Volunteers – Brunswick School Department believes that our schools and our students benefit greatly from the support of our community and consider volunteers to be valuable resources. We are committed to providing meaningful, well-supported opportunities for community members to enrich our school programming through the diverse expertise and experience they offer.
The Board recently approved a new volunteer handbook, which includes a required background check for everyone who opts to volunteer at schools throughout the district. The background check will be done by the Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent. Please complete the application and confidentiality agreement. These will be placed on file in the Brunswick High School Office.
A NOTE ABOUT CONFIDENTIALITY
Confidentiality is one of the most important aspects of being a volunteer with the Brunswick School Department. Protecting the privacy of all students and their families is the law as protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Please read through the entirety of Brunswick School Department’s FERPA guidelines, included in pages 5-6, and indicate you have done so with a signature and witness signature. For more in depth information on this law, visit Maine DOE’s website: http://www.maine.gov/doe/specialed/support/policies/faq/ferpa.html
Remaining confidential is essential and no information about students may be shared with others outside of the school. Should you observe anything that raises concern, please go directly to your school’s principal.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who Volunteers? Anyone can volunteer who is passionate and eager to make a difference in children’s lives! Volunteers are an essential part of making Brunswick schools successful. Volunteers may be parents, family members, college students, retired individuals, or simply a community member. Wherever you’re coming from, come share your knowledge!
Are There Any Requirements Needed to Become a Volunteer? This depends on the level of volunteering you will be doing. You may be serving as a one-time volunteer or a regular basis volunteer (see page 4 for details surrounding these types of volunteering). If you will be serving as a regular basis volunteer you will be asked to have a Criminal History Check.
How Do I Volunteer? Refer to the points of contact table on page 2 for who to get in touch with or for more information on volunteer needs. You may also contact Brunswick School Department’s volunteer coordinator in Central Office at 46 Federal Street or 319-1900 ext. 1004.
Who Will Be Supervising My Volunteer Experience? Guidance may come from the staff member who you will be serving alongside- this may be a teacher, district staff member, or in some cases, the principal.
What Can be Expected of me as a Volunteer? This depends on what capacity you will be volunteering in! However, there are some foundational guidelines that will be asked of all volunteers. These include:
All volunteers will be asked to maintain a kind disposition around students.
Limit personal use of technological devises, including cell phones, laptops, etc. Unless using said resources for classroom purposes as supervised by a staff member. Additionally, recording or photographing of students is never allowed.
Please understand that you will be an example for students. With that in mind behavior, language, and appearance must be appropriate throughout your entire visit.
Your unique perspectives will be valued in the classroom, but be sure to keep your contributions in line with your teachers’/ supervisors’ lessons and goals. We hope you always feel comfortable checking in with them if you are unsure about your job or directions!
What Should Volunteers Expect of Students? All students within Brunswick Schools should show respect and kindness. If ever you witness discouraging, disrespectful, or unsafe behavior, please report it to your supervising staff member right away.
That being said…
Should a Volunteer Ever Discipline a Student? Beyond seeking cooperation from students, disciplining is solely up to your supervising staff member. Help should always be close by!
If any questions have gone unanswered, please do not hesitate to contact your school of interest for guidance. Your needs as a valued volunteer are very important to us!
Types of Volunteering
One Time Volunteer
Anyone who is serving as a volunteer on a limited basis or under the direct supervision of a district staff member as a one-time presenter, visiting guest, library assistant, or one-time aide would qualify as a one-time volunteer.
Regular Basis Volunteer
Anyone who will be volunteering in Brunswick schools on a regular bases will be asked to have a Criminal History Check through the Maine Department of Public Safety. All results will remain strictly confidential. Example of regular basis volunteering may include serving as a classroom aide, library aide, lunchroom support, mentor, chaperone, tutor for individuals or small groups, or an afterschool program advisor/ coach.
Requirements for One Time and Regular Basis Volunteers:
o Submit the Volunteer Confidentiality Agreement before starting as a volunteer.
o Check in at the school’s front office before and after every visit.
o A Criminal History Record Check release form will be required of regular basis volunteers.
Brunswick School Department
School Volunteer Confidentiality Agreement
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) final regulations prohibit the sharing of student information and educational records without specific parent permission.
As a volunteer in our schools, you may encounter sensitive information due to self-disclosure by students, direct observation of activities, or by other means. This could include names of students, special programming provided to students, academic work, and/or behavioral information. It is critical that you treat such information with extreme confidentiality.
If you are concerned about a student’s well-being, based on information you encounter during your volunteer work, please immediately report this to a school staff member.
Volunteer Confidentiality Statement:
The importance of confidentiality with respect to all student information has been explained to me. I understand the confidential nature of information that may be gleaned during classroom visits, interactions with students, and observation of classroom activities, and I understand the legal and ethical importance of protecting all such information. I will not share any personally identifying information about any student with other individuals or agencies.
(Volunteer Signature) (Date)
(Witness Signature) (Date)
Brunswick School Department
Full name: _________________________ _________________________
(Please print) (Last) (First) (MI)
Maiden name or alias: __________________Phone (H): _________ (C) _____
(Street) (Town) (Zip Code)
Email Address: ___________________________________________________________
Emergency Contact: ___________________________ Tel. (H):____________
If applying for Regular Volunteer Status:
My signature below grants authorization for Brunswick School Department to perform a background check through the Maine Department of Public Safety. Findings will remain confidential.
Date of Birth: __________/__________/__________
Signature: ___________________________________ Date: _______________
For HR use only: CHRC complete. [ ] Applicant approved Yes [ ] No [ ]