Each school initiates and directs its volunteer program with the assistance and cooperation of the district. The district shall support the principal and staff in the respective schools to recruit, train and place volunteers.
Services offered by volunteers:
- Service offered on a regularly scheduled basis;
- Compiling the school newsletter, arranging transportation for field trips, supervising the playground or lunchroom, etc.;
- Working on a one-to-one or small-group basis in the classroom;
- Assisting the media specialist;
- Assisting with the clerical load of the school; and
- Assisting with the athletic program.
The district will emphasize the line that separates the certified instructional staff from the volunteers. The following instructional tasks are strictly certified staff responsibilities and not to be performed by volunteers:
- Diagnosing student needs;
- Prescribing instructional materials;
- Selecting appropriate materials;
- Counseling with students;
- Evaluating student programs and achievement; and
- Initiating or determining the why, the how, the where and the when of any instruction.
The volunteer can be of considerable assistance in accomplishing some tasks; however, it is primarily the teacher’s sole duty to initiate and direct such tasks.
The Role of the Principal
It is the principal’s responsibility:
- To determine the scope and nature of the volunteer program in the building;
- To designate a staff member within the school to assist with the development of the program;
- To acquaint the staff with the volunteer program (goals, services available, ways to use services effectively);
- To provide whatever orientation is necessary in the acceptance of volunteers by teachers, students and parents;
- To provide volunteer orientation training and placement within the building with the assistance of staff;
- To provide orientation of school policies and procedures to the volunteers;
- To provide volunteers access to the faculty lounge and cafeteria or provide them with similar space;
- To provide space within the building for volunteer meetings, bulletin boards, assignment box, materials, etc.;
- To provide a sign-in/sign-out sheet for all volunteers;
- To take responsibility for disseminating information to the volunteer coordinator, volunteers and professional staff; and
- To explore possibilities of providing released time for a teacher’s initial involvement in the program.
The Role of the School Staff Member
A teacher should take part in the program only because the teacher has a desire to use the volunteer in an effective way. The teacher shall:
- Make requests for volunteer services to the principal;
- Determine what specific duties a volunteer can perform in the particular classroom/department;
- Write a short job description for each volunteer assignment and give specific instructions when assigning tasks to a volunteer;
- Help train and use volunteers in any way that will be helpful to the students;
- Plan ahead to provide meaningful activities for volunteers;
- Help volunteers feel comfortable among the staff and students;
- Meet with volunteers to mutually assess the effectiveness of their services; and
- Have the option to request the principal to reassign any volunteer.