||Your contributions to our Lakeridge PTA and PTA volunteers help support this program for our students. (Learn more about your impact here.)
about volunteering as a room parent
We’re so glad you’ve volunteered for Room Parent. Once all hands are raised, we will work with teachers to finalize the room parents. Be warned – some classes will have many parents wanting to take on the role. If that’s the case for your class, then it’s possible the teacher might do a little lottery to choose just a few room parents for the job. And some classes might just have one or two raised hands for this awesome role. If that’s the case for your class, then get ready to jump in!!
We will also have a sign up at the Lakeridge PTA Welcome Coffee on the first day of school. To be inclusive of all the working parents/families, we wanted to ensure a way to sign up for all.
Lakeridge is committed to being environmentally responsible and that includes our classroom parties. Please take time to review the Green Party policy as we have switched to reusable party supplies to significantly reduce the amount of trash created.
Stay tuned for information about the Room Parent informational meeting after school starts. If your dreams come true and you are a room parent, you’ll need to be at this meeting.
Holler if you have any questions – I am here to help!!
- Roles & Responsibilities
- Lead Room Parent
- Event Coordinator
- PTA Liaison
- Green Schools Guidelines
Roles & Responsibilities
Establish initial communication with teacher to identify how the teacher likes to work with parents, communicate with parents and use parent volunteers in the classroom
Establish initial communication for the class, provide class roster, phone numbers along with e-mail addresses etc.
Coordinate classroom volunteers (according to teacher wishes).
Coordinate chaperones for field trips throughout the year (according to teacher wishes).
Organize class parties (Generally, this includes a minimum of parties for Halloween, Valentine’s Day and the End of the School Year).
- Coordinate teacher gifts for birthdays and year end.
Work with Staff Appreciation Committee to assist with coordinated events throughout the year.
The above are intended as general guidelines. Please remember that each classroom varies and that your responsibilities may vary as well. In every situation, please reinforce courteous behavior among parents, teachers, students and staff.
lead room parent
Before Curriculum Night
Please contact your teacher prior to the scheduled curriculum night to discuss his/her expectations for curriculum night and your responsibilities during the school year. Room Parent responsibilities vary from class to class so it is important to communicate with your teacher at the beginning of the year as to his/her needs.
Please check out Sign Up Genius to assist with moving parent sign ups on line (that your teacher wishes to have help with) like conferences, hallway reading, art class assistance, etc. http://www.signupgenius.com/ Your Room Parent Coordinator is happy to help with training on the site if needed.
At Curriculum Night
Again, your teacher will provide input as to what is needed from you at Curriculum Night (i.e. Whether you are to provide forms to seek volunteers for field trips etc). Room Parent introductions and verbal requests take place after the teacher’s presentation.
Use Curriculum Night as your opportunity to introduce yourself to the parents. If additional volunteers are still needed to support the room parent responsibilities, this would be a good opportunity to ask. Ask parents to provide contact information on a PARENT INFORMATION SHEET (form included) so that it can be used for the class list until the formal directories arrive.
Throughout the Year
Your specific responsibilities throughout the year will depend on the needs of your teacher but may generally fall under those previously described in the General Room Parent Guidelines. You will also receive information and directions from the Room Parent Coordinator throughout the year. You should also feel free to email the Room Parent Coordinator with any questions.
Communication is a large part of your role and every effort such be made to ensure that it is effective. Emails should be used as necessary to communicate vital information to your parent email list. Please do not send any personal emails (i.e. jokes, articles etc.) and avoid using “reply all” unless necessary. An overabundance of emails may discourage parents from reading important communications.
Please do take it online when appropriate. Consider using http://www.signupgenius.com/ to avoid email overload.
Teacher Gifts & Staff Appreciation
It is customary at Lakeridge for the teachers to receive a year-end-gift from the entire class and that the gift is presented at the end of the year party.
