This Policy is under review.
4600P - Volunteer Assistance (Procedures) - Community Relations
Last Updated Date:
Volunteer Assistance Procedures
The District supports and encourages volunteers in our schools. Volunteers work in cooperation with schools to help in meeting the needs of children and the school staff. The following procedural guidelines are set with regard to volunteers.
Qualifications and Requirements
The qualifications and requirements of a volunteer include:
- Be a community member of good standing and possess an aptitude/interest for working with students and teachers;
- Be dependable and of appropriate character to work with students and teachers;
- Complete and submit the Volunteer Program Application and Disclosure Statement. Any volunteer applicant who does not disclose his or her criminal background will not be eligible for service;
- Pass background check, as required by nature of volunteer duties, before beginning service;
- Read the District’s policy and procedures regarding volunteers; and
- Agree to notify the Director of Human Resources if they are arrested or convicted of a crime after clearances have been initially submitted.
Additionally, all Coeur d’Alene Public Schools volunteers are required to read and adhere to the following:
- Volunteers may not assume the responsibilities of District staff but may provide assistance when under the direction of a staff member and with the permission of the Building Administrator.
- Volunteers may not administer or enforce discipline upon students.
- Except in the case of a life-threatening emergency, volunteers shall not administer first aid or medication to students.
- Except as specifically authorized by Administration on a case by case basis, volunteers shall not operate any motor vehicles owned by the School District, nor shall they transport students as part of any School District program or activity.
- All volunteers are required to maintain absolute confidentiality in working with students, staff, and all privileged information in the school.
Section 3(e) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 203(e)(4)(A), provides that individuals performing volunteer services for units of state and local governments will not be regarded as “employees” under the statute if several criteria are met:
- The employee must perform the voluntary service without promise, expectation, or receipt of compensation for services rendered;
- Individuals will be considered volunteers only where their services are offered freely and without pressure, direct or implied, from any employer; and
- The individual may not be employed by the same School District to perform the same type of services as those for which the individual proposes to volunteer.
- Any volunteer who falsifies information on his or her application will not be eligible for service;
- Volunteers will work with students in areas designated by school staff;
- Volunteers will treat all students equally without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, veteran status or disability and refrain from making any comments that can be construed as racist, sexist, or bigoted;
- Volunteers must refrain from promoting religious doctrines or beliefs, political candidates or parties, or commercial products;
- Disciplinary issues should be referred to the student’s teacher;
- Volunteers may not be in possession of or under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances; and
- Smoking or the use of tobacco/nicotine products is not permitted on school grounds or supervised trips.
If a volunteer is unwilling to agree to the requirements of the District’s policy and procedures regarding volunteers, the Principal will inform the applicant that he or she may not perform volunteer services in the District.
All volunteers are required to submit proof of identification and clear a background check through the school’s Raptor System before beginning their volunteer service each school year. In addition, they must complete and submit a Volunteer Program Application and Disclosure Statement no later than their second volunteer visit. The application packet may be submitted at the applicant’s local school, at the District Office or online through the District website. Review and approval of the application by the District Office are required for the applicant to continue volunteer service.
Volunteers who have unsupervised contact with students, as defined in 4600, or who have contact with students on a regularly scheduled and/or continuing basis exceeding 10 hours per week, are subject to the District’s policy mandating a criminal history check based on a completed ten (10) finger fingerprint card, or scan, as per I.C. 33-130. The selection and use of these volunteers will follow procedures outlined in 5110P. These volunteers will pay a processing fee, established by the state, to perform the criminal history check.
No volunteer shall be utilized to supervise students, or deemed to have the authority to supervise students unless the volunteer has been designated to supervise students by the Principal or designee and the volunteer has undergone the required criminal history check based on fingerprints.
If a background check reveals evidence of convictions as identified in the list below or other concerns regarding past behavior, the candidate is disqualified.
- Convicted of any crime against persons;
- Found to have sexually assaulted or exploited any person or to have physically abused any person;
- Found by a court in a domestic relations proceeding to have sexually abused or exploited any person or to have physically abused any person; or
- Found in any disciplinary board final decision to have sexually abused or exploited any person or to have physically abused any person.
The process for reviewing volunteer applicants who will work unsupervised with students, or who have contact with students on a regularly scheduled and/or continuing basis exceeding 10 hours per week, will be more stringent and follow the same process as for employees. See the Process for Denying Employment flow chart in Human Resources.
If a criminal background check reveals a conviction or pending charge which substantially relates to the nature of the position and which the candidate failed to disclose as required on the District application form, his or her application for volunteer assignment may be rejected.
If the criminal background check confirms a conviction or pending charge which the candidate acknowledged on the application form, a determination shall be made, in consultation with legal counsel if necessary, whether or not to reject the application based upon a consideration of the circumstances of the conviction/pending charge and whether the circumstances substantially relate to the nature of the particular position for which the candidate has applied.
