A school volunteer is a person who willingly gives time, without compensation, to work in a school in support of students, office staff, teachers, and administrators.  A school volunteer is a person who is willing to work under the direction of an administrator, staff member, or teacher to enhance and enrich the learning experience of our students.  A school volunteer is a parent, family member, senior citizen, or community partner who chooses to donate time to support some aspect of the school experience.  If you believe you can fit into this role, then please consider applying to become a school volunteer.

People who would like to volunteer must apply, be screened, and complete an orientation, that includes school guidelines and safety protocols, at the school.  Paid and volunteer coaches do not fall under these guidelines and are screened by the Department of Human Resources.

When should I apply?

  1.  You must apply annually.
  2. If you intend to volunteer multiple times in a school year, it is recommended that you apply during the summer after August 1, but at least two weeks prior to the start of the school year.
  3. Field trips: It is imperative that you complete your volunteer application at least 48 hours prior to the field trip date if you have not yet been approved as a volunteer, and you want to accompany your child on a field trip.  Pay attention to the date of the trip.
  4. Applications submitted not within the 48 hours of a field trip departure will not be processed.

Application

  1. Read the HCPS regulations in this packet regarding volunteer guidelines, information technology, and acceptable use of technology and software on HCPS computers.
  2. Complete the volunteer application available at the school or on the HCPS website at https://henricoschools.us/pdf/Community/VolunteerApplication.pdf.
  3. Turn in the completed application to the school where you want to volunteer.

Screening Process

  1.  The volunteer program operates under the management and supervision of the principal.  All volunteers serve at the discretion of the principal.
  2. The volunteer coordinator at the school receives and processes all applications.  The volunteer coordinator uses the Visitor Management System to screen all applicants.
  3. Volunteers are not to serve in the school until they have been screened and approved by the principal.
  4. If the screening or information disqualifies a volunteer, the principal will notify the applicant.

Orientation 

  1. Follow school and HCPS procedures regarding the Visitor Management System, signing in and out, wearing badges, using school materials, and maintaining health/security standards. 
  2. Follow the direction of the Volunteer Coordinator at the school where you would like to serve.  He or she will make sure that you are acquainted with the school, classroom, pertinent school policies, and emergency procedures.
  3. Read and keep a copy of these guidelines. Please follow them for reasons of safety, protection, and uniformity.
  4. Review the Code of Student Conduct. Please understand that the supervising teacher should take necessary disciplinary action with a student—not the volunteer.
  5. Dress appropriately for the activity, event, or trip.
  6. Volunteers working with Virginia High School League (VHSL) activities must follow VHSL rules and regulations.
  7. Chaperones will receive orientation before an event or trip.

Assignment

  1.  After the approved applicant has successfully completed orientation, then he or she may volunteer.
  2. School administrators determine where volunteers are needed and how many should be assigned to each task to include chaperoning field trips. 
  3. Volunteers should keep in mind that there may be more volunteers who apply for a particular position than are actually needed, so volunteers should be prepared to be offered alternate opportunities. HCPS personnel will work diligently to match volunteers with volunteer opportunities.
  4. If a volunteer believes that he or she is not a good fit for the assignment, he or she should bring concerns to the volunteer coordinator and request an alternate assignment.  Every effort will be made to ensure the volunteer opportunity is a good experience for both the volunteer and the staff member who is being assisted by the volunteer.

Questions or concerns regarding the HCPS Volunteer Program should be directed to Dr. Gwen Miller in School Safety and Emergency Management at gemiller@henrico.k12.va.us or (804) 652- 3823.

R11-10-002 GUIDELINES FOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
(Revised October, 2017)
All volunteer programs operate under the management and supervision of the principal. The principal will designate a member of the school administrative staff to serve as the Volunteer Coordinator to facilitate the volunteer programs. This responsibility may not be delegated to a non-employee or a teacher. All volunteers must be 18 years old, have a valid photo ID, complete the Volunteer Application each year and submit it to each of the schools in which they wish to serve. The Volunteer Coordinator receives and processes applications and maintains a list of volunteers, who have been screened and approved, for the current school year. 

In an effort to ensure student safety, all volunteers must be screened and approved at least 48 hours in advance of participating in a school activity, and then screened again throughout the school year as they volunteer. After their initial screening, volunteers must be screened using the visitor management system. All volunteers serve at the discretion of the principal. Anyone convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense, especially an offense involving a minor, may be disqualified depending upon the nature of the offense and/or the volunteer’s activity.

Volunteer assistant athletic coaches, and coaches paid by third-party organizations, must be screened according to the procedures established for all School Board employees. Each school is responsible for the cost of this screening. The Department of Human Resources will incur the costs of screening athletic coaches who are issued School Board contracts.

Each school must conduct an orientation appropriate to the activity for its volunteers in which the Volunteer Guidelines, the Code of Student Conduct, school safety procedures, and policy & regulation 4-06-013, “Information Technology” are reviewed in depth. Chaperones should receive an orientation provided by the field trip sponsor before the event or trip. Volunteer Coordinators should emphasize that these guidelines are being provided to ensure uniformity and safety. Among other things, volunteer assistant coaches should understand that it is the head coach, and not the volunteer, who is responsible for taking any necessary disciplinary action against a student. All volunteer assistant coaches working with Virginia High School League or Middle School Athletic Council activities must follow VHSL or MSAC rules and regulations. 

