The use ofvolunteersby Saugus Union School District is focused on providing supportforthe educational process. All interaction between volunteers, students, and staff should be conducted in a safe, respectful, and professional manner. While every effort is made to place volunteers in the most suitable position available, sometimes a volunteer placement may not work out for the parties involved due to a variety of reasons. If for any reason the volunteer placement is not working out, the assignment may be ended or changed. The District has sole discretion regarding the initial assignment, changes or termination of volunteerplacements.
The following guidelines are provided to ensure the safety and protection of everyone involved. Please review carefully and comply with all stated recommendations.
When arriving for volunteer duties on any given day, always sign in via the Visitor Management System located in the school office and wear your printed badge. Volunteer ID badges must be worn at all times during the performance of volunteer duties.
When volunteer duties are completed on any given day or at the end of a specific event, always sign out of the Visitor Management System.
If you are unable to participate in a scheduled volunteer activity, please contact the Site Administrator or designated District employee to let them know as soon as possible. This will allow them maximum opportunity to try and identify a suitable replacement if/as needed. This is especially important if the activity is one - such as a field trip - that is predicated on having a minimum number of adults present and may have to be cancelled or postponed if the District is unable to provide sufficient adult supervision.
All student information MUST be kept confidential. Federal and state law prohibits school districts from releasing student information without parent/guardian permission.This includes all academic, medical, and personal information. Disclosing this information is a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and Education Code 49060, et seq.
Volunteers are expected to conduct themselves with discretion, tact, and diplomacy. Please do not make sexist, sexual, racial, or other biased or inflammatory comments, including sharing personal religious or political beliefs, with District staff or students. Gossip, innuendo, negative forms of communication, or destructive interaction is inappropriate and cannot be tolerated.
Respect the privacy of all District staff and refrain from discussing or sharing any District-, staff-, or student-related information with others. If you have concerns about students or staff, discuss only with appropriate District personnel.
If you suspect that a child is or has been the victim of abuse, regardless of type (ie. physical, sexual, verbal), immediately report it to the school principal, counselor or other appropriate District staff.
No alcohol, drugs, weapons, or use of tobacco products are allowed on District grounds or during participation in District activities even when not on District grounds.
Wear appropriate attire, including shoes, for the type of activity in which you are volunteering.
Do not use school equipment or supplies for personal purposes.
As with any collaborative process or partnership, each party will have certain expectations regarding the other. While certainly not an all-inclusive list, the below touches on a number of important pointsthatcouldandshouldreasonablybeexpectedbyand/orof,oneorbothparties.
Explanation of specific expectations as needed
Clear and professional communication
Constructive feedback when/where appropriate
Discretion and trustworthiness
Respect for all adults and children
Respect for District employees’ authority
Positive, cooperative, and supportive attitude
Sensitivity and understanding of the needs of children of varying ages
Sensitivity to time needs of the District, District Employees, and Volunteers
Appropriate assignment of tasks
Adequate notice of changes to schedule or parameters of a planned event
Demonstration (as needed) of an activity or use of materials
Maintain appropriate personal hygiene
Observe health and safety guidelines
Guidelines for Safe and Effective Interaction with Students
Refrain from physical contact with students unless necessary for the student's health or safety. If you need to provide first aid, put on latex gloves to avoid exposure to bloodborne pathogens and/or other potentially infectious materials. Contact the appropriate custodial staff to clean up any bodily fluids.
Avoid being alone with a student, but if it cannot be avoided, remain visible and in an open location.
Do not spend “too much” time with one student or group of students, ie. time beyond that required to focus on a particular student or students as part of assigned volunteer duties.
Talk to and treat all students in the same manner. Showing favoritism is counterproductive at best and can be harmful to students in many ways.
Maintain appropriate physical and emotional boundaries between yourself and the students.
If you sense that a student may be developing an inappropriate personal interest in you, report the situation to the Site Administrator immediately.
Limit communication with students (email, letters, discussions, etc.) to the instructional activity. Do not discuss family, friends, students, District employees, or any other subjectthat is not pertinent to the instructional activity.
Do not provide your address or phone number to any student nor ask for theirs.
Do not offer or agree to transport any student at any time, except when you have met District requirements and received District approval as a volunteer driver.
Do not engage in private tutoring sessions outside of school buildings, during days/hours outside of normal school operations, or at any location/time not specifically authorized as part of the volunteer placement.
Do not give gifts to students or accept gifts from students.
Be a good listener. Let the students know they matter and that what they have to say is important.
