Menu

Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

Office Hours:

Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

Translate

Procedure 5630 - VOLUNTEERS

Highline Public Schools believes that volunteers contribute greatly to the success of our students and the district as a whole.  We must balance the value of our volunteers with the safety of our students.  To that end, this procedure is intended to identify key types of volunteers, and the expectations the district has for each.

Note:  “Volunteer Coaches”:  All volunteer coaches will be cleared separately from this policy and procedure, and must complete form 5630F2.  Volunteer coaches must be 21 years of age or older.  They must be supervised by a cleared District employee at all times and they are required to have valid CPR, First Aid, and concussion certification. Volunteer Coaches should be assigned specific duties in writing and they should serve in this capacity until their duties are “officially changed”. Volunteer Coaches are required to be prescreened and cleared by the Human Resources Department.  These individuals will be cleared by FBI background checks.  See Procedure 5630P2 for more information on volunteer coaches.

School Guests 

School Guests are people who visit a school to perform tasks such as:

  • Attend events or activities during the school day
  • Lead an event such as an assembly
  • Take photographs for student identification cards or for photo day
  • Participate in events (i.e. evaluating senior projects)
  • College/career/military recruiters (either individually or participating in a career fair)

Guests must follow the established procedures of the school, must be supervised at all times, and may not be unsupervised with children other than their own.  Guests are not required to undergo a background check but they are required to check in at the front office and comply with school visitor procedures, including being accompanied by staff. 

Volunteers

Per policy 5230, all volunteers are required to maintain the highest level of professionalism while working with district schools or students.  Volunteers are also required to maintain professional boundaries with students, as outlined in Board Policy 5253.  The district reserves the right to terminate any volunteer for breaching district policies or expectations, or for endangering the health or safety of students or staff.

There are three types of volunteers and different expectations for each.

Type One:  Parent/Guardian
While the district recognizes the diversity of our families, “Type One” volunteers are limited to a student’s legal parent or guardian.  Type One volunteers come into schools to help in their child’s classroom or to otherwise support the school.  Examples include:

  • Classroom volunteer
  • Making hallway bulletin boards or organizing displays
  • Chaperone dances
  • Organizing materials

Type One volunteers are not required to undergo a background check, but must be accompanied by school staff when working with students other than their own.  They must check in at the office, follow the school’s volunteer procedures, and fill out a volunteer form, signed by the school principal or designee to be kept on file in the school office.  Data on students not their own may not be shared with a Type One volunteer. 

Type Two:  Other Individuals not Affiliated with an Organization
These are individuals, usually community members, who regularly visit a school to support the school or students.  Examples include:

  • Residents of a nearby retirement home who volunteers with storytime
  • College project to work in a school for a semester
  • Local resident who wants to mentor students

Type Two volunteers must fill out a volunteer form, signed by the school principal or designee, indicating the type of volunteer work that will be done.  Schools should submit this form to the Human Resources department for completion of the Washington State Patrol WATCH background check.  Upon receipt of an acceptable WATCH check, the volunteer and the school will be notified and the volunteer may begin helping at the school.  Individuals who may have negative criminal histories are encouraged to contact the Human Resources department to discuss their situation and resolve whether volunteering would be an appropriate activity.  Type Two volunteers must be accompanied by school staff when working with students, and must check in at the office and follow the school’s volunteer procedures.  Data on students may not be shared with a Type Two volunteer.  The Volunteer Application forms must be received by the Human Resources Department at least one week in advance of any volunteer work to ensure adequate time for processing and notification of the applicant and schools.  Type Two volunteers are not permitted to begin volunteers until satisfactory completion of the WATCH check.

Type Three:  Individuals Affiliated with an Organization
These are individuals who come to a building before, during or after school to support educational or social/emotional attainment or to provide recreational activities for students.  The individuals come to the building pursuant to a contract between the district and their sponsoring organization.  Examples include:

  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters
  • YMCA
  • College Success Foundation

These individuals will have a background check as dictated by the contract between their organization and the district.  Student data may not be shared with individuals or the organization unless there is a separate data sharing agreement between the district and the organization.  Type Three volunteers must check in at the office and follow the school’s volunteer procedures or Type Three volunteers must follow the check in procedures as outlined in the contract between the district and the organization.  Type Three volunteers may work unaccompanied by district staff, but should not work alone with a student unless that is specifically contemplated with the contract between the district and the organization.  If a Type Three volunteer is to work alone with a student the school shall document the dates and times for the work and shall establish a check in/check out procedure to ensure student safety.    

Definitions
“Alone” should be understood to have the common definition of two people (volunteer and student) without the presence by others.  For example, a volunteer and student in a closed classroom without windows, versus a volunteer and a student working at a table in the library.  An afterschool basketball program, where multiple students and one or more adults are in the gym is not considered “alone”; a volunteer walking a student down a hallway during school is not considered “alone”.  Schools are instructed to use their best judgment in determining where volunteers should be allowed to work in their school, and should identify locations that are easily accessible by others as those available for volunteer work.

“Accompanied by HPS staff” means that a staff member is in the room or is nearby; it does not mean that every minute of a volunteer’s time with a student is overseen directly by a staff member.

Individuals with Criminal Histories

Certain categories of crimes, or a long history of convictions of lesser crimes or very recent lesser crimes may affect the decision to allow volunteer service or the information may result in approval of only supervised volunteer service.  Multiple moving driving infractions, particularly recent moving driving infractions may also affect the decision to allow volunteer service or the information may result in approval of non-driving supervised volunteer service.

Individuals who are denied volunteer service or are approved for only supervised volunteer service may appeal to the Superintendent; however, the appeal must be made in writing and within ten days of notification of the denial or approval of only supervise volunteer service.

Volunteers with Criminal Histories

Certain categories of crimes, or a long history of convictions of lesser crimes or very recent lesser crimes may affect the decision to allow volunteer service or the information may result in approval of only supervised volunteer service.  Multiple moving driving infractions, particularly recent moving driving infractions may also affect the decision to allow volunteer service or the information may result in approval of non-driving supervised volunteer service.

Individuals who are denied volunteer service or are approved for only supervised volunteer service may appeal to the Superintendent; however, the appeal must be made in writing and within ten days of notification of the denial or approval of only supervise volunteer service.

Highline School District 401
Adopted by the Superintendent: August 1992
Revised by the Superintendent: 08.00. 06.04, 03.11, 09.11; 10.14