PTO Communications Guidelines

The Highcrest PTO provides a variety of fun and important activities and events at Highcrest and we want to make sure our families and students know about them all!


These guidelines were developed to aid you in promoting your event or program through the PTO’s communication channels. If you have any questions, email


There are 5 ways the Highcrest PTO communicates information to families:

  1. Highcrest Headlines: a weekly newsletter which includes PTO and general school news. This is sent by the principal or the grade-level administrators (GLAds) to all Highcrest families, generally on Friday.
  2. PTO Website:, which includes information about all PTO events and programs, including volunteer opportunities.
  3. Email Notifications (“Blasts”): reserved for time-sensitive information and last-minute requests, this is also the means by which the PTO President sends a quarterly informational “President’s Note” (Aug., Oct./Nov., Jan./Feb., May). Email notifications must be approved by the PTO President and the VP Communications.
  4. In-school postings and announcements: bulletin boards, 1:1 Learning/iPad notifications, and morning loudspeaker announcements.
  5. Social Media: the Highcrest Facebook page, named “Parents of Highcrest Kids,” is not an official PTO communication vehicle. However, the entire Highcrest community has the option of joining the group and posting relevant information. Facebook friends who are already members can add new members, or an individual can send a request to


Highcrest Headlines: 2 pm on the Wednesday prior to issue release.

PTO Website: Ongoing, but note the site is updated only once a week.

Email Notifications: Minimum 24hrs notice unless it is an emergency.

In-School Postings & Announcements: By special request. Contact VP Communications (

Social Media: None, ongoing.



  1. All communications requests should be submitted to
  2. Provide links (e.g., or PDF files, photos or graphics that you would like included with your listing. While space is limited, this type of content is included when possible.
  3. The Highcrest PTO will only publicize news and events associated with the Highcrest PTO, HMS,Wilmette District 39 and our official community partners  District 39 Educational Foundation and PASS39. Events, activities and organizations that are not directly affiliated with the school or District 39, including scouting, outside sports organizations, and non-affiliated fundraisers are not promoted.


  1. Add your event to the editorial calendar. Email as early as possible to add your event to the editorial calendar.
  2. Submit your details.  Include all the information about your event or committee including dates, times, if there’s a signup for volunteers, the link to the sign-up, etc. We need the details! The Headlines articles are short and sweet, but the PTO Website can include additional information.
  3. Promote your event well in advance. The earlier we know about your event, the better we can publicize it, especially for long-range events that require volunteers or other advance planning. For example:

4- to 6-weeks prior, place a Save the Date notice or Call for Volunteers in the Highcrest Headlines; provide the web editor with your event information and, if your program or event has a webpage, be sure it is current.

3 weeks prior, submit a notice for the Highcrest Headlines that can run each week until your event or program happens.

2 weeks prior, check status of volunteers if applicable and, if you are low on volunteers, update your webpage or Headlines notice to emphasize this need.

1 week prior, contact the VP Communications if you feel your event or program is in trouble due to lack of volunteers, lack of sign-ups or last-minute changes that affect it (e.g., inclement weather).



Please take advantage of online resources for recruiting volunteers and managing events.  If you need help creating a Sign Up Genius, advice on using Google docs to manage the event, or suggestions for other online resources, please contact VP Communications.

The PTO has the option of building forms and including a Paypal link on the website’s event pages. Please contact if you feel this will be helpful in promoting or organizing your event or program.