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Get with the program: Planning your PTA\PTO calendar

July 10, 2024

Get with the program: Planning your PTA\PTO calendar

When it comes to planning your PTA or PTO programming for the school year, there are a lot of moving parts to consider. From meetings and programs to fundraisers and other events, your calendar is the key to keeping everything organized. 

Since your PTA\PTO calendar is the best way to get the big picture of what your organization will be keeping busy with throughout the school year and what resources you’ll need, it’s important to invest the time into doing it right.

Determining all of your programming for the year is also a key piece that’s necessary for planning your budget. You’ll need to incorporate the cost of your programming into your budget, figure out if you have the funds to support your plans, and map out fundraising to support your plans if you don’t.

When should I plan my PTA\PTO calendar? 

The best time to start planning your PTA\PTO programming calendar is before the school year kicks off. Remember, nothing is set in stone. You always have the ability to shift and change your plans as needed, so you don’t have to be skittish about planning so far ahead of time.

The earlier you plan your calendar, the more you can minimize scheduling conflicts and identify potential problems. You especially want to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to plan and coordinate your programing with everyone you need to involve.

What should be on a PTA\PTO calendar?

As you start mapping out your programming calendar for the school year, it can help to go category by category to make sure you add everything you need to. That means thinking through:

  • Meetings (board, committee, and general membership)
  • Needs assessment
  • Membership drive, programs, events, and fundraisers
  • Reflections
  • National, state, and regional conferences and conventions
  • Teacher appreciation
  • Compliance reporting deadlines
  • Award deadlines

Where to get PTA\PTO calendar inspiration

When you’re brainstorming ideas for your programming calendar, there are tons of places to look for inspiration. Start by looking back at what you did in previous years to understand what has worked in your school community, what hasn’t, and what you want to improve on.

Doing some online digging can uncover a treasure trove of great ideas other groups have done. Check out PTA\PTO groups and hashtags on social media, topical discussions on Reddit, and other online resources.

Look up a list of holidays and national special events celebrated by different cultures and populations. You’ll want to use this list not only to think up ways to align with certain celebrations, but also to make sure you’re avoiding scheduling conflicts.

If you’ve tapped into all these resources and need a bit more inspiration, consider approaching your PTA\PTO calendar planning with monthly themes. They’ll put some structure into your calendar and help the ideas flow more smoothly as you map your year.