenda in place makes it easier for others to follow along with the meetings and it provides much needed structure.
Another advantage to creating a template agenda is that others are able to fill in for you if you are unable to make a meeting. This puts less pressure on you and keeps things humming along within the organization.
A general agenda for meetings may look like this:
- Opening and quick introduction
- Quick review of officer meeting minutes
- Quick financial report
- Provide information about current topic (repeat as needed)
- Gather feedback (repeat as needed)
- Vote (repeat as needed)
Make sure that an outline of these agendas are shared with the group and parents so that everyone is on the same page.
PTA Yearly Planning Step #5: Decide how information will be communicated to parents and staff
Your PTA could literally be the best thing since Netflix Binge Watching, but if no one knows about upcoming activities, how the PTA is helping the school, or how to get involved and help out, then it does little good.
Luckily, gone are the days of making dozens of phone calls or handing out papers that eventually end up in a crumpled mess at the bottom of our kids’ backpacks. Technology allows you to communicate easily and securely with as many or as few people as you want.
Over here at PTAsocial, we’re pretty fond of our own PTAsocial app and website builder. Using our responsive event organizer app, you can communicate a change in plans or an urgent need instantly. Messages can be sent to individuals, small groups working on a particular project, or the whole school community. Best of all, it's a two-way conversation rather than a one-way blast.
What's more, using our ridiculously simple drag-and-drop website builder makes it easy for you to keep parents up-to-date on everything they need to know to participate, contribute, and be as active as possible in their children’s school.
Regardless of the tools you use to communicate to parents, make sure that your methods are clear, consistent, and keep the entire school in the loop.
PTA Yearly Planning Step #6: Set dates for general PTA meetings and tentative dates for other events
After filling in the important dates the principal supplied you with, pencil in general PTA meeting dates as well as event dates for the fall semester. Even if you are not sure what events will be held, you can reserve the dates like this:
Friday, October 7th : Evening time in the gym/cafeteria. Community building event + Small fundraiser
This allows you to block off dates so that you are assured buildings and resources. This also allows your officers to block off time in their schedule so they can plan around PTA events if possible.
PTA Yearly Planning Step #7: Have fun planning an epic year
Now comes the fun part!
- Planning fundraisers that make serious money to fund projects unique to your school.
- Deciding which community events will be exciting and bonding for parents and students.
- Generating ideas for PTA meetings that parents actually want to attend.
Over the course of the next nine months we will supply you with plenty of ideas and suggestions that will make your year something to remember, as well as helpful tips and guidance. We are so excited about the possibilities that the year holds and can’t wait to have you along for the ride! Hopefully we'll make you chuckle along the way too ;)
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PTAsocial’s easy-to-use digital tools empower PTAs and PTOs to efficiently plan school community events, and radically increase volunteers and funds raised. Find out more here.