The Riverwood Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) serves the students and school through various projects each year.
We will have several fundraising opportunities, but our primary focus is assisting the classrooms with volunteers for reading, artwork, gardening, teacher appreciation days, and other opportunities. Past projects include purchasing an iPad cart with 24 iPads for use by our students. Future projects include improvements to our nature walk, including an outside classroom setup.
Why a PTO and not a PTA?
Our school parents voted in 2011 to change from a PTA to a PTO. The differences are several, but the important ones are listed below:
- Of our former $5 membership fee, $2.25 was sent to the national PTA and $1 was sent to the Tennessee PTA. That fee has gone up for 2013 to $1.50, making a total of $3.75 of our $5 being used outside of our school.
- With a requirement for $3.75 going to the state and national association, we would not be able to have an “ALL IN” policy. Our membership would be limited to those who choose to pay, which in the past has been around 20% of our enrollment. We choose to include everyone.
- The PTA is very active politically regarding student advocacy. However, there are issues and stands the state and national PTA take that are not in line with all parent’s opinions. Instead of sending our dues to an organization that is advocating something a parent does not believe in, we would rather remove ourselves from the political process and focus on the well-being of our students.
Should our needs change, our parents always have the option of returning to a PTA format.