13 answers

Joining the Pto/ptso

This is my first son starting kindergarden this year and is going to a charter school. We have to volunteer 20 hours of communityhours to the school prior to may 15 and 10 of those hours has to be completed prior to the winter recess.

My question: what are the benefits of joining the pto/ptso? Does it make me a more responsible parent or will i learn more about the school? This is all very....very.... New to me. What do most schools require when you are a pto/ptso member? Will it interrupt my working hours? I probably should ask some of these questions to the pto president, but i really want to get feedback on why it's important to join the pto/ptso?

Thanks moms!

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Featured Answers

I do join the PTA at my son's school. As a paying member, I am not required to donate any time or money, join any committees, attend any meetings, or even talk to other parents. And I don't have to be a PTA member to volunteer in the classroom, chaperone a field trip, or other activities. But as a member, I get to vote on which fundraisers they choose and how they spend the money. It does help pay for field trips, family movie nights, and is in charge of coordinating the schedules of the people who do volunteer. I have one friend who won't join because she's afraid that some PTA groups may be involved in politics at a national level, but I haven't seen this myself.

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I love being involved at the school. By volunteering and being in the PTA/PTO you get to know your children's friends, many of the friends' parents, help the teachers with copies, paperwork, etc so they can stay focused on the more important job of teaching your child.

I am president of the cheerleader boosters now for high school and involvement is even more important at this level. We are preparing for college visits, I work closely with coaches, principal, other booster clubs to make sure things are in order and again.......teachers can focus on the important aspect of the students.

We have parents I've known since daughter was in KG who have had no involvement. It is a shame because you can tell those kids wish they had a parent being the teacher helper, room mom/dad, mom/dad helping in the lunch room, etc.

Our joining fee is $10 which is nothing compared to what we gain. I feel it is my responsibility to be a vital part of my daughter's education. I don't enjoy the fundraising part, I'd rather give money which is what we normally do...Last year for Orchestra we just donated $500 to the general fund and thaat money funded 3 other teens to be able to go on the yearly trip. We donate to the cheer and general funds as well to do our best to make sure other student have an opportunity. I firmly believe it is a responsibility of all parents to be proactive in their children's education. It is sad when I see parents opting out of participation because they are "too busy". Blah

I have enjoyed being a part of each school my daughter has attended, (elementary through high school) and getting to know the students, staff and teachers. I believe it is a valuable asset for a parent to get in the know at the school. The parent volunteers are usually first to know a lot of pertinent information as well. Of course, volunteering is not to be nosy and get info.....the basis of it is to help the teachers and staff provide a better atmosphere for our children. I have spent countless hours volunteering at the school and I don't regret one moment of it.

2 moms found this helpful

I liked Deb R's response. I would add, that, if you can squeeze this in now, you won't regret it later. I have one in middle school now, and long gone are the days when they like having mom on campus. But if you do it when they are little (and I know middle school seems eons away right now.. .but trust me, it is NOT), then you will know their friends (and other kids who might turn into friends later on) better than you might otherwise. You will be familiar to the kids as well, which can be a plus when they get older. For years I knew ever student in my son's and daughter's classes, and they knew me (from doing contests collecting Boxtops). Our kids went from private school to public school last year. So both kids went into last year knowing no one. Now that my son is in middle school and the parents are virtually persona non grata, and there aren't avenues for the parents to be involved like in elementary, I don't know them at all. My daughter's school.. I participated in PTO (not much, but some) and went to one field day, and met several of her friends and other moms. Plus working on one project (valentine's candy grams) I learned the names of tons of other kids she knows, what grades they are in, who their teachers were, (and other tidbits from the other moms that were there helping - which teachers are awesome, for example). I figure I have about one more year with my daughter before she gets to the age where she would rather I not be so visible at her school. Don't let your chance to be visible slip by. It can go quickly.

