Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs) can take many forms, from informal to highly organized groups. Every group has a different purpose; generally PTOs are intended to increase parent involvement and facilitate parent-teacher communication.
- The purpose of parent involvement in PTOs is to help children do better in school. According to PTO Today, when parents are involved in a child’s education, both at home and at school, children do better academically. This includes higher grades and test scores, better attendance, better social skills, fewer behavior problems, and a tendency to graduate and continue their education.
- PTO groups often struggle to get active and consistent parent involvement. Barriers to involvement can include when parents don’t feel welcome at school, don’t feel they have time, don’t speak English or when they are they are not traditional parents (such as foster parents or grandparents).
- PTOs that are successful address the fears of parents and caregivers and encourage participation by allowing parents to participate as much or as little as they wish.