Hey you guys! It's almost the end of April and the end of the school year is coming up quickly!
For PTO nerds like me, it's time to get started on plans for next year. But this year, things will be a little different for me since both kiddos are switching schools because they're aging out of their respective schools. It actually means a little less for me to do since I'm taking on a smaller role at my oldest's school next year. But enough about me. You're here to read all about what you need to be doing...
In past years, these are the steps I've taken to make sure that I'm all set for the coming year! Take my sage advice as a helpful prompt to know what you gotta be doing right now...
Calendar of EventsMaking sure you have a general idea of what is happening, when it is happening and where it is happening is absolutely key! If you leave this until the Fall, there is no doubt you will be putting yourself in the weeds and you'll have a tough time for sure. The secret to success with all things PTO really is planning and communication.
When mapping out the calendar, here's what you need to do:
Grab a monthly calendar
Get a blank calendar. May I suggest you snag my lovely calendar with helpful tips on proper calendaring techniques for PTA/PTOs?? Go here to get it!
Fill in all holidays
For example, if your schools observe Yom Kippur, make sure to note when it is so you don't make the mistake of scheduling an event or meeting that conflicts. That's a sure fire way for Jewish families to feel excluded if an event is scheduled the night before Yom Kippur! Wrong "strategy" to take for sure!
Add PTO Meetings
With the events calendared out months in advance, people can adjust their schedules ahead of time and it'll save your sanity!
Add other district and town events
For example, last year in Cleveland was a crazy good year for sports! We had three teams in the championships for their sports and so many meetings and events (not just PTO!) were rescheduled because people anticipated low or no turnout because people would be going to the games or game watch parties. A solid decision for sure because of the drought of such excitement in this area! So take heed of this story...
Try to minimize scheduling conflicts with other schools so parents can avoid having to make a choice of which event they will attend.
Now there will be always be something that is a conflict and it isn't possible to avoid all conflicts, but just be aware of the potential conflicts and schedule around them as much as possible.
Anyway, I think you get my drift- make sure to note anything and everything that could effect attendance and participation in your event or meeting.
Map out Fundraisers
But I really wanted to draw your attention to this point because I've had experience when the fundraising chairs didn't know what the family fun events chairs were doing and it was a messy situation.
In one case, the family fun committee had planned to have a magician as a free event in April, but the fundraising chairs were planning to have a ticketed event for a magician in March.
How do you think that would've turned out? Not well! And so that's why the fundraising chairs opted to move forward with a different fundraiser!
Does your school requires room requests or building permits to be filled out? Go ahead and do that now.
If you don't, you risk the chance of not being able to have your event when you want and have your wonderful calendar of events that you've worked so hard on all screwed up. And that would be such a shame, so don't overlook this important detail!
I've also experienced that because I was so on the ball and requested rooms months before the events took place, my events were the ones people were scheduling events around. Cause I rock like that. You can too!