Volunteer Guidelines

Volunteer Guidelines

Welcome and thank you for caring about your child’s school and sharing in the education of the children of this community. This brochure has been prepared to offer volunteers specific information relating to duties and responsibilities of volunteers in our school. It is designed to help you become familiar with the volunteer program.

Please know that the time you spend with us is greatly appreciated.

All persons interested in volunteering in the classrooms or accompanying students on field trips must undergo a Background Investigation.  A copy of this form is located on the district website www.stillwater.k12.mn.us.  The cost of this investigation is $15.00 per person.  You will pay this fee when you submit your information with Trusted Employees.  You will not be able to volunteer in the classroom or school until this form and process has been completed. 


Working with Staff

  • Be prompt and dependable.
  • Let the staff know what your interests and skills are so they can utilize your talents.
  • If this is your first volunteer position in a school, you’ll find there are many exciting things to learn. Please be aware that some staff members have never worked with volunteers before. This will be a new experience for them too.
  • Communicate your questions and comments. If you can’t understand something, always ask. Volunteering should be enjoyable and rewarding. If you are unhappy or concerned about something, discuss the situation with the staff.
  • Remember that routine tasks are important. Because volunteers are able to assist with these jobs, teachers are free to spend more time working with students or planning for instruction.
  • When you have been assigned a task, make certain that you know exactly how the teacher wants the job done. Ask for clear directions and, if necessary, ask that the teacher to give you samples or demonstrate how tasks are performed.

Confidentiality
Volunteers are asked to consider CONFIDENTIAL whatever they may see or hear while on assignment in the school. This would include discussing a student’s behavior or progress, with his/her own parents. The staff and students need to know they can trust you!

Volunteers Represent the School
As a volunteer, you not only serve the needs of the children, you also provide an important link between the school and the community. Students, their parents and the community will view you as a representative of the school. They will pay close attention to what you say about the staff and the educational programs.

Your volunteer experience will enable you to share the many positive things that students and staff are doing.

Staff Responsibilities
Volunteers are an important part of the educational team. The suggestions and opinions of volunteers are always welcome. It is the professional staff, however, that are held responsible by law for the decisions that are made regarding the instruction of students and school management. For this reason, volunteers always work under the supervision of the professional staff. Volunteers supplement and support the program, but may not:

  • Provide curriculum
  • Discipline students
  • Evaluate achievement
  • Counsel students
  • Discuss student progress with parents
  • Have access to student records

Dress and Behavior

  • Take your lead from the staff and dress appropriately for the tasks you are doing. We ask that your attire be neat and appropriate.
  • Your speech, physical contact, and behavior should serve as good models for the students.
  • Keep in mind that you are in a position to set a positive example for students. Accordingly, your appearance and behavior should attract no undue attention.

Student Discipline
Students rarely have behavior problems while working with volunteers. However, our school has detailed discipline plans and the responsibility for discipline rest with the professional staff. Please make the teacher aware of any discipline problem that might arise while you are working with a student. You should not be expected to discipline students.

Supervision of Volunteers
Volunteers are asked to work under the direct supervision of the school’s professional staff. The district is responsible for the education, safety and well-being of each student. For this reason, the teacher or principal or office staff must dismiss any volunteer whose actions may not be in the best interest of the school or students.

Working with Students

  • Call the students by name at each opportunity.
  • Accept the children as they are. Be ready to accept their differences in background, values, vocabulary and goals.
  • Closely observe the techniques used by the teacher and try to model those methods.
  • Encourage and affirm the students.
  • Use positive comments that will allow the children to feel good about themselves. Praise even the smallest efforts or successes.
  • Admit to the children when you don’t know an answer or aren’t sure what to do. Feel free to ask the teacher for assistance, if necessary.
  • Be caring, but firm. Patiently allow the students to think and to form their answers, but keep them on task.
  • Be a good listener, but be careful not to give advice or to make promises that you may not be able to keep.
  • Please do not give students any materials, including foods, without first discussing it with the teacher.
  • Be friendly and enthusiastic it’s contagious!
  • Keep your sense of humor and SMILE.

Dependability
Please be prompt and consistent. We know there will be times when you may be ill or unable to volunteer for good reason. However; please let a staff member know as far in advance as possible. Remember, the teacher will be expecting you on the days you are scheduled to volunteer and so will the students!

Don’t Forget!

  • Sign in and out each time you volunteer.
  • Wear your nametag.
  • When in the building, please turn off cellular phones and pagers.
  • A criminal background check will be required of all volunteers accompanying students on field trips.
  • Ask for and take advantage of training sessions.
  • Ask questions! No question is inappropriate if you don’t know the answer.
  • If you have constructive criticism, tell us! We welcome your comments.
  • If you are unhappy with your assignment or having problems concerning it, tell us!
  • If you are happy with your assignment and the volunteer program, tell us. AND TELL OTHERS!!