Thank you so much for volunteering to be a room parent. Your commitment to the teachers, students and school will make our children’s experience at Pierpont the best it can be. Hopefully, this primer will be a helpful resource throughout the year. It contains information about your responsibilities as a room parent. Pierpont PTA can also furnish examples of letters that you may copy or use for ideas in your future communications with parents and teachers. Please note, your teacher and the Principal must approve and initial all notes that go home to parents. If the note concerns a surprise for the teacher, the Principal can approve and initial it. If you prefer to email out to all your room parents, please forward a copy of the e-mail to your teacher and the Principal prior to sending to parents.
Room Parent Responsibilities
– Meet with your teacher
Set up a time to talk to your teacher about what is expected from you as room parent. Each teacher has his/her own specific preferences and each teacher is different. You may wish to ask your teacher to fill out the “Staff Favorites” questionnaire that Pierpont PTA has created. Please check in periodically throughout the year with your teacher to see if anything else maybe needed.
– Coordinate Volunteers
Keep in mind that everyone likes to be involved but each parents availability varies. We encourage you to send out an introductory email to the parents explaining your role and encourage them to be involved and volunteer in whatever capacity they can manage. Also remember that every family is on a different schedule, so try to offer a variety of opportunities for participation.
– Class Roster
This is one of your first priorities as room parent. Some teachers have already started their roster with phone numbers and emails. All information must be granted permission for use by the parents before you begin your communications. Please double-check this with your teacher. Personal info that is granted permission must only be used between the teacher, the parents, and yourself and must not be aired with anyone outside of your classroom unless further permission is granted. Please ask the families if they would like to be on the classroom list and remove any that request it. If a new family joins your class during the year, ask the teacher for their info and if a family leaves the class, be sure to take their email off any classroom communication.
Event Coordination and Party Planning
– Classroom Parties
It is very important to discuss all parties with your teacher in advance. While surprises are fun, they can be disruptive to the teacher’s planned lessons for the day. Most teachers have a list of what parties they prefer to celebrate throughout the year (ex. quarterly birthdays for students instead of individual, a “Friendship Celebration” instead to Valentine’s, honoring global holidays, etc.). A few specific things you will need to know are: date, time, duration, how many volunteers will be needed, if food/drinks will be served, set up time and art projects or activities to be organized. Timely correspondence with parents regarding their duties is the key to a successful, organized and cooperative party (see sample letter for how to ask for help and donations.)
Everyone needs plenty of time to purchase and send in items as well as coordinate their schedules to be able to participate the day of. When asking for anything, please include in your communications that all contributions are strictly voluntary and will not affect a child’s ability to participate. It is also very important to find out if any children in your class have allergies or other restrictions that would require necessary arrangements. Please respect that teachers have the ultimate say regarding preferred ingredients. For example, it is generally preferred to keep sugar to a minimum.
– Field Trips, Class Projects, and Performances
You may be asked to coordinate volunteers to chaperone field trips or there may be class projects or performances that will require volunteers or donation of supplies. At Pierpont, Friday beach days are a ‘big deal’ and the number of chaperones needed to student must be determined and secured in advance.
– Staff Appreciation
Determine to what extent your teacher would like this to be celebrated. Based on this, decide what students and parents will be responsible for and coordinate your volunteers. Please remember guidelines regarding family donation requests and be creative with no cost ideas that allow all students to participate in celebrating their teacher. Please refer to “Staff Favorites” spreadsheet for ideas. Pierpont PTA is always available to offer help and suggestions. For Teacher’s birthday, you may choose to celebrate your teacher’s special day as a class. Check with your teacher regarding your plans. No surprise parties. It is ok to surprise your teacher with a special presentation (book, song etc) or gift as long as it does not interfere with regular curriculum. Best to include the children but plan for the teacher.
