OGS PTA Class Parent Information
*Due to Covid -19 some of the in person events & field trips will need to be modified and/or cancelled in accordance with the state & school recommendations for safe learning. Updates will be provided as necessary.*
Welcome, and THANK YOU for volunteering to be a class parent! Your job as a class parent is to offer support to the classroom teacher. This can be done in different ways and teachers all have different preferences, so follow the teacher’s lead. Please know how very much the teachers, other parents in your class, and especially the children will appreciate your efforts. Here’s a rundown to get you started this year.
Beginning of the Year
- Introduce yourselves to your teacher as the room parents for the class and arrange a meeting with him/her to:
- Determine your teacher’s volunteer needs;
- Determine the time/place to host your class coffee or luncheon (between now and early October). If your teacher would like to attend, the coffee should take place at the OGS media center or cafeteria. If not, you may host at home.
- (Note: Before meeting with your teacher, touch base with his/her class parents from last year to get any tips/samples)
- Planning the class coffee. Once you have discussed a few dates/times with your teacher, please follow these procedures:
- Check with the school office for availability by speaking with Anita Marchetti (she has access to the master school calendar). Please be sure that the date/time you select does not conflict with any special school activities or the class coffee for any other class. Anita will then add the confirmed time/date to the calendar. You may ask Anita if Ms. Bencivengo is free to attend your coffee. Most likely, if Ms. Bencivengo is available, she will stop by.
- Contact the PTA Website Coordinator, at email@example.com, so that they can add the coffee to the grade specific calendar on our PTA homepage.
- Verify that parents have received receipt of email invitations. If you do not hear from a parent, please place a hard copy invite in the child’s backpack to ensure that all parents receive the invitation.
- Create your volunteer sign-up sheets:
- At the Class Parent Information Coffee we will be handing out several school-wide sign-up sheets (Pumpkin Patch, Flouride Rinse, Vision Screening, Art Room Help etc.)
- Additional sign-up sheets may be made for each classroom based on requests from the teacher.
- For the school-wide sign-up sheets, please leave completed sign-up sheets in the blue bin marked Class Parent Communication in the front hall.
- It would be helpful to include the list of volunteer opportunities along with the coffee invitation. This will give parents an opportunity to think about what they would like to sign up for in advance and also gives parents who are unable to attend the chance to review the list.
- Communication with class: Email will be the primary way you communicate with your parents
- This year, we were able to send you a list of emails for the parents in your class. If you did not receive this list, please let us know. Please verify with your parents that the address on the list is correct.
- Periodically, you may be asked to share school-related or safety information via email with your parents. If you get a request from us asking you to forward information to your parents, we ask that you do so in a timely manner.
- Once you have volunteer assignments completed, you should email the lists to your parents.
- The school wide directory will be completed mid to late fall. In the meantime, you may want to create a mini directory for your class to include addresses, phone numbers and parent names.
- Class Coffee Check List:
- Encourage everyone to volunteer for as many things as you need to fill the lists.
- Finalize collection of emails/other class list information
- Name tags are always helpful.
- Check that everyone is receiving PTA emails and the BTW.
- Remind everyone that the BTW, Constant Contact emails and Membership Toolkit Registration website are the main avenues for information from the PTA.
- Remind parents to check the OG website on a regular basis.
- Encourage everyone to join the PTA on Membership Toolkit and become involved.
- After your coffee, store and share information collected. In the past, room parents have used many different techniques from Excel Spreadsheets to paper copies. Decide how you will divide the work between the two of you. Continue to send reminders and follow up with parents and your teacher on the volunteer opportunities throughout the year.
- Keep your class informed about upcoming events.
- Check the website regularly to see what upcoming events are applicable to your class, the school or the district. Events may include, but are not limited to, monthly Music on the Menu, Open House and Parent Social, Pumpkin Patch events, field trips, Board of Education Meetings, Early Release Days, Picture Day etc.
- Strongly suggest that parents make a habit of checking the website calendar on a regular basis and to not rely on you completely
- For Kindergarten parents and new families to the school, you may need to make an extra effort to explain the events in detail.
Classroom Volunteer Opportunities
There are many ways people in your class can volunteer; some are teacher/class driven, and others are school/PTA driven.
