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Thank you for your interest in serving as a Plainfield Schools volunteer! Every day, Plainfield students and teachers benefit from the generosity of volunteers who share their time and talents. The countless tasks performed by volunteers are vital to the continued operation and success of our schools. Sharing your life experiences, technical know-how, and friendship with a young person can make a huge impact on their life, both today and in the future.

This Volunteer Handbook provides important information regarding how to sign up to be a volunteer, guidelines and responsibilities for all volunteers, and school safety procedures. At the end, we have included a space for you to indicate that you have read and agree to abide by our volunteer expectations.

PCSC Volunteers are expected to:

  • Register to volunteer through our online student registration process.
  • Abide by the Volunteer Agreement as described in the Volunteer Handbook
  • Complete the limited criminal history background check through Safe Visitor
  • Adhere to the district’s sign-in/sign-out procedures
  • Wear appropriate attire when volunteering
  • Wear a visible nametag at all times while volunteering
  • Maintain communications with the volunteer supervisor
  • Adhere to all PCSC policies

Absence and Punctuality

Volunteers are asked to commit to specific times and days, as teachers need to plan accordingly. If you are unable to volunteer when scheduled, or if you will be late, please let the teacher know as soon as possible to ensure that student needs are met.

Background Check

All Plainfield Community School volunteers are required to complete a limited criminal history background check. For those volunteers who attend overnight field trips, an extended background check must be completed. The extended background check costs $35 which is to be paid by the volunteer.

Plainfield Community Schools reserves the right to run random background checks and to deny volunteer privileges as necessary. In general, persons convicted of a felony may not volunteer in our schools, although the Superintendent will make the final decision.

Cell Phones

Volunteers will follow school policy on personal communication devices. For more information, contact the Principal at the school where you are volunteering.

Children Not Registered at the School

Volunteers may not bring non-registered or non-school-aged children with them on volunteer assignments.

Confidentiality

Federal laws mandate the privacy of student information. As such, volunteers are expected to respect the confidentiality of all students, staff, and data.

Discipline

Student discipline is the responsibility of school staff, not volunteers. Any problems a volunteer might have with student behavior should be reported to the classroom teacher or building principal.

Dress Code

Volunteers are expected to dress in accordance with school standards. If you have questions about this, ask the school principal.

Protecting Our Students: Mandatory Reporting

School staff will help you follow proper procedures established by state law and School Board policies when dealing with the following concerns.

  • If child abuse and/or neglect is suspected, immediately report your concerns to the building principal or report concerns immediately to the Department of Child Services (DCS) hotline: 800-800-5556.
  • If a student talks about harming themselves or others, report the conversation immediately to school staff or report the incident to DCS immediately.
  • School volunteers who witness bullying (teasing, social exclusion, threats, stalking, physical violence, theft, sexual, religious, or racial harassment, public humiliation, destruction of property) must report the incident to a staff member immediately.
  • Volunteers do not take pictures or videos of students without the appropriate staff permission.
  • Volunteers do not email or contact students.
  • Anti-Bullying Policy

Bullying is defined as:

  • Unwanted, aggressive behaviors that are repeated over time.
  • The behavior includes verbal or written communications, images or messages sent digitally, physical acts, aggression, or any other behaviors that are committed by a student or group of students against another student with the intent to harass, ridicule, humiliate, intimidate, or harm the targeted student.
  • In addition, it is considered bullying if the actions towards a student create a hostile school environment that 
    • Places the targeted student in reasonable fear of harm to the targeted student’s person or property
    • Places the targeted student in reasonable fear of harm to the targeted student’s person or property
    • Has a substantially detrimental effect on the targeted student’s physical or mental health
    • Has the effect of substantially interfering with the targeted student’s academic performance;
    • Or has the effect of substantially interfering with the targeted student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, and privileges provided by the school.

The bullying discipline rules shall apply regardless of the location in which the bullying occurred when the bully and the targeted student are students at a school within the same school corporation.

PCSC employees, volunteers and contracted service providers who have contact with students are required to verbally report alleged violations of this policy to school staff within 24 hours of when an incident was witnessed or when reliable information regarding the occurrence of an incident was received.

PCSC employees, volunteers or contracted service providers who promptly report an incident of harassment, intimidation or bullying, are protected against any legal actions arising from the incident.

Protecting Our Volunteers

For your safety, you should always remain in sight of school staff when working with students. Make sure you are working in an open, visible area and do not allow yourself to be in a situation where your actions might be misconstrued. Avoid physical contact beyond handshakes and hands on shoulders.

Sign-in/Sign-Out Procedures

All volunteers must sign in at the school office each day that they are volunteering. Once signed in, volunteers will receive a volunteer badge which must be worn at all times when acting as a volunteer with PCSC. At the end of their shift, volunteers must sign-out in the school office.

Standard Response Protocol (SRP)

The first responsibility of a volunteer is to tend to the safety of students in their care. PCSC has adopted the Standard Response Protocol (SRP) as a way to communicate actions that all school personnel must take for student safety.

SRP is action-based

The Standard Response Protocol is based not on individual scenarios but on the response to any given scenario. SRP demands a specific vocabulary but also allows for great flexibility. The premise is simple – there are four specific actions that can be performed during an incident.

1. Lockout is followed by the directive: “Secure the Perimeter” and is the protocol used to safeguard students and staff within the building when there is suspicious activity outside the school or nearby.

2. Lockdown is followed by “Locks, Lights, Out of Sight” and is the protocol used to secure individual rooms and keep students quiet and in place.

3. Evacuate is always followed by a location, and is used to move students and staff from one location to a different location in or out of the building.

4. Shelter is always followed by the hazard and a safety strategy and is the protocol for group and self-protection.

The following SRP graphic is posted near every classroom door, and in all hallways, restrooms and public spaces.

Q&A: Volunteering in Plainfield Schools