Thank you for volunteering to be your child’s room parent this year! You are going to be a big help to your child’s teacher and the other parents in the class. As a room parent, you have a few responsibilities:
Communicate between the teacher/school and the parents
- Find out teacher expectations. Meet with your child’s teacher at the beginning of the school year to discuss how best you can be leveraged in the classroom and with the other classroom parents. Ask the teacher about all parent volunteer opportunities in the room: readers, door decorators, etc. so you can help other parents get involved.
- Create a list of parents/students. At the Open House, be sure there is a sign up sheet where parents can provide contact information. Email addresses are particularly helpful to gather so you can create an email distribution list to more efficiently share class information. Also consider creating a class contact sheet that you can email or distribute in the Wednesday folder. If you have the time, adding a picture of each child is helpful so other parents and kids can learn the names of the students. This is not a requirement but is helpful for the parents to recognize their child’s classmates, especially for the younger grades
- Introduce yourself. Write a letter for the Wednesday folder or send an email to the parents to introduce you and other room parents in your class. Include volunteer opportunities and how room parents should be contacted: email and/or phone numbers.
- Communicate regularly with parents. Try to contact your classroom parents periodically (such as once a month or more frequently as needed) via email and/or paper copy in the Wednesday folder.
- Remind parents of important dates and events that will happen in the near future (for example, field trips and what to bring, school musical date and time and that your child needs to come in costume, date of end-of-year awards ceremony, school events such as Fall Carnival, or Field Day, etc.) Be sure to send reminders if you have a door-decorator schedule, reading schedule, etc.
- Thank parents who helped out recently, such as the door decorator, classroom reader, field day chaperones, etc. so that parents in your class know what other parents are doing.
- Forward information to parents. Forward information to the parents as requested by the teacher or school or by the PTO or PTO committee chairpersons.
Secure parent volunteers
- Class events and school events. Parent volunteers are needed throughout the year for field trips, class parties, and activities as directed by the teacher. Parties may include Halloween, Winter Holiday, Valentine’s Day, end-of-year, and there may be coordination required among the other classrooms in the grade level. Volunteers are also needed for PTO-sponsored events such as Fall Carnival and Field Day. For younger grades, parents may be asked to come in to read to the class, and parents often stuff the weekly Wednesday folders. Consider using an online sign up such as signupgenius.com.
- Fall Carnival is Saturday, October 22nd. Each classroom sponsors a booth and provides parent volunteers to run the booth during the carnival. At the Open House, please ask your parents to sign up to work a shift on the pumpkin-shaped Carnival sign-up sheet. The Carnival Committee will make the booth assignments and provide the booth materials (i.e. booth signage, supplies, prizes) on the day of the carnival. The Carnival Committee will contact you regarding the specifics. You will also be asked to coordinate or recruit a coordinator for the class basket that is raffled at the Carnival. Families are asked to turn in donations for the class basket, but a basket coordinator is needed to ensure that the basket gets completed. The 2016 Carnival chairpersons are Meredith Vela (email@example.com )and Heidi Dholakia (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Ancillary parent helpers
- Library assistants. Parent volunteers help check out/in books, re-shelve books, assist the librarian, etc. This frees Ms. Silva to do the lesson and AR. Allison Hart (email@example.com) and Michele McConn (firstname.lastname@example.org) are coordinating the library assistant schedule.
- Art assistants. Parent volunteers help in the art classes for the lower grade levels by assisting students in the classroom and helping with supplies. Ms. Camero (email@example.com) is coordinating the art assistant schedule.
- Science Box
STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) hands-on challenges to develop our children’s critical thinking and problem-solving capability. One kit with 2-4 integrated lessons will be taught by parents in the classroom. The Room Parent will need to coordinate with the Science Box Grade Level Parent Leader and classroom teacher to set the schedule and to ensure there are sufficient numbers of volunteers when the lessons are taught in the class. Please ensure that your classroom has at least 5 Science Box volunteers. Signup sheets will be provided at Open House. For any questions, please contact
- Other volunteer opportunities. Please keep in close contact with the parents of your class and let them know of volunteering opportunities.
Encourage relationships between the class parents
You can set an example that fosters friendships between parents in many ways:
- If you have a new family to Condit in your class, please make an effort to encourage involvement.
- Consider hosting a coffee after drop off one morning or even a casual, parents-only dinner at the home of one of the classroom families.
- If you have a parent who could use additional support to learn the ropes of Condit, consider asking another parent to “buddy” with the new parent.
Coordinate teacher gifts
Although this is strictly voluntary, if a class group gift is desired for the winter holidays or end of year, the room parent organizes the financial collection, acquisition, and distribution of the gift.
- Room parents for all grade levels should discuss and agree upon whether to collect as individual classes, teaching team or grade level, at the beginning of the year. In general, Kindergarten may choose to collect individually, but because of the way students are grouped in grades 1-5, collections are recommended to be done as a grade level.
A couple ideas are taking up a collection and buying a gift card, or each parent could give a gift certificate to a restaurant or favorite shop and hang the cards all on a small plant or wreath. Anything goes!
There may be a need to replenish classroom supplies throughout the year, as determined by the teacher. You may be asked to help find volunteers to donate these items.
All Volunteers must be cleared through VIPS. Stephanie Wen (firstname.lastname@example.org) is our VIPS chair and will be distributing information and answering questions.
Remember, this is a privilege for us to be welcomed into the teachers’ classrooms. Please do not gossip or pass along insider information you may learn.
Room parent structure
- Pre K and Kinder: The room parent based on the teacher.
- 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade: The room parent is for the first period class.
- 5th grade: There is 1 grade-level “coordinator” room parent and then a parent committee. The committee will all work together as most activities are done at the grade level.
If you have any questions or issues during the year, please contact Lauren Habiby at email@example.com; c: 512-750-7942, Condit PTO VP of Volunteering.
Thanks again for volunteering to be your child’s room parent!