– Classroom Contributions
At Pierpont, we have a Parents’ Night Out fundraiser/auction each year that benefits our CIMI program. Traditionally, each class provides a themed basket toward this auction. This gives families a way to participate with sensitivity to their individual means. Once a theme is established, the class parent can procure items toward the basket or a minimum donation toward the basket (or both!) – but it should be communicated to families that participation is totally voluntary. In the past, the classroom parent has collected cash or Venmo contributions or has made other arrangements with the teacher to collect contributions. At Pierpont we also have a Winter Wonderland market where we sell classroom crafts as well as homespun family crafts and edible goods. The PTA will direct you and your teacher according to what your needs and capabilities are. Participation in the Pierpont garden program is also encouraged and your teacher may need volunteers for garden days.
Please consider attending PTA meetings yourself or connect with another parent in your class to be present to find out what is happening at school. Pierpont PTA meetings are held on the 2nd Tuesday of the month in the cafeteria at 6:00pm.
Specific to 4th and 5th grade parents is the responsibility of helping with Beach Day in June. Fifth grade parents are responsible for promotion and any parties that surround the final year at Pierpont, including any memorabilia that is desired. PTA has a budget for these expenses/festivities and is happy to work with you to cover funds. Please speak to the PTA president and treasurer regarding policies.
As of 2021, Pierpont PTA has furnished yearbooks free of charge to all students. In following this current tradition, Pierpont PTA needs your help or the help of volunteers coordinated by you to compile photos of our special events throughout the year. PTA will have an identified committee chair who can help you and your volunteers to use the “Dropbox” or other website to add photos. It is most efficient to keep up with this throughout the year. For 5th grade: Pierpont compiles the baby photos of all 5th graders moving up to Middle School for a special tribute page in the yearbook. The Committee Chair may reach out to you for help with obtaining all photos. Remember, it is never too early in the year to begin submitting pics.
Anything that is done and observed in the classroom is strictly confidential and should not be shared with other parents or teachers at any time.
– Work Room
You may use the supplies and copy machine available in the work room for notices to be sent home, etc. It is important that you only use the copy machines if you have been trained to use them and you have acquired permission. If you need assistance, let the room parent or coordinator know and he/she will arrange for someone to train you.
You may get requests from parents asking about appropriate gifts for the teachers. Please speak to the teacher about what they might like or any needs they might have for the classroom so that you will be prepared to answer these questions. There is a master “Wish Book” for all the teachers that is maintained by Cheri in the front office. The PTA has also created a spreadsheet that can be accessed at pierpontpta.com.
– Thank you notes
While not required, a note or kind word of thanks to all your dedicated helpers is always greatly appreciated.
– Room Parent Folder
Please keep a record of your participation throughout the year, including any notes or ideas you may have for the future. A list of financial expenditures are also very helpful to the PTA. Please return your room parent folders to the office before the last day of school so that they may be presented to next year’s room parents and the legacy continues!
–Sources of Help
- Team of Room Parents
- Classroom parents – Parents are more willing to help if they are asked personally
- Room Parent Liaison
- Veteran Room Parents
– Delegating Responsibilities
- Your teacher may have a list of parents who signed up at Back to School Night to help with class parties and other events.
- The PTA has committees for many events throughout the year with different Committee chairs listed on their website.
– Do I have to be a PTA member to be a Room parent?
Not technically, however the $10 membership is a small way to show your support for the many programs that benefit your child. You can sign up online at the Pierpont PTA website. Thank you!
– What is my involved with the PTA?
There will be times throughout the year when the Room Parent Liaison will send you information to forward to your class contacts. These communications may include PTA association date meetings, Book Fair, Parent Night out Auction and Jogathon. It is important and helpful for class involvement for you to forward information onto your class.
Thank you again for becoming a Room Parent. Please contact me throughout the year with any questions or concerns that you may have. Have fun and thank you again for volunteering! As the Liaison between the teacher and the classroom parents, you are a vital cornerstone in the Pierpont community. Your generous donation of time, talents and efforts are appreciated by many including the PTA, Pierpont Staff, parents and especially the students! Have an awesome year!
Room Parent Liaison: