Thank you for your interest in being a Room Parent! Room Parents support teachers and the whole Oyster-Adams community.
What Do Room Parents DO?
- Help the teachers! Ask them what they need – help with communication about what is happening in the classroom, coordinate field trip volunteers, etc. Meet with them early in the year and let them know you are there to help. Everything you do should create less work for teachers, not more!
- Communicate with families! Use email, WhatsApp, whatever you like – and confirm that everyone in your class is on your list (your class list will be provided to you by the Room Parent Coordinator).
- Build community at OA! Use the communication tools you have, make new families feel welcome, help plan playdates, encourage people to attend events, join the OCC, etc.
- Support OA fundraising (as needed)! There will be a small number of class- or grade-wide fundraising projects, including collecting funds for teacher/staff gifts, and Room Parents help spread the word.
- Communicate up! Share any concerns or ideas with the Room Parent Coordinator ([email protected]) so that we can better communicate with one voice to the school.
- Do not spend too much time on Room Parenting! This shouldn’t be overwhelming – and the work will ideally be spread out between a few people.
How Many Room Parents are Needed?Each grade should have 3 to 4 – including at least one Spanish speaker per grade. Room Parents can be shared across classes (for example: A/B can be treated as one “class” and share volunteers if the teachers agree).
What Makes a Room Parent GREAT?
- Work collaboratively with your fellow Room Parents – divide up responsibilities and have each other’s backs. It’s helpful if one parent is the lead on emails, so that their emails are easy to search for/recognize.
- Be responsive to your teachers and your co-Room Parents – and give your class plenty of lead time on events and activities.
- Communicate in both English and Spanish. Make sure you can reach all the parents in your class. If someone doesn’t use email or needs printed information or phone calls, find a way to make it work!
- In addition to news about your classroom, consider communicating news from the school and OCC that families would find helpful (for example: send reminders about upcoming events and professional development days).
- Speak up if you can’t fulfill your duties. Tell your co-Room Parents and the Room Parent Coordinator ASAP. Ask the Room Parent Coordinator if you need anything: [email protected]
- Consider attending the monthly OCC meetings (open to all parents!) to listen and learn!
How do I volunteer?Please reach out to your teacher if you're interested in becoming a room parent. Once your teacher confirms, please let the OCC's Room Parent Coordinator know by writing to [email protected]
Just a reminder for us parents, following up on emails on discipline and bullying behavior. Class- and grade-wide communication platforms, WhatsApp groups, email lists, etc. are a great way for parents and guardians to stay connected. They are NOT managed or moderated by the OCC or Oyster-Adams staff. We are writing to reinforce that those groups - and Oyster-Adams property, pick-up areas, etc. - should be safe spaces where adults treat one another with kindness and respect. These are the same discussions we need to be having with our children as they get older and have devices and social media accounts of their own. Here are a few friendly reminders:
- Sending an unkind message - even when you're understandably angry or scared for your child - causes damage. It can hurt the intended target of the message, but it also makes a negative impact on trust in the community.
- Your children learn from your behavior, so model what you would like them to learn:
- Show your child that some people may have different opinions than yours.
- Treat people with the same respect you would like to receive.
- Teach children that things posted online are not anonymous and abstract. They can be screenshotted with your name, shared, and live on forever.
- We all have a part to play in creating a culture of kindness, which will deter inappropriate behavior. You can speak up if you see someone being treated unkindly.
- What if I have an issue that needs to be discussed with another parent?
- Reach out to them individually. You can write a private message to anyone in a WhatsApp group. Everyone has access to the Membership Toolkit school directory, and you can reach out to parents by email. You can also contact your Room Parent(s), teachers, and school staff for help.
We believe in the value of parent-to-parent communication and community-building. Let's work together to ensure that all Oyster-Adams families feel safe and supported.