Volunteer Guidelines

The following responsibilities and expectations will apply to all volunteers:

  1. The volunteer will operate only under the direct supervision of the principal or his/her designee.
  2. The volunteer must be willing to accept direction and supervision from school staff.
  3. The volunteer may provide assistance to students as directed by the appropriate school supervisor but may not do the work for the students.
  4. The volunteer must treat students with fairness, honesty, patience and kindness.
  5. The volunteer must set a good example by being courteous and respectful of students and staff.
  6. The volunteer must be knowledgeable about classroom rules and practices and emergency procedures and must be familiar with the Volunteer Guidelines and the Code of Student Conduct.
  7. The volunteer must report discipline issues to the appropriate staff member immediately.
  8. The volunteer must respect the privacy of students and school staff and must not divulge confidential information.
  9. The volunteers may not bring any children with them when volunteering. 
  10. The volunteer agrees to follow the School Board’s policy & regulation 4-06-013, “Information Technology,” regarding acceptable use of technology.
  11. In the event of a school emergency, the volunteer will follow the school’s established safety protocols and will immediately follow the directions of the staff member with whom he or she is working.

P4-06-013 Information Technology
(Revised August, 2007)
The Board is committed to provide technology to teachers, administrators, and other school staff to enhance the quality of the learning environment and the efficiency of the school division. Proper use of information technology, including but not limited to the Internet and other online services, is expected of all Henrico County Public School employees. Employees must adhere to the “Guidelines for Acceptable Use of Technology and Software on Henrico County Public Schools Computers” found in regulation 4-06-013. Misuse of technology, such as accessing obscene or other inappropriate material, or use of technology for extensive personal use, is not permitted and will result in appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination. In addition, appropriate legal action may also be taken.

Software must be legally owned or licensed to be installed on School Board computers and may only be installed by technical support personnel after the applicable software approval and installation approval procedures have been completed. Unlicensed software use is prohibited and may also result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination. In addition, appropriate legal action may also be taken.

Refer to Regulation 4-06-013, “Guidelines for Acceptable Use of Technology and Software on Henrico County Public Schools Computers”

R4-06-013 GUIDELINES FOR ACCEPTABLE USE OF TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE ON HENRICO COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS COMPUTERS
(Revised March, 2010)

School Board employees are granted the privilege of using technology only in an authorized and acceptable manner. Generally, a use is unacceptable if it conflicts with HCPS or the individual department’s purpose, goal, or mission or interferes with an employee’s authorized job duties or responsibilities as determined by their immediate supervisor. For purposes of this regulation, employees include permanent and temporary personnel, substitutes, contract personnel, student teachers, and volunteers.HCPS reserves the right to monitor, review and audit an employee’s use of technology at any time. By using technology, the user consents to this monitoring. The failure of any employee to follow the terms of this regulation may result in disciplinary and legal action. 

A. Acceptable Uses

1. All employees shall use their real names in all educational activities that incorporate technology or the Internet (e.g., distance learning, online distance learning, etc.). Employees shall use their full names in school sanctioned discussion boards or emails, and follow proper grammatical rules. Employees shall not use Internet slang, such as “lol” or “bff,” to disguise or otherwise mask inappropriate communication, and shall refrain from typing in all capital letters, which indicates yelling or bullying of the recipient, when communicating in this forum. Examples of acceptable uses include, but are not limited to, the following types of communication:

a. for educational purposes;

b. with patrons and students;

c. with federal, state, and local government personnel or agencies, and private businesses with which the School Board conducts business;

d. for professional development;

e. for administrative purposes;

f. limited and judicious use of technology for personal use so long as the use is not an unacceptable use or violation of School Board policy or the law, and work productivity is not impacted.

II. Unacceptable Uses

A. Transmission of any material in violation of federal, state, local law, or School Board policy or regulation, is prohibited. Examples of unacceptable uses include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. Excessive personal use of technology. Personal use will be deemed excessive if, in the opinion of an employee’s immediate supervisor, the use detracts from the individual employee’s or the department’s productivity;

2. Communicating to promote personal business ventures (e.g., consulting for pay, or sale of goods) or to advertise or solicit funds for personal business, political, religious, or other personal causes;

3. Communicating for illegal purposes including, but not limited to: violating copyright laws, using, downloading or copying unauthorized software (including screensavers), creating or knowingly spreading viruses, impersonating another user, or accessing restricted systems; 

4. Interfering with or disrupting network users, services, or equipment including, but not limited to: creating or forwarding chain letters, subscribing to any form of personal mailing list; damaging equipment, accessing a system (including using or sharing another userid and/or password), altering software settings such as operating system configurations (except for wallpaper, default colors, and other standard desktop customization settings), or destroying communications systems or electronic files;

5. Introducing and/or piloting non-approved software, hardware or resources into the HCPS network or clients without appropriate approval from the building principal or supervisor and the Director of Technology;

6. Accessing or distributing any communication which may constitute or contain intimidating, hostile, pornographic, offensive or discriminatory material on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or disability;

7. Accessing or participating in news feeds, streaming media (i.e., web radio), “chat” rooms or services (including real time or instantaneous messaging types of services), unless specifically job related.