WELCOME TO THE 321 CLASS PARENT PROGRAM
2022-2023 School Year
Thank you so much for signing up to be the class parent representative for your child’s class. While the Class Parent has always been a key role at PS 321, this year we are formalizing this role and process, as the need for strong communication between parents, teachers and the PTA is more essential than ever.
You will serve as the class point of contact for the classroom teacher, the PTA, and other parents in the class. In some classes we have two or more volunteers, so you can work together to get things done — you can also tap other parents in your class to divide up Class Parent tasks.
Here’s a list of ideas for how class parents can help. This will vary by teacher, so check in with yours on their needs.
- Facilitate communications and between the parents in your class, and social engagements for the kids:
- Introduce yourself so the parents in your classroom know who you are, and ask other parents to help you with your tasks — the more the merrier!
- Create and maintain a complete EMAIL distribution list or Google Group to communicate regularly with other parents in the class. Here’s how to create a Google Group.
- The class parent list should not be used for personal or commercial gain, and parents should not be added to outside mailing lists without consent.
- Schedule socially distanced or virtual meetups for the kids/parents in your class.
- Set up a What’s App Group or class Slack for quick communications.
- Be the CONNECTION between the PTA and your classroom. We encourage you to attend PTA meetings to help the PTA stay in-the-loop by bringing opportunities or challenges to the PTA’s attention, and also taking this information back to your classrooms to relay. Different virtual events and fundraisers may need help from Class Parents—you will play a vital role in rallying volunteers. The PTA will send notifications to you to send out to the classrooms.
- Attend PTA meetings and as your schedule allows.
- Encourage parents to attend upcoming PTA meetings
- Communicate and rally support for PTA virtual events and fundraisers.
- Share important news from Curriculum Night and PTA meetings.
- Recruit volunteers from your class for PS 321 PTA events.
- Understand the needs of your teacher: All teachers have different skill sets and will have different needs of the class parents. While some may request help with an email list, class communications, or a website, others may prefer to handle this on their own. Please schedule time with your teacher to go over the list of suggested responsibilities, below, and determine where you can help out:
- Understand who manages the PHOTO GALLERY for your classroom. Many (but not all!) classes at PS 321 use Shutterfly or other websites for the classroom where images of the kids and updates are posted. Some teachers may have already set up an account for the class and may allow the Class Parent to post with permission. Otherwise, be sure to speak with your teacher to discuss logistics and privacy concerns. Parents or guardians must sign a consent form before photos or videos of their child can be posted. Ask your classroom teacher if signed consent forms are on file for all children in the class (you can obtain an official “do not photograph” list from Deb).
- Talk about creating an Amazon List for your teacher: See if they maintain their own list, or would like one set up for the class, and communicate the list to other parents.
- Be a COMMUNICATOR but NOT a MEDIATOR for your classroom. All policies and decisions about classroom conduct, guidelines, health and safety, and such are teacher-dictated but can be Class Parent-communicated. Parents should follow up with teachers directly with any concerns.
Organize teacher gifts: Communicate to the parents that you’re collecting a class gift — or identify another parent in your class to take on this task. Before the holidays and at the end of the school year, families may show their appreciation for teachers with a collective gift. The DOE permits small group (class) gifts. No parent has to contribute anything to a class gift, but all children/families will be listed on the card when there is a class gift, as per DOE regulations. A class gift can be a small gesture of appreciation for your teacher. Your kind words to staff members—in cards, emails, or verbally—are what mean the most.
PS 321 Fundraising & Family Events:
Some of our school events are also PTA fundraisers and require Class Parents’ help to ensure classroom participation. As we near each event, Class Parents will receive notifications on how to help and what is expected. Here’s a look at some of the events held throughout the school year that may require Class Parent communications:
- Fund321 (direct appeal)
- 321Cares (formerly Holiday Helpers)
- Holiday Shop
- Food Drive
- Coat Drive
- School’s Out Summer Camp Fair
- Spring Gala and Auction
- Spring Carnival
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
What if there is no contact info. listed on my Class List?
Some parents choose not to release their contact information to the Parent Teacher Association. You’ll know this is the case if your Class List is incomplete (email addresses missing for some families). Speak with the classroom teacher and figure out how that family will be notified of important policies, events, and so forth. Please note that sometimes the problem is a language barrier. If you have non-English-speaking families in the class, the PTA can help you find a translator.
Can I set up a Facebook page or other such social groups for our class?
No. For privacy reasons, it is best not to set up any other sorts of group sites for your classroom.
What if someone comes to me with a problem regarding the teacher or the classroom?
Parents should always be encouraged to contact their classroom teacher directly with any concerns or problems. As a Class Parent, you act as a liaison between the teacher and the other parents in the class for organizational and informational purposes. You also have more of a direct point of contact with Deb, the Parent Coordinator. If someone comes to you with any concerns or questions about the class/school, please ask them to share their issues with the teacher or with Deb Orr, the parent coordinator.