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Modernizing Your PTA, Tips from a PTA Leader

Updated: May 26, 2023

Recently on The Multipurpose Room, co-host Debora Jones had the pleasure of conversing with Selma Avdicevic, a PTA Leader, on modernizing your PTA to meet the new ‘normal’ requirements in 2020 and beyond. Vice President at Buzz Aldrin Middle School’s PTA, Selma, brought invaluable expertise, which is pooled for you here in this blog post.

Historically, PTOs and PTAs have been in-person organizations, with most of their operations – meetings or social events – taking place face-to-face, where people can interact and share ideas. Of course, the pesky pandemic has rendered these meetings impossible, meaning that PTAs must follow suit, undergo modernization, and adopt a virtual mode of existence.

Here’s how best to modernize your PTA and continue with a full stride in the virtual world:

How to Start as A PTA Leader? Focus First on Your Website

While most, if not all, PTAs are bound to have a website, the datedness and functionality of these websites matter. If you’re a PTA that has been around for a long time, your website is likely outdated. Technology has evolved tremendously, and even if your site was rebuilt in the last five years, it could likely use a refresh to make it easier to manage. Your website should serve as a central hub of constant and verified information so parents can find whatever they’re looking for without any trouble, so making it simple to manage is important.

But building a website isn’t as easy as it seems; it requires serious work, including budgeting and finding the right technology. WordPress, for instance, is a great place to start as even the most technically foreign will be able to navigate it. And the best part? It’s completely secure!

If your PTA will be operating on a virtual model, then it’s essential to make yourself accessible. This means making your website mobile-compatible and finding mediums of communication and engagement that allow all members to participate.

Parents working on a laptop and pointing towards the laptop.
Parents Working

Source: (2FPjlAyMQTA)

Time is of the Essence

If you’ve chosen the pandemic as a time to modernize your PTA, then you must work fast. Your website would have to be up and running in weeks instead of months, and the planning and discussion phase would have to be sped up. After all, you can’t adopt a virtual teaching mode without an online presence, right?

Generally speaking, even if you’re technologically modernizing your PTA during normal circumstances, acting swiftly is still a good idea because more time means more money.

Select Representative Leadership

Undoubtedly, the decision to modernize your PTA will involve a lot of planning, coordination, and execution. This will likely extend beyond just your school to all the schools in your district. For this to go about successfully, having a strong sense of leadership backing your project is important. Rather than involving a large committee of decision-makers, it’s better to have one representative from each school making decisions for that school. This will reflect inclusion and representation, but having a smaller group will let you make decisions quickly.

Parents meeting online. Computer on top of table with coffee cup next to computer.
PTA Zoom Meeting

Source: (smgTvepind4)

Increase Your Streaming Capabilities

Most PTAs have set regulation that dictates the compulsion of in-person voting and meetings. However, Zoom is your perfect replacement since this is not possible during the pandemic. Not only does it allow meetings to continue without the risk of virus contraction, but it also increases attendance manifold, making for greater representativeness.

You can take this further by increasing your PTA or PTOs’ presence on social media platforms. It’s worth remembering that PTA members are parents, and parents have numerous commitments, whether putting the kids to bed, fixing them lunch, or dealing with work. By giving members the option to consume information on various convenient platforms, volunteer remotely, and attend meetings through, for instance, Facebook live streaming, you’re automatically pushing up participation rates and making for a more inclusive decision-making process. Doing the same for events and fundraisers can make those with time constraints feel part of the community.

Leverage Member Hub

One issue in any virtual system is the problem of effective communication. Although social media presence can help, not everyone is on social media, and because of privacy restrictions, you may not be able to do outreach to all via social media. So managing membership while ensuring family privacy can be rather tough. The National PTA has made Member Hub available to PTAs to solve this issue. Member Hub lets you jump over PTA communication hurdles by enabling community members to engage with others through a password-protected, private website where they decide how much they want to share.

Members can join a digital directory to connect with other members by sharing details such as their phone numbers or email IDs. By creating this easily accessible database, communication between and with PTA members becomes a walk-in-the-walk, all while being secure.

Moreover, parents can even create their own little sub-hubs, basically virtual pods of parents whose children are in the same grade and homeroom levels. Again, this makes communication easier and more effective as only the relevant parents get the information instead of mass spamming.

So, for any PTA looking to modernize itself, take the above advice from Selma, who just underwent all of this modernization for her PTA in Montclair, NJ. While the journey is substantial, it’ll be well worth it in the end!


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