Here are some frequently asked questions about PTA. Have a question that isn’t on the list? Contact us!
Why is membership important?
The more members you have, the more support the children in your school and community will receive. When you send home your newsletter, members will take notice because they have become part of your PTA. Remember to tell potential members: “membership” does not mean “volunteering”. Becoming a member means that they are supporting the efforts of your PTA as well as the work of Massachusetts and National PTAs.
Our teachers aren’t interested in parent involvement or working with PTA … what should we do?
You can build collaboration between parents and teachers without having teachers attend PTA meetings. There are other ways to involve teachers in PTA, and to create open lines of communication. If teachers think PTA means more meetings for them, they may oppose PTA. Most teachers want to know what is in it for them—what does PTA bring to the table that will benefit them and their students. Programs, better volunteer efforts, more effective communication with parents, a better understanding among parents about they can be effectively involved in school and work with teachers, etc., can all arise from having a PTA. Just creating a unit does not ensure teacher participation or support—but PTA has tools to help you build the support and types of conversations you want.
You may want to point out that over more than 30 years of research shows that when parents are involved in their children’s education, students are more likely to succeed. Parent involvement correlates to higher test scores, less drug use, higher graduation rates, less acting out, greater number of students moving into colleges, higher teacher morale, more community support of schools, and a whole lot more. PTA has developed an excellent workshop based on these tools, called Building Successful Partnerships, and we are available to present in your school. We also wrote a book on the research. The fact is that parents who are effectively (there’s that word again) involved in their child’s education can make a teacher’s job easier and more rewarding. What teacher does not want a partner at home, helping educate, reinforcing lessons, partnering on strategies, supporting learning? What teacher couldn’t use more community support? More volunteer help in the school? More understanding in general about the challenges and realities of educating children today? An educated group of parents, working as partners with teachers and administrators, can have a huge impact on student learning and community attitude toward providing for schools. Here is a link to some info on the research: National Standards for Parent/Family Involvement Programs.
I am a local unit officer or chair and haven’t heard from the Massachusetts PTA. Why?
First, please make sure that we have received an updated Officer & Chair Contact Form — that’s what we use as a basis to contact officers and chairs. Generally, hard copy mail type items are sent only to the president of the local unit, with the hopes that the president will pass that information on to his/her board and members. Sometimes, however, depending on the information and available time frame, information is sent out to various officers and chairs, i.e. Reflections information to the Arts Chair, membership information to the Membership Chair, etc. And, you can always sign up for one of our e-newsletters and receive regular information sent directly to you! We want to make sure that you have the information you need.
I love PTA. How do I get involved at other levels?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call us! We’re always looking for new ideas and perspectives. Don’t worry about what’s available. Tell us your passion, your area of expertise, and how much time you have to commit — together we’ll find a place for you. Everyone is welcome!
What’s the real secret to success?
Complete your Officer & Chair Contact Form, attend trainings, check the website often for updates, call or email if you have questions, share the information you receive with members, board members, and officers. Most of all, HAVE FUN! The rest will follow.