With the sixth grade moving from Stevenson Elementary School to the middle school wing of Russellville High School, parents and administrators are hoping to start up a new Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) for the middle grade students.
A meeting has been scheduled for Friday, July 20, at the Russellville Central Office from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to get the ball rolling on the new organization. Any parent interested in participating in the PTO or serving as a volunteer at the middle school is welcome to stop in to share ideas or find out more.
“The thing I’d like to see is for us to get our feet wet with this and then broaden it to include all the grades from 6 through 12 for a PTO for the entire school,” RHS principal Kim McDaniel said.
The idea was first proposed by Kelly Paul and Ann Page McReynolds, who both worked with the PTO at Stevenson in recent years.
“We just want to provide some trips and experiences for the kids that they might not have otherwise,” Paul said. “It takes a lot of parent support and the more we get, the easier it will be.”
Paul said that she and McReynolds already have some good, preliminary ideas about what they’d like to do, but would love to hear from other parents about their ideas as well.
“I know some of the things we did that were successful at Stevenson, so we’ll be doing those - but keeping in mind that we are dealing with some older kids now,” Paul said.
McDaniel said that she hopes the middle school PTO will one day grow enough to include the whole high school.
“People have realized that it’s harder to get some of the parental involvement when the kids get to high school, so it gets a little more challenging,” McDaniel said. “In high school, we’ve seen the PTO get replaced by booster clubs - like for athletics and band and those things.”
McDaniel said that when the Russellville Middle School had its own building just a few years ago, the school had a very active and helpful PTO.
“I’d like to see us get back to doing some of that stuff,” she said. “When I was a teacher there and wanted to have a science fair, it would be fully sponsored by the PTO. I would like to see us start doing more things like that in both the middle school wing and the high school.”