The Lakeridge PTA will reimburse up to $50 total for teacher gifts throughout the year. The PTA can not reimburse for gift certificates in ANY denomination. As a room parent, we encourage you to coordinate a gift for your classroom teacher based on their list of “Favorite Things.” For example, if your teacher loves Starbucks, the room parent can purchase a Starbucks mug or Starbucks gift basket for under $50 (which can be reimbursed with receipt) and then offer to collect parent-purchased Starbucks gift cards, in any denomination, from families that choose to participate.
Room parents should coordinate recognition of the teacher’s birthday. You will receive information from the Room Parent Coordinator as to the teacher’s birth date. The PTA does not have specific guidelines on how to celebrate a teacher’s birthday. Based on teacher feedback, it is recommended, however, that it is done in a very simple and modest way. Room parents may bring in a bouquet of flowers (or have each student bring a flower) or coordinate handmade cards from the kids or remind parents about your teacher’s “Favorite Things” to bring in on their special day. One presentation should be made and kept short and sweet.
While on the topic of teacher gifts, you may be asked questions regarding a holiday gift for your teacher. Gifts around the holidays should be given on an individual basis and not from the class. Your role is to coordinate the class parties, teacher birthday gifts, and the teacher year-end gift.
Classroom parties are essentially a break from the normal routine and a chance for the students to socialize. Extravagant treats and elaborate parties are not necessary to meet this purpose. Organization is, however, key.
To do before Curriculum Night
At the beginning of the year, before the scheduled curriculum night, please contact your teacher (in conjunction with the Lead Room Parent) with regards to his/her policies with respect to class room parties. You will find that some teachers have tried and true guidelines while others leave much of the planning up to the parents. When contacting your teacher:
- Confirm the parties that will take place during the year. Generally, there is a Halloween party, Valentine’s Day party and end of the school year party. Some classes have additional parties such as the 100 day party etc. Other causes for celebration may arise during the year.
- Some grades or classes may have certain traditions for certain holidays or events. Again, please confirm with your teacher whether there are any traditions that he/she would like to see continue.
- Please check out Sign Up Genius to assist with moving parent party sign ups on line. http://www.signupgenius.com/ Your Room Parent Coordinator is happy to help with training on the site if needed.
- Confirm whether you or the teacher will provide volunteer sign-up sheets on curriculum night for the parties. Essentially the sign-up sheet will indicate the event and request the names of volunteers for planning the party. The Halloween party will have a set date and time because the whole school participates in a costume parade. Your teacher will determine the date and time for the other parties closer to the date of the event(s).
- Provide sign-up sheets seeking volunteers for each party. Or do this on line via http://www.signupgenius.com/.
- Your presentation should come after the teacher’s presentation.
At Curriculum Night
Be there to assist the teacher, encourage volunteers to sign up, and try to fill any empty volunteer slots!
GENERAL PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS
Contact your teacher
Roughly one month prior to the event, you should contact your teacher as to the date and time of the party. Confirm any guidelines and preferences of your teacher for the party.
Weeks before the event, the event coordinator should send out an email to the parents advising them of the date and reminding the parents who agreed to volunteer at curriculum night. Needless to say, volunteers’ plans may change and you may want to seek additional parents to help with the upcoming party.
It is essentially up to the event coordinator as to how you would like to organize the planning. Generally, there seems to be two schools of thought. Some parents seek input on ideas for the party from all the class parents via an invitation to a meeting or by email. Other parents prefer to organize the ideas for the party and then email the class parents asking for volunteers to bring and coordinate certain snacks, games, crafts etc. Either way, please remember to follow your teacher’s guidelines and policies.
Included within your teacher’s guidelines should be a summary of the allergies in your classroom and the types of food that may be served. Every precaution must be taken to avoid a life threatening situation. When requesting any food items from volunteers, please always remind the parents of the allergies in the class.
