The Ben Franklin PTO seeks parents/guardians to help out in the classrooms each fall. Parents/guardians may volunteer to be a Homeroom Coordinator or Homeroom Helper for their child’s class. Based upon information you submit in your PTO Welcome Packet, each classroom will be assigned one or two Homeroom Coordinators. We encourage coordinators to try to work in a team if there are more than one. If there are more than two volunteers, only two will be assigned as the coordinators and the other volunteers will be marked as Homeroom Helpers. Each classroom will also be assigned one or more Homeroom Helpers. A detailed description of both the Homeroom Helper and Homeroom Coordinator can be found below.
Homeroom Helper Information
Parents/guardians may sign-up to be a Homeroom Helper for their child’s classroom. Homeroom Helpers assist the Homeroom Coordinator with activities and parties throughout the year. Homeroom Coordinators may ask Helpers to bring in missing supplies if able, help plan activities, or help out in the classroom during celebrations where applicable. Every parent/guardian who volunteers to be a Homeroom Helper will be able to help out at some point during the year. Please note, if there are many Homeroom Helpers in a classroom, a teacher may request that they not all attend each classroom event.
Homeroom Coordinator Information
The responsibility of the Homeroom Coordinator is to be the liaison between the teacher and the classroom’s other parents, guardians, and Homeroom Helpers throughout the school year. The Homeroom Coordinator will help organize classroom activities, parties, and assist the teacher with classroom needs. The Homeroom Coordinator may also choose to collect donations from the other parents/guardians for a gift to be given to the teacher from the students in the class. Coordinators may choose to collect contributions from families for a holiday gift to the teacher in December, a Teacher Appreciation gift in May and/or an end of year gift in June.
Guidelines for Homeroom Coordinator
Attending PTO meetings is strongly recommended for Homeroom Coordinators. The PTO provides free childcare for the meetings. Attendance of these meetings allows Homeroom Coordinators to speak on behalf of their designated classroom regarding any questions or issues raised by fellow classroom parents, guardians or the teacher, as well as ensuring Homeroom Coordinators stay informed as to specific upcoming events at the school that they may need to organize for their class.
At the beginning of the school year, meet, email or call the teacher and identify yourself as the “Homeroom Coordinator” as soon as you are notified by the PTO that you have been selected as the class Homeroom Coordinator and prior to Back-to-School Night. If you are working with a partner, it is best to coordinate this with your partner before you reach out to the teacher.
- Find out how many parties that they would like to have for the year.
- Back to School
- Winter Holidays
- Ben Franklin’s Birthday
- Valentine’s Day
- Read Across America Day
- End of Year
- *Some teachers do birthdays seasonally, if at all – best to reach out and find out.
It is a good idea once you establish communication with any co-coordinators, helpers, and the teacher to reach out to all families in the class via BCC (blind carbon copy) email to introduce yourself and set up a framework for the events you’ll be helping plan throughout the year so families can have ample notice and get an idea of what they may be able to help out with. When you introduce yourself/yourselves to your class please also include a line to allow families to reply to you to opt out of future communications.
Be sure to always communicate with your class using BCC (blind carbon copy) function as some families may want their contact information to be private.
Tips on organizing classroom parties throughout the year:
- Ask the Homeroom Helpers to take a party to be in charge of/sign-up to bring in specific items for each party, this will give all parents a chance to participate in their child’s classroom.
- It might help to make a list or spreadsheet that has all the parties and who might be in charge of each party
- Consider using SignUp Genius to plan parties (signupgenius.com). It is a free service to use.
- The person in charge of the party should contact parents/guardians who signed up the week before the party to remind them of what they signed up for. If you use SignUpGenius, this will be done for you automatically.
- **Please Note: The teacher may request that not all the Homeroom Helpers attend every party, or even none at all. Please communicate your teacher’s wishes to the Homeroom Helpers.
National Teacher Appreciation Week
In early May the PTO will contact you and ask that you try to do a little something special that week for your teacher. You may have the students create a craft with pictures/handprints, a class book, a gift card, fruit bouquet, store-bought baked treat or anything that will make your teacher feel special.
You will be given all parent/guardian contact information including email address. Unless families opt out of this list, it will be available to all families. Be sure to always communicate with your class using the BCC (blind carbon copy) function as some families may want their contact information to be private.
*When sending emails to the class, CC (carbon copy) coordinators and helpers, but try to use the BCC (blind carbon copy) function on family email addresses so families aren’t bombarded with “reply all” email strings, as well as for families who wish to keep their contact information private.
If you should choose to organize a classroom gift, and are asking for monetary donations from families, please be conservative in your requests. Many families have multiple children in the school and/or may not have the financial means to participate. For reference, family contribution amounts for those that choose to contribute typically range anywhere from $5 to $50. Be sure to let families know that participation is completely voluntary and you will include all children’s names on the gift regardless of their contribution. Seasonal organized gifts, teacher appreciation, and end of year gifts are optional.