636.629.3500 x2000

www.stcmo.org

VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK

In recent years, the changing approaches to education have kept classroom teachers busier than ever.  It has become increasingly obvious that we need more adults working with our children.  A growing body of research also states that children do best in school when their families are involved.  There is an African proverb; It takes a whole village to raise a child.  Therefore, please consider volunteering your time at Edgar Murray.

From preparing materials for a lab experiment, to cleaning lunch tables, or mentoring/tutoring a student one-on-one, there is a volunteer job to suit every person's background and interest.  Following is an overview of possible volunteer opportunities available at Edgar Murray Elementary.  To help with the placement process, please consider the following:  Would you like to work directly with students?  Would you like to be a tutor or a classroom assistant, an office worker, motivator/mentor, or to work with exceptional students?  Do you have special talents and/or skills that would benefit music, art, drama, physical education, or an extracurricular program?  How much time can you commit to volunteering?  What days or hours do you prefer?  Can you make a weekly commitment or are you only available occasionally?  What experience do you have that would prepare you for your volunteer job?  What is your motivation for volunteering?

Examples of Volunteer Duties

Reinforce spelling, grammar, and math with games

Assist students during projects

Perform clerical tasks for the teacher and/or office

Listen to/Help a student read

Check student work

Assist students in memorizing math facts

Assist students at learning centers

Read stories to students

Support the art teacher

Create bulletin boards

Share videos or artifacts from your trips

Ride buses and chaperone field trips

Talk about your profession

Assist the librarian with book returns, shelving, and/or book repair

Encourage good eating habits and manners in the cafeteria

Engage students in fun activities on the playground

Provide a bridge between school and community

Stimulate greater citizen understanding

Encourage community support of school programs

Assist with the collection/organization of BOX TOPS

Chaperone our Wednesday Student Leadership Meetings (7:46 - 8:15)

If you are interested in volunteering, please review this handbook.  It gives an overview of the Volunteer Program and provides important guidelines you should be aware of prior to volunteering.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact your school’s volunteer coordinator, Beth Hill, at (636)-629-3500, x2009.  Thank you for your willingness to provide your precious time, individual talents, and expertise.  With the continued support of our community, we can provide a high quality education where every student can achieve great things in the upcoming year.

VOLUNTEER APPLICATION PROCESS:

  • Complete the following forms (available in the Murray office):
  • Edgar Murray Elementary Volunteer Application
  • Emergency Information/Health Record
  • Confidentiality Agreement
  • Technology Agreement
  • Family Care Safety Registry (Background Screening - $14.25)  For those wishing to volunteer and assist with field trips, please complete a “Family Care Safety Registry” background screening form. This form can be grabbed from the Murray office or retrieved from the district site. When completed, it must be turned into the Murray Office or Central Office. A copy of the applicant’s social security card will also need to be copied and submitted. There is a one time fee of $14.25 for the background check ($13.00 registration fee plus $1.25 processing fee). This is only due the first year and can be carried over each year by simply filling out a new “Volunteer Registration Form.”  

Volunteers can work on a weekly, monthly, or on an occasional basis.  As a volunteer, you become part of the school’s personality, interacting with students and other members of the school team.  Every volunteer works under a certain amount of guidance because law holds the employed staff accountable.  The school staff is legally responsible for all school activities and the safety and welfare of our students.  The volunteer’s role is to assist the teacher in meeting the educational needs of our students.  As a volunteer, you will contribute to the positive image of the school through the eyes of students, their parents, and the community.  

When working with students, VOLUNTEERS MUST MAINTAIN STRICT CONFIDENTIALITY concerning information they see and hear about students and staff, including students' grades, records, and abilities.  Volunteers WILL NOT discipline students.  Volunteers will report any discipline problems to the teacher.  Volunteers must always be supervised when working with students.  They may not supervise a classroom or give permission for a student to leave a classroom.  These are the teacher’s responsibilities.  Volunteers will not diagnose student weaknesses and strengths, prescribe activities for students, or evaluate student progress.  Any discussions with teachers should not interrupt class time.  All volunteers will be asked to keep cell phones on mute or vibrate and to keep them out of sight of the student population.  Volunteers are not to bring preschool children into the classroom during instruction time.  Volunteers should set a good example for students by their manner, appearance, and behavior.  They should be well-groomed, appropriately dressed, and maintain professional conduct/language.  Volunteers should be in good physical and mental health.  Volunteers will not dispense any medication to students.  Volunteers' comments should not be written on student papers.  Volunteers should not laugh at or belittle student answers or efforts.  Volunteers should contact ONLY school staff members with any concerns regarding students.  Comparing and criticizing teachers and students is not acceptable volunteer behavior.  Volunteers may not hold informal parent/teacher conferences or leisure conversations with staff members or other volunteers during volunteer time.  Volunteers may not conduct personal business at school.  Volunteers are not allowed to photograph students, unless permitted by a school administrator for a school project.  Volunteers should never touch students in any way that is aggressive, disciplinary, or sexual in nature.  All volunteers must sign in/out and wear an identifying name tag while on the school campus.  They must know and follow all of the school's safety rules.  If an accident occurs, immediately notify a staff member.  Never move a child involved in an accident.  A member of the school staff will initiate proper procedures.  If you are hurt or involved in an accident while serving in your volunteer capacity, you should report the incident to the school office and complete an accident report immediately.

On days when you are scheduled to volunteer but can not make your appointment, please call the office at 629-3500.  Upon arrival to volunteer, always remember to sign in through the office to receive your name tag.  This allows the children and staff to know who you are.  Remember that it is best to pre-arrange your duties with your cooperating teacher over the phone, through email, or at a time when students are not around.  If you notice an issue and/or your volunteer assignment is not working out as well as you had hoped, please discuss it with the teacher, assistant principal, or the principal.

The staff at Edgar Murray Elementary School extend their sincere appreciation for your volunteer efforts.  Your assistance is highly valued.