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 WA State Patrol Computer Database. To do this you are asked to fill out a WA State Patrol Background Check form (obtain form from main office). Once filled out please bring the form to the main office with your drivers license. Office personnel will make a copy of your drivers license to attach to the form which is sent to the district offices. This information is confidential and remains in the district offices not at Highland Terrace. Please do not send a copy of your drivers license because office personnel must verify the license before sending a copy to the district offices.
We appreciate your willingness to assist with the many tasks that are a part of creating an effective learning program for your children at Highland Terrace. Volunteers in our school have been critical links in the learning process of our students and volunteers are actively recruited from our parents, the local high schools, businesses and corporations as well as retired and senior adults. Volunteers often help in the library, on field trips, as tutors and in many classroom programs.
To help make your services more effective, the following procedures have been adopted.
1. All volunteers including parents must complete a WA State Patrol Background Check each year in order to volunteer at school or to attend field trips. The form is available at the front office.
2. All volunteers including parents work under a supervising teacher or other staff person. Contact your child’s teacher to arrange a time to help or check with the PTA’s volunteer coordinator to find out about other opportunities to help. The Highland Terrace Library has a constant need for volunteers.
3. Each time you arrive on campus, you must stop by the office and sign the visitors log book and wear a Visitor’s sticker. If you are expected as a volunteer but are unable to appear on a given day, please call the office so they can alert your teacher or other supervisor.
4. Younger children should not be brought to school during your volunteer time, including field trips. In the Shoreline School District and Highland Terrace Elementary, 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 must work under supervised conditions. This means:
• There should be another volunteer, district employee, or parent in the area where you are working with students. 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.
• Student/volunteer interactions are limited to the campus. Students are not allowed to meet with volunteers off of the school grounds, unless they are accompanied by their parent, or are connected to the volunteer through another agency (i.e. church, sports, etc.).
• Use adult/staff restrooms only. Do not accompany a student into the restroom.
• 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
Note: For additional information about school board policies (Policy 511 and 5430) regarding volunteers in schools, please contact the district’s website at:
(Filed as well in Chapter 12 of the Staff Handbook)