Room Parent Resources
Thank you for your interest in room parenting! Below you’ll find more information about what room parenting is like at the International School of Portland.
Each class will have 1-2 Room Parents to help the teacher coordinate field trips, class parties and special class activities.
The Room Parent communicates with the other families in the class about:
- Volunteer opportunities
- Class party information
- Specific information requested by
Most importantly, the Room Parent delegates tasks to other families
5 TIPS FOR NEW ROOM PARENTS
- Meet with the teacher to find out her/his expectations and needs for class activities
- Have a planning session at the start of the year (before Curriculum Night if possible)
- Discuss field trips & parties
- Determine what events will take place with other classes
- Figure out if/where they need help – copies, lamination, etc.
- Check in often to see if there’s anything you can do
- Check the school calendar so you know what’s coming up
- Attend Curriculum Night, introduce yourself and present a sign-up sheet for parents for all the main school functions, such as auction project, basket, parties, festivals, memory books, webpage, etc.
- Ask for a few minutes to talk to parents
- Have the sign-up sheet ready to go (template provided-you can give parents access via google docs etc. after Curriculum night to encourage people who did not show up to still sign up!)
- Keep it brief – it’s the teacher’s time!
- On the sign-up sheet, list a Coordinator and then helpers. Most parents will at least sign up to be a helper.
- Communications: create an email distribution list of all the parents in the class
- Shutterfly Share Sites provides a free site to share photos, email parents, and create a calendar of events
- Give ample notice for classroom events
- Try to consolidate messages – parents don’t read all of their emails
- Use a signup sheet to coordinate volunteers
- Post lists on bulletin boards outside classrooms
- Stress the need for someone to take charge of the auction art project and class basket since that is an important function of the year.
- Send out reminders of every function to parents and ask for volunteers when needed. Stay in touch with the teacher and s/he will let you know if s/he needs anything.
- Help the teacher find chaperones
- Help the teacher schedule trips
- Coordinate with other classes as appropriate
- Use a signup sheet for food items (or use class budget to purchase)
- Be aware of the teacher’s desire to have or not have sugary snacks
- Make sure that you don’t leave a mess for the teachers or janitorial staff
Expenses such as costumes, class celebrations (2 per year) and up to 6 curriculum-related field trips per year are paid for by the school when these items are budgeted by the teacher. If parents do spend money on behalf of the school, such expenses must be preapproved through the ISP purchase order and reimbursement process (see section on “Expense Reimbursement” in the ISP Parent Handbook).
Room parents or other parents should not be collecting money from class parents for a class fund. Room Parents may opt to collect voluntary contributions for group teacher gifts (ie holidays, end of year, etc). Class photo books should also be optional.
RECORD VOLUNTEER HOURS
Recording volunteer hours!
It is very important to record your volunteer hours! Any time you spend being a room parent goes toward your volunteer hours. Encourage your parents to do so as well. This will be done through MySchool App – Resources section.
REMEMBER- Don’t do it all – DELEGATE!
- Ask for help
- Show appreciation for assistance!
- All staff contact information: intlschool.org/contact
- Auction Chair: email@example.com
- Development Department (good for all fundraising questions): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Marketing & Communications: email@example.com
- Transportation Coordinator (chaperone document and field trip help): firstname.lastname@example.org
If you ever have any questions, please get in touch!