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 2022 - 2023 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 2022-2023 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 on the website  This is hosted by the 6th grade class each year as a fundraising event but any grade level can sign up.   You can also have your child’s name on the school marquee for his/her birthday month: 


- Can I eat lunch with my child? In a ‘typical’ year, you can eat lunch with your child and they get to bring one friend up 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:


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


- All School Dinner - We do an all-school dinner at the Carnival as a fundraiser for the 6th grade class to help pay for their end of year party and class gift back to the school.  This is an additional cost for families, but it makes such a fun night for people to hangout, eat and enjoy the Carnival a little bit more.


- VIP Day - We do a VIP day in March [previously called grandparents day, but we call it VIP since not every kid's grandparents can make it and that way another special friend (Aunt/Uncle/neighbor) can take their place] - they have fun things they can do together and the kids can show off the school too.


- How is the 6th Grade year different? The 6th grade class has a bunch of special things that make their year super fun - fundraisers, end of school year party, special talent show, graduation ceremony and so much more! We have parents who lead this so it’s best to reach out to them to get the specifics.


- 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 hotel 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!