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What to Start Planning Now for the New School Year

There’s little doubt that this next school year will look pretty different than it has before.

But that doesn’t mean that you there’s no reason to plan!

This post will dive into the details of what all PTO and PTA leaders should be planning now for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year!

Don’t Let Uncertainty Get in the Way

It’s true that we don’t have a clear idea of what the school year will look like just yet, and also that the situation is very fluid.

Odds are the school year will be interrupted and it definitely won’t look like is has in previous years.

What’s more, it’s a super safe bet to assume that the new school year will be a mix of traditional classroom instruction and distance learning.

But cancelling the entire year of school isn’t really in the cards, and that still leaves plenty of time to put on a few events and support your school’s students, staff and families!

None of the uncertainty should stop PTO or PTA leaders from creating a general framework for that covers the entire school year.

Why Plan Now?

The best leaders know that success comes with planning.

Leaders who wait to plan until school resumes in the Fall will have to scramble, probably on multiple fronts.

And that doesn’t make for a good time, let alone a start to the new school year!

What to Start Planning

So what are the things PTO leaders should be planning right now?

There are three main categories to start thinking about now: Events, Meetings and Fundraisers.

The best tings to do right now is to plan how the event will work in person and is in person isn’t possible.


Some of the events your groups should consider hosting this year include:

  • Welcome back event
  • Family fun events
  • Teacher appreciation events
  • Volunteer appreciation events


Don’t skip meeting in person or online.

Plan to meet!

Carve out a date for executive board meetings as well as general membership meetings once a month.


The last category of things to plan for the upcoming school year is fundraisers.

A word of caution for for the 2020-2021 school year fundraising: Only fundraise is your PTO/PTA actually needs the money.

Don’t fundraise just because you can.

The global economy is faltering, and unemployment is on the rise.

Some families might not have the disposable income that’ll allow them to participate.

So look at the financial situation carefully.

How to put together a PTO planning calendar to keep your PTO organized and on track. Plan out your entire year to work towards your PTA's goals for a successful year! #ptoanswers #pto #pta #planning
Snag this free planning calendar- sign up below!

How to Start Planning?

Be Realistic

First, being realistic is super important.

This means being prepared for the reality that there will be a time when school won’t be in session, and plans will have to be cancelled.

Anticipate and expect that not all of your plans will go forward as planned.

Having a loose, flexible plan are the easiest to adapt to the guidance from your State and local governments as well as your school officials.

Schedule a Meeting with Your Principal

The very first step in planning is to reach out to your building Principal.

Schedule a call to discuss to get their thoughts on what the year might look like and how the PTO can support the school.

During the call is a great time to run a few of your ideas past the Principal to see what they think.

Some ideas might not be a possibility based on the guidance the school has already gotten, so it’ll be good to rule those possibilities sooner than later.

The Principal will be able to help refine these ideas and give you even more to think about and discuss as an PTO/PTA Executive Board.

Write out Plans

Grab a planning calendar

Need one?

Snag a free 12 month calendar, below!

Next, get your hands on the school calendar and transfer major dates onto your planning calendar:

  • Meet the Teacher / Back to School Nights
  • New family / student orientation
  • Open House
  • Parent Teacher Conference Days
  • Holidays and Breaks
  • Professional Development Days
  • School concerts / plays, performances

With this skeleton information, begin to schedule in PTO events:

First meetings.

Then events.

And then fundraisers.

Double check for conflicts along the way and leave plenty of space in between events.

Use this skeleton plan to make more intricate plans as you get a clear picture of what the school year will look like.

Watch this!

What to Plan Now for Next School Year as a PTO PTA Leader

Recommended Resources

The Complete Organizing and Planning Collection has everything you’ll need to set your group up for planning success!

The best way to get prepared for any school year as a PTA/PTO officer is to get educated and line up the tools and resources you’ll need to make your life easier!

The Complete PTA/PTO Organizing and Planning Collection is the answer leaders turn to time and again.

With 17 different resources, there’s something for every leader in your group!

There’s no better way to get prepped for the upcoming year than with the comprehensive planners, guides, and checklists you’ll find in this bundle.

Best of all, your PTO/PTA will reference and use these resources year after year, making it a brilliant investment for your group!

Over to you!

Want even more information on effective planning?

Check out this planning post.

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