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Getting started at a new school can be an emotional time. Whether your family has moved or your child is changing schools, there are steps you can take to ease the transition for everyone. Getting plugged in to the PTA is a great place to start! Whether you’re simply looking for information or an opportunity to get involved, here are a few tips to get you started.

1. Subscribe to receive your PTA’s communication

Most PTAs have a website that is linked directly from the school’s website. If you’re having a difficult time finding it, contact the school and ask to be put in touch. They’ll be happy to point you in the right direction. If that still doesn’t work, you can get detailed information about state PTAs on the National PTA website. Once you find your PTA’s site, subscribe to their newsletters or emails. This will help you stay informed throughout the year. There’s no better way to know what’s happening at your school.

2. Connect with your PTA’s leadership

Call or email the PTA president of your local unit. Their contact information is usually found on the website. Parent organization leaders are a valuable resource for information – even information that isn’t specific to the PTA. A quick conversation with a PTA leader is an efficient way to get your questions answered. And if your leader doesn’t know all the answers, I bet they can direct you to the right person or resource. Be sure to ask about upcoming dates for meetings and feel out any volunteer opportunities.

3. Join the PTA!

This may sound obvious, but don’t forget to join your school’s PTA! Although a membership isn’t required, it’s definitely recommended. It’s important to note that the PTA is open to all interested parents, so there’s no reason to hesitate. For most parents, the most compelling reason to join the PTA is that it helps your child. In doing so, you’re also positively affecting all of the children at your school. Keep in mind, just because you join the PTA does NOT mean you have to volunteer. Although volunteering is always welcome!

4. Attend the PTA meetings

Again, this may sound obvious, but make sure to attend your PTA’s next general meeting. Dates, locations and times are typically available on the PTA’s website. At the meeting, you’ll not only learn about school activities and policies but also any state/national PTA initiatives.

5. Commit to your PTA

The best way to get involved in the PTA is to join a committee. Most PTAs have different committees that help organize functions throughout the year. Volunteering is much more fun when you’re using your natural talents. So look for opportunities within your wheelhouse. Volunteering is also a great way to meet other parents!

The PTA is essential to your child’s school’s success, and getting involved is a great way to enhance your child’s education. Not only does it do a world of good for your child and your school, you’re likely to make some new friends and have a lot of fun along the way!

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