So, my first PTA meeting as president is over. Did you know that the PTA president has to host the first meeting at her house? Before school even starts? Huh. Good thing it rained all week, so landisdad and I had lots of time to clean.

I’ve made two major changes to the PTA agenda for this year.

1) Fundraising can only occupy half of every meeting, not 98% (100%, if you include the treasurer’s report).

2) New topic: outreach to other parents (as opposed to just sitting around and complaining about how no one else does anything except us).

I got the group to agree to each personally meet one new parent on the first day of school, and one new parent on back-to-school night. It wasn’t that hard–I was actually pretty amazed at how receptive people were to the idea.

Baby steps, people.

Next month–an email group!

August 23, 2007. the joys of PTA.


  1. Sandra replied:

    What good ideas you have! The unrelenting fundraising talk was such a turnoff for me when I went to PTA meetings.

  2. CamiKaos replied:

    wow, in the 5 questions I owe you which are only half done, I have a question about your PTA presidency!

  3. Jennifer replied:

    Wow, you have to have it in your house! That’s serious commitment.

  4. thordora replied:

    Good for you!

  5. Anjali replied:

    Congrats on the first meeting.

    Incidentally, my PTA does something that I think is great — instead of fundraising, they ask that each parent contribute $30 per child at the beginning of the year. It’s not required, just suggested, and many parents contribute because they like the idea of not having to sell wrapping paper or cookies or pizza kits the rest of the year. Also, this money covers everything, including class parties, so parents are never again asked for money.

    $30 is a lot of money, I think, but even a much lesser amount would still give PTAs enough money so that so much time doesn’t have to be spent on looking for money.

    Just a thought…

  6. chichimama replied:

    Off to a good start it sounds like :-). Good luck on changing the culture…

  7. Susan replied:

    Wow: PTA president. That’s a job! Sounds like you have some good ideas already (no surprise). I hope you get good help from others.

  8. Mary Tsao replied:

    Look at you! If I ever get roped into this position, I’ll review your archives for fine tips such as this one. I still have one + years away until that time. Good luck!

  9. Jennifer replied:

    The school at which my son will start kindergarten has the largest PTA in the state of Oregon. I don’t think it will be hosted at the PTA president’s house! Well, maybe the “staff” meeting.

    This Monday (day after tomorrow) is the first meeting: we’re to talk about the fact that the school’s kindergarten is ALREADY over-enrolled by 4 kids per class, meaning each class will have 22 kids in it. Yikes. I can’t imagine what they’ll say — are they going to ask us to volunteer to send our kid to private school?

  10. Mere replied:

    Wow! You’re a go-getter. I’d love to have you as our PTA prez!

  11. Jennifer replied:

    Update (in case you were curious): over 100 parents showed up for that kindergarten meeting, most of them mothers. All white and overwhelmingly middle class — judging by the clothing. (There was only one woman wearing clothing different from what I have in my own closet. Homogeneity, anyone?)

    Turns out kindergarten was going to be 25 kids per class, not 22 like I thought, so they’ve arranged for two full-day kindergartens to be held in the teacher’s lounge of the nearby high school. Huhn. Interesting.

    Hope your vacation is going well — Jen

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