For purposes of this procedural directive, “volunteer” means an unsalaried person (ie; parents, guardians, family or community members) authorized by Albuquerque Public Schools to perform volunteer services for the district. A volunteer is any individual who is not a guest or visitor at a school. A volunteer shall serve in such capacity without compensation or employee benefits of any type. All volunteers serve at the discretion of the superintendent without any expressed or implied privileges beyond those found in this procedural directive and may be released from volunteering if so deemed by the superintendent or his/her designee.
For purposes of this procedural directive, “guest” means an unsalaried person who, with principal approval, assists at a school on a non-regular or one-time basis. Guests shall report their presence at the school administrative office and are subject to the policies and procedural directives set forth by the district.
For purposes of this procedural directive, “visitor” means an unsalaried person who attends a district sponsored event or activity or visits a district site for a short time. Visitors shall report their presence and sign in at the school office if the visit occurs during the instructional day, but may not be required to sign in if the event or activity is after the instructional day. All visitors are subject to the policies and procedural directives of Albuquerque Public Schools.
Purpose of School Volunteer Programs
Albuquerque Public Schools encourages parents, guardians, family and community members to volunteer in its schools. Albuquerque Public Schools shall strive to have a volunteer program that:
- Supports academic achievement and district goals, to assist teachers in providing basic skills instruction, to enrich quality of instruction, to enhance interpersonal experiences for students, and to assist school staff with support services.
- Increases children’s motivation for learning.
- Supports the dropout prevention program by providing supplementary instruction such as, but not limited to, tutoring/mentoring.
- Builds an understanding of school programs among interested citizens and business/community organization partnerships.
- Strengthens school/family/community relations and engagement through positive participation.
- Promotes family involvement by actively supporting and seeking collaboration with PTA, school/community advisory councils, and other parent groups.
- Enhances district educational programs, but does not to displace district employees.
Qualifications of Volunteers
Acceptance of volunteers shall be at the discretion of the site administrator and/or a Community Schools and Partnerships manager and shall be based on factors including, but not limited to:
- The individual requesting to volunteer is not subject to a requirement to register as a sex offender.
- Felony and misdemeanor convictions may be reviewed for volunteer eligibility.
- Completion of appropriate volunteer screening.
- A completed volunteer application on file.
- Positive attitude; interest in and enthusiasm for working with children.
- Ability to work cooperatively with school personnel.
- Adequate communication skills.
- Good health, moral character, dependability, and personal hygiene.
- Ability and willingness to participate regularly.
- Persons volunteering in the classroom during the instructional day may not bring children with them without permission from the principal and classroom teacher.
Guests and Visitors – No Background Clearance Required
This category includes visitors or guests who enter a school for a one-time event. This person shall have no unsupervised exposure or contact with students. Examples of guests and visitors include, but are not limited to:
- guest/resource speakers
- one-time appearance for school or classroom event like a literacy day or play
- parents and family members who attend school to eat lunch
- visitors for a one-time family involvement activity with their student
- parents dropping off items for their student at the school
- vendors making a delivery to a school
Guests and visitors shall comply with the following requirements:
- Be able to present some form of current government-issued photo identification (driver’s license, passport, military ID, US or other government identification).
- Sign in at the main office.
- Upon approval, be required to display a volunteer/visitor identification badge which they will surrender following the event or activity.
Volunteers and Screening Requirements
If an individual is not a guest or visitor, they are most likely considered a volunteer at a school. Volunteers may be considered to have supervised or unsupervised contact with children. Regardless, all volunteers shall be required to have a current background clearance. Volunteers who have a current background clearance may be required to renew their clearance at the discretion of the school principal.
Supervised Contact with Students
Supervised contact with children includes volunteers participating in school activities in open and public settings, and volunteers with classroom exposure who work with children and are supervised by district staff. Volunteer conditions are typically public settings and classrooms where staff or other adults can observe at all times, no solitary time with children, and always within unobstructed view. Examples of these situations include, but are not limited to:
- classroom tutoring
- classroom reading
- classroom assistance
- after-school programs where the volunteer is supervised by district personnel
- parent patrol volunteers
Intermittent Unsupervised Contact with Students
Intermittent unsupervised contact with children includes volunteers with classroom exposure, who work directly with students, and may have unsupervised time with students, but only while on district property with district personnel on site. Conditions typically are areas outside of the classroom where staff or other adults can observe at most times, but may occasionally include short solitary time with children and short duration of obstructed view, such as on-site tutoring outside of the classroom.
