Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Listening to Your Community

Source: National PTA BacktoSchoolKit
Did you sign up for the kit already? If not, what are you waiting for?

Growing membership is an intentional and continuous effort to build positive, productive relationships, beginning with your PTA Board and continuing with families, teachers, and school staff.

Your PTA will increase in membership if every aspect of your PTA – every event, every communication, every interaction – is viewed as a way to achieve strong, positive, two-way communication with your community.
To do this effectively, you need to listen deeply to what families, teachers, and community members want and need.
Since PTAs are for everyone, units should seek to understand and support the needs of a wide variety of members — from future parents to senior citizens. Imagine how strong your community could be if every parent, every community member, and every business leader found a reason to get involved in PTA!

Questions to Consider
Ways to Learn More
Do your Board and membership reflect the diversity of families at your school (including race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, language preferences and cultural norms)?
On www.GREATSCHOOLS.org or your school district website, you can find the following information about your school:
  • Racial/ethnic make-up
  • Percentage of families receiving free/reduced-price lunch
  • Percentage of English language learners
How do families and staff think PTA should support student success and well-being, or school improvements?
  • Survey
  • Listening sessions
  • Invite feedback
What limits families and school staff from supporting or volunteering with PTA?
  • Survey
  • Listening sessions
  • Invite feedback

When your PTA has shifted gears or improved something because you listened, share that! It reinforces the message that feedback is important and new ideas are welcome. For example:
  • “PTA heard from our members ... and in response, we will … ”
  • “Thanks to your suggestions … we will … ”
  • “Our survey results showed … and as a result we are … ”

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