Room Parent Guidelines
Room Parents at TCE play an invaluable role in the overall volunteer process at our school. Room parents are communicators, transmitting information about school-wide events from the PTA and the administration to the parents in each class. Room parents are helpers, assisting the teachers as called-upon, to coordinate events within each class. Your role may vary from teacher to teacher and from grade level to grade level.
Above all, have fun! Enjoy this special opportunity to get to know your child’s teacher, classmates and the TCE community
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools screen all volunteers to ensure the safety of our students. All TCE volunteers are required to register with the CMS volunteer system located at www.cmsvolunteers.com. The screening includes completion of an online volunteer registration form and a criminal background check. If you have not already done so, please be sure to register.
There are three kinds of volunteer approvals: supervised, unsupervised without driving and unsupervised with driving. Supervised volunteers will work under the direction and in the presence of CMS staff. Unsupervised volunteers may work with children without CMS staff present. Volunteers approved as “Unsupervised with driving” are allowed to drive children as part of their volunteer activity. Volunteers attending field trips or working with students in small groups must be approved at the “unsupervised without driving” level.
Upon entering TCE, all volunteers must sign in and out by using the visitor computer system located in the Main office. Be sure to choose “Registered Volunteer” so the office can track your volunteer hours for CMS. Upon sign in completion, a visitor sticker will print for you to wear while you are at school.
Planning with Teachers
As soon as possible, schedule a meeting with your teacher and fellow room parent volunteers to establish a working relationship and open the lines of communication. Each teacher will have her or his specific preferences and varying needs for levels of involvement. During this first meeting, you should discuss at least the following:
- Special events for the year. See section on Approved Celebrations for additional information.
- Students with food allergies, religious concerns or special requirements.
- Obtain a class directory with parents preferred method of communication.
- New students who may join the class throughout the year. Ask the teacher to please notify you of new students so you can contact the parents, welcome them to the class and keep them informed.
- Additional classroom volunteer needs from parents.
Working with Parents
Within the first month of school, send a note home to the parents in the Thursday folder to introduce yourself and ask about volunteer interests. Keep track of parent interests, schedules and best methods of communication.
You may want to send out a monthly message to your parents regarding upcoming activities, important dates, needed help and supply requests. You can do this through the Thursday folder or email.
The Thursday folder is a weekly folder that is sent home with every student. If you would like the correspondence to be copied by the PTA on our purple paper and placed in the teacher’s inbox, PLEASE:
- Email a copy of the materials to the Room Parent committee chair with the number of copied needed and the teacher’s name that will receive them.
- If you need a copy made from a hard copy of something, please place the hard copy in the PTA mailbox in the Parent Room with the teacher’s name and number of copies needed. PLEASE email me and let us know that you need the copies and you have put the hard copy in our mailbox.
If notifications are received before Tuesday morning, copies can be placed in Thursday folders.
Other Room Parents
You will be provided with a list of all Room Parents which may be used to communicate with other Room Parents in your grade.
CMS policy only allows store-bought food and drinks. Please be sure to advise parents of any foods/drinks to avoid due to allergies students may have in your class. Parents can be invited….. The bus lot (to the left of the school) will be available for parent parking on these days from 9:00 – 2:45. If your party is in the afternoon, please advise parents to move cars from the bus lot before 2:45.
For teacher birthdays, you may suggest that each student make a birthday card for the teacher. If a parent wants to bring in a store-bought treat (cookies/cupcakes and drinks), that is another great way to recognize your teacher’s birthday. Collecting money for birthday gifts is not allowed. An updated list of staff and teacher favorites will be available by the end of September if you are looking small gift ideas. The list will be located on the tcepta.org website under the Parent Resources tab.
Winter Holidays and End of the Year
Equality is very important with teacher gifts. The limit you can request for a winter holiday gift and again for an end of the year gift is $5 per teacher. Any request for a teacher gift must state that participation is completely voluntary. After all, it is the thought that counts. Some of the best teacher gifts are those created by the students. Please contact me if you need ideas!
Teacher Appreciation is in the spring and will be organized by the Staff Appreciation Committee. However, the Staff Appreciation Committee will ask the help of the room parents during that week. You will be provided with details and information as we get closer to Teacher Appreciation events throughout the year.
Craft Supplies/Class Refreshment Guidelines
If you decide to request contributions of money towards the purchase of a craft and/or refreshments, or donations of specific supply/refreshment items, please follow these guidelines:
- Please request $5 or less towards craft supplies and refreshments for a given celebration, or if you choose to assign each student in the class a specific craft supply/refreshment item then it should cost $5 or less. You may want to consider using an on-line sign-up tool to allow parents to choose what they will purchase.
- Please consider allergies in the classroom as part of your planning.
- If the requested money is not received, or if a specific item is not received, revise the crafts and refreshments to fit within the resources available.
- Collecting “extra” money from the other families to provide craft items or refreshments on behalf of students whose families have not chosen to participate. is NOT allowed due to privacy concerns.
Catered Lunch Guidelines
If you decide to offer to collect money for a catered lunch, please follow these guidelines:
- Choose an option that will cost $5 or less per student.
- Describe what the lunch includes so that families with allergies can decide whether to participate.
- Offer these three options for each family to choose from:
- My child will participate in the catered lunch and the money is included in this envelope.
- My child will bring lunch from home.
- My child will purchase lunch from the cafeteria.
- If no response is received from a student, you must assume their family will provide lunch for their child apart from the catered offering.
- Collecting “extra” money from other families to provide catered lunches for students whose families have not chosen to participate is NOT allowed due to privacy concerns.
- If a student chooses to purchase lunch from the cafeteria, that student should go through the lunch line, choose their lunch and enter their code. We are not permitted to ask the student or their family to disclose the student’s lunch code.
- Please notify the cafeteria manager, firstname.lastname@example.org that your class will not be eating their lunch in the cafeteria. This helps with planning the appropriate amount of food the cafeteria offers for that day.
PTA and Administration
The PTA or administration may ask for special help from the Room Parents. Typically, this will involve coordinating parent involvement in various fund raisers, celebrations or performances. We will pass along information as it becomes available.
Special Area Adoptions
The Special Area teachers are often in need of supplies and/or support. Each grade level is being asked to “adopt” a Special Area. The Room Parents in each grade level will work together whenever the need arises. The grade level will be assigned as follows:
K – Art 1st – PE 2nd – Music
3rd – Media 4th – Technology 5th – Special Ed.