NEPN/NSBA Code: IJOC
The Yarmouth School Committee recognizes that community members can provide valuable services to the schools by sharing their time, talents and experience. An effective volunteer program allows students to benefit from individual attention, provides enrichment opportunities that supplement the regular educational program, allows teachers to focus on teaching and learning by relieving them of non-teaching tasks, provides interested community members an opportunity to become directly involved with education, and strengthens the relationship between school and community.
The School Committee approves the use of volunteers to support the school system’s instructional programs and extracurricular activities. The Committee adopts this policy to provide direction for the school system’s volunteer program.
For the purpose of this policy, a volunteer is a person who provides services, without compensation or benefits of any kind or amount, on an occasional or regular basis in the schools, in school activities, or chaperoning field trips.
All volunteers shall be at least 18 years of age unless their volunteer work is part of a class, is done to fulfill a service learning or community service requirement for graduation, or is done by a recognized student organization.
Volunteers may provide assistance by:
Tutoring students on a one-to-one or small group basis;
Using their special musical, artistic or other talents to provide enrichment experiences and extend student learning;
Reading to children;
Playing instructional games;
Providing services in libraries, lunchrooms and playgrounds;
Accompanying students on field trips;
Assisting teachers in assembling instructional materials; and
Assisting in school plays, music programs and other extracurricular activities.
Volunteers serve under the direction and supervision of the building Principal or designated staff. When volunteers work with children, their activities will be under the direct and immediate supervision (within eyesight of school personnel or in a public space) of the classroom teacher, coach, activity adviser, or other designated employee.
Approval, assignment, continuation, or termination of volunteers shall be at the discretion of the building principal and/or volunteer coordinator. Any prospective volunteer with a background that potentially endangers students and/or staff shall not be approved for volunteer services.
Staff must have their use of volunteers approved in advance by the building principal or volunteer coordinator. Volunteers will only be assigned to staff that request them.
Volunteers are expected to abide by all School Committee policies, procedures and school rules when performing their assigned responsibilities. The building principal or volunteer coordinator shall make volunteers aware of applicable policies, procedures, and rules before they undertake their first assignment through a volunteer orientation, volunteer handbook, or other means.
Volunteers will not have access to confidential information in student records except as allowed by federal or state law or regulations and will be responsible for maintaining confidentiality regarding information seen or heard while working as a volunteer.
Persons interested in volunteering time or services should contact the building Principal, classroom teacher, or volunteer coordinator. Prospective volunteers will be required to complete a written application.
In the interest of protecting the safety of students and staff, the Yarmouth School Department will conduct criminal history and sex offender registry checks on all volunteers who will be working directly with or will have access to students, excepting those who are one-time visitors to the school, and including those chaperoning students on field trips or school-sponsored excursions. Maine State Police fingerprinting shall be required at the individual’s expense for volunteers serving as mentors or volunteer coaches. Information collected during this screening process will be treated as confidential to the extent allowed by law. Criminal history, sex offender registry and, if applicable, Maine State Police fingerprinting checks must be updated every five years. Volunteer registration forms will be held by the School Department for the year in which the individual initially volunteers and for one additional year. Criminal history and sex offender registry checks will be held until the individual notifies the School Department that (s)he no longer wishes to volunteer in the schools.
Volunteers may not transport students in private vehicles except as allowed by School Committee policy.
The Yarmouth School Department’s liability insurance provides protection for volunteers while performing assigned services.
The Superintendent will be responsible for devising a method for evaluating the effectiveness of the volunteer program on an annual basis.
Legal Reference: 20-A M.R.S.A. § 1002
Cross Reference: EEAG - Student Transportation in Private Vehicles
IJOA - Field Trips and Excursions
Adopted: February 28, 2013
Revised: June 14, 2019