1 mom found this helpful

I have found it very beneficial to get involved in my daughter's school's PTA. It is great opportunity to get an inside look into the school's happenings, staff, etc. In addition, most schools (public and private) are truly struggling right now and without parent volunteers, some would not survive at all. One of the greatest benefits I have found in volunteering, is that it shows my daughter that I care about her and her education by trying to better her school and the experience she has there. She is very proud to see me at the school volunteering.
Most schools have flexible ways you can volunteer without interrupting your work hours. There are certain to be special events throughout the year (we have 2 carnivals that are at night or on the weekend) so you can volunteer at those. You can be a classroom mom which usually involves mostly email communication with the other class parents. Or you can do stuff for the individual classroom/teacher. Our K teacher asked that one parent each month put together small journal books or blank calendar pages or cut out some things for an art project they were working on. Things like this you can do at home at night and even get your son involved which will give him an added sense of pride. Just check with the school about the opportunities they have and I'm sure you'll find something that fits into your schedule. 10 hours by December is really not that hard - it's really only a little over 30 minutes a week if break it down.

Updated

I have found it very beneficial to get involved in my daughter's school's PTA. It is great opportunity to get an inside look into the school's happenings, staff, etc. In addition, most schools (public and private) are truly struggling right now and without parent volunteers, some would not survive at all. One of the greatest benefits I have found in volunteering, is that it shows my daughter that I care about her and her education by trying to better her school and the experience she has there. She is very proud to see me at the school volunteering.
Most schools have flexible ways you can volunteer without interrupting your work hours. There are certain to be special events throughout the year (we have 2 carnivals that are at night or on the weekend) so you can volunteer at those. You can be a classroom mom which usually involves mostly email communication with the other class parents. Or you can do stuff for the individual classroom/teacher. Our K teacher asked that one parent each month put together small journal books or blank calendar pages or cut out some things for an art project they were working on. Things like this you can do at home at night and even get your son involved which will give him an added sense of pride. Just check with the school about the opportunities they have and I'm sure you'll find something that fits into your schedule. 10 hours by December is really not that hard - it's really only a little over 30 minutes a week if break it down.

1 mom found this helpful

Both. I think joining makes you a more responsible parent and you will learn more about the teachers and school (as well as learn more about your child and yourself). Our home & school org does many wonderful things for our students. They pay for field trips and provide snacks during standardized test times; host family fun nights - just to name a few.

I've been volunteering in my kids' schools for over a year now and it's been wonderful. My kids love to see me there and it's great to get to know teachers, aides, administrators and everyone else that makes a school run. You also get to meet the parents of the kids your child goes to school with and that's fantastic!

I don't think that volunteering will interrupt your working hours if you are upfront about it. There are probably plenty of things that can be done after hours or on the weekends.

I think you'll find it a rewarding experience.

Edited to add: Our fee to join is $7 (and it all goes to the students' activities). We don't pay it though - so we're not "official members". I lend my time, which has a bigger impact - if that makes any sense.

1 mom found this helpful

I say join.

First off this will help your child's school and will make you more aware of things happening in the school and the goals of the school.

Second with the Volunteering - help the teacher with stuff that can be done at home - like cutting out pictures for the kids, there are a ton of things that you can do.

1 mom found this helpful

I do join the PTA at my son's school. As a paying member, I am not required to donate any time or money, join any committees, attend any meetings, or even talk to other parents. And I don't have to be a PTA member to volunteer in the classroom, chaperone a field trip, or other activities. But as a member, I get to vote on which fundraisers they choose and how they spend the money. It does help pay for field trips, family movie nights, and is in charge of coordinating the schedules of the people who do volunteer. I have one friend who won't join because she's afraid that some PTA groups may be involved in politics at a national level, but I haven't seen this myself.

1 mom found this helpful

I am a PTA President, so of course I'm going to say join....right? I say do what you think works best for your family. Personally, I believe being as involved as possible only creates opportunities for your child. The teachers and staff will know who you are and feel comfortable having you in class or just around the school in general. I work full time also and realize that volunteering really takes effort when it comes to schedules, but isn't your child worth the sacrifice of a little time off? Also, any time volunteered and any money raised is only helping your child's school.

1 mom found this helpful

We joined the first year and won't do it again. We volunteer when we can. My daughter will start second grade this year, but all of the kids in both of her previous classes knew who I was, and it will continue. I come in and read stories, have lunch, come for recess, etc...whatever works with my schedule and when I can. So the teachers know I am a very active parent and the students all know who I am. I don't send her on a field trip without a chaperone...if my husband or I can't make it, my mom will normally volunetter. I just can't be guaranteed to do all of the stuff they want you to do. The one perk, was our fee was $25, and they had a drawing for a $50 Outback Gift Card....we won!

1 mom found this helpful

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