1212 - School Volunteers

Policy 1212

Community Relations

School Volunteers

The Board of Education recognizes that volunteers can make many valuable contributions to our schools.  The Board endorses a program encouraging community residents to take an active role in improving schools and to become school volunteers in schools subject to suitable regulations and safeguards.  Appropriate recognition of volunteer services shall be made by the Board and school district administration.

The Board of Education encourages the use of volunteers to: (1) increase students’ educational attainment (2) provide enrichment experiences for students, (3) increase the effective utilization of staff time and skills, (4) give more individual attention to students, and (5) promote greater community involvement.

The Superintendent shall establish procedures for securing and screening resource persons and volunteers.  No person who is a “sex offender,” as defined by Public Act 98-111, An Act Concerning the Registration of Sexual Offenders shall be used.

The Newtown Public Schools follows a two tiered volunteer system.

Legal Reference:         Connecticut General Statutes
   10-4g Programs to encourage participation in the educational process
   10-235 Indemnification of teachers, board members, employees and certain volunteers and students in damage suits; expenses
    of litigation.
   P.A. 97-290 An Act Enhancing Educational Choices and Opportunities
   P.A. 98-111 An Act Concerning The Registration of Sexual Offenders

Policy adopted: May 5, 2015                                          
NEWTOWN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, Newtown, Connecticut
EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2015

Policy 1212

Community Relations

School Volunteers

Securing and Screening Volunteers

The Building Principal or his/her designee directs the use of volunteers within the school. Specifically, the Principal or designee directs volunteer recruitment, screening, placement, and training within the following perimeters:
  1. Qualifications. Volunteers may come from all backgrounds and all 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 generally.
  2. Persons Not Allowed to Serve as Volunteers.  No person who is a “registered sex offender,” may serve as a volunteer. Every time a new notification/online posting of registered sex offenders is received, the Building Principal or his/her designee shall review it for any person's name who has submitted a volunteer information form during that school year. Whenever someone submits a new volunteer information form, the Building Principal or designee shall review the sex  offender list. The Building Principal may request a volunteer submit to a criminal background investigation if the individual will be working over a long period of time in direct contact with students where no staff member is continuously present or in other situations where a check would be prudent.
  3. Recruitment. School personnel may recruit volunteers through the following resources: parent(s)/guardians, parent organizations, retired teachers and other senior citizen groups, community businesses, local volunteer centers, and universities. If a staff member, other than the Principal, recruits a volunteer, the staff member must provide the volunteer's name and address to the Principal.
  4. Role. Volunteers serve only in an auxiliary capacity under the direction and supervision of a staff member; they are not a substitute for a member of the school staff. Volunteers do not have access to confidential student school records.
  5. Selection, Placement, and Supervision. Volunteer selection and placement shall be on the basis of the volunteer’s qualifications and availability and the school’s needs. A volunteer will be assigned to a staff member only with the staff member’s consent. The relationship between a volunteer and staff member should be one of mutual respect and confidence.
  6. Screenings. Screening volunteers is critical because of the vulnerability of the population the school district serves. Each volunteer must register in the school's main office at the beginning of each visit and wear a name tag while in the building. Unless he or she has already done so during the current academic year, the volunteer must complete an information form and waiver. Absent an indication on the form that the volunteer may not qualify, e.g. the volunteer is a convicted felon, the volunteer may proceed to the assigned activity.
  7. Criminal Background Check. Volunteers who will be working with students without direct sight-line supervision of staff and volunteers chaperoning field trips will complete a criminal background check before interacting with students.
Regulation approved: May 5, 2015                             
NEWTOWN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, Newtown, Connecticut
EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2015
Inspiring Each Student to Excel

3 Primrose St., Newtown, CT 06470
Phone: 203-426-7600