Teacher Gifts: The PTA budget can support up to $50 in reimbursements total for teacher gifts throughout the year (birthday recognition and year-end gift). The PTA can no longer reimburse for gift certificates in any denomination.
Lakeridge is a Level 4 Certified King County Green school. Click here for Green Guidelines for Class Parties. Please make every effort to have your volunteers follow these guidelines.
During the school year, you will receive reminders and additional information from the Room Parent Coordinator with respect to events. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Room Parent Coordinator.
The vision for the evolving role of the PTA Liaison is to have a parent whose function it is to highlight the importance of PTA membership and the many services that are provided through the PTA. The PTA Liaison will forward information from the PTA Board to the class parents and answer or forward questions from parents to the PTA Board.
PTA Overview of Activities
The Lakeridge PTA has three main areas of concentration that drive its activities, budget and volunteer hours:
- Curriculum Support: Provide additional resources and programs for the school and teachers to broaden core curriculum.
- Enrichment: Provide programs, activities and resources that encourage alternative learning opportunities, community and social development.
- Learning Support: Provides additional instruction for students who need 1:1 / small group assistance to progress towards meeting standards for grade level. Long term, this will be expanded to provide individual support for kids meeting & exceeding standard.
Joining the Lakeridge PTA
One function of the PTA Liaison is to remind and encourage parents to join the PTA. This should be done at Curriculum Night after the teacher’s presentation. The message should not be that PTA membership or donations are mandatory. However, emphasis should be placed on educating parents on the function of the PTA and how PTA funds are used to benefit every child. Also remind them that the only way for them to obtain access to the password-protected online directory is to join the Lakeridge PTA!
Parents should be reminded to go on line to www.LakeridgePTA.org to register for the PTA. Registration forms should also be handed out at Curriculum night. One suggestion is to have a pile of forms that are out on the table with the handouts that the teacher has for the parents, and then call attention to it during your remarks.
The Mercer Island Schools Foundation
Additionally, Lakeridge PTA works hand in hand with the Mercer Island Schools Foundation on the two fundraising drives for the school district. As PTA Liaison, you will be asked to forward information on about events, activities and news related to the drives. We’re not asking you to fundraise personally, but rather to deliver key information at a few points during the school year. The Foundation has two drives:
- Fall Phone-A-Thon – This drive is focused on raising funds to provide needed resources to support student learning by matching critical educational needs of the school district with the generosity of our donors who are passionate about excellence in our public schools. Contributions are used annually for identified and prioritized funding needs for students and their teachers across the district. Donations provide exciting new, relevant classroom curriculum and materials, staff development and provide programs for struggling students that are considered essential to ensuring that all students meet or exceed district, state and federal standards for success.
- Bridge The Gap – After years of under-funding of basic education by the Washington State Legislature, The Mercer Island School District has relied on our community’s generous support to keep teachers in the classroom. In the spring of 2011, we were able to save 20 teachers by raising $1.2 million dollars. The Lakeridge PTA works closely with the Foundation on events in the school and raising awareness for parents to attend The Breakfast of Champions, which is a celebration of all the amazing accomplishments of the Mercer Island School District.
Additional information will be provided to the PTA Liaison to assist in this education process.
guidelines for sustainable classroom parties
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle is the mindset behind parties at Lakeridge. We have worked hard for many years to get the Level 4 certification through the King County Green Schools Program. The measure of our success is in the support we receive from our parents and teachers and in turn imparting this knowledge to our students.
This year were are moving to reusable party supplies! Cups, plates, and utensils are all now reusable and simply need to be hand washed and dried or run through your dishwasher and returned to school. We are eliminating all one-time use plates, cups and utensils. This will save hundreds and hundreds of dollars by not having to purchase compostable supplies. This year we put that savings into the purchase of the reusable items. This will have a huge impact on our local environment by not contributing trash to our neighborhood landfills which in turn keeps green house gases out of our precious children’s air. Simply add a line item to your class party sign-ups “Wash re-usable cups, plates and utensils and return to classroom” for each class party. Parents can take them home and run them through their dishwasher. The items fill half a paper grocery bag. Parents are also welcome to wash and dry them at school and return them to the box.
