Volunteer Guidelines & Application
The Jackson County School System is grateful for the many volunteers who serve in our schools! Click here to fill out an application after reviewing our volunteer policies and procedures.
JCSS Procedures for School Volunteers
The following procedures establish the purpose and parameters of the district’s volunteer programs. Each school principal will ensure that volunteers receive an orientation to the school and to the specific responsibilities for which they have volunteered. This orientation will include review of the school procedures and rules, safety/emergency plans, and applicable Board policies and regulations.
- The District encourages volunteer participation by individuals, groups, and businesses in local schools for the support and enhancement of instructional programs, student tutoring, clerical assistance, and student supervision.
- A volunteer is defined as a non-paid individual functioning under the sponsorship of the local school and at the direction of the responsible administrator or supervising teacher.
- Each school principal shall be responsible for the direction of the volunteer program in keeping with these procedures.
- The school principal or designee shall be responsible for providing appropriate information regarding school rules and procedures, applicable policies and regulations, and safety/emergency plans to each volunteer serving their school.
- All schools must maintain a volunteer log to record volunteer names, date, hours of service and tasks assigned.
- Volunteers shall work within the guidelines established by the responsible administrator, teacher, or supervisor.
- Volunteers shall maintain strict confidentiality with respect to all school or classroom information to which they have access while performing their volunteer activities.
- Volunteers shall not have access to student cumulative records.
- Volunteers are Mandated Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect and shall follow appropriate procedures to notify the school principal in instances when child abuse or neglect is suspected.
- As in the case of all school visitors, all volunteers will be vetted through the Raptor Technologies Visitor Management System. The Raptor Technologies Volunteer Management System will be used when background checks are required. The cost of vetting by both systems will be funded by the school.
- Volunteers must complete the electronic Volunteer Application provided by Raptor Technologies, noting the areas of interest and school location. See the volunteer icon on school websites.
- Speakers, program guests, and similar categories (such as judges of competitions, science fairs, talent shows, etc.) do not need to complete a Volunteer Application.
- Volunteers may be removed, if in the view of the principal, their conduct is detrimental to the operation of the school or detrimental to students.
BACKGROUND CHECK CRITERIA
- Parents who are volunteering in their child's classroom, where the teacher will be present throughout the duration of the volunteering period, do not require a background check.
- Volunteers who will be under constant supervision by a school district employee do not require a background check.
- Volunteers who will be unsupervised with children for any extended period of time shall have a background check.
- Volunteers participating in any overnight field trip or event shall require a background check.
APPROVAL PROCESS FOR BACKGROUND CHECK
- Results of the background check shall be reviewed by the school principal and Director of Human Resources to determine if the Volunteer Application will be approved. Volunteers will be notified of approval by email.
- In determining whether an application is approved or disapproved, consideration shall be given to:
- Prior disclosure - It is important that any prior criminal history be communicated to the school principal before completing the Volunteer Application. Failure to disclose criminal history in advance may be considered negligent or an intentional effort to conceal information and may result in disapproval of the application.
- Type of offense - The type of criminal offense is significant with regard to the level or risk posed to our students. Some offenses automatically disqualify the individual from volunteering in our schools, while other offenses may allow for volunteering.
- Context of Offense - Specific information about the criminal history, such as when it occurred, cause and effect, multiple offenses, progress since the crime, etc. may affect the decision process. In some instances, the school district may seek additional clarifying information from the applicant to assist in the approval process.
- If the Volunteer Application is disapproved, an appeal may be submitted to the Superintendent.