Administrative Guidelines

001: School Volunteers

  • The District recognizes the need to develop a school volunteer program to support district instructional programs and extracurricular activities.

    Purpose

    The purpose of the volunteer program is to:

    • Assist employees in providing more individualized and enrichment of instruction:
    • Build an understanding of school programs among interested citizens, thus stimulating widespread involvement in a total educational process; and
    • Strengthen school/community relations through positive participation.

    Definition

    Volunteers are persons who are willing to donate their time and energies to assist principals, teachers, and other school personnel in implementing various phases of school programs. Volunteers shall serve in that capacity without compensation or employee benefits except for liability protection under the district’s insurance program. 

    Visitors are welcome to attend plays and concerts, participate in classroom events, chaperone field trips, etc. They can sign in using normal procedures and do not need to submit an application.

    Qualifications

    Volunteers may come from all backgrounds and any age groups. The main qualification for a volunteer is that he or she has a desire to give his or her time and talent in order to enrich student learning opportunities and the school community in general.

    Role

    Volunteers serve only in an auxiliary capacity under the direction and supervision of members of the GCSD staff; they are not substitutes for a member of the school staff. Volunteers will have no access to confidential student records unless such access is permitted in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”).

    Application, Screenings, and Requirements for Volunteers:

    1. Adults who wish to volunteer must complete and sign the Geneva City School District Volunteer Application, which can be found on the district’s website. Applications are also available at each school building.
    2. Completed GCSD Volunteer Applications should be submitted to the building principal and will be reviewed by appropriate district personnel.
    3. All references will be contacted prior to a volunteer begins rendering services.
    4. All prospective volunteers will require fingerprinting and a background check on the NYS Sex Offender Registry to be paid by the district. Registered sex offenders will not be allowed to volunteer in any building.
    5. All prospective volunteers’ completed applications and reference checks will be forwarded to the superintendent and sent to the Board of Education for final approval.
    6. Once the superintendent signs off, the volunteer’s name will be forwarded to the appropriate building principal and will also be maintained on a list of approved volunteers by the District.
    7. School personnel who are responsible for tasks and/or projects that involve the use of volunteers shall identify appropriate task and time schedules for such volunteer activities, as well as make provisions for adequate supervision. Volunteers shall address questions or concerns regarding their volunteer assignment with the supervising staff member and/or the building principal.
    8. Volunteers will NOT be permitted to have unsupervised direct contact with students.
    9. Volunteers may not provide transportation to students in their personal vehicles.
    10. Volunteers may not be assigned the responsibility for disciplining students but may assist the teacher in maintaining proper behavior of students and report behavioral problems to the supervising staff member.
    11. 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.
    12. All volunteers will be required to show valid identification and must register in the school’s main office at the beginning of each visit and wear a badge while in the building. The form of ID can include but not limited to, a valid state-issued driver’s license, a state-issued ID card, a valid military-issued ID card, or a valid passport. All volunteers are required to sign out when they finish volunteering and leave the school. 
    13. A request to volunteer or to continue volunteering may be denied if the volunteer behaves in a manner that demonstrates he or she is not a good role model or is otherwise detrimental to the school environment.
    14. Volunteers are not allowed to bring another person with them when performing volunteer services.
    15. Volunteers shall comply with all applicable Board policies, rules, and regulations, all applicable school rules and procedures, and with all reasonable directives from authorized district officials. 
    16. Permission, when granted, is for one (1) school year only. The process for approval must be completed each year.

    Selection, Placement, and Supervision

    Volunteer selection and placement shall be on the basis of the volunteer’s qualifications, availability, the school’s needs and at the sole discretion of the district. Building principals shall assume the responsibility for the assignment of volunteers from the approved list in their buildings. Building principals shall consult the appropriate supervisory staff member when assigning approved volunteers.