Thank you for your interest in volunteering in Vancouver Public Schools. This information is provided for your safety as well as for the protection of the children with whom you will be working. Please review it carefully and ask any questions that may arise. We want the time you spend volunteering to be a positive experience for all.
Relationships For the protection of all, the relationship between you and any student you become acquainted with through volunteering in Vancouver Public Schools must be appropriate at all times. Contact with students outside of school, including phone calls; home visits; transportation in your vehicle; or invitations to your home, social events, office, or other activities is not permitted without a specific directive from a teacher and/or prior written parental permission. This prohibition, of course, would not restrict out-of-school contact with students who are family friends or known to you through other community contacts. Appropriate touching handshakes, “high fives”, and an arm or hug around a shoulder are the only safe and friendly ways to touch a child when you are volunteering. For some children, or for some cultures, even these gestures may be unwelcome. No child should be subject to unwelcome touching no matter how well intended. If a child ever inappropriately touches you, please inform a staff member right away.
Communication You are a role model. Your conversation with students and staff should demonstrate respect for others. Avoid language that may be perceived as discriminatory, profane, sexist, or offensive. No student or staff person should ever be treated differently, spoken to disrespectfully or denied services on the basis of race, religion, disability, age, national origin or marital status. In addition, school personnel or volunteers can not encourage or promote religious beliefs through class activities, comments or invitations to their place of worship.
Confidentiality As a volunteer, you must respect and maintain confidentiality in regard to personal information obtained regarding a child or his/her family with certain exceptions. Reasonable suspicion of abuse, neglect, sexual harassment, or illegal or dangerous activities should be shared with staff. Be assured district staff members will follow up on the information. Taking pictures of Taking pictures of students or posting information about students on social media is prohibited.
Discipline Any discipline of a student should be left up to the school administrator. Physical punishment is never permitted.
School safety plan In the event of an emergency while you are on site (fire, earthquake, etc.) you need to be familiar with the safety plan of the building you volunteer in. Each school will provide its safety plan to volunteers at orientation and training sessions.
Check in/out All visitors, including volunteers, are required to sign in at the main office in the school and wear an identification badge while on campus.
Volunteer orientation and training All volunteers will receive an orientation of general building procedures including an understanding of school policies, rules, and expectations; a tour of the campus; and instructions on what to do in the event of an emergency while you are on site. Specific training for the program you will be working in and instructions on how you will communicate with the assigned staff member should also be provided.
I have read and understand the Volunteer Guidelines as well as the above expectations: