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Back to school is always a hectic time of the year. One way to make the transition as smooth as possible is to start planning early and give yourself and the club enough time to complete each task.
Below you’ll find a basic guide list of tasks to keep your eye on as the previous school year ends and the new school year begins. Feel free to add any missing steps or remove anything that your club won’t need to tackle until later on in the year.
1. Review the Budget
Check the balance of the budget from the closing school year so you’ll know what you’ll have to get you started for the upcoming year. If you’re starting the budget from scratch, create a basic plan so you’ll know how much you’ll have to raise to fill the school’s budgeting gaps and put on the events that the club wants to host.
2. Sketch out the Big Events
The sooner and more thoroughly you can plan out the big fundraising events, the more smoothly they’ll go when it’s time to put them together.
This includes making flyers, mapping out volunteers, and lining up other logistical challenges so things roll smoothly when the PTO parents are busy with kids as well as club duties.
Pro tip: remain flexible with the type of events the club plans for the community. Traditions are a fun way to bring the community together but make sure they don’t become stale and boring for the sake of familiarity.
3. Sit Down With the Principal
Make sure you have a list of topics to go over with them, including ideas for fundraisers and what support they need to make the school year more successful. Introduce yourself if you haven’t met before and make sure to note their preferred way to communicate.
4. Welcome Back Event for the Teachers
Doesn’t necessarily have to be a breakfast event but make sure to acknowledge their hard work and let them know that you are there to support them. If the club doesn’t want to hold an actual event, try sending a nice note or sending each teacher a small gift.
5. Prepare Your Back To School Night Speech
Request a few moments to speak at the school’s back to school night if the school hasn’t carved out the time already. Make sure to emphasize how much kids enjoy the events and how much fun the club has putting everything together. Try to avoid anything that sounds like a sales pitch for recruiting or fundraising. You want new parents to focus on all of the positive aspects of the club for the kids and the community.
6. Welcome the New Families
Let the new families know that the club is there to support them and the community. Consider setting up a table at the open house or back to school nights and greet them with a friendly smile and possibly a small gift
7. Distribute a Volunteer Survey
Make sure your volunteer sign up sheet is available at events, especially the welcome events for the families. Because you’ll be talking to families face to face, this is the perfect time to have them look over the list of events and see if they would be able to lend a hand with any of them.
Contact anyone who signs up to volunteer! Check their time availability, ask if they have any special skills that they want to share with the community (even though none are necessary to help) and thank them.
8. Meet With Your New Volunteers
After getting everyone together who wishes to volunteer for the PTO during the school year, have a meeting where you can welcome everyone and thank them for their participation. Share the feedback from the school leadership with them and see if there’s anything that you need to start planning right away.