Volunteer Handbook


Fairview School

Volunteer Handbook


School Phone Number: 784-3559


Our school’s success is dependent on the cooperative efforts of staff and families to work together to provide a learning place for students that uphold our safe school values.


Safe School Values:

Respect    Responsibility    Fairness    Compassion    Honesty    Courage




Purpose of Volunteers


Our schools and our students’ teachers are busier than ever.  It has become increasingly obvious that we need more adults in our classrooms working with children and helping teachers.  Research states that children do their best work when their families are involved in the school.  Our mission for our school is to create a community of learners that include volunteers.  A high degree of volunteerism is a key ingredient to maintaining this community and enhance student learning.  We encourage volunteers to help support the schooling of our students.


What You Should Expect


  • Introduction to class rules and routines, to students and to staff that works in the classroom.

  • Guidance and clear instruction on assignments

  • Discipline problems handled by staff.

  • Respect as a busy adult making an important contribution to our school community.

  • Meaningful tasks which promote student learning and put to use your talents and abilities.


Possible Types of Volunteering


There are many different ways you can volunteer.  Below are some of the possible ways:

          

Perform clerical tasks
Listen to students read
Play games with students
Assist with evening/weekend events
Assist with fundraising effort
Chaperone a field trip
Assist at a learning center
Help with a classroom party
Tutor a student
Help student with projects
Read books to children
Assist the teacher
Copy materials
Assist on the playground



Frequently Asked Questions


What if I can’t make it?


Teachers plan special activities for volunteers and count on them in their daily plans.  Please make every effort to be reliable.  If there is an emergency, or unforeseen circumstance, call the office.


What if my child acts out when I’m around?


This sometimes happens.  If you feel that your assignment is not working out, speak with the teacher.  Some volunteers prefer to work in a room other than their students’ classroom such as the office or library or another classroom.



When should I talk to the teacher?


Teachers can give you their attention the most when children are not around.  You may call them by phone or schedule a time to meet.  If you walk into a classroom in the middle of a lesson, please remember that the teacher will not have time to talk with you.  Try to schedule a time to meet with the teacher to discuss what work you will do for the classroom.  Please do not use this scheduled time to talk about a particular problem you are having with your child.


What if the children are arguing?


Many of our students have been taught a process to resolve conflict.  The process involves students talking out the problem and finding a solution.  In most discipline situations the teacher will intervene.  However, please use your common sense when observing students arguing.  If some child has taken another’s belongings or is actually hurting another child, step in and then get the attention of the teacher.


Do I have to volunteer regularly?


We realize that families have time constraints, too.  Many opportunities exist for you to volunteer one time during the school year, weekly, monthly or a few times a year.


What if a student becomes injured?


No matter how minor the injury is, you should immediately notify the teacher.  Do not attempt to administer any type of aid.


What if someone asks you how a student is doing?


As people in the community become aware of your volunteering, they may ask you questions about school.  It’s important for you to be aware that there are federal and state laws that provide rights and privacy to students and their families.  If someone, even a friend, asks about a student’s progress or behavior, you should say, “Because of confidentiality laws, I cannot comment about individuals or incidents at school.”





Procedure when volunteering


Sign in at the office
Get a volunteer tag from a secretary
Go to your designated area

Responsibilities as a volunteer


  • Become familiar with the school and classroom policies and practices. You may want to review our student handbook.  

  • Be on time, and reliable and notify the office in cases of absences.
  • Be capable of adjusting to the teachers’ ways of doing things and follow their directions.
  • Be willing to have short discussions, periodically, with the teacher.

  • You should dress according to our dress code.  You can find our dress code in our student handbook.

  • Have a positive tone with students.



Students as Independent Learners


  • Let students do as much of the work as they can do on their own.  Provide encouraging words but do not step in too soon.

  • Rather than give students answers when they ask, direct their thinking so they can discover the answer.  For example, students says, “How do you spell fell?”  Volunteer replies, “What letters do you hear when you say it.”  Another example would be when a student asks, “How do bats see at night?”  Volunteer replies, “Does your science book have an index?  Maybe you could find the information in the index under ‘bats’.”


Confidentiality


As a volunteer, you are an important part of our learning community.  Because of your closeness to the school, you may overhear information that is confidential in nature, both regarding students and teachers.  You may also witness behavior that is out of the ordinary.  To keep our schools a safe place for learning, we work hard to protect our students, teachers and families.  Also, please no pictures posted on social media without parental consent!


Please remember that laws exist to protect the rights and privacy of students and families regarding school.  If you feel that there is a serious concern, please contact the principal.



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