Room Parent FAQs

A list of "Frequently Asked Questions" Room Parents often have.

Don't see your question? Let the Room Parent Coordinator know!


Room Parent Checklist

I've volunteered to be a Room Parent! Now what?

  • Communicate that you want to be the class Room Parent with the teacher and Room Parent Coordinator.
  • Set up a meeting with your teacher to go over expectations/responsibilities (see "Meeting with your Teacher" section)
  • Send out an introduction email to the class (Examples to come)
  • Introduce yourself to your “Team” (Class Photographer, Art Docent & other RPs in your grade)
  •  Familiarize yourself with the PTSA Website (lots of great info!)
  • Familiarize yourself with the PTSA Programs & Events 
  • Develop a communication plan (What and how often are you going to communicate with class? Every 2 weeks? Once a month?)
  • Keep an eye out for emails from the Room Parent Coordinator with tips and news from the PTSA!


Meeting with your Teacher

What should I discuss with my teacher?

Once you have confirmed with the teacher and Room Parent Coordinator you are room parent, schedule a meeting with the teacher to learn about their needs, preferences and expectations.

You should also discuss:

  • Class Emails (Teacher should provide) NOTE: Some families may not have email. Work with teacher to determine best way to forward communication. Also, keep in mind that we have an amazing and diverse population with varying levels of English comprehension and cultural differences. Electronic communication is always best because online translation can be used.
  • Classroom party themes/dates:
    • How many? Who plans (teacher or parents)? 
    • Food requirements (healthy or sweets)?
    • Food allergy considerations? 
    • Timing and activities/games/crafts?
    • Ongoing volunteer support needs (some teachers coordinate this themselves, some ask for help from the RP)
  • Classroom activities (field trips, author visits, etc.)


How do we pay for parties?

There should NEVER be an expectation that Room Parents subsidize party expenses. Expenses associated with celebrations (craft supplies, food, etc.) should be shared by classroom families.

Room Parents often approach party planning two ways:

  1. Put together a plan and supply list. Ask parents to supply materials (i.e. plates, craft supplies, etc.). This is a great way for families who might not be able to come into the classroom to still contribute. You don’t have to manage money/budget. But, you run the risk of people forgetting to send in supplies/food, which may impact the event.
  2. Take up a collection ($15-20 per family?) at the beginning of the year. This will become your supply and/or classroom gift budget. You don’t have to keep asking for money/supplies. But, you have to manage funds and a budget.  

What is the Food Policy in Classrooms?

This depends on each classroom. Some teachers allow food in the classroom during parties, some do not (depending on allergies, etc.).

How do I reserve outside areas for events?

There are some lovely areas to hold outdoor celebrations. If you would like to host a party outside, please remember to coordinate with:

  • Your Teacher
  • Office Manager (Tami Kozimor)
  • Lead Custodian (Jason  Gaskins)

Sign-up Tools

What are some tools to help manage sign-ups?

As you coordinate class parties, field trips, or other events, you may want to use an online tools to keep things organized.

Some tools like have a lot of great features. ( has reminders and status reports sent directly to your teacher).

Here are a few examples of what Room Parents use:

Just make sure you are keeping personal information secure!


What is the protocol for Class Gifts?

This totally depends on the class. Some classes take up a collection and give a group gift. Some opt to do individual gifts. (See below for more on a list of staff favorites!)

Opportunities throughout the year:

  • Holidays
  • Teacher’s Birthday
  • Teacher Appreciation Week (first full week in May)
  • End of Year

How do I know what my teacher/staff likes (aka ‘Favorite Things’)?

Need a gift idea? The Staff Appreciation chairs have collected a list from staff of their personal information, interests and hobbies. Contact Staff Appreciation for more information.


Staff Appreciation Events

What are the staff appreciation monthly lunches?

Throughout the year, the PTSA coordinates lunches and other events to show our appreciation to our amazing Enatai Staff for all they do for our children. Each grade will be assigned a month to “Host” a lunch.

These events are coordinated by the Staff Appreciation who will put together a menu and sign-up list and draft a message that you will forward to your classroom families prior to the event.  For more information, see the Staff Appreciation page.

What is Staff Appreciation Week?

This is week (usually the first full week of May) with an appreciation event/activity planned for each day of the week. It is coordinated by the Staff Appreciation Chairs and supported by Room Parents and family volunteers. For more information, see the Staff Appreciation page.


Classroom Newsletters

What should I include in classroom newsletters?

Here are some ideas on what to include in your classroom newsletters:

  • Information on PTSA Events
    • Explain what the events are with descriptions and pictures so they get an idea of what's going on (I’m going to try to build a repository for descriptions and photos for each event that we can all access). 
    • Write specifically for your class and how it affects them, since PTSA flyers and other notices are printed with general information. 
  • PTSA Event Reminders
  • Volunteer Recognition (A great place to thank parents for their volunteer efforts!)
  • Community Events (Things happening in Bellevue/our community (community events, when to register for camps, sports, etc.)

I still want to know... 

Didn't see your question? Let the Room Parent Coordinator know!

Back to main Room Parent page, click here.