Room Parent's Guide

Thank you for volunteering and enjoy your year as an Ogden Room Parent! 

 

Table of Contents:

Developing Community Relations

As a room parent, you serve in a vital capacity as a communication link to the parents of the children in your classroom, your neighbors and the community as a whole. Several tasks that fall within this role include the following:

Welcoming New Ogden Families

Reporting Volunteer Interest

Assisting PTC Hospitality Coordinators

Field Trips

Each grade level staff will be arranging curriculum-related field experiences within the district and school’s curriculum parameters and budgetary considerations for the given year. For the most part, staff will be soliciting parent volunteers on their own. However, they may ask the room parents to assist in this process. If so, this is within the realm of the room parent’s responsibilities.

Contacting Ogden Families / Class Gifts

One of the most important functions of the room parents is to understand and, when asked to,  conduct the tasks contained in the Emergency School Closing Procedures section of the School News pages of this website, if necessary.

Per district policy, class email and phone lists are only made available to authorized school and PTC personnel. Unauthorized distribution of class lists and student phone numbers and email addresses is strictly prohibited.

Room parents are responsible for communications to other class parents regarding class parties they are organizing, etc. Room Parents should use the online PTC email approval form (marking "Room Parent Communication")to ensure compliance with procedures.  In communicating with class parents, Room Parents are responsible for:

 

Room Parent Tips

--Communicate with the classroom teacher regarding the foods & activities he/she prefers at class parties.

--Be thoughtful by notifying room parents of other classes at your grade level if you are planning something very special, to avoid possible hurt feelings.

--Reserve any special party space you'll need through the school office well in advance of your party.

--Try to contact all parents who fill out a party/field trip volunteer form no more than once for donations of time or supplies.

--Turn in all receipts for party expenditures to your liaison so you can be reimbursed. There is approximately $3/per child available for all parties, so budget appropriately. Do not ask parents for additional funds.

--The end of the year 6th grade party is funded separately from the holiday parties.

Staff Gifts

It is deeply appreciated whenever a parent and/or parent group would like to recognize a teacher for his or her efforts, however, school district policy (see below) must be followed when organizing group gifts and/or soliciting contributions for gifts.

Gift giving and contributions must always be optional.  Room parents are responsible for ensuring that group gifts to teachers/aides are appropriate and that there is no specific contribution amount specified (ie families should be able to donate whatever amount seems right to them). All group gifts to teachers / aides must have all children's names on the card, even though participation is optional.

If you are the liason for the class and would like to organize a class gift.  Here are the steps to follow:

1) Below is a sample letter that has the correct wording to solicit participation.

In honor of all of Mrs. Ogden teacher’s hard work with our children, we would like to purchase a special gift card for her. If you are interested, please donate any amount of your choice and drop off your money to XX by December 15th. Please note that all children's names, whether you contribute funds or not, will be included on the class card. Also, we will be sending home in your child’s back pack a construction paper present that we’d like your child to decorate as well as a blank envelope. The present says “Mrs. X is a gift because….” Please help your child fill this out and return it in the paper envelope by December 14th.

2) Use the PTC News Article form to send out your letter.  

3) Be sure to select that it's a Room Parent notification while filling out the PTC News Article form! When you select that, it goes directly out to your class after it's been approved.  There is no need to type everyone's email addresses or send out a separate email!

4) Collect the funds and buy/make the gift.

See Use of Class Gifts for more information on communicating with parents about group gifts.

 

Room Parent Liaison

One parent volunteer in each classroom is designated as the room parent liaison. Responsibilities include:

*Keep in mind...These tasks can also be shared with other members of your room parent team.

**It is highly recommended that you reach a consensus with all your classroom room parents to determine how funds will be budgeted and disbursed for the year.

Class Parties

Guidelines

We recognize that special celebrations create wonderful social times and memories for our students.  We ask that when room parents plan all parties they go over every aspect of the party with the classroom teacher.  So that all grade levels enjoy similar events, please follow these K - 6 guidelines:

  • Halloween Party is 1 hour with a treat, games and a craft.  Only room parents attend.
  • Winter Party is 1 hour with a treat, games and a craft.  Only room parents attend.
  • Valentine Party will be opening of valentines and enjoying a treat that the parents provided.  Parents do not stay for this party.
  • End of year Party
    • Grades K - 3 typically hold individual classroom parties.  Kindergarten party is based at school, whereas other grade levels may choose to go to a nearby park. 
    • Grades 4 - 6 typically hold grade level parties at a local park. 
    • All parties are not to exceed a morning or afternoon time, excluding lunchtime.  A balance of structured and unstructured activities are appreciated by the teachers.

Special Note:  Please check with the teacher regarding all plans, and also for food allergies.

