How to Run a PTA Meeting

Updated on February 10, 2018

Learning how to run a PTA meeting effectively could help your school in more ways than you realize. Whether you have a PTA or PTO in your school, running the meeting is much like a business meeting. It serves as a time for people to get the information they want and offer ideas. A well-planned meeting that includes PTA officers, parents, school administration and staff is the key to continued success for your school's PTA or PTO.

Although PTAs and PTOs are a little different, how the meetings are run every month is pretty much the same. Here are some guidelines to follow when you run a PTA meeting.

Have everything for the PTA meeting organized into labeled folders.
Have everything for the PTA meeting organized into labeled folders. | Source

The Agenda

On the right hand side is a simplified agenda that is given to parents. On the left hand side is the PTA president's more in depth notes with the agenda.
On the right hand side is a simplified agenda that is given to parents. On the left hand side is the PTA president's more in depth notes with the agenda. | Source

PTA Meeting Essentials

There are a few things that need to be done prior to the PTA meeting to help your meeting be successful. Some of these items need to be planned a week in advance and others can be done a few hours before the meeting.

  • Be organized. Keep all your PTA material for events in separate folders and have everything with you at all the meetings. If someone comes to a meeting and they have a question, they expect an answer that night. If you keep all your materials organized and bring them to the meeting, you will be ready to take on any questions and give immediate answers.
  • Offer FREE childcare. If you want your meeting to run smoothly you need to offer free childcare in a different room. Use some of your funds to pay the person or organization that offers the childcare. If your school offers an on-site after school care program, consider using that same organization. They are usually insured and have staff with clearances.
  • Provide a snack. Who doesn't love sitting through a secretary's report while munching on chocolate chip cookies? Adults, just like kids, get grumpy when they don't eat. Since most parents are coming right from work to the PTA meeting it is important to offer some type of snack.
  • Spread the word. If your school has a monthly calendar or a website, make sure all your meetings are listed. It is also a good idea to create a Facebook group for your PTA or PTO. Many parents check Facebook on a daily basis, so this is an easy way to remind them about the meeting.
  • Create a welcoming meeting environment. If possible, have your PTA meetings in a location within the school that has student artwork or projects on display. It is a nice reminder of why everyone is at the meeting; it keeps things focused on the children. It is also nice to have PTA meetings in smaller spaces so people feel less intimidated.
  • Have a printed agenda. Print simple half sheet agendas and have them available to hand out when parents arrive. This will help parents follow along and it will give them a place to write notes or record important dates.

Time to Run the Meeting

Now that you have all your essentials covered, you are ready to run a PTA or PTO meeting. For the first meeting of the year it is a good idea to stick to the agenda and make sure the entire meeting is over in less than an hour. It is also a good idea to have a parent pizza or ice cream social for a half hour before the first meeting of the year. The first meeting of the new school year will be the one with the highest attendance, so PTA /PTO officers should make every effort to mingle with the parents. As the school year goes on attendance will likely drop, but it is still a good idea to run every meeting following this outline.

  1. Start the meeting by introducing the PTA/PTO officers and their jobs.
  2. Introduce the principal and/or assistant principal and have them give an update about what is happening at the school.
  3. Have the PTA treasurer read the treasurer's report and discuss the overall financial health of your PTA or PTO.
  4. Have the PTA secretary read a report on what happened at the last meeting and give an overview of upcoming PTA or PTO events.
  5. Have the PTA/PTO president and vice-president take turns talking about upcoming events and needs for those events and directions on how to participate.
  6. Have a large group vote on anything that may need to be voted on OR use this time to have a 10-15 minute presentation from a guest or from the students.
  7. Have a question and answer time that occurs at about 45 minutes into the meeting. This allows the meeting to stay controlled. At the one hour mark, children need to be picked up and if the questions are still not answered, the PTA president can address them individually while the other parents prepare to leave.
  8. Remind parents when the next PTA meeting is and then allow a few minutes for parents to snack and mingle before picking up their children from childcare.

Serve snacks at your PTA meeting.
Serve snacks at your PTA meeting. | Source

Additional Tips on How to Run a Better PTA Meeting

After you have run a PTA meeting or two you may be looking for ways to make your meeting better. Remember, the meeting will only be as good as the person running it. So if you have difficulty with public speaking or starting conversations with complete strangers, you may want to consider working on those skills. Being part of the solution to better PTA meetings is a step in the right direction. Here are a few other tips on how to make your PTA/PTO meetings a little more fun and exciting.

  • Have a giveaway at each meeting. Get local businesses to donate an item each month. When parents see that local businesses are supporting your school they are more likely to use those businesses themselves. Give each parent one raffle ticket towards the giveaway. If a parent signs up to help with something or asks a question, give them more raffle tickets and a better chance at winning the giveaway.
  • Have a fun warm-up activity or game at the beginning of the meeting. Having a true or false quiz, matching game, or getting to know you activity can help your parents bond. It is also a fun way to educate them about what is going on in their child's school.
  • Subscribe to PTA Magazine or PTO Today Magazine. Both publications have printed and online resources that are very helpful to new and seasoned PTA/PTO officers. The PTO Today website also has an excellent explanation on the differences of a PTA and a PTO.

Do you know what the difference is between a PTA and a PTO?

view quiz statistics

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        Robin DeVault 

        19 months ago

        Update your quiz please. PTA headquarters was moved to Alexandria, Virginia - outside of DC.

      • profile image

        Ganesh ramkhallawan 

        2 years ago

        I am new to this pta stuff and I am also the president of the PTA and I am trying to have a strong PTA in my son school and I will use what I just learn great stuff thank u so much

      • chrissieklinger profile imageAUTHOR

        chrissieklinger 

        6 years ago from Pennsylvania

        There are a lot of people that assume the meetings will be boring and once they come to one they realize that is "old school", PTO meetings are fun now!!!

      • chrissieklinger profile imageAUTHOR

        chrissieklinger 

        6 years ago from Pennsylvania

        Chris Hugh..."if you bake it they will come" is the motto now to get people to anything. Everyone is so busy and running around all the time, so feeding them is a good idea!

      • angela_michelle profile image

        Angela Michelle Schultz 

        6 years ago from United States

        This is really great information. I think you did an excellent job, and this would be really helpful to the right person.

      • profile image

        Chris Hugh 

        6 years ago

        Great info, very helpful. I'm beginning to wonder why all meetings nowadays have food, but if it makes things go better, why not.

      • ThePracticalMommy profile image

        Marissa 

        6 years ago from United States

        This is great info for any parent who is going to run a PTA/PTO! I remember my mom having to go to those meetings and how boring they were (of course we're talking many moons ago!). If only they had these ideas to keep it interesting! :)

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wehavekids.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://wehavekids.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)