CARMEL RIVER SCHOOL ROOM PARENT GUIDELINES
Welcome to a new year at River School and thank you for volunteering to serve as Room Parent for your child’s classroom! The time you spend in this capacity is greatly appreciated by the teacher, the students, and the other classroom parents.
The main role of the Room Parent is to provide essential help to your child’s teacher in organizing activities both inside and outside the classroom setting. You assist with facilitating projects at the direction of your teacher and act as a liaison between the class parents, the PTA and the main teacher. If there is more than one Room Parent, it is encouraged that the functions be divided (e.g. one person handles parties, another parent communication) and that one parent is identified as the main liaison to the teacher to simplify communication.
The responsibilities of the Room Parent (s) include:
- Initial meeting with the teacher to set school year goals and teacher needs for the school year. These may include planning of class parties (dates and times, food to be served and any activities that may take place). Some teachers have very specific guidelines they wish the Room Parent to follow, others are more flexible.
- Welcome letter or email to each class parent introducing yourself and communicating your plans. Often your teacher will have already collected parent contact information at Back-to-School night which also indicates what information they would like shared in a Class Directory. If not, this is a good time to collect information for your class directory. The directory you create is to be distributed to your class parents and teacher. Typical information collected includes: student name, parent or guardian names, mailing address, home and/or cell phone number and email contact address.
-It is up to the Room Parent whether to have a collection of Fun Fund monies. Fun Fund monies usually are requested at about $20 per child. (Tips for participation, put a colored envelope for the money with the child’s name and place it in their backpack with a note OR place a large envelope in the window of the class with “Fun Fund’s” written on the outside so parents can place money in the envelope when they pick-up or drop-off.) Any monies collected must be accounted for and it is recommended that all classroom expenses be recorded with receipts. It is important to think of a budget in the beginning of the school year that reflects the number of parties and activities your teacher requests.
Examples of typical Fun Fund expenditures are:
- Class Parties
- Special Class Projects
- Teachers gifts (Birthday. Holiday)
- Teacher appreciation week
The vast majority of the Fun Fund should be spent on parties and activities for the children in your class. If the parents feel that an additional contribution for a Teacher gift is warranted, the Room Parent is expected to coordinate the collection of funds and the purchase of the gift.
It is suggested that Room Parents inform the other class parents when a gift is purchased, what it is, and when it will be presented to the teacher (in the event that some of the other parents would like to be there.) You may also consider polling parents for gift ideas. Additionally, it is up to the Room Parent whether to supply all the food and class party supplies or to have class parents volunteer to bring in requested items. Most teachers appreciate “healthy snacks” and you will need to poll all parents early on for food allergies.
As needed by the Teacher, Room Parents will be in charge of:
Coordinating the in-class parent volunteers as well as parent volunteers for various parties or field trips throughout the school year via Shutterfly, sign up genius, or a Google doc.
- Art show/Open house in May - Please have 2-3 people appointed to this position at the beginning of the year.
- Assign a parent in the beginning of the year who will act as class photographer for the class yearbook.
- Organizing a class booth (or grade booth) at the Annual Fall Festival. This includes scheduling parent volunteers to run the booth, creating a sign for the booth and if needed, props or equipment for the booth activity itself.
- Create a class yearbook page due to the Yearbook Chair by mid-March. You may want to ask class parents if anyone would like to help in designing the page. For inspiration, you can review old yearbook designs in the library.
- Coordination of your teacher’s daily lunches during conference weeks.
- As Room Parent, you will typically coordinate gifts for your teacher at the December holidays, the year-end party, teacher appreciation day and the teacher’s birthday (the office staff can provide you with the actual date of teacher birthdays).
- It is up to the Room Parent’s discretion whether or not to acknowledge the classroom aide.
Class Parties by grade level:
- St. Patrick's Day (tricks/surprises/treats)
- Mother's Day Tea (K-1st only)
- End of year
- End of Year
Please encourage parents to attend PTA meetings with a reminder email.