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H414 - School Volunteers

Policy H414: School Volunteers

The Hancock School Committee recognizes that community members can provide valuable services to the schools by sharing their time, talents and experience.  An effective volunteer program allows students to benefit from individual attention, provides enrichment opportunities that supplement the regular educational program, allows teachers to focus on teaching and learning by relieving them of non-teaching tasks, provides interested community members an opportunity to become directly involved with education, and strengthens the relationship between school and community.

For the purpose of this policy, a volunteer is a person who provides services, without compensation or benefits of any kind or amount, on an occasional or regular basis in the schools or in school activities. 

The School Committee approves the use of volunteers to support the school system’s instructional programs and extracurricular activities.  The School Committee adopts this policy to provide direction for the Hancock Grammar School volunteer program.  The Superintendent will be responsible for devising a method for evaluating the effectiveness of the volunteer program on an annual basis.

The Hancock School Department provides liability insurance protection for volunteers while performing assigned services. 

The School Committee will recognize volunteer service on an annual basis.  The Principal will be responsible for appropriate school recognition of volunteers.

Persons interested in volunteering time or services should contact the principal.  Prospective volunteers may be required to complete a written application.

1.     Volunteers may provide assistance by:

A.   Tutoring students on a one-to-one or small group basis under the direct supervision of the classroom teacher;

B.    Using their special musical, artistic or other talents to provide enrichment experiences and extend student learning;

C.    Reading to children;

D.   Playing instructional games;

E.    Providing services in libraries, lunchrooms and playgrounds;

F.    Accompanying students on field trips;

G.   Assisting teachers in assembling instructional materials;

H.   Sharing experiences relevant to the curriculum with a class; or

I.      Assisting in school plays, music programs and other extracurricular activities.

2.     Volunteer Qualifications

A.   All volunteers shall be at least 18 years of age unless their volunteer work is part of a class, is done to fulfill a service learning or community service requirement for graduation, or is done by a recognized student organization.

B.    In the interest of protecting the safety of students and staff, the Hancock School Department reserves the right at the sole discretion of the Principal to require criminal background checks, including sex offender registry checks, on all volunteers who will be working directly with or will have access to students, including those chaperoning students on field trips or school-sponsored excursions.  Information collected during this screening process will be treated as confidential to the extent allowed by law.

3.     Guidelines

A.   Approval, assignment, continuation, or termination of volunteers shall be at the discretion of the principal.

B.    Volunteers serve under the direction and supervision of the Principal or designated staff.  When volunteers work with children, their activities will be under the direct and immediate supervision of the classroom teacher, coach, activity adviser, or other designated employee.

C.    Staff must have their use of volunteers approved in advance by the Principal. Volunteers will only be assigned to staff who request them.  Volunteers should perform only those tasks that have been assigned.

D.   Volunteers are expected to abide by all School Committee policies, procedures and school rules when performing their assigned responsibilities.  The Principal shall make volunteers aware of applicable policies, procedures, and rules before they undertake their first assignment through a volunteer orientation, volunteer handbook, or other means.

E.    Volunteers may not bring other children to school when volunteering in classrooms, library, or on field trips.

F.    Volunteers will not have access to confidential information in student records except as allowed by federal or state law or regulations and will be responsible for maintaining confidentiality regarding information seen or heard while working as a volunteer.

G.   Volunteers may not transport students in private vehicles except as allowed by School Committee policy.

Adopted:  5/7/14