Teacher/class- specific opportunities include:
Class Parties and Traditions. Find out from your teacher what holidays, activities and/or customs he/she will need help with and how many volunteers will be needed for each. Create a separate signup sheet for each activity with spaces for the number and type of volunteer opportunities available.
Field Trip Chaperones. Your teacher may not have the trips scheduled yet, but build your field trip chaperone roster by having a sign up sheet available for parents to sign up if they would be interested in chaperoning at some point in the school year. There are no drivers required. All trips will be by bus or walking.
Other class needs/support your teacher may request. Such as pencil sharpening, book binding, etc.
School/PTA-specific opportunities include:
Pumpkin Patch. It is expected that all OGS families contribute to Pumpkin Patch in some way. This is the PTA’s major fundraiser. If a Pumpkin Patch representative cannot attend your coffee, please assist the PP committee and be sure to encourage parents to sign up.
Class Photographer. You’ll want to designate a volunteer (or 2) to take pictures throughout the year for the school yearbook, or at least to gather photos taken by parents and forward those to the yearbook committee. Each grade should have a lead photographer to help coordinate with the Yearbook Chair.
Art Helpers. Ms. Gold is looking for volunteers to help in the art room. Volunteers are needed on an ongoing basis, for 1 or 2 hours at a time.
Flouride Rinse Program. Starting in the fall, participating students in grades 1-5 rinse with fluoride before school once per week (Thursday mornings). Volunteers are needed.
Vision & Hearing Screening. Joann Concepcion, RN, needs volunteers to assist with scoliosis, vision and hearing screening, dates TBD. She needs the following volunteers:
K - none
1st- Hearing & Vision
2nd- Hearing & Vision
4th - Vision
5th - Hearing, Vision, Scoliosis
Please use the provided signup sheets for the above activities and return to the "Class Parent Communication" box in the front hall.
Other Room Parent Responsibilities
New Families. It is the room parents’ responsibility to generate and distribute a new class list if a new student joins the class. The family’s email must be sent to OGSNewFamilies@gmail.com so we can ensure that they receive school-wide emails. When you meet with your teacher, ask him or her to alert you if a new student joins the class. Also, a member of the New Parents Committee should be contacting you when they learn of a new family joining your class. Of course, it would be very nice if you would reach out to the family to see if they need any help. We encourage the room parents to check in on the families periodically.
Snow Days. Help inform parents about snow days and early release procedures. Parents are responsible for listening to the radio (WGCH 1490 AM), tuning into Channel 12, or checking the Greenwich Public Schools website (www.greenwichschools.org) to see if school will be closed or delayed on inclement mornings. The Superintendent’s office attempts to call families early in the morning on snow days via an automated system. It is NOT the room parents’ responsibility to call parents. Be aware that the decision to close or delay school is made by the Superintendent after considering weather in all parts of Greenwich.
Emergency Early Release. Please advise parents to keep an eye on the weather and to check the radio/TV/website if it begins to snow during the school day. School may be released early if worsening weather conditions could affect getting children getting home safely. They will receive a call from the district Parent Link System. If someone does not get a phone call from the District, you must tell them to contact the office.
The class parents typically arrange for an end-of-year gift for the teacher, as well as perhaps a holiday gift. The guidelines for gift giving are as follows:
1. A class cannot give a gift to the teacher that is from the entire class for more than $200 for the entire school year (thus if there are 20 kids in a class, a class mom can suggest $10 per child will go to the class gift, split between a holiday gift and end of the year gift). This is optional (i.e. parents are not required to contribute).
2. The class parents can ask for parents to give additional money and/or donate supplies/food etc. that will go toward class functions. The specifics should be discussed with the teacher as it will be different for each class and grade. This is optional (i.e. parents are not required to contribute).
3. It is suggested that $5 per student be given to the Specials Room Parent (for the school year) who will then coordinate gifts to all of our “Specials Teachers” (i.e. Art, Music, Physical Education, etc.). This is optional (i.e. parents are not required to contribute).
4. An individual parent can give a gift to the teacher but it cannot be more than $200 for the entire school year. There is no expectation that parents give additional gifts, and handmade cards and gifts are encouraged!
5. Gifts should not include cash or check cards (no AMEX/Visa gift cards or such), but gift cards for a specific store are fine.
Thank you again for volunteering and, in advance, thank you for all that you will do for your teacher, the children in your class and their parents. If at any time during the year you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us!