open laptop on a pool deck with sunglasses and stack of notebooks with text box underneath

How to Run a PTO Summer Planning Meeting

The weeks between the end of the school year and the first day of school is a prime opportunity for Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) leaders to be using wisely.

Many might be tempted to take the time off from any and everything related to PTO, but the wisest leaders know they should be participating in at least one summer planning meeting.

In this article, we’re going to be talking about what to cover in your PTO summer planning meeting and how to organize your leaders’ discussions to put you in a primed position that’ll payoff all throughout the new school year!

Who Should Organize the PTO Summer Planning Meeting

This is definitely a gathering you should be organizing as the PTO President. 

Time the meeting of all PTO leaders for  making sure that you have scheduled for, either June or July for an August school start timeframe.

Scheduling the meeting for mid Summer allows some pre-planning to be done in advance of the meeting as well as time after the meeting to further hash out details of the initial plans made or shared at the meeting.

Who Should Be Invited to Attend the Summer Planning Meeting

All members of the PTO’s Executive Board, as well as any Committee Chairs should be invited to attend the PTO planning meeting. 

Coordinating schedules using is a great way to quickly find a date that works for most, if not all of your PTO’s leaders.

Is the Summer Planning Meeting a Formal Meeting or Casual Gathering?

The PTO Summer planning meeting is a fantastic opportunity for a relaxed, casual gathering where lots of talking and thinking happens.

Far from business as usual atmosphere for PTO meetings held during the school year, the Summer meeting works well as an outdoor gathering, on a member’s backyard porch or at a park, weather permitting, of course!

If meeting at a member’s home, perhaps some adult beverages can be shared, if attendees are so inclined.

The Summer planning meeting’s purpose is two-fold: First to get some pre-planning for the upcoming school year done as implied by the meeting’s name, but also allow the PTO’s leaders to get to know one another better.

This is especially crucial if you have new board members for your PTO.

It’s so much easier to get things done throughout the school year if everyone knows one another. 

PTO Summer Planning Meeting Agenda

One thing that you should be creating during the planning meeting is a draft PTO event, program and fundraising calendar for the upcoming school year

Get everything mapped out so you have a big picture idea of what the new school year will look like for your PTO and you.

You should also be taking a look at what worked and what didn’t work from this last year with regard to your PTO and discussing both problems and successes as a group.

Review the summary forms that your board members and committee chairs filled out.

If you don’t don’t already have a set of solid evaluation forms already, you’ll find an excellent set in the President Success Kit.

In any event, those planning and summary forms that past leaders filled out are a gold mine for information to make your PTO stronger and volunteering easier.

Actually look at them and use them as guidance for what to change or adapt or tweak for the upcoming school year.

The information should not just be documented and then live in a vacuum; you should be using it to help formulate goals and plans for the year.

Consider Your PTO’s Financial Situation

As part of the planning process, take a look at your PTO’s financial situation.

Specifically, look at the past year’s PTO budget.

Did you have a lot of money left over?

Did you just squeak by?

Did you have to cut some things in the last year?

Ask the PTO Treasurer come with the year-end report so you can see where your income and expenses ended up, and consider what changes, if any, you need to make going forward.

Consider Your PTO’s Volunteer Base

What happened in the last year as far as your PTO’s volunteers base is another factor that’ll come into play going forward.

You’re going to want to note any changes.

Did you have a huge class of “graduating” parents, meaning parents whose kids aged out of the school?

What does your volunteer base look like given this change?

Consider the actual facts on the ground related to how many volunteers you have returning. 

Those factors are all going to go into that actual information about your group, which is going to make a difference in what your group can do for the new school year.

Set PTO Goals for the Upcoming School Year

Next, with all of the information and considerations previously highlighted above, your group should aim to set some goals for your PTO for the upcoming school year.

Get on the same page about what you hope to make happen for the year, start to map it out and plan for what it’s going to take to make that happen.

Assess if the goals are realistic with the people and money resources you have now?

Talk about what changes need to be made.

Maybe you don’t need to make any changes.

Maybe you have enough volunteers.

But maybe your group is aiming to do more and better in the upcoming year.

What’s it going to take to make that happen?

What people do you need to bring in?

What equipment do you need to make that happen?

When you take the time to talk about things, because over the summer there’s usually no pressing business that is taking place, you can think about those bigger picture items and dream a little bit more.

Think about what could be rather than what has been, and avoid being limited.

Think big, think outside of the box, and consider all the things spelled out above.

When you take the time to plan well in advance of the new school year, you have so many more opportunities available to you, rather than if you’re trying to make it all happen last minute. 

Watch this!

Prefer to watch and learn about everything to cover in your PTO’s Summer Planning Meeting? Give this video a watch:


Over to you

I hope that this has been helpful for you in imagining how you can have an effective summer planning meeting.

Take advantage of relaxed schedules and bring people together to not only get to know each other better, which is going to lay a really solid foundation for you to work cohesively throughout the school year, but also to have initial plans for your parent group made at the same time.

Remember to look at the actual data and the information you have at your disposal to help you plan out the upcoming school year.

Information is power and with it, you and your PTO can leverage it for a fantastic year ahead.

Happy planning!

Scroll to top