Frequently Asked Questions


- How do I set up accounts for my child to buy lunch at school? Can I review what they purchase? Do I get alerts when the account is low? School lunch accounts are set up through PayPams-  PayPams allows you to upload money to your child’s account.  It will alert you when they are low on funds as well as provides an overview of what they’ve purchased.


- How can I get involved in the PTA? PTA board positions (either nominated, self-nominated, or just asked to help!) are generally assigned in the Spring.  Click on the link below to take you to the RISD website where you can complete the volunteer form. You will be able to select schools for 2023-2024 volunteer opportunities, including “Any RISD School.” You MUST select Merriman Park to be in our database and volunteer on the MPE campus. If you select "Any RISD School," you will not be in the MPE database and will not be able to volunteer.  



- How do I volunteer at MPE?  


In order to volunteer for the 2023-2024 school year, please fill out the background check--this is required on an annual basis.  RISD requires that all volunteers complete a background check.  


The new RISD Volunteer Management system – VOLY – is up and running! Every person that desires to volunteer in RISD must complete an online volunteer account, online orientation and background check. To access the VOLY platform go to and:

  1. Create your volunteer account
  2. Follow all prompts as you create your account including agreeing to the background check.
  3. Save your volunteer profile
  4. Complete the online orientation and sign it electronically.


You will receive an email that you have a registered VOLY account with RISD. You were also receive an email that you have a cleared background check within 24 hours


- What are the Paw’d Party signs in yards? The Paw birthday signs can be signed up for through the MPE store here.  This is hosted by the 5th & 6th grade this year as a fundraising event, but any grade level can sign up.  


- Birthday on the Marquee: You can also have your child’s name on the school marquee for his/her birthday month: Birthday Marquee Sign-up


- Can I eat lunch with my child?  You can eat lunch with your child on stage in the cafeteria - it makes it special, and kids love doing this!


- How can I connect with other parents at the school or in our grade?  MPE has Facebook pages for the school as well as Twitter and Instagram – sign up to follow these and stay in the loop.  Additionally, each grade level has a Facebook page (not sponsored by MPE or RISD) that gives specific information for that grade and allows for parents to ask others grade-specific questions. All of the links to these accounts can be found on the webpage: Stay Connected


- MPE Carnival - MPE does a Carnival in Spring that is free to all and sponsored by the PTA.  There are bounce houses, obstacle courses, games, and face painters – all the fun things kids love!  It is family-friendly so bring the whole family!


- All-School Dinner - We will host an all-school dinner as a fundraiser for the 5th and 6th grade class to help pay for their end-of-year party and legacy gift back to the school.  This is an additional cost for families, but it makes such a fun night for people to hang out together. 


- How is the 5th and 6th Grade year different?  This year is an exciting year for us all! Both 5th and 6th grade will be graduating from MPE and moving on to Forest Meadow. This is a unique situation where we have the last 6th graders of MPE and the first ever 5th grade class to graduate MPE. We want to make this year one to remember for both grades. There will be many special things that make their year super fun - fundraisers, end of school year party, a special talent show, a graduation ceremony, and so much more! You can check it here and reach out to one of the parents in charge for specific questions. 


- What are Pride Rallies? At the end of each 9 weeks, we have a Pride Rally (pep rally) where the teachers do some fun/silly things, and awards are given out. Parents are notified beforehand if their student will receive an award so you can attend and take pics - but you can go even if your child isn't receiving an award – the kids love these and look forward to them!


- Auction - We have an Auction in February to fundraise for the school for the next year.  The money raised goes towards additional tutoring, support for Faculty/Staff and so much more! It is typically held at an event place and always has a theme where people go all out in their costumes! There will be ‘Sign and Go’ Parties sponsored by groups of families that you can purchase for your child to attend - like bowling, back-to-school luaus, paintball and a BUNCH of other things. They also do a live auction for some really cool things, such as trips with hotels and fun activities included!  Last year they began to offer online bidding so people who couldn't be there could still participate. Tickets go on sale in December with the option to buy a table for 10 people so you have somewhere to sit as well. There is a band and dancing so it’s a party!