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PTO / PTA Information Center

School parent groups are typically the main channel for parental involvement in their child’s school community. These groups are run by volunteers and are there to support the school in the manner they see fit. Whether it’s a PTA, PTO, PTSA, PTC and the many other variations of a parent group, their existence is important and plays a vital role in a good educational environment. Below are links and resources that may be of use to your school parent organization.

Useful Resources

PTO Today
National PTA
Discovery Information: Parent Resources

Useful Parent Group Articles

How Do I Start a Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)? (source: Cullinane Law Group) - One way for parents to support their child’s school is to join their Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). But what if your child’s school doesn’t have one? What is a Parent Teacher Organization? And how can you start one?

PTO vs. PTA: What's the Difference? (source: PTO Today) - The technical differences between a PTA and a PTO are fairly simple. The National PTA is a formal membership organization headquartered in Chicago with a 105-year history of working for children. PTO, on the other hand, is a more generic term. It generally represents the thousands of groups that choose to remain independent of the PTA. 

Parent Involvement Checklist: Does your school do a good job of reaching out to parents? (source: Project Appleseed) Checklist based on the six slices of parental involvement to evaluate and improve parent-school partnerships. 

PTA-PTO Tip of the Month – Breath of Fresh Air: Boosting Participation – Useful tips for parent groups on increasing parental participation.

Parent Group Bylaws (source: PTO Today) - Articles and tools for creating, revising, and understanding your PTO bylaws, creating sound policies for your PTO or PTA, and becoming a nonprofit PTO with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

How to prevent fundraising theft by PTO / PTA organizers. – An unfortunate side to running parent groups. Theft is an all too common occurrence. This article provides tips on how to protect your group from internal theft or embezzlement.

So You Just Got Appointed PTA Fundraising Chairperson, Now What? In many cases, it happens so quick most people don’t realize what hit them. Next thing they know, they have just been appointed the fundraising chairperson for your PTA. This article lays out suggestions and tips for the first time fundraising chairperson.

Strategies for Involving Parents in School Health (Center for Disease Control) A growing body of research demonstrates that enhancing protective factors in the lives of children and adolescents can help them avoid behaviors that place them at risk for adverse health and educational outcomes. Read more to see what you can do to help.