Please make sure to explain this to all your classroom parents and make an announcement at the beginning of each party for kids to take note of where the compost and recycling bins are and what goes where. Please make use of the classroom’s recycling bin to recycle any paper used for the party, empty juice boxes, and so on. Bring two paper bags to collect any leftover food. On your way out, put compost bags into the yellow compost bins in the lunchroom It is the parents responsibility to help remind and educate our students about how and why we are being environmental.
The effort is minimal but the reward is huge. It creates an opportunity for you to connect with the children about this important topic. Thank you very much for your support of our district’s efforts to educate our children on sustainability and for helping to ‘be the change we wish to see in the world.’
Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions!
Everything that goes into your mouth is compostable (literally except gum – who knew!). This include melon rinds, coffee grounds, chicken bones, egg shells and wax cheese rind. Additionally, pizza boxes, paper plates, paper cups or wax lined cups like Dixie, cardboard boxes, egg and berry cardboard cartons, plain paper, napkins etc. can also be composted. If something is wax lined it is compostable, if it has a plastic film, it is not. You can tell the difference by scraping your nail across the cup, for example, and if it is wax lined some of the wax will come up under your nail. Plates, cups, straws, utensils etc.. made from compostable materials are compostable. All supplies in the front office are either reusable or compostable!
Check link for Mercer Island specific guidelines on composting: http://www.mercergov.org/files/Republic_YardWaste_Flyer_2013.pdf
All of these just need to be cleaned out and emptied to recycle: Aluminum cans, glass bottles, plastic bottles, milk and juice boxes, clean paper, plastic cups with the recycle triangle on the bottom, tin cans, yogurt and apple sauce cups and even the aluminum foil pull off top!
Not recyclable: Capri sun (boo!), tiny little plastic wraps around straws, granola bar wrappers or any bar wrappers, little plastic fruit chew pouches, aluminum or plastic cookie, chip pouches, most tiny plastic things that hold something together to something else are not. Bottle caps are not (but reusable for art!)
Check the link for Mercer Island specific guidelines: http://www.mercergov.org/files/Republic_Recycling_Flyer_2013.pdf
Decorations & Party Favors:
Most decorations have a plastic film on them which make them non-recyclable. Find paper or cloth tablecloths and use natural decorations (flowers, plants, colorful fruits, stones, bare branches decorated with ornaments or ribbon, etc.) that are biodegradable or reusable. Party favors can be snacks without plastic wrapping. If you want to bring in colorful decorations, have kids cut out hearts, rainbows, swirls, color themed designs from construction paper and either save them for next year or recycle. Balloons are not environmental at all and the district has a latex-free policy, so just skip them all together.
Avoid plastics and non-recyclables: Skip individual plastic water bottles and juice boxes. No more juice boxes! We can do it! Juice boxes and milk cartons are recyclable and therefore ZERO WASTE and allowed. BUT… so much less wasteful to do the following: use large reusable water dispensers (pitchers) for water or to mix frozen juices you can buy at the grocery store. Use cups that are made from paper or have a recycle symbol on the bottom. Drinks in aluminum, glass or plastic containers are recyclable. ***Best option would be to use the reusable cups provided by the PTA
- To avoid waste, be careful not to overbuy.
- At the same time, buying in bulk (like goldfish) eliminates individual wrappings and keeps you at zero waste.
- No individual, single-serving snacks of any kind. None of these wrappers are recyclable and are very wasteful.
- Pay attention to the little things: for example, paper cupcake wrappers are compostable, but the aluminum ones are trash.
- Send food home with families or teachers! Even consider arranging with a local food bank to pick up leftovers at the end of the event
- Serve local and organic food when possible, and offer a vegetarian option.