Today’s post certainly covers a hot topic: PTO meetings!
The debate goes a little like this:
Do you really have to meet in person for PTO meetings or are there alternatives that can boost participation?
Both of those questions will be answered in this post, so read on!
Are PTO Meetings really necessary?
In a word, yes.
But that doesn’t mean that monthly in person meetings are necessary!
The Point of PTO Meetings
Let’s circle back to the whole point of PTO meetings for a second…
Which is to get everyone on the same page with what’s the latest project developments and provide a way to spread the workload.
Without meetings, it’s easy for leaders and volunteers to feel alone. And this means they’ll try to do all the work themselves and not seek help or delegate tasks.
How often should your PTO meet?
If your PTO has a busy schedule (with a big event planned every month or so) then you’ll probably need to meet monthly.
But if your group has a less ambitious schedule, then meeting every other month may be enough.
But honestly, you’l have to figure out what’s right for your own group.
Propose a meeting schedule, then get feedback from officers and members, then adjust accordingly.
How should your PTO meet?
There are a few options for how your PTO can meet:
1. In person, old school
No explanation needed, right?
2. In person, with a tech boost
The second PTO meeting style is a hybrid model: Blend tradition with technology.
This method can keep more parents in the loop by giving parents the opportunity to join a meeting without physically attending.
There’s a few options to explore, and all come with pros and cons.
A perk of all three of the options below is that the recording can be saved for “replay” viewings.
Go Live on Facebook
Most people have a Facebook account these days, so going live in your PTO’s Facebook page is an easy option.
But not all parents have a Facebook account.
As you know, in order to see videos posted on the platform, people must have an account.
So by going live only on Facebook, you’re restricting who will see the meeting live, or after the fact if you choose to save the recording.
Limit the Live to a Facebook Group
If you want to reign in who can see the meeting, create a Facebook Group for your PTO. And then livestream into the group.
Just members of the group will be able to view the livestream or replay.
Plus, Facebook Group posts and videos pop up more frequently in the newsfeed than content from regular Facebook Pages.
This means Facebook Group members will probably see the video pop up in their newsfeeds.
Also know that a PTO volunteer will have to be in charge of approving members for the group.
The video won’t be shareable outside of the group to non- group members, which will severely limit who can see the video.
Only use Facebook Groups if your meeting participation is high already and/or if there are privacy concerns.
If you want to reach a wider audience for your meetings, consider going live on YouTube instead!
Once the meeting has ended, end the livestream and save the video to your PTO channel.
If you don’t want the meeting to be available to any random person, you can save the video as an unlisted (versus public) video and then only people with the link can access the video.
Post meeting, you’ll have to send out the link to all PTO members.
If the keep the recording as a public video, subscribers will get notified when you go live during the meeting!
The third way to meet as a PTO is via a virtual meeting.
Virtual meetings can also take many forms and may hit a sweet spot for members when schedules are running tight.
Completely virtual meetings may be best for executive board meetings when there are fewer potential attendees.
Because large groups are hard to manage in a virtual setting.
Free virtual platforms to consider:
- Google Duo: Free; For groups up to 8 people
- Group FaceTime: Limited to Apple users
- Zoom: For groups up to 100 people, 40 minute time limit for free plan
- Skype: Free; For groups up to 10 people
Over to you!
Have you tried meeting on a different way than in person or on a non-monthly basis? How’d it go?
Let’s discuss in the comments!
You might be interested in…
Looking to run your PTA / PTO meetings with less stress and more people in attendance?
If meetings are turning into marathon sessions where you have to beg people to attend, it’s time for something different entirely.
Check out the How to Run a Meeting for PTA/PTO Leaders!