Interested in being a room parent? Concerned about how much time is involved? Unsure of your responsibilities? Look no further!
Room Parent Responsibilities
- Communication with the class parents:
Depending on your teacher, this may be as sending a message via Bloomz (login information will be provided by your teacher if your classroom uses this), or may involve asking your teacher for a current email list for the parents of the class, and emailing parents about party details, as well as any other communication requests from the teacher.
- Coordinate volunteers as needed by teacher: if no volunteers are available within your class, reach out to other classes in same grade.
- Plan parties: There are 2 parties during the school year, the Halloween Party and the Valentine’s Day party. The room parent isn't expected to plan & run the party all alone! You just make sure that it is happening, recruit volunteers as necessary and help communicate what is needed to other classroom parents. More information below.
- Coordinate Teacher Appreciation Week treats and gifts for your teacher.
Party Planning Guidelines
Some teachers like to be involved in the planning process, others don't want to be involved at all, but be sure to ask! Find out what works well in that grade level - younger classes are better with stations, while older classes may prefer doing one activity as a class. Some teachers keep party supplies year round or like to play specific games. And be sure to invite all class parents, especially in the younger grade levels!
- Ask your teacher when they would like you to come in and decorate
- Do not put decorations on electronic boards
- Do not put tablecloths on desks until students have completed work time
- No reimbursements for tax
- No birthday celebrations
- Parties include store bought food – please check allergies in class
- Most parties include snack, activity, and craft – food can be an activity
- Make families aware of any allergies – the best person to be in charge of food is the parent(s) who have the kids with allergies
- Share with all classroom families what food will be provided so that if there are any children with allergies, that family can make accomodations
- RCES Guideline… Don’t ask for more than $5 per party at one time!
Additional Halloween Party Guidelines:
Students change into costumes at 1:30 - make sure you have volunteers to help with this, especially in the younger grades!
Parade starts at 2:00
Party starts at 2:30
No masks or scary stuff
Teacher Appreciation & Gift Giving
The PTA has a Teacher Appreciation Committee that coordinates daily activities for Teacher Appreciation Week in May. The committee selects a theme and reaches out to all room parents once the week's activities have been planned.
There may be additional events throughout the year where the Teacher Appreciation Committee will try to reach out to all parents via room parents, for example the treat fairy, where families bake themed treats for teachers.
Gifts are an optional part of being a room parent, but it should be communicated to the class in advance whether there will be money collected for class gifts or not, so that families can plan accordingly. Don't feel that you need to do this alone, your job is just to make sure that it happens if your class decides that a class gift is the way to go. Feel free to delegate! Often some families will choose to participate in a class gift and others will opt to give their own. Whatever works for your class!
Gifts can be purchased for Winter Holiday, Teacher Appreciation, End of Year and Teacher's Birthday, it is completely up to you & your class. Suggested family contribution amount for class holiday & end of year gifts: $10 each
Find out your teacher's favorite things here, and be sure to share with your whole class so that all parents can get to know the teacher better.
If you would like to use a cloud-enabled site such as Google Docs or Dropbox to share planning documents or other materials, please make sure that you have permission from Mrs. Hammond, your teacher and the parents in the class. DO NOT POST PHOTOS ON THESE SITES.
Per MCPS policy, pictures are NOT permitted in the school. An exception is class group photos and pictures taken at school events like parties and award ceremonies, however you should not share these photos. Parents should not take photos at everyday events at school (i.e. at lunch, volunteering in classroom). Room Parents should remind parents of the county policy at parties, but they are not required to reinforce it.
Looking for more inspiration, or ideas from people who've done it before? Ask other RCES parents, check out Pinterest, or google Room Parent Tips. OR ignore all of that and remember that the most rewarding thing about being a room parent is getting to know your child's teacher and class better! Even if you're not a crafty parents, or an overachiever, you can be a fantastic room parent and and contribute to a wonderful school year for your child!