Encourage students to do their own thinking. Give them plenty of time to reason and think through situations or circumstances. Be patient as it may take them some time to formulate their thoughts before expressing them, either verbally or in writing. Be sure not to leave them hanging though if they are unable to reach or offer their conclusions.
If students ask questions or ask for assistance and you do not know the answer or are unsure of how to proceed, be honest and let them know. Ask a District employee for help if needed.
If you are wrong about something or make a mistake of some sort, acknowledge the error and/or apologize if necessary. It is important for children of all ages to know that no one is perfect and that it is important to be accountable for what you say/do, regardless of whether right or wrong.
Be tactful, positive and constructive when encouraging students, especially when they are having difficulties. Complimenting their efforts, regardless of outcome, willhelpthem remain positive and build confidence.
Accept each student as they are. Correct a student’s unacceptable or inappropriate behavior when needed without implying that the student is “bad.”
Respect students’ privacy. If a student reveals personal information aboutthemselves,regard it as confidential unless it is something that presents a danger to the student or to someone else. In that case, immediately advise the Site Administrator or other designated District staff. Respecting students’ privacy also includes treating any information a District employee may reveal about a student as confidential.
Take your commitment to volunteer seriously.The students enjoy your participation andwill expect to see you during your regularly scheduled time. Please be sure to contact theSite Administrator or other designated District personnel to advise if you will be late or absent.
A good sense of humor and an upbeat outlook can be contagious! Students are much more likely to respond in a positive manner themselves when they can tell that you genuinely enjoy your volunteer time with them.
Children mature individually and certainly do not all follow the same blueprint! However, despite their individuality, some overall age-related observations can be made that may assist those working with a youth population. The following sections provide some general characteristics that may be present in children in varying age groups.
Children Age 5 – 8 Years
Full of energy, find it difficult to sit still
Aware of physical limitations
Increasing fine motor skills (using scissors, writing, etc.)
Proud of what they can do physically
Based primarily on what they think others think of them
Proud of their own accomplishments; want to be treated as individuals
Eager to please adults they admire
Becoming more independent of home/parents
Flourish from positive reinforcement
Sometimes adamant about their likes and dislikes
Relationships with Others
Interest in Learning
Trying out new ways of getting along with others
Imitate adults in attitudes and actions
Sensitive about feelings – their own and others
Aware of individual differences in physical appearance
Still seeks acceptance and encouragement primarily from parents and teachers
Beginning to develop a sense of right and wrong in attitudes and actions towards others
Beginning to draw conclusions from practical experience
Still have private worlds of fantasy and wonder
Eager to learn
May surprise adults at times with their insights
Eager to try new activities but frustrated by attempting things beyond their capabilities
Investigate, experiment, explore, collect anything and everything
Children Age 8 – 12 Years
Growing steadily; physically active
Differ widely in physical maturity (girls likely to mature earlier than boys)
May be maturing sexually and have questions about their bodies
Becoming increasingly interested in improving personal appearance
Becoming more independent of adults
Often frustrated with themselves when they do not measure up to their own expectations
Want to make their own decisions
Often mention what they would like to be when they grow up
Want tasks to perform; want to be useful
Relationships with Others
Interest in Learning
May be aware of the opposite gender but unsure of relationships; teasing often denotes attraction to the opposite sex
Have increased concern about issues of right/wrong (lying, cheating, etc.)
Developing more responsibility for forming and keeping friendships
Interested and informed about people around the world
Values of peer group generally accepted over those of adults
Developing longer attention span
Interested in current events
Learning to think abstractly
Beginning to challenge adult thinking
Often try to be perfectionists which can result in frustration
Children Age 13 – 15 Years
Vary greatly in strength, dexterity and size
Rapidly changing bodies and minds
Enjoy exploring and experiencing new things
Extraordinarily self-conscious about themselves and the attitudes of others toward them
Overwhelming desire to do something well and to receive admiration for the achievement
Need to hear that what they do is valued by others whom they respect.
Relationships with Others
Interest in Learning
Parents and families remain primarily important in setting values and giving affection
Peers offer needed support, companionship and criticism
Eager to understand the possibilities of adulthood (need relationships with adults who are willing to share their experiences, views and feelings)
Want to know and understand rules (explicit boundaries help define the areas in which they may legitimately seek freedom to explore)
Increasingly able to participate with adults in framing their own rules and limits
Enjoy participation in activities that shape their lives and allow them to use their new talents
Want to be included in the planning of events
Have short attention span; prefer choice of varied tasks that enlist diverse interests and abilities