Volunteer Guidelines for Appropriate Behavior and Communication
In the Shoreline School District our students’ safety, and yours, are paramount. We strive to provide a safe, healthy, supportive environment for students, staff, and volunteers. To help create this, we ask that you follow these guidelines:
Safe Interaction with Students
All volunteers should work under supervised conditions. This means:
* There should be another volunteer, district employee, or parent in the area where you are working with student(s). If you are going to work one-on-one or in small groups away from the classroom, leave the door to the room open or stay in an open area. Make sure you are in plain sight.
* To protect your privacy, and that of students, do not ask for a student’s address, phone number or to take their picture. Also, do not share your address or phone number with a student without discussing it with your classroom teacher or the principal.
* Use adult/staff restrooms only. Do not accompany a student into the classroom.
* All that you learn from staff about your student or from interacting with your student is confidential. Please remember this when discussing your volunteer work outside of the school.
Safe Verbal Communication
* Let your conversation demonstrate respect for others and yourself. Avoid language that may be perceived as discriminatory, sexist, or offensive. Remember that you are a role model for the students.
* Treat all students in the same manner.
* If a student shares any information with you that causes you concern for their safety or health, TELL THE TEACHER OR PRINCIPAL. They will follow up on the information appropriately. Please keep the content of the information and action you took strictly confidential.
Safe Touch Areas
* Handshakes and high fives are considered appropriate friendly touches.
* If a student wants to hug you, show them how to “hug from the side” -- bending down so that your shoulders are level with the student’s. Let the student initiate this kind of behavior.
* Never touch a child in anger. If a student is unruly or disrespectful, return them to the classroom and let the teacher take over from there.
The bottom line is to use your best judgment at all times. Treat the students as you wish to be treated ... with dignity, care, and respect.
Volunteering at Echo Lake Elementary
Because the safety of students is so important, the Shoreline School District has implemented certain policies to insure the safety of all students.
We screen all volunteers who work directly with children through the Washington State Patrol Computer Database. To do this all volunteers are asked to fill out a WA State Patrol Background Check form at the beginning of each year. Once you have the form filled out, please attach a copy of your driver’s license and bring it to the main office. We will be happy to make a copy for you in the office. The form is then sent to our district office. This information is confidential and remains at the district office, not at Echo Lake.