If a volunteer application is rejected based on a background check or review of the completed application, the District Office will notify the applicant of the decision. The District’s Volunteer Coordinator will maintain a confidential list of rejected applications for reference in screening future applications from rejected applicants.
Selection and Placement of Volunteers
Placement of volunteers shall be the responsibility of the building principal who shall base placement decisions on staff needs. Volunteers shall not correct or make decisions regarding students or other personnel. No volunteer shall be placed unless a need has been identified and approved by the building principal.
All volunteers shall provide assistance only under the direct supervision of a member of the administrative or teaching staff unless successfully subjected to a criminal history check based on a complete ten (10) finger fingerprint card or scan. Volunteers who assist in the District on a scheduled and/or continuing basis shall be provided with a written task description detailing responsibilities and expectations, as well as specific qualifications that may be required.
Volunteers who jeopardize the security or safety of a facility or office may be denied access to the school. Additionally, volunteers who are inappropriately dressed may be denied access to the school.
If a volunteer is injured while on school premises or providing volunteer services, he or she will report this injury to the building principal as soon as reasonably possible.
Relationship Between Schools and Volunteers
When arriving at school during regular school hours, volunteers will sign in and be required to wear a school volunteer badge.
All volunteers working in schools will be under the supervision of an accountable member of the school’s staff. Periodic assessments should be made to ensure volunteers are working productively with students.
Volunteers working directly with children shall do so in common areas visible to the school staff. Volunteers who have passed fingerprint clearance will have a badge provided by the District Office, indicating they are allowed to work unsupervised with children.
School staff will be courteous to volunteers and show respect for their contributions. Likewise, volunteers will be expected to extend courtesy and respect to school staff.
Any issues that may arise will be referred to the school principal or the District’s Volunteer Coordinator, as appropriate.
Duties and Responsibilities
A volunteer’s assignment shall be limited to assisting staff members with duties such as a routine tutorial, clerical, housekeeping, and material preparation tasks. The assignment shall be limited to situations that may be supervised by a certificated staff person. In some instances, volunteers may perform clerical and material preparation tasks away from the school site. Volunteers with special talents, hobbies or experiences may share those with students on a scheduled basis in a suitable educational setting. Volunteers will not discuss the performance or actions of students except with the student's teacher, counselor, or principal.
Additional specific areas in which a volunteer may be used are as follows:
- Reading stories to students;
- Assisting in supervising the loading and unloading of buses;
- Helping in learning centers, computer labs, libraries, cafeterias, offices, etc.;
- Lecturing on special topics;
- Assisting with technology;
- Helping to set up science experiments;
- Acting as host for school functions;
- Providing exhibits;
- Arranging and assisting in field trips;
- Assisting in supervising playgrounds;
- Contacting groups of parents by telephone;
- Organizing parents for special projects;
- Mentoring; and
- Participating in business and community partnerships.
Volunteers will supplement and enrich programs and services in the District but will not substitute for employee activities and functions.
Orientation & Training
The principal or designee will hold volunteer orientation and training to all volunteers annually, or as needed. Training materials and assistance may be supplied by the District’s Volunteer Coordinator. Orientation and training will include but will not be limited to:
- School Tour;
- Volunteer guidelines, policies, and procedures;
- Expectations for creating positive school climate;
- School safety and emergency procedures;
- FERPA and student confidentiality;
- Safe School Training Modules, as assigned;
- Transportation policies;
- Social media /photo sharing policies
Volunteers shall be provided appropriate training at the building level consistent with their tasks and existing District standards.
Each school’s principal, or designee, will be responsible for thoroughly orienting volunteers to the duties they will perform. Volunteers also should be acquainted with the overall operation of the school, including what is expected of all employees and volunteers. They should be cautioned to discuss school matters outside of school only in a responsible manner.
Although the District is not limited to the reasons below, a volunteer can be terminated for the following:
- Breach of confidentiality concerning student or other privileged information;
- Unlawful conduct or breach of the District rules and regulations;
- The physical or emotional stress which incapacitates the volunteer;
- Inability to cooperate and work effectively with site staff and students;
- Activities that threaten the order or security of the site or the safety of the volunteer;
- Erratic or unreliable attendance or behavior;
- Unsatisfactory service;
- Sexual misconduct;
- Providing falsified information on the application;
- Establishing inappropriate relationships with youth served; or
- Criminal charges or conviction of a crime.
A volunteer may be asked to terminate his or her services when, in the judgment of the administrator, circumstances necessitate termination or as identified in Policy 5110 Criminal History/Background Checks.
Promulgated on: 5/4/15
Revised on: 9/11/17, 11/4/19