Welcome to Rockbridge County Schools
2893 Collierstown Road • Lexington, VA  24450• Phone:  (540) 463-7386 • FAX:  (540) 463-7823
   
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Volunteer Handbook

Introduction
Service Opportunities
Confidentiality
Qualifications and Requirements
Working as a Team
Tips for Working with Students


Download a Copy of this Handbook in PDF Format
 

Introduction

Welcome to Rockbridge County Schools. We are honored that you are considering volunteering in our schools. We are always looking for community members to join our team in the challenging and exciting work of educating Rockbridge County students.   Your experience, expertise, knowledge and skills are valuable and can be put to good use in meeting the needs of our children. The gift of time with a caring adult role model is powerful in making a difference in a child’s life. We hope you gain as much from your experience as our students do.  

ALL SCHOOLS NOW HAVE A VISTOR COMPUTER PROGRAM IN THE MAIN OFFICE.  UPON EACH ARRIVAL PLEASE SIGN-IN AND WEAR YOUR BADGE WHILE IN THE BUILDING.
 
Service Opportunities

The Rockbridge County School Board and administrators recognize that volunteers can make a valuable contribution to the educational program of a school. However, the administration and teachers are responsible for the education of students and these responsibilities cannot be delegated. Therefore, volunteers work under the direct supervision of the principals and teachers who retain the responsibility for the instruction and supervision of their students.   Parents, community members, college students, professionals, and civic groups can enrich the education of students. The schools welcome volunteers from these individuals and groups to share their expertise in areas that may include (among other activities):

Assisting teachers in short term projects in the classroom such as special art projects, science projects, etc.
Assisting in the office with copying newsletters, special mailings, papers for teachers
Listening to students read.
Reading aloud to classes.
Assisting with a “Book Buddies” program.
Helping in the library with shelving books, unpacking and cataloging book orders.
Assisting with special school projects such as Book Fairs, Fun Days, assisting with preparations for special music or theatrical programs.
Providing talks to students on special areas of expertise.
Teaching elementary students a foreign language.
Assembling collections of materials for the teaches, PTA,  or for special programs.
Supporting students in reading practice and homework after school.
Providing special programs for students such as “photography”, drama or story writing for a group of students.
Assisting during computer projects.
 
Confidentiality

Information about a student must never be discussed beyond the school walls. Student information should only be shared as necessary for the volunteer experience to be effective. Volunteers must respect the confidentiality of student information at all times. If the volunteer becomes aware of information that impacts the safety of a child, the principal must be notified.   Permanent records, data base information (TEMS) are available to professional staff only. Volunteers may not have access to students’ permanent records.
 
Qualifications and Requirements

Volunteers should be warm and friendly and respect the individual differences of children.  They must also have the ability to work well with others and accept the direction of the staff of the school.  

All volunteers must complete the application and information agreement. A copy of the agreement is at the back of this handbook. This form requires you to disclose past legal history, if any, and to provide contact and emergency information. Upon entering the school building all visitors must sign in and wear your name badge when working in the school building.  

Volunteers must be dependable and understand that volunteering requires a commitment. Students look forward to working with volunteers and are very disappointed when an adult does not follow through on their commitment. Volunteers, like all adults in the schools are role models for students. We expect everyone in the school building to respect the rights, talents and time of others.  

The school calendar is included in this handbook. If weather threatens to interfere with school, listen to local radio stations, or check the Rockbridge County Schools website (http://www.rockbridge.k12.va.us) for cancellations or delays. If your absence is necessary, please call the school as early as possible and ask that the teacher be notified about the cancellation. This is more critical if the child’s transportation arrangements must be altered.  

Volunteers are asked to dress appropriately for the activity planned keeping in mind their job as a role model for students. If you have any questions about appropriate dress please talk with the principal or volunteer coordinator.  

Volunteers need to be able to focus on their tasks; therefore, volunteers cannot bring their children with them to school while they volunteer.
 
Working as a Team Member

It is important that all adults working with students function as a team. All activities in the school are under the ultimate direction of the principal. The principal may designate a volunteer coordinator such as the Guidance Counselor, a classroom teacher or program coordinator to work directly with volunteer assignments and activities. The principal and/or coordinator will orient volunteers to the school building, and share expectations for activities, as well as plan for activities and for spaces for volunteers.

It is critical that volunteers become aware of the classroom expectations and rules of the school in order to maintain consistent expectations for students. If volunteers are asked to work with students, teachers will provide detailed instructions on activities. Volunteers that use computers in their activities in the school will be expected to understand and sign the Computer Use Agreement of the County. Please see the building principal for a copy of this form for your review.
 
Tips for Volunteers Working with Students
Be a good listener.
Get to know your students.
Let your student know you enjoy what you are doing.
Be a positive role model through your respectful interactions with students and adults.
 Look for ways to genuinely praise students’ accomplishments, progress and hard work.
Recognize that for some students what appears easy may be difficult, give them time to work through the problem… saying “this is easy” may actually make the student feel defeated if indeed they do not find the work “easy”.
Be patient, everyone learns at his or her own pace.
Remember that your interest and enthusiasm may be one of the most important parts of a student’s day.
Try some of these phrases to encourage students:
“That shows a great deal of work”
“I like the way you explained that”
“Good thinking”
“Congratulations”
“You’re on the right track”
“That’s quite an improvement”
“That’s a good point”
“I appreciate your help”
“It looks like you put a lot of work into this”
                                                                                                                                       
Rockbridge County Schools thanks you for considering volunteering your time to our schools. We hope that your experience is positive for you and the students and staff members you work along side. This is exciting and rewarding work. We are glad you are joining us. 
 

 

 
 
 

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Declaration of Non-Discrimination: Rockbridge County Schools offer all programs and activities free from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability or gender. Grievance procedures for any forms of discrimination are published in the Rockbridge County Policy Manual located in the public library, in each school and the school board office. Specific complaints under Title IX should be sent to the Assistant Superintendent; Section 504 complaints regarding discrimination should be sent to the Director of Special Education; all other discrimination complaints should be sent to the Superintendent. These persons may be reached at the Rockbridge County Schools Administrative Offices, 1972 Big Spring Drive, Lexington, VA 24450, or by calling (540) 463-7386.