Monday, August 31, 2009

Back to Business

The first PTSO meeting was tonight and hopefully we will get things done! This year the Principal has asked for help buying technology carts for the classrooms. Each cart is about $2000 and she needs ... a whole bunch but has asked us for whatever we can giver her. :)

We have decided to hold meetings at 3:30 (right after school) once a month in hopes to get more parents out. My plan is to let the board introduce themselves, give a brief run down of the fundraiser, which parts we will need their help with, give them a heads up on Harvest Festival and what we need to get going ASAP for that. I hope to make it nice and short since all of our kids will be milling about (hopefully outside) and it will be 100 degrees to boot.

Now here's the question for all of you, Have you been to a good/bad PTA type of meeting, what made it good/bad? What would make you feel welcome at a meeting? What kind of thing would make you come back?Anything I should totally avoid doing?


Karen Valinda said...

When JE was a baby I was PTSA? treasurer for one year at Lister. Too much business being handled at the meetings drove people away... I could only suggest having the officers come half an hour earlier to handle the boring parts, unless that breaks some sort of rules.
I know it is because of our religion ;-} but treats help, we had better turn outs when treats were the major part of the advertising campaign. Someone there to oversee the children helped. She had activities loosely planned, 'cause she was nice like that, but the main idea was to keep the kids busy and NOT running in and out of the meeting.
Asians don't understand parent involvement in school and will NOT come. The Cambodian interpreter enlightened our president, including the info that nothing could be done until a generation had grown up in the USA.
I am sure that is NOT a problem in Vegas but there may be ethnic approaches that will work better than others and getting them from someone 'ethnic' would prove valuable.
Lots of praise and recognition for the folks that volunteer and actually show up, even if they only do half of what they agreed to do. I thought it was dumb but it worked. Papers sent home after an activity mentioning by name the wonderful folk who made our wonderful activity possible but ONLY parents' names, not officers.
They got personal Thank you notes from the secretary so they would keep coming ;-Þ
Asking people about their children seemed to help them feel welcome and important, reaffirming how much their being there meant to the school and the teachers...and we had a handful of teachers who were members and seemed to take turns coming but it meant that you could pretty much count on at least one teacher being present which makes it seem more real to the parents.
Failing to acknowledge the effort of a parent, no matter how small or short of the original commitment it might be seemed to be the biggest blunder. "My Mrs.Jones, it is amazing that you found time to help with the book sale Friday, it made a big difference! (She brought a baby that kept trying to eat the books on the bottom shelf and couldn't total the purchases using the calculator but she was there a whole half hour and the PTSA person was able to use the bathroom. Plus she was awesome at helping the kids put their books in a bag.) But it got her back out to help with the Secret Santa Shop and no one offered her a turn at the calculator so she was happy.

Linda said...

Your ability for organization and getting this done is absolutely remarkable! It's amazing how much and how well you get things done!

An Wanna said...

I remember a PTA meeting in KS at the elementary school in the gym. There was food there. =)

El Cid said...

I'd recommend someone to be kid watcher too; have a great PTSO year!