8 Top tips to make your first PTA meeting count

8 Top tips to make your first PTA meeting count

The beginning of the school year is a key time for you PTA; it’s the perfect time to get the new parents who are keen to be involved in their child’s new school community interested in your group. If you want to turn these new faces into regular faces, or at least occasional volunteers, you have prepare your first meeting, and subsequent meetings to ensure these parents become supporters and helpers who will be there through thick and thin.

The key is to be welcoming, organized, friendly and, even though there’s probably a lot of pressing issues to deal with try not to do too much business in the first meeting:

Welcome Everyone

Make sure everyone feels welcome and comfortable – ask some of the regulars to be “greeters” who welcome the new faces at the door and introduce them to all the other member. Name tags are a great idea – for everyone so that new faces don’t feel singled out .

Break the Ice

Have a fun icebreaker to create an informal and fun atmosphere. You could ask all attendees to find out from two other people who’s the most famous person they’ve ever met/seen, or what their favourite memory is from school.

Offer refreshments

A picnic is ideal to create a comfortable inviting atmosphere, however the weather may not always make this possible!

Be Organised

Have an agenda printed and hand out on arrival. Our suggestion is to have an introduction of the key PTA members such as the Chair, Secretary, Treasurer etc and the staff in attendance. Include information about the PTA – what it supports, its goals etc and include a few previous accomplishments to show that you are successful. Also make sure this has details of when and where the next meeting will be so that everyone has a written record of this.

Have a Speaker

Having a speaker at your first meeting who talks about a school issue such as how to deal with bullying or fundraising topic or issue is a great way to show how relevant you are to the school and the parents and if you have more speakers spread throughout the year you’ll give members even more reasons to come back to future meetings.

Parents’ Questionnaire

Have a short questionnaire at the meeting which can be filled in at the time of afterwards which aims to find out what skills everyone has and what jobs everyone wants to do so that you can find the right people for each role.

Keep it fun

Try not to do too much business. If you think there will be a lot of business to cover how about inviting the key people involved in these matters to come a little earlier to deal with the issue before the welcome meeting starts.

Keep everyone informed

Have a sign up sheet which goes round at the start of the meeting requesting everyone’s contact details to ensure you have up to date information. Send out an email after the meeting thanking everyone for coming; also send out the meetings as soon as you have them and a reminder email a couple of days before the next meeting. A Facebook group, page, or Twitter account is another great way of making sure everyone is kept informed and can help develop a community feel.

For some great PTA fundraising ideas to discuss in your meetings, download our fundraising guide for free!

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