New Year is almost upon us, and the school year is halfway over. But this is no time to coast. PTA leaders need to be proactive and plan ahead, so that you finish the school year on a positive note. Here is a checklist to help you get organized:

1. Make sure all of your meetings are scheduled for the remainder of the school year. Line up and invite any guest speakers you may want to have at your meetings.

2. Look ahead at your upcoming events. Meet with the committee chairs to determine their plan of action, needs, budget, etc.

3. Talk with your board members to plan a volunteer recognition program. April is typically National Volunteer Month, but why not do something for PTA Founder’s Day on February 17, 2016?

4. Review your fundraising goals for the first part of the year and determine if you are on target or if things need to be adjusted. This is also a good time to look at each individual fundraiser to see if it is profitable or if you need to find a replacement for next year.

5. Review your Bylaws and Standing Rules. While it’s not particularly fun, it’s important for the smooth running of your PTA. If you are contemplating any bylaws changes, those need to be presented to membership at least 30 days before a vote. So you will want to begin this process ahead of time in order for the vote to be completed before the end of the school year.

6. Plan for Nominating Committee members elections, typically held in January or February. The Nominating Committee members will be presenting a slate of candidates to membership at least a month before your elections. Make sure that your Nominating Committee procedures are all up to date.

7. Survey your members and make adjustments. Halfway through the school year is a good time to survey your members about programs, fundraisers, communication, parent involvement, volunteer opportunities, etc. Try to learn their likes and dislikes as well as their suggestions for new program ideas, new fundraising ideas, etc. Their responses will help direct your plans for the coming school.

8. Start planning for Teacher Appreciation Week in May. You probably already have a committee for this, but make sure that they are on task and on budget. Soliciting ideas from your Board members might be a good idea.

9. Schedule regular meeting with your school Principal. Try to also set up a meeting with your teachers (or some teacher reps) to talk about their needs and how your PTA can help.

10. Forge partnerships with business and community leaders. Your PTA’s community presence is a very important part of your organization. Why not reach out to some of the local businesses and local community leaders to set up a meeting to talk about issues facing the children of your community?

11. Review your membership stats for the school year to date. Ask your membership chair to do a comparison of this year’s data vs past year’s data. This analysis will help you to determine where efforts should be placed and adjustments made.

12. Review and improve your member communications. Are you able to reach everyone with your emails? Are your emails being read? What areas of communication need to be tweaked? Is there a subgroup of parents that you are missing in your communications? Could your PTA benefit from switching to an online communication system such as SimplyCircle?

We hope this checklist will help keep you on track for the new year. Happy New Year!