Planning Procedures

It is recommended that room parents follow these steps in planning for all classroom parties:

1. Use the attached sample party outline to plan your party.  Please click here for sample party outlines.  A copy must be submitted to your classroom teacher for approval. (There is a sample party outline in your folder for your reference.) Please do this well in advance of the party in order to accommodate your teacher’s schedule. Do not proceed on party plans until your teacher has provided you with feedback.*

*Classroom teachers are directly responsible, per the district, for all party arrangements – just as the teachers have direct liability and responsibility for all school-related functions. As such, a cooperative working agreement regarding party arrangements for the year must be maintained and developed early in the year between the classroom teacher and the room parents.

2. Check for food allergies in your classroom. This is very important...we do have children at Ogden that are seriously allergic to certain foods.

3. Please consult with your teacher with regard to how many parent volunteers are allowed at each party.

4. Insure that all parents are aware that, due to safety concerns, pre-school children are not allowed to attend the classroom parties.

5. Don’t forget to have someone take pictures. (Forward copies to the yearbook coordinators through the mailbox in the school office.)

General Policies and Practices

  • With the exception of the end of the year party, all parties are to be held on the school grounds due to liability factors. The principal must be notified of any off-site parties. The teachers will generally coordinate the distribution of parent permission slips in the event of an off-site party, but they may want room parents to handle.
  • All parks used for an end of the year party must be reserved through the appropriate Park District office. It is recommended that you contact the Park District early in the calendar year for the best selection. Also, the Park District will request a Certificate of Insurance. These are available from the school office.
  • Additional monetary donations for a party may not be requested from the parents.
  • Try not to contact a parent who filled out a party volunteer form more than once in a school year for donations of time or supplies.
  • Reserve any special party space at Ogden (i.e., playground, etc.) by filling out a building use form in the school office well in advance of your scheduled event.
  • All party favors must be of a non-religious nature.
  • Take great care in selecting your tools for a craft or party activity, keeping in mind the safety of the children. For example, avoid the use of super glue, hot glue guns, sharp instruments, etc.
  • All party locations should be cleaned up following each event.
  • Whenever you cannot attend to your duties as a room parent, it is your responsibility to find another parent volunteer to take your place.
  • Room parents are encouraged to attend PTC Meetings held monthly at Ogden. See your school calendar for dates and times.

Resources

This website lists helpful links to other websites that contain many party planning ideas. In addition, our local libraries have copies of current magazines and books that may help you generate ideas for your event.

SAMPLE PARTY PLANS

Blank Party Outline

Halloween Party Plan

Winter Party Plan

End of Year Party Plan

General Craft & Game Links
Family Crafts

Kaboose
Printable crafts & activities for kids
Hands-On crafts for kids

FunAttic List of kids games
AllCrafts - general crafts

Family Fun

Kaboose Halloween crafts
Halloween crafts & activities
All Halloween Site

Winter Party Links
Kaboose winter craft ideas
Winter crafts & activities 

Winter Wonderland Party Ideas

Room Parenting Top Ten

1. Test out crafts and games on your child before the party.

2.  Use the Class Party Volunteer Forms to ask for donations and to manage allergy restrictions. 

 3. Watch the clock. Plan ahead on how much time you want to allot for each activity. Think of what you’ll do if you have extra time.  Get to Classroom or park 15 minutes before hand to set up.

4. Take into consideration the mess factor when planning snacks and crafts. If necessary, cover the desks with plastic or newspaper to help with clean-up.

5. Try using a theme for your party if you need help generating ideas.

6. Have a contingency plan in place if your outdoor party is canceled due to bad weather.

7. Determine how you’ll divide the class into groups for stations or games before the party begins. One idea is to use name tags with different stickers.

8. Out of courtesy, contact the other room parents in your grade level if you’re planning something extra special.

9. As a classroom team, reach a consensus on how party funds will be budgeted and disbursed for the school year.

10. Don’t go it alone. You’ll think of the most creative and enjoyable activities if you share ideas and brainstorm as a group.

Room Parent Volunteering

Do you want join a fun committee that allows you to be part of creating special memories for your children?  If yes, we are in need of at least three volunteers per classroom, per grade, to serve as room parents.  Room parents help organize and conduct the following classroom parties: Halloween, Winter Holiday, Valentines (room parents do not stay for this party) and End of Year.  Responsibilities also include serving as a communications link to the parents of the children in your classroom regarding upcoming school events, teacher's gifts, or reporting interested volunteers to the teacher.

Please sign up through Sign Up Genius.  Please contact Maureen Burriesci or Meghan Jackson with any questions.

There will be a Room Parent Meeting early in the school year, in the multipurpose room at Ogden.  At this meeting, you will get information on how the program runs, suggested guidelines on running successful parties, tips on being best-in-class room parents and will receive classroom lists with contact information.