These are typical duties of class parents:
- A letter of Introduction should be sent out to all the classroom families wherein which the Class Parents introduce themselves and outline what they need to accomplish for the teacher throughout the year with the help of all the classroom families. Show a draft of your letter to your teacher before you distribute it to the other families.
- A Class Family Directory should be put together and updated so that families can reach one another (playdates, homework, etc.). Teachers appreciate help in making sure all their family contact information is correct.
- Class Parents should set up a Phone Tree (or something like it) should the need arise for the teacher (or the school) to reach the classroom families quickly (regarding a school emergency, or a last minute cancellation of a class trip, for example). Set up your Phone Tree to be user friendly and uncomplicated. Once organized, a copy of the Phone Tree should be distributed to all the families and your teacher. Some teachers use the Phone Tree pretty regularly, some rarely. You may also make use of email to supplement the Phone Tree but unfortunately email alone is not reliable enough in making sure everyone is reached promptly — it all depends on the nature and urgency of the message.
- Potluck Events may occur in the classroom throughout the year where each family brings in food, beverage, paper goods and the like, to share. The Class Parents are responsible for helping to organize the potlucks. Consult with the teacher about what supplies will be needed (paper plates, etc.) and what foods would be appropriate (are there allergies to be aware of, for example). Class Parents may put up a sign-up sheet so everyone can keep track of what is being brought in and what is still needed, and a flyer should go out so that families who don’t have email can be kept in the loop. Ask parents to volunteer to set up before the event and to clean up afterwards.
- It is a BNS tradition for families to chip in on a Holiday Gift for the classroom’s use, instead of giving individual personal gifts to the teacher (20% of money collected goes to the cluster teachers for school supplies and equipment). The Class Parents must ask the teacher what she or he would like for the classroom (a small fridge, boom box, art supplies, and books for the classroom’s library are some of the things teachers have asked for in the past). A letter should go out to families with a deadline for sending in the monetary contributions — give families a ballpark dollar amount but also tell them to give want they can. The Class Parents must then purchase the items and discuss with the teacher how he or she would like the presentation of the Holiday Gift handled.
- The school’s biggest fund raiser of the year is the SPRING AUCTION, a fun adults only event usually held in April or May. Sometimes classrooms donate a themed Silent Auction Basket for the event, filled with items the classroom families have contributed — the Class Parents are responsible for organizing this. A letter should go out to the families indicating what their class’s basket theme is, the items that are desired for the basket, and a deadline for sending them in. One of the Class Parents should be responsible for acquiring the “basket” (aside from the traditional wicker basket, in the past some “baskets” have been a large plastic bin for art supplies, and a baby bath tub for baby items, for example).
- Class Parents should regularly be in touch with the teacher about the class’s day to day needs and communicate the need for supplies, volunteers, etc., to the families (class trip chaperones, paper towels, class project helpers, etc.).
A final word to all parents… We’re all busy with our lives away from school happenings as are all our school volunteers. Please be polite, considerate and responsive to your Class Parents and all school volunteers. They’re helping in many different ways that ultimately enhance your child’s school experience in one way or another. An occasional thank-you sent their way is a good thing too.
Have a wonderful and successful year!