STS Room Parent Guide
The website for St. Timothy Catholic School Room Mom and Room Dad volunteers.
What is a Room Mom (or Dad)?
A parent or guardian of one of the students in the class who volunteers to assist the teacher in planning class activities, recruiting parent volunteers for events, and helping to disseminate information to class parents via email.
TIP: For a quick highlight of duties, please see Resources> Orientation Video.
What are the Duties?
Duties vary depending on grade level, but in general Room Parents do the following:
- Specials Volunteers (K-5th) - (New in 2018-19) Using Track It Forward, the STS Volunteer Coordinator will create and manage the Specials signups. Specials signups will be organized by Special (e.g. Art) with individual classes listed as a "shift."
- VIRTUS (the Volunteer Background Check) - Parent volunteers who wish to assist in classroom activities and chaperone field trips must be "VIRTUS-cleared." Remind parents they must be cleared before coming in to help at class parties, etc.
- Christmas Party and End of Year Party - Plan the class' Christmas and the End of Year parties.
- SVDP Thanksgiving Basket (a school-wide service project) - The school supports the church’s SVDP (St. Vincent de Paul) Food Pantry each Thanksgiving by asking each class to donate a Thanksgiving dinner food basket for the needy. Coordinate your class’ donation. (Tip: SignUp Genius is a helpful tool for creating sign up lists.)
- Special Event Planning - Different grade levels have different sacramental and/or curriculum special events (e.g. 2nd grade's First Communion, 4th grade's Colonial Day). Assist in the planning of the event and solicit volunteers to help.
- Celebratory Snacks/Treats - For minor holidays or special days of note (e.g. St. Nicholas' Feast Day on Dec. 6th), plan snacks or treats to help celebrate. Which ones your class may celebrate is determined by the teacher. Please consult with your class' teacher before planning anything.
- Faculty/Staff Luncheon - Each grade level, excluding preschool and grades 2 and 8, is assigned one month of the school year in which to plan and host a Faculty/Staff Luncheon. Help plan the luncheon and solicit volunteers. (Please note, grades 2 and 8 do not provide a luncheon due to the extra responsibilities already necessary during these sacramental years.)
- Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) Auction Basket - Create a themed basket for the PTO's spring auction from your class. Each classroom (i.e. KA, KB, KC, etc.) is asked to donate a basket. The preschool is asked to organize one basket from the entire preschool. The PTO Auction Chair will contact you with more information regarding basket theme ideas and due dates.
- Teacher Birthdays and Gifts - Coordinate class gifts for the teacher, assistants, and "adopted" teachers.* Birthdays and Teacher Appreciation Day should be celebrated with a request to the students to create something unique and thoughtful such as cards, poems, or a poster.
*Note: We have many staff members who teach all of our children regularly but do not have a specific class (such as Library or Computers.) We appreciate these wonderful staff members as well. Therefore, each class is requested to “adopt” another member of the staff to show appreciation on behalf of all classes. To avoid accidental duplication, the adopted teachers are assigned among the classes.
MANDATORY: Room Parent volunteers must be "VIRTUS-cleared." If you are unsure whether you are cleared or not, please contact Mrs. Kathy Moses (email@example.com) in the school office to confirm your status.
VIRTUS (the Volunteer Background Check)
All schools operating within the Catholic Diocese of Arlington must maintain compliance with the diocesan's Office of Child Protection and Safety's youth protection policies and procedures. Before a parent or guardian may volunteer at the school, he must file background check forms with the diocese and attend “Protecting GOD's Children” (a four hour VIRTUS training class). This process is commonly referred to as "VIRTUS compliant" or "VIRTUS-cleared." The school's POC (point of contact) for this process is the Office Manager, Mrs. Kathy Moses (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
If parents ask about how to begin the clearance process, please refer them to the school's website: http://sainttimothyschool.org/parent-resources/virtus-training/
Class Activity Fee
Special activities and events will require donations from parents in your class.
Determining the Class Activity Fee
In order to simplify the process of requesting parental donations for each and every activity, the administration recommends meeting with your class' teacher at the beginning of the school year to decide 1) what activities your class will do during this school year, and 2) how much each activity will cost.
Special Events (Listed by Grade)
- Kindergarten: Graduation
- 2nd GRADE: First Communion
- 4th GRADE: Colonial Day ($7/student)*
- 5th GRADE: Cinco de Mayo ($5/student)*
- 6th GRADE: Seder Meal
- 7th GRADE: Pro-Life Baby Shower
- 8th GRADE: Confirmation and Parent‑Teacher Appreciation Dinner
*To help offset the cost of these traditions, the school contributes a predetermined amount per student to the 4th and 5th grade curriculum events.
With your classroom teacher, determine how much money, you will need for each activity or event. Set a budget.
When budgeting, remember to include such things as:
- Class Auction Basket (spring fundraiser)
- Faculty/Staff Luncheon
- any Special Events
TIP: Spreadsheet templates designed to assist Room Parents in estimating costs for their class' activities and events, are available. See your grade's webpage for details and links.
Requesting Money for the Class Activity Account
Draft a Letter to the Parents
Draft a letter to be sent home to each family explaining the need to collect money to cover the class' activities. Sample letters are available for editing (see your grade's webpage).
Payment by Check (No CASH Please)
The letter must instruct parents to make their check payable to St. Timothy School. In the check's memo line, parents should write their child's class (e.g. 3A class activity fee).
Submit Letter for Pre-Approval
You must submit the letter to the school office for approval. No correspondence asking for money is permitted to be distributed to any group at St. Timothy School without prior approval from the Principal Mr. Pryor. (email: email@example.com).
Check Collection and Fund Balances
Checks collected should come to school in an envelope with the student’s name, class and “class activity fee” clearly written on the envelope. The teacher collects the checks from the students and sends it to the office.
Mrs. Janet Reyda, the parish's Finance Assistant, records who has paid and manages each individual class' Class Activity Fund balance. You may inquire about your class' fund balance at any time by emailing Mrs. Reyda (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
What To Do About Unpaid Class Activity Fees
Room Parents may Blind Copy email gentle reminders to those parents who have not yet paid their Class Activity Fee. If you do not receive a response from the family after one or two gentle reminders, please contact the school office for further guidance on how to proceed.
Please note, families may leave a Class Activity Fee unpaid for many different reasons. Some may be financially unable to pay. Some may already heavily contribute to the school and church community in other ways (e.g. via their business). -- We do not wish to "nickel and dime" these generous families. Or, some may be overwhelmed with special family circumstances (e.g. nursing a terminally ill parent) and haven't had the time to take care of the Class Activity Fee.
Balance Must = ZERO at Year-End
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) accounting rules require that these types of class activity funds must = $0.00 at the close of the year. Class Activity Fund balances cannot be moved forward into the next school year. Any balances remaining at the end of the accounting year will be donated.
Class Activity Reimbursement Request Form
For reimbursements from your class activity account, please fill out a Class Activity Reimbursement Request Form:
Submit the form to the school office, ATTN: Janet Reyda, with original receipts and any other supporting documentation. Please make copies for your records before you submit the form and receipts.