Ramblewood Elementary

Room Parent Handbook

2019-2020

Hello Ramblewood Room Parents!!

Thank you for volunteering to be room parent for your child’s class for the 2019-2020 school year! Room parents play an integral part in the communication between teachers and parents throughout the school year. Below you will find information that will help you fulfill the room parent duties. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Purpose:

The purpose of this handbook is to provide the room parent volunteers with the necessary information to fulfill the role of room parent and PTO liaison.

Room Parent Responsibilities:

May include but not limited to:

  1. Act as a liaison between the classroom parents and the PTO.  It is helpful to attend PTO general meetings when possible.
  2. Act as an activities coordinator for celebrations in the classroom and provide information between the teacher and classroom parents. Be sure to clarify how your teacher prefers you communicate with the parents. (i.e.: Email, Remind App, Text)
  3. Maintain a positive working relationship with the teacher.
  4. Assist the teacher in the classroom and with material preparation as deemed necessary by the teacher.
  5. Assist the teacher with special events and projects.
  6. Coordinate volunteers as requested for classroom activities and instruction.
  7. Coordinate volunteers for PTO events, if asked to do so.

Relationships:

Establishing a good working relationship between the teacher and room parent requires open communication.  Please set a phone/in person meeting with the teacher as soon as possible. The teacher can describe their expectations of the room parent. The room parent should ask questions and listen to what the teacher states are their objectives. The room parent should describe their capabilities and limitations. The teacher and room parent can determine how they will communicate and work together throughout the school year.

Room Parent to Room Parent (if co-room parents are in place):

Once the room parent has met with the teacher, the room parent should meet with the other room parents for their class, if any. Discussions should include how they can best meet the teacher, student and classroom needs for the year in accordance with the teacher’s guidance. If there is more than one room parent, the primary room parent can take the lead for all events and maintain communication with the secondary room parent(s) as needed.  If a classroom has more than one room parent, it is up to the room parents to determine who does what.

Room Parent to Classroom Parents:

The room parent is to provide ongoing communication to all parents in the class. Encouraging other class parents to get involved is key to a successful year. When volunteers are needed, it is helpful to give parents a minimum of two weeks’ notice to plan ahead if possible.

Action Items:

Introduction Letter to Parents:

The room parent should send an introductory letter to the classroom parents. You will be provided with a basic one via email, but feel free to personalize it.

Class E-Mail List:

In order to best communicate with the parents, it’s necessary to have a list of everyone’s emails so that you may send emails as needed. You will obtain this list from the teacher, should the teacher agree to it. In some cases, teachers may not want to share email lists and prefer all communications go through her/him.  If this is the case, you will write up an email as if you were sending it out, and forward it to the teacher to send to parents.

If a teacher does allow for you to have an email list, there may be some parents that do not wish for their emails to be shared.  In this case, copy the teacher on all emails and have her forward it to those parents.  If you do get an email list, it should not be shared with parents or other classes. When addressing emails, please use the BCC field to enter parent emails.

Monthly emails will be sent to room parents before the 1st of each month for you to customize and send to your class.

Activities and Events for the school year:

There are many activities that will take place over the school year that the room parent will be involved in. During the initial meeting with the teacher please discuss food allergies. Activities involving food must be in accordance with the Guidelines Regarding Food for School Parties/Celebrations deemed by the Broward County School District.

Halloween

Ramblewood Elementary has a spooktacular costume parade on Halloween. Please have an available parent take a group photograph of the class in costume. The room parent will be responsible for coordinating the event to include, but not limited to: donation of items for class Halloween celebration/activities, snacks, activity planning and the coordination of other parent volunteers. It is helpful to use Sign-Up Genius for this. Remember that you cannot require any parent to provide items and or funds needed for the activities. Everything should be voluntary.

Winter Holiday Celebration

Please coordinate with the teacher the date, time and activities of the class Winter Holiday Party. The room parent will be responsible for coordinating the event to include, but not limited to: donation of items for class Winter Holiday celebration/activities, snacks, activity planning and the coordination of other parent volunteers. It is helpful to use Sign-Up Genius for this. Remember that you cannot require any parent to provide items and or funds needed for the activities. Everything should be voluntary.

Valentine’s Day Celebration

The class may distribute Valentine’s Day cards, please check with your teacher for instruction on how you may be of assistance with this. Please coordinate with your teacher the date, time and activities for the class Valentine’s Day Party. The room parent will be responsible for coordinating the event to include, but not limited to: donation of items for class Valentine’s Day celebration/activities, snacks, activity planning and the coordination of other parent volunteers. It is helpful to use Sign-Up Genius for this. Remember that you cannot require any parent to provide items and or funds needed for the activities. Everything should be voluntary.

Staff Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week is a full week of fun activities hosted by the PTO to let the staff know that they are appreciated. Staff appreciation week will in early May for the 2019-2020 school year. The PTO, along with the Staff Appreciation Week chairperson, will coordinate the theme, activities and food for the teachers every day of the week. Information pertaining to dates, theme, etc., and guidelines will be sent out a few weeks before staff appreciation week begins.

End of year Party

This event will be held near the end of the school year. Your teacher will provide you with specifics as to how they envision this event to be. Please meet with your teacher to plan this event. The room parent will be responsible for coordinating the event to include, but not limited to: donation of items for End of the Year Party activities, snacks and the coordination of other parent volunteers. It is helpful to use Sign-Up Genius for this. Remember that you cannot require any parent to provide items and or funds needed for the activities. Everything should be voluntary.

Teacher Birthday

Children love to celebrate their teacher’s birthday. Please use your judgment on how to celebrate the teachers’ birthday. The room parent can send an email out to all classroom parents informing them of the teacher’s birthday so that all the children are aware and have an opportunity to say “Happy Birthday”. Remember that you cannot require any parent to provide items and or funds needed for this. Everything should be voluntary.

PTO Activities and Events needing Volunteers

To ensure the following activities and events are a success, if necessary, room parents can be asked to help recruit classroom parents to volunteer. The PTO committee head in charge of these events may contact you through the room parent coordinator. Examples include: Bingo Night, Fall Social, Book Fair, Field Day, Family Olympics, etc.

Donations and contributions for classroom activities:

All donations and contributions should be voluntary and cannot be required for participation. Room Parents cannot ask parents for money for classroom/school events.  There will be no “class fund” to pull from throughout the year. Many parents are willing to send in items or volunteer their time though. Please be sure to provide each parent with an opportunity to participate.

Ramblewood Elementary PTO Website:

The Ramblewood Elementary PTO website is a good resource for all parents: www.ramblewoodpto.com.  Additional information for room parents can be found under the room parent tab.

Thank you again for volunteering to serve as a Room Parent. You are an integral part of the success of Ramblewood Elementary. If you ever have any questions, please email RESRoomParentCoordinator@gmail.com.

Enjoy the year!

Krista Thorburn