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Welcome Back To School Packets
It's a good idea for the PTO to put together a packet of information for parents. Let them know what you're planning for the upcoming school year.
Here's a list. Include them all or just a few:
- Welcome Letter - explaining what the PTO is, the annual meeting schedule, how to join, benefits to join, a summary of last year's events, and what the PTO hopes to accomplish this year
- First Fall Fundraiser - the sell package for the cookies, pies, gift wrap, or whatever major Fall fundraiser you're hosting.
- Info on All Fundraisers - a description and schedule of all the fundraisers the PTO has planned during the year
- Savings Programs - a list of all the savings programs in which the PTO participates - Box Tops, Campbells Labels for Education, Target, Printer/Ink Cartridges, Cell Phones, Can Tops, GoodSearch - and where the collection bins were located at the school
- Anticipated Purchases - A list of expenditures such as enrichment programs, new school sign, school buses for field trips, classroom supplies, playground maintenance, etc.
- PTO Directory - A directory of PTO officers, Committees and Chairpersons as well as their emails
- Volunteer Opportunities - a detailed list of tasks that need volunteers and a sign up form for parents to volunteer
- Parent Information Form - a form for ALL parents to complete whether they plan to join the PTO or not. Collect information such as Name, address, phone, email, children's names and grades. Also remember to ask them their employment - this information may be helpful if you're seeking donations or connections to certain industries.
- Membership Sign-up Form - a short form for parents to complete and return with their PTO dues.
- Survey - asking parents if there's any events, programs, or purchases they'd like the PTO to look into
More Helpful Tips
Mail to Families rather than Each Student - Mail just one packet to each family. Sort student names in a spreadsheet by family name. Make up pre-printed labels ahead of time, just one per family so each "family" gets a packet rather than each student. Saves on paper and the parents appreciate not having so many duplicates.
Advertise the PTO Web Address - Print your PTO web address on every piece of paper that goes out so parents know where they can go for more information.
Post Online - Wherever possible, post forms, reminders, and additional info online on the PTO webpage. NEVER post student or family information online for public viewing.
Colored Paper - Print your most important information on color paper. These will get the most attention in a stack of papers.
Save Paper - Print on both sides of the paper whenever possible. Or post small notes 3 or 4-up on a single 8.5x11" paper then cut and include the smaller version in backpacks.
Include a Student Gift - Although not necessary, you could include something for the students in the parent packets - a bookmark that's designed with the PTO logo & slogan on a home computer and printed on colorful card stock; or a pencil with the PTO web address printed on it; or, perhaps a ticket for a free pint of milk at lunch.
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