Ahhhh, summer. Those long days, outdoor adventures, and beautiful nights are finally here. If you’re reading this, it means you survived the end of year rat race, and now you’re ready for some well-deserved relaxation. I’m a huge believer in the power of rest, and I encourage you to start your summer with a complete break from your PTA/PTO’s leadership duties.

But the summer is also an important time for a school’s parent volunteer organization to start preparing for the upcoming school year. Once you’re ready, I have a few suggestions that will help to ensure a smooth transition into the new school year.

PTA/O Summer Tip #1: Meet with the Executive Board

Summer is a great time to gather the executive board for an informal meeting. Get together to discuss the organization’s goals and talk through any necessary changes for the upcoming year. Use the opportunity to identify any specific needs or volunteer gaps. This is also a great time to incorporate some team-building activities. Set aside time to have a little fun and get to know each other better.

PTA/O Summer Tip #2: Check in with Administration

Summer is also the perfect time to connect with your school’s administration. Though they’ll likely be planning for the upcoming school year, it’s important to check in. That way, you can gain a clear understanding of their goals and priorities as you plan for the year ahead. The informal feel of summer also creates a unique opportunity for some relationship-building with your administration. Building strong connections with your school’s leadership is an important component of a successful partnership.

PTA/O Summer Tip #3: Organize Your “Back to School” Welcome Packet

Go ahead and pull together the information you’ll need for your PTA’s “Back to School” welcome packet. Include a calendar of events, important dates, and membership information. This is also a convenient time to recruit additional volunteers for the upcoming school year. The more you can prepare ahead of time, the better. Assembling welcome packets is an easy task for children, so don’t be afraid to enlist the kids to make it go faster. It’s the perfect activity for a rainy afternoon.

PTA/O Summer Tip #4: Continue to Communicate with Parents

Don’t shut down your communication channels just because school is out. The summer is a great time for PTAs/PTOs to communicate with families. Use the time to check in, publicize volunteer needs, and share any school news. Whether through your social media channels or email, communication and connection with parents and families is essential—even during summer vacation. Keep it light and infrequent, but maintain a presence.

These are just a few ideas to keep the ball rolling during the summer months. Back to school season can be hectic for parents—especially volunteers—and a little preparation goes a long way. Setting aside time for some planning and organizing will help ease the transition and lighten the load. Hope everyone has a fantastic summer!