What Does A ROOM PARENT Do?
The primary responsibility of a Room Parent is to help your child’s teacher by coordinating volunteers for class parties and other activities, such as field trips and the Walkathon & Silent Auction. Most of the time spent as a Room Parent is organizing and posting sign up sheets for these activities.
While there is a lot of activity at the beginning of the year with the Walkathon & Silent Auction, being a Room Parent is not a time consuming job. And it’s even less so if you share the work among two or more Room Parents per class. The more the merrier! Having a small group of Room Parents helps to divide the work and add to the creativity. It's doable on your own, but more fun and much easier with a group!
Each teacher uses Room Parents and volunteers differently, and each grade has different activities, so please consult your child's teacher for specifics about your classroom. But here is a general idea of the Room Parent responsibilities that occur throughout the school year:
Start of school: Room Parents are “Room Leads” on Konstella, our tool for communicating, organizing events, and creating signup sheets. Invite all parents to your Classroom. Sometimes the teacher takes the lead with collecting parent emails and then shares the list with the Room Parents. Konstella training will be provided at the New Room Parent Meeting on Friday, September 7, at 8:00 AM in the MUR.
Walkathon & Silent Auction (WATSA): Collect/organize classroom donations for the WATSA. Each classroom is asked to provide:
- A minimum of 10 prizes (worth $10 each) for the Lucky Lollipops stand, and
- A Class Party or Gift Basket to be auctioned off at the Silent Auction.
These things will be explained in detail at the Room Parent Meeting. Many Room Parents ask parents for a $10-20 contribution to purchase supplies for the Class Party/Gift Basket. Any extra money can be used towards parties throughout the year and/or towards a group teacher appreciation gift.
Holidays and other parties: Check in with your child’s teacher several weeks before any upcoming holiday to see if the class will have a party. Send an email to the class about the party and put sign up sheets out two weeks prior to the event to provide sufficient notice (your teacher may already have a sign up sheet from past years). Some parents prefer to sign up via email and others like to use a paper sign-up sheet.
Teacher/Staff Appreciation Lunch: Work with other Room Parents in your grade to organize a thank-you lunch for the teachers and staff. Lunches are held in the Staff Lounge on a Thursday after school. The Room Parents for each grade will be notified of the month for their lunch. They then work together to determine a date and theme for their lunch and to decide how to divide the effort between classrooms. Room Parents then create sign-ups for their class' parents to bring various dishes or cash toward catering. This will also be explained in more detail at the Room Parent Meeting.
Field Trips/Class Activities: Your teacher may need help getting volunteers for special in-class activities and/or field trips. Big events are California Gold Rush Days for fourth graders and WilliamsBubb for fifth graders – both of these events are in May each year.
Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week: During this week in early May, coordinate special gestures for your teacher from the kids and parents, such as decorating his/her door, having each child bring a single flower to create a class bouquet, etc. This will also be discussed in detail at the Room Parent Meeting.
End of Year Field Day: Recruit two parent volunteers to staff an activity/station at this fun, school-wide event. Field Day is about two hours long on a minimum day near the end of the year.
Teacher Gifts: Coordinate a year-end teacher gift from the classroom. Generally this entails some type of memento of the school year (a photo book, scrapbook, or other gift in which the kids can participate) and a gift card or other appropriate gift from the class parents.
Thanks for considering being a Room Parent. It’s an important job that makes a huge difference to your child's teacher, the PTA, and most importantly, all our kids!