How to: Contact, Visit, Volunteer
- Wappingers Central School District
- Contact, Visit, Volunteer
How to Volunteer in Our Schools
Board of Education Adopted October 17, 2016
The Board of Education recognizes that the use of volunteers strengthens school/community relations through positive participation, builds an understanding of school programs among interested citizens, and assist employees in providing more individualized and enriched opportunities in instruction. The Board encourages and promotes in order to expand and enhance parental and community involvement within our schools while maintaining safety and security for students and staff.
The sole purpose of this policy is to assist volunteers in the performance of their support of our schools. Nothing in this policy shall be deemed to create a contract between the school volunteer and the school district. Nor shall this policy in any way affect the school district's right to terminate its association with any volunteer for any reason with or without cause.
Volunteers are integral to the success of school district. The school district deeply respects and encourages the many efforts of our volunteers who give so willingly of their time to the staff and students.
Definition of a Volunteer
A "school volunteer" is an individual who is not employed by the district and not receiving any payment for assisting with district activities that may involve direct student contact on a regular, recurring basis. Participation in Booster Clubs, School Advisory committees, Parent Teacher Associations, or similar activities that occur outside of school hours and are not school-sponsored activities are not covered under the provisions of this policy. A school volunteer need not be a parent or a student enrolled in the school district.
Volunteers may only serve in an auxiliary role under the supervision and direction of the district employee responsible for the program or activity. The District employee retains the responsibility for establishing, supervising and evaluating the activity or program. Volunteers are prohibited from having direct contact with district students unless they are supervised by a district employee. Volunteers are not considered substitutes for district employees.
All volunteers are required to act in accordance with district policies, regulations, and school rules. Any staff member who supervises volunteers may ask any volunteer who violates district policies, regulations or school rules to leave school grounds.
Volunteers are expected to keep any student information acquired during the course of their volunteer duties strictly confidential, in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
School Volunteer Application and Screening Process
An individual who wishes to volunteer at a school shall be interviewed and approved by the Building Principal or her/his designee, prior to serving at the school. The Principal's decision on whether to approve the volunteer candidate shall be based on the best interests of the schools. A rejected volunteer applicant may appeal the principal’s decision to the Superintendent of Schools or her/his designee whose decision shall be final.
Each volunteer candidate will be required to submit a Volunteer Application to the Principal or her/his designee. The application shall include references and information regarding criminal convictions. The district shall retain a complete record of all information obtained through the application process for the same period of time it retains information regarding district employees. Individuals who have worked as a volunteer within the year prior to submitting an application will not be required to undergo a reference check. Prospective volunteers shall be interviewed by the Principal or designee.
Once the individual is recommended to serve as a volunteer, the Principal and/or designee shall submit the completed application to the Assistant Superintendent of Compliance and Information Systems. The Assistant Superintendent of Compliance and Information Systems determines the applications to be submitted as recommendations to the Board of Education for final approval.
Volunteers may come from all backgrounds and age groups and may include any persons willing to give their time for the purpose of helping children through planned auxiliary services. Volunteers may be involved in many facets of school operations, from mentor/tutor relationships to clerical tasks. School personnel who are responsible for tasks or projects that will make use of volunteers will identify appropriate tasks and time schedules for such activities, as well as make provisions for adequate supervision, in-service programs, and evaluation. Volunteers will not be used to provide transportation for school-sponsored activities.
Services of volunteers may be accepted by the Board, the Superintendent of Schools, Central Office administrators, Building Principals or persons designated by the Board and/or the Superintendent to handle this responsibility. All volunteers may be subject to the same screening procedures used for regular school employees, including but not limited to the following:
- Volunteers will be required to provide references, who will be contacted before the volunteer begins services on school grounds
- The district reserves the right to request information on previous criminal convictions. The district will maintain complete records of any information obtained through any of the above procedures.