K-4th Room Parent Guidelines
As a Room Parent, your main responsibility is to be the conduit between the teachers/administration and the parents of your classroom. You will gather information from the teachers/school and relay it to the parents of the class. As a room parent it is your responsibility to inform and educate while growing and strengthening the bond of the parents of your classroom.
1) Send a weekly email (Sunday evenings work well) to the class parents with important school information they need for the week. Please review this list with your teachers in the fall to make sure they approve of you communicating this information:
- Dress Uniform
- Falcon Free Dress
- Carpool duty (just 2 months of the year)
- Early dismissal days
- Teacher work days
- Field trips
- Parent Council meeting reminders/Guest speaker reminders
- In n' Out, Robeks reminders
Start time for special classroom events (Rainforest museum, Writing celebrations, Ant Play, Animal
- Reports, etc)
- P.E Swim days
- Book fairs (including your class visit times)
- Bake sale/Lemonade Stand $
- Info on Blue and White day, Grandparents day etc.
2) Create and/or update the sign-ups that have already been created for your class in Sign-Up Genius (SUG) for various classroom volunteer opportunities (recycling center drop off, party pack clean up, etc.). Coordinate with teachers on whether or not you need to assign a point person for any larger initiatives like Hunger Walk or Heal the Bay Beach Clean Up. There will be a tutorial on SUG at the room parent meeting the day before the start of school.
3) Introduce yourselves to the class parents on Back to School Night. Let them know you are there to answer any questions they may have. Mention any up coming events briefly. There are typically two Back to School Night parent coordinators who organize the food and tables. As Lower School room parents, you may be asked to help at the Upper School Back to School Night (only if you don’t have Upper School students). Check in with the Lower School coordinators, as they usually need help from room parents to set up before the event and clean up afterward.
4) Organize and plan a Mom's overnight retreat or dinner for the class. Be mindful of families with financial constraints, faculty parents who may live far from school, families with babies at home, etc. Consider organizing some casual get togethers for parents (coffees or hikes) that cost less and might be easier to attend. Encourage parents to reach out to faculty children for playdates on teacher work days, early dismissal days and conference days, and to offer rides to after school parties.
5) Help organize a fall Parent Party. You are responsible for finding a host and a venue. Please limit the buy-out or requested donation to $40-$60 per family and plan the party accordingly. Feedback has been that the cocktail party format works well. The party dates are arranged in the summer through Juana Ochoa and are listed on the school calendar.
6) Attend the PS-8th Room Parent meeting with Ms. Berlin and Mr. Kim the day before school begins. This is typically the day before school starts at 1pm. You will meet with Head Room Parents and then your teachers, who will pass on any information they need you to distribute throughout the year.
7) Send an email over the summer to the class announcing that you will be the class Room Parents, welcoming any new students/families to the class, provide them with the date of the class parent party, perhaps provide a link to the school website and encourage them to make their Summer Essentials selections (Faculty gift fund, Plates, Mugs, Bowls, Special food service like Taco Tues. and In n’ Out, etc.)
8) The Parent Education Meetings that take place in the fall for each grade are a great opportunity for parents to come together and discuss important issues related to child development and social dynamics. Parents can talk about issues or concerns, share perspectives and parenting strategies with their fellow parents in a friendly and respectful forum. This is one of the unique things that St. Matthew’s does that really helps build a strong community and it is essential that we have a good turnout in order for the meetings to be productive. It is wonderful to have both parents attend, but if that is not possible families should be encouraged to have at least one parent present at these meetings. Room Parents should be sure to communicate this message effectively. Room Parents also provide simple snacks/finger foods for these meetings. Not much food is needed for Parent Ed nights. One platter of sandwiches and one platter of cookies is sufficient. Add a slot on SUG for clean up after Parent Ed nights.
The Parent Council's Teacher Gift fund is on the Summer Essentials sign ups. This is the most effective way to gift our teachers. They will be given a cash gift at Christmas and the end of the year. This takes the stress of buying individual gifts away at those busy times of year, if you child still wants to ‘give’ their teachers something handmade cards are nice way to show appreciation.
Encourage parents to attend Parent Council Meetings. Consider making phone calls to remind people to attend the meetings.
No flower policy: Do not bring flowers for individual students after any performances at school (musicals, plays, etc)
Please see below the format for a weekly email that works well, keep it concise and clear so people can read it quickly.