Parent Toolkit - Advocating for Quality Curriculum: Attending Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and/or Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) Meetings

The Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is a nationwide network of parents and teachers that work together in national, state, and local organizations to help children. The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is an independent organization comprised of parents and teachers, similar to the PTA, but usually has more financial freedom and structure. 

PTA membership at the local level is open to any parent in the district. There are almost 6 million members in 23,000 local chapters across the United States. A PTO structure may not have a membership fee but provide opportunities for parents, teachers, and students to engage. 

Involvement in your child’s education is likely to have a positive effect on their long-term success. Students with involved parents are more likely to have higher grades, better social skills, and more likely to graduate from high school and attend post-secondary information. There are many ways parents can be involved in the schools. 

Attending PTA or PTO meetings offer a great opportunity to interact with other parents, talk with teachers, and ask questions about curriculum and instruction. You are not required to volunteer at the school if you join the PTA or attend PTO functions. 

  • Join the local PTA: Join Your Local PTA | National PTA 
  • Join the National PTA: National Parent Teacher Association | National PTA 
  • Join your school’s PTO: Ask your school principal or email your child’s teacher to get involved. 

If your school hosts a “Back to School” night, you will likely be able to meet the leaders of these groups. In addition, PTA and PTO leaders are often listed on the school’s website.