Volunteer Handbook

Dear Parents, Community and Student Volunteers,
Thank you so much for choosing to volunteer at Chinook Trail Elementary and welcome!  We are delighted that you are willing to give of your time and talent to support the work of staff and to directly impact the learning of students while serving as positive role models for them.  As a volunteer, you are offering invaluable support to our staff and students and your partnership is greatly appreciated.  This handbook, along with the volunteer orientation meeting, will provide you with most of the information you will need to begin your volunteer experiences at Chinook Trail.
Thank you for joining our Chinook Trail Team!

Pat Schumaker - Principal
B.J. Campbell - Assistant Principal
District 20 Volunteer Guideline
Volunteers are an integral part of our district.  We recognize and appreciate the time, expertise, support, and assistance they give.  Volunteers may include parents and patrons who give their time to assist in the classrooms, libraries, and offices of the schools.  They also include student assistants at times who are receiving credit for their work in the classroom and offices.
Teachers and administrators should take appropriate steps to protect the privacy of students identified in the documents, files, and activities in which volunteers and students have access.
Allowing volunteers or students' access to other student grades may violate the requirements of the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regarding personally identifiable academic information.
In order to safeguard students' rights under FERPA the following rules must be observed by volunteers and student assistants, unless the teacher of the class has forms signed by the students' parents which waive their rights under FERPA.
  • Volunteers and/or student assistants shall not hand back assignment to students in the class where the grades are visible.
  • Volunteers and/or student assistants shall not grade student work.
  • Volunteers and/or student assistants shall not enter grades into the teacher's grade book, electronic or otherwise.
Some documents should never be seen or handled by anyone other than the appropriate school personnel.  These documents include:   
  • Teacher's grade book or record
  • Child abuse reports
  • Department of Human Services (DHS) reports
  • 504 Evaluations
  • Disciplinary files
  • Special Education Records
  • Students' permanent school records (*** files)
  • Health/Medical Records
Chinook Trail Volunteer Procedures and Code of Ethics:
Volunteers are guided by the Board of Education policies, rules and regulations, and are under the direction of the school staff.  Volunteers are required to attend an orientation meeting and become familiar with guidelines and expectations as presented in this handbook and at the orientation.  If at any time you have a question, please ask the person to whom you have made your volunteer commitment.  
  1. Sign In/Out ~ Please remember to sign the Volunteer Log located at the reception desk each time you come to school and sign out as you leave. An accurate record of who is in the building is important in several ways, from locating someone for a telephone message to coordinating in the event of an emergency.
  2. Volunteer Name Tag ~ We request that all volunteers wear a name tag whenever working in the building.  We wish for students, teachers, and school personnel to recognize and greet you.
  3. Confidentiality ~ Please maintain confidentiality according to the district policy and good judgment.  Volunteers may know or observe student performance or behavior, and it is necessary that all such information remain at school.  Other than bringing an issue to the attention of the teacher or staff member, or as specifically asked, the volunteer is expected to not discuss students or school situations.
  4. Be Non-Judgmental ~ The role of the volunteer is to support the educational efforts of the school.  Since confidential information is not shared with volunteers, it is important to remember that volunteers do not, therefore, have all facts in any given situation.  It is important to accept each student or situation and not draw conclusions or let yourself be affected in future contact or situations.
  5. Be Dependable ~ Your commitment is relied upon.  In order to make the most of your time, the teacher or event coordinator plans and sets aside work for you to complete.  It is very important that you come at your scheduled time (or call with as much notice as possible if you are unable to come).
  6. Communicate ~ Please speak with the appropriate personnel if you have questions, concerns, or suggestions.  
  7. Be Non-Disruptive ~ Particularly in the classroom it is important to not disrupt students' normal activities.  Entering and exiting the classroom as quietly as possible, speaking softly, and focusing on the teacher or task at hand are all ways to help maintain the structure of the learning environment.
  8. Be Supportive, flexible, and positive ~ Many things need to be done in order for our children to learn.  Some of them involve direct contact with students, but many more are preparation or organizational types of tasks.  The teacher or event coordinator is in the best position to determine what is needed at a particular time.  In support of them, it is very helpful that you recognize that whatever you are asked to do enhances students' experiences and opportunities and is of help to theteacher.  Your positive attitude is most appreciated and will be contagious!
  9. Work Area ~ Please make sure you use the work area assigned to you.  The staff lounge will not generally be available as a volunteer work space.  Teachers and staff will provide you with the material you need to complete any task they have requested.
  10. Fire Drills and Emergency Procedures ~ Please be aware of where to exit or assemble in case of a fire drill or an actual emergency and follow instructions given by school administration.  Exit maps are posted in every classroom and work area.  Should an alarm sound while you are with a child, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO RETURN THE   CHILD TO THE CLASSROOM .  Simply join the group closest to your location and follow their procedure.  Please, never leave a child unattended.  Notify a staff member immediately of an emergency in the classroom, cafeteria, playground, etc
  11. Preschool Children ~ The school discourages having preschool children with you while you are volunteering during the school day.  They are not covered by insurance, and they can prevent us from making the most of instructional time.  Additionally, our school is not "child proofed" for those who are very small.  Volunteers may wish to consider forming a babysitting co-op to care for each others' children while volunteering
  12. Disciplining Students ~ Volunteers should refer any disciplinary observations to the staff member in charge or the principal or assistant principal.  If you experience a problem with a child, first encourage them to behave appropriately by speaking to them in a way that would not demean or embarrass them.  
  13. Calendars ~ Please use the school calendar and parent newsletters to identify half-days, vacations, assemblies, and other special times that could change a volunteer's schedule.
  14. Dress Code ~ Please dress comfortably and appropriately as you are seen as a role model for our students.