What does a PTO do?

The LMS PTO meets regularly to discuss what is happening in our school, and in the lives of our students, as it relates to the well-rounded, nurturing, learning environment. Frequent discussions between parents, teachers, and community members should result in actions that benefit the children of Linkhorne Middle. Actions will be in the form of a variety of activities aimed at reinforcing the normally funded learning opportunities.

Who can join the PTO?

At LMS all families are considered members of the PTO. There are no dues to pay and no membership forms to fill out. Anyone that wants to make a significant, positive difference in the future of our children and our community should consider getting involved. We will encourage all parents, guardians, caregivers, grandparents…basically anyone involved with our children and who have their best interest in mind to join and participate in the PTO. The PTO’s purpose is to further enrich the lives of our children so that they may reach their full learning potential. No one should be excluded from such an important task.

What if I don’t want to join the PTO? Can my child still participate in the activities and benefits resulting from the PTO work?

No child in the Linkhorne community will be denied the benefits a PTO could produce. Joining the PTO is not a requirement. However, it is the strength of the collective effort that makes the difference in a program like the PTO. An analogy would be like asking 1% of effort from 100 people rather than asking 100% from one person. Together, collectively, we can accomplish more. Much like a community, each member has a specific role and contribution.

My time is limited due to other family and work commitments. Should I still join the PTO even though I might not be available when needed?

Yes. Many of us are being pulled in different directions. Long hours at work, little ones to look after, travel for work, vacation, soccer practice, dentist appointments, deadlines and commitments… all of these can be very demanding on our personal and family lives. Though you may not be able to make every event or meeting, you should be able to find comfort in knowing that your contribution, limited as it may be, is for the betterment of your children and our community as a whole. Involvement in the PTO has the real potential to provide a closer connection to your child’s day to day learning and development needs. Consider the PTO an investment in you and your children’s future together.

What is the difference between a PTO and a PTA?

The technical differences between a PTA and a PTO are fairly simple. The national PTA is a formal membership organization headquartered in Chicago with a 103-year history of working for children. Local groups that choose to belong to the PTA must pay dues to the state and national organization and abide by state and national group rules. In return they get member benefits, and they get a voice in the operations of the larger organization. PTA groups also have a political voice, as the national PTA maintains a Washington lobbying office and most state PTAs advocate at their respective state capitals. The PTA carefully protects its name, so that—in theory—only dues-paying members of the group can call themselves “PTA.”

“PTO,” on the other hand, is a more generic term. It generally represents the thousands of groups that choose to remain independent of the PTA. The acronym PTO is the most popular name, but other common names include PTG (Parent Teacher Group), and HAS (Home and School Association). These are most often single-school groups that operate under their own by-laws and—by and large—concern themselves with the goings-on at their building or in their town only.

How are PTO’s and PTA’s similar?

PTOs and PTAs are more alike than they are different. Committed, generous volunteers are the common denominator. As long as those volunteers continue to support their schools—through a PTO or a PTA or through any other mechanism—then children, all children, will be the winners.