At AIM, we answer member questions all the time and do our best to provide our AIM family of PTA, PTO, and Booster Club groups the best possible support and resources to be successful. We also receive a lot of very similar questions due to the nature of how schools are structured.
Each year we see new parent-teacher group members and officers join our network who need information and answers to their questions. That’s why we decided to put together an easy-to-use resource to help new members and especially new officers get their questions answered to help your group run smoothly and effectively all year long.
PTA, PTO, and Booster Club Groups: What are they, and how are they different?
PTA and PTO groups are quite similar in that they’re both parent-teacher groups that support their school as a whole. A PTA (Parent Teacher Association) is a member group in the incorporated National PTA. National PTA has specific membership criteria, guidelines, and resources for its member groups. A PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) is similar to a PTA without the affiliated overseeing body.
A Booster Club is a parent-teacher group focused on supporting a sport, club, or other specific extracurricular activity at the school. For more information about PTA, PTO, and Booster Club groups and what each entails, see This Article.
If you want to help your school out and provide a better education experience for your students, but your school doesn’t yet have a parent-teacher group, AIM can help. AIM’s How to Start a PTA/PTO/Booster Club can help you find like-minded parents and get you started enriching your students’ education.
Organizing & Running Your Parent-Teacher Group
While PTA, PTO, and Booster Club groups are different, they are similarly structured to complete their mission. Do you know your group’s mission statement? If not, that’s OK. Your group’s bylaws should have a record of your mission statement, but it may also need to be updated. You can find more information about writing and revising your PTA, PTO, or Booster Club mission statement HERE.
However, if you’re unable to find a copy of your group’s bylaws, that can be an issue. We sometimes get asked if a parent-teacher group needs bylaws. And we say, yes, your PTA, PTO, or Booster Club bylaws are essential because they set the framework for how your group operates, who can be a member, what your group can do, and what procedures and regulations you need to follow to success on your group’s mission. If you need to revise or create bylaws for your parent-teacher group from scratch, This Guide can help walk you through the steps.
How to Run Great PTA, PTO, and Booster Club Meetings
We frequently get questions about improving parent-teacher group meetings. The first step is to make sure you have enough parents show up to meet your bylaws’ quorum. AIM has resources with some quick tips to help you Boost Meeting Attendance. Getting interested parents to show up is just the first step. Next, you need to have a meeting prepared for the parents that attend. Our guide to planning successful parent-teacher group meetings covers everything from room setup to meeting agenda and parliamentary process; Read More.
People showing up at their first parent-teacher meeting may feel a little intimidated or left out of the group. Not to worry, AIM also has some Meeting Icebreakers you can use to get parents loosened up and involved in the conversation.
The last ingredient to running great parent-teacher meetings is ensuring the critical parts are documented and posted for all your group members to access. Here are some excellent tips on recording your PTA, PTO, or Booster Club meeting minutes and how to save them for later reference.
I Need Fundraiser & Event Ideas for My Parent-Teacher Group
Throughout the year, even in the summer, we receive questions about PTA, PTO, and Booster Club fundraisers and event ideas. Resources like AIM’s playlist of events are an excellent place to start if you find yourself searching for ideas.
We also expanded on some Fundraiser and Event Ideas over the last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. And while COVID is a diminishing concern, they are still great ways your parent-teacher group can support your community. And don’t forget our fun Holiday Event and Fundraising Guide, it’s never too early to start planning for the busy holidays!
You can see the Answers to our Most Common Coverage Questions Concerning COVID-19 or any contagious disease, such as the Flu or Chickenpox.
What is General Liability Insurance, and Does My PTA/PTO/Booster Club Need It?
General liability coverage is the insurance AIM offers for parent-teacher groups that hold events and fundraisers throughout the year. While some schools cover parent-teacher group activities on their grounds, many are removing them from coverage, so check with your school. Independent coverage for your parent-teacher group also covers parent-teacher events that do not occur on the school’s property. An event location may ask your group for proof of insurance. Learn more about Proof of Insurance Certificates.
If your parent-teacher group plans to hold any after-school programs, carnivals, fun runs, concession stands, or any type of event, general liability is coverage you will need. See the Playlist of Events resource for what AIM general liability insurance covers. AIM’s general liability coverage would protect your group from lawsuits if someone were injured at your event. For more on general liability coverage, Click Here.
AIM offers general liability coverage annually for parent-teacher groups planning multiple events throughout the year, as well as single event coverage options. You can Learn More Here to determine what type of general liability insurance coverage is right for your PTA, PTO, or Booster Club.
Resources for PTA, PTO, and Booster Club Treasurers
Parent-teacher group treasurers are near and dear to our hearts because embezzlement is the #1 most common claim we cover. We have tips for creating a smooth transition of parent-teacher group officers you can Read Here. We also have an additional 5 Things New PTA, PTO, and Booster Club Treasurers Need to Know.
Once treasurers are over the initial acclimation to their position, we have a more In-depth Guide about the responsibilities and duties of a parent-teacher group treasurer, like tracking your bank statements and preparing for tax time. It would also do treasurers good to review our resource, Reasons Why PTAs, PTOs, and Booster Clubs need Embezzlement Protection, including helpful tactics to prevent embezzlement, not just prepare for it.
Get More Insight, Helpful Tips, and Answered Questions with AIM
The helpful information and links here are just a sampling of all the great information and resources available to PTA, PTO, and Booster Club groups in our Blog. If you want to know when a new blog comes out, make sure to Follow AIM on Facebook. We have an open-door policy at AIM, so don’t hesitate to Contact Us if you have any questions. You can send us an email or pick up the phone and give us a call.