Consistent Unsupervised Contact with Students
Consistent unsupervised contact with children includes volunteers with unrestricted exposure, who work with children and may be unsupervised by district staff. This volunteer likely will have direct and unsupervised interaction with children. Typical examples of individuals who can consistent unsupervised contact with students include, but are not limited to:
- volunteer coaches
- support personnel for athletics
- off-site tutors
- field trip and overnight trip chaperones
Chaperones that drive for field trips shall be required to meet requirements in additional Board of Education policies and administrative procedural directives.
Screening Requirements for all Volunteers
All volunteers shall comply with the following screening requirements:
- Provide documentation of current driver’s license and automobile insurance coverage if transporting students by vehicle
- Be sponsored or approved by a school site or district employee
- Be able to present some form of current government-issued photo identification (driver’s license, passport, military ID, US or other government identification)
- Complete and submit for approval the district School Volunteer Application
- Receive a background clearance provided by the Background and Fingerprinting Department at the APS District Offices. (Volunteer applicants may require fingerprinting).
- Sign in at the main office.
- Upon approval, be required to display volunteer identification to be surrendered at the conclusion of the day’s volunteer activity.
Responsibilities of Albuquerque Public Schools and Individual School Sites
Community Schools and Partnerships
The Community Schools and Partnerships Department shall develop objectives and guidelines to administer all phases of school volunteer programs. The department also shall maintain a database of active volunteers serving across the district.
The Community Schools and Partnerships Department shall complete the following tasks:
- implement objectives of the volunteer program
- oversee school volunteer programs
- conduct annual mandatory training for principals and site volunteer coordinators regarding volunteer screening procedures
- provide training and support for site community outreach and engagement efforts
- create a district volunteer coordinator and volunteer handbook outlining district volunteer procedures
- serve as liaison with school personnel, local agencies, business/organization partnerships, and the community
Individual School Sites – School Principals
School principals shall be responsible for:
- determining, with the assistance of the existing parent/community organization or appropriate staff member, the scope of the school volunteer program at the site
- designating a site volunteer coordinator to serve as administrator and immediate supervisor of the program, or acts in that capacity him/herself
- attending mandatory district training regarding the screening of volunteers
To properly implement the above responsibilities, a school principal:
- Shall determine extent and scope of volunteer needs after consulting with school staff.
- Shall designate a volunteer coordinator (or serves in that capacity), and submits that person’s name to the Community Schools and Partnerships Department.
- Shall strive to promote a climate and develops an infrastructure whereby volunteers feel welcome and needed on the school campus.
- May conduct recognition/appreciation events at school to support retention and recognition.
- Pursuant to state regulation, shall conduct an evaluation of school volunteer program. Evaluation tools shall be made available to principals in the Volunteer Coordinator’s Handbook.
- Shall attend, along with site volunteer coordinator, mandatory district training conducted by the Community Schools and Partnerships Department concerning school volunteers.
- Pursuant to state regulation, shall conduct interviews, or designate site volunteer coordinator to conduct interviews on all volunteers, as appropriate. All volunteers, except district student volunteers, shall fall into one of two categories. All volunteers shall be processed annually.
- May approve volunteer status, sign request forms and require a background clearance provided by the Background and Fingerprinting Department.
Individual School Sites – Site Volunteer Coordinator
The site volunteer coordinator shall be responsible for:
- organizing and implementing the school volunteer program at the school
- attending mandatory district training
- conducting appropriate volunteer screening
- maintaining volunteer records
- promoting, recruiting and providing orientation and recognition
- organizing and coordinating volunteer services
- tracking the number of volunteer hours and volunteers at the school
To properly implement the above responsibilities, a site volunteer coordinator:
- Shall organize a volunteer program at the school and recruit volunteers with support from the Community Schools and Partnerships Department.
- Shall attend, along with the school principal, mandatory district training conducted by the Community Schools and Partnerships Department concerning school volunteers.
- Shall ensure that all volunteers complete a volunteer application and review volunteer applications appropriately.
- Shall instruct all volunteers to sign in at the main office.