Carmel High School students and teachers aren’t the only ones feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the campus. It also disrupted work by the CHS Parent Teacher Organization, which is looking to get back on track during the 2021-22 school year.
“(The pandemic) really rocked everything to its core, (including) not being able to hold meetings in person,” said CHS PTO President Wendy Harlow, who joined the group to meet fellow parents two years ago when her son entered high school.
The PTO is key in planning several major events, from homecoming to prom to the senior celebration. It also helps provide evening and weekend food for the 10 percent of the school’s students on the free and reduced lunch program.
“Our kids’ high school experience would not happen without the PTO,” Harlow said. “Whatever you want your involvement to look like, we welcome that. We don’t have any specific expectations on what your involvement looks like, we just want your involvement.”
New this year, the PTO is eliminating its $25 membership fee to encourage more involvement from those who are on the fence about joining or who might not be able to afford the fee.
Harlow sees the PTO’s role as even more important this year because it’s been nearly 18 months since all students were in class together.
“We have a huge role this year,” Harlow said. “It’s parallel to the school’s role as we’re planning for this year, because we realize it’s not just the freshman students and freshman parents who are setting foot on campus for the first time.”
Learn more at ccs.k12.in.us/pto-chs.