The sessions are held as needed throughout the year for new families. When you have completed the orientation , you will be issued a volunteer badge that is worn while at school.
The state has approved legislation requiring school districts to have volunteers complete Background Check forms if they are working with students. All volunteers are required to complete a Background Check information form. This form can be attained on-line or from the Phoenix Rising office.
Sign In & Sign Out
All volunteers must sign in and out at the main office. As a safety measure, it allows the school to know who is or who has been in the building. Signing in also helps the school to find you if there is an emergency. Lastly, signing “in” and “out” enables us to collect and tabulate volunteer hours necessary for many grant applications.
Also, when signing in, please wear your volunteer badge or a visitor’s tag each and every time you visit. This will help everyone, including students, to get to know you more quickly and allows the school to know that you have a reason to be there.
A volunteer provides support not only to the students, but also to the teacher, the nature of which is based on the discretion of the teacher for whom you are volunteering. Volunteers must not lend money to students, and shall not indulge the children with gifts, food, or presents.
Although the job is voluntary, the commitment is professional. Besides maintaining an attitude of mutual respect and confidence, you should become familiar with school and classroom policies and practices. Working with the teaching staff requires flexibility and a willingness to follow directions.
Please be on time! Volunteers’ timeliness affects teachers’ ability to execute their daily plan. (Please note: Arrive early for field trips. Note: siblings of students are not permitted on field trips. As a parent volunteer, please do not bring your other children along who are not part of the group attending the field trip. Only volunteers, staff, teachers, and students in the field trip group who have permission slips on file are permitted to attend).
Students, teachers and staff members rely on the services performed by volunteers. If you are unable to volunteer on your scheduled day, please make every effort to find a substitute. If you cannot find a substitute, notify the teacher or staff member within 24 hours of your scheduled shift. Room parents may be helpful in identifying substitutes.
Volunteers must protect the teachers’ and students’ right to privacy. Once a volunteer begins to work in a school setting, s/he becomes privy to knowledge about children’s behavior patterns, academic ability, emotional maturity, relationships with others, etc. In some cases, information of this nature is imparted so that the volunteer can work more effectively with the child. In other cases, it is simply acquired in the course of frequent contact in the school.
In addition, volunteers are in a position to learn more about staff members than would normally be learned from their public image. One also forms personal opinions about the professional competency of individual teachers and staff. Regardless of how a volunteer comes by this type of information and/or develops personal opinions, it is considered privileged and, must be kept personal and private.
A volunteer is expected to:
1. Never share opinions about behavior and/or academic program of students.
2. Never share personal information about the student or student’s family with other people.
3. Never share specific information with a parent about their child based on your classroom experience, whether positive or negative.
4. Never share knowledge and/or opinions about the professional competency of individual teachers and staff in the community or with anyone who has no legitimate need to know.
5. Never make comments harmful to the reputation of any pupil, professional or other
If parents and friends ask about your work, tell them you enjoy working with the children and discuss the activities you do rather than specific information about the child, the teacher, or the school. If problems develop, the line of communication regarding a situation in the school is always first with the staff member concerned and then, if necessary,
Volunteers are expected to exhibit behavior that is respectful and assumes equality toward members of the same and opposite sex, and all ethnic/racial and religious groups. Volunteers shall not make any comments that can be construed as racist, sexist, or bigoted. Volunteers shall respect cultural differences and attempt to broaden their knowledge and understanding of human relations. Volunteers shall avoid promoting any commercial products.
Allow the teachers to discipline children. If there are incidents of misbehavior, it is the teacher’s job to deal with them. As a volunteer, it is helpful to be specific about rules and expectations with students. Keep limits and boundaries in place. Consistently and calmly work with students taking a neutral stance, restating rules and expectations and offering reasonable choices.
Please do not bring preschoolers or siblings when you volunteer. Exceptions may be made for classroom parties. Check with your teacher.
Don’t bring anything of value to school. Coats, purses, umbrellas, etc. may be kept in the classroom where you are working.
There are phones in the office for emergency and school-related calls. You may ask your teacher if you can use her/his phone when necessary. Please turn off cell phones or place on silent mode. You may leave the school office number in case of emergencies.
The office contains the copy machine, printer and paper supplies. Training will be offered in the use of this equipment. If you need help finding something, please ask someone in the front office. Sometimes there can be a lot of demand for the copy machine. Priority is given first to teachers, then to paraprofessionals, and finally to volunteers. If you are using the machine and a teacher needs it, please make it available to her/him. If you are copying for a teacher please let others in the workroom know. Be sure to clean up the workroom after you use it.
If there is a fire or earthquake drill or emergency exercise of any kind, please follow your class and do as the teacher instructs the students.
Field Trip Specifics
Field trips can be especially challenging. Teachers recommend that volunteers,
• Act as an authority figure.
• Realize your 1st responsibility is to help, NOT socialize.
• Impart NO special favors.
• Abide and enforce the parameters set forth by the teacher.
Field trip drivers will need to have the following:
- Seatbelts for every passenger
- Current registration
- Completed Driver Information Form
Drivers should use safety measures and be aware that no consumption of alcohol should occur for at least six hours prior to the field trip.
If You Need Help
If you have questions, concerns, or just want to talk about your volunteer assignment, please talk with your child’s teacher or the staff member you are working with.