Frequently Asked Questions

What is the PTO?

PTO stands for Parent-Teacher Organization.  The mission of the PTO is to coordinate efforts to bring a closer relationship between home and school so parents, guardians and teachers can cooperate in the education of Sally K. Ride (SKR) students.

What’s the difference between a PTO and PTA?

The PTO is an independent group whereas a PTA is a national organization.  Ride is a PTO and does not pay membership fees to any national organization.  All membership fees we collect go directly to the Ride PTO and are used to support the school.

Who can be a member of the PTO?

If you’re a mother, father, grandparent, guardian, or teacher, you can be a member.  PTO is for all parents; working and/or stay-at-home moms and dads.  It provides many avenues to volunteer, participate, and be involved in your child’s educational process.

Why should I join the PTO?

Membership in the PTO helps to support Ride and its students.  Membership fees go directly to the PTO budget to support the school and therefore our students’ educational experience.  Membership also gives you access to the online school directory and gives you the opportunity to have a voice in PTO decisions.

How do I join the PTO?

You can join the PTO on our online store by paying the $20 family membership fee.  The online store is hosted on Membership Toolkit – our secure online directory website.  Click here to go to the store.

What is Membership Toolkit and why do I need to sign up?

Membership Toolkit (MTK) is our secure online directory website.  The PTO does not have access to information that is collected by the school or district.  In order for us to send you emails about PTO and school events, we need you to provide us with your contact information.  You get to select which information you would like to share in the school directory, which is only available to paid PTO members.  (Some parents do not like the login feature on MTK, but this is necessary to ensure that your information is protected.  We recommend storing the password on your phone of computer or using a password-keeper app if you cannot remember your password.  If you ever forget it, just select “forgot password” and you can easily reset it to something you’ll remember.)  


Become a Membership Toolkit user here

When are the PTO meetings?  Where are they held?  Who can attend PTO meetings?

PTO meetings are held the 2rd Thursday of each month, typically at 11:30 a.m.  PTO meetings will be held in either the library or science lab.  PTO meetings are open to all parents, guardians, or teachers.

Am I required to attend PTO meetings if I join the PTO?

No, PTO meetings are open to anyone.  You are not required to attend PTO meetings if you join the PTO.  However, if you seek to hold an executive board or committee position you should try to attend the meetings or give a report to the president.

How can I help/volunteer?

The PTO has many volunteer opportunities with varying levels of time commitment throughout the year to fit all schedules.  Click here for list of PTO board & committee descriptions.  In addition, there may be opportunities to volunteer/help in your child’s classroom.  These opportunities are usually coordinated through your room parent or teacher.

How do I sign up to help/volunteer?

In the Classroom

Your teacher will have a form at the beginning of the year asking if you’re interested in being a room parent, room parent coordinator, or classroom helper.  Many teachers use Shutterfly, See Saw, or Class Dojo, etc. to coordinate classroom activities and signups.  If they do, they will send home a paper form or email telling you how to sign up.


With the PTO

The PTO will send home a flyer asking you to indicate areas you’re interested in helping with and you will be contacted by the committee member over that area of interest.  In addition, you can complete the online Volunteer Interest Form.  You will receive emails when there are school wide sign ups available.

How does the PTO raise funds?

The PTO raises money through fundraisers, as well as private and corporate donations.

How is the money spent?

The money raised by the PTO pays for field trips, math and reading tutors, teacher support (start-up expenses, professional development, substitute pay when performing student assessments), computer programs/licenses, technology, reading incentive programs, playground equipment, & copy paper.  All the money the PTO raises goes towards enhancing your child’s education at Sally K. Ride.

What is the PTO’s Budget?  Can I view it?

The budget is reviewed each year by the PTO and principal in order to determine the needs our school.  All parents are invited to the budget meeting held before Parent Information Night.  You can receive a copy of the budget for the current school year at this time.  PTO members can receive and updated budget report at each months PTO meeting or on our website PTO Budget page.

Do we have a student directory?  How do I get a copy?

We have an online directory.  You gain access to the online directory by joining the PTO.  Our online directory can even be printed at home if you prefer a hard copy.  Get a friend’s phone number and address anywhere without having to carry around a directory with the Membership Toolkit app and website.

How do I submit my child’s information for inclusion in the student directory?

Join Membership Toolkit.  You can manage what information you want included in the online directory.  Note: you can join Membership Toolkit and submit your information to stay in the loop without becoming a paid PTO member, however you will only be able to access the directory yourself if you are a paid member.

What is Friends of Ride?

Sally K. Ride continues to offer a simplified approach to fundraising.  When you give a one-time donation, every dollar goes directly to support school programs and improvements.  The PTO is a non-profit, 501c3 organization, so all donations are tax deductible.

Why do I have to sign up on 3 websites at the start of the school year?

InfoSnap, PAC, Membership Toolkit … I know it seems confusing to have 3 different signups that you have to give all your information to.  Let us clear up the confusion by putting all the information together.

PAC (Parent Access Center)

Information that the district keeps and that SKR uses to communicate with parents.  Also, how you keep track of your child’s info at SKR.  It is essential that you sign up for a PAC (Parent Access Center) account each year.  Email is our primary communication tool for all school events and information.  Once you register for a PAC account, you will receive important information regarding absence and tardy notifications, and other important updates.  Throughout the year, you can log into PAC to view grades, report cards, attendance, discipline records, cafeteria accounts, and STAAR information.  Simply visit the CISD website (  Locate the “STUDENTS/PARENTS” tab and proceed to “PARENT ACCESS”.  Click “REGISTER FOR AN ACCOUNT”.  Follow the simple steps to complete your PAC registration.  Don’t forget, you must re-register every year.


New online student data validation system for the upcoming school year (district needs this info).  An online student data validation system for the upcoming school year, powered by InfoSnap.  The system is a secure and green process, which allows the district to verify all the student demographic, emergency and medical information for your child prior to the start of the new school year.  This first year, you will need to enter information that we do not currently have in digital form, such as your student’s Health Information Form.  This online process replaces all the hard copy student registration forms that your child brings home on the first day of school.

Membership Toolkit (MTK)

PTO’s secure online directory and website.  It is recommended that you sign up for the PTO’s online directory through MTK.  MTK is a secure directory website that allows the PTO to communicate with parents and teachers about what’s happening throughout the year.  Whether or not you choose to purchase a PTO membership for $20 giving you access to the online directory, you will still find MTK extremely useful as you can purchase spirit-wear and receive information that you will need to get involved through it.  MTK will be used to send emails about upcoming PTO meetings and reminders about events at Sally K. Ride Elementary.  You sign up and get login credentials the first year and then each subsequent year, you will need to confirm your information to regain access for the next year.

Why do I also have to use a different app to keep track of information with each teacher?

Every teacher at Ride chooses how they wish to communicate with their parents.  Some use the district-wide Canvas system.  Some prefer Shutterfly sites, while others prefer See Saw, Class Dojo, or just regular email.  Your teacher will let you know how they will communicate at the start of the year.