Anyone with a grade school child will at some point be asked whether they'd like to be a room parent for the classroom, which is one of the parents who coordinate the classroom parties throughout the school year. Most classes have four to five parties per year including Halloween, Winter (or Christmas) party, Valentine's Day, Spring (or Easter) party, and end-of-year.
If you've been lucky enough to be selected by the teacher as one of the room parents for your child's class, the first thing you'll need to do is meet with the other room parents in your class, as well as the teacher to find out what your responsibilities will be. Some of the things you'll need to find out include:
- The dates and occasions of the parties for your classroom.
- How much time will be allocated for each party?
- Does the teacher want the parents to run the entire party, or will she be organizing some of the activities?
- Does the teacher expect a craft at every party?
- Does the teacher expect the room parents to organize a game at each party?
- Will there be goody bags at the parties?
- Will funds be collected for the parties from all of the students, and who is responsible for collecting the money?
- If not, is there a budget for the parties, or are the room parents responsible for organizing donations for things such as food, crafts, party goods and goody bags?
- What kind of food does the teacher want served - parents' choice? all healthy? minimal mess? no cupcakes?
After the ground rules have been established by the teacher for the parties, it's time for the room parents to decide how they will divide the responsibilities for each one. Usually the teacher will request that one parent be the point person for contacting her about the parties. After that, the group may decide to meet before each party to divide the duties. Or they may have only one meeting at which it's determined who will be responsible for crafts for all parties, who is responsible for food for all parties, who will contact the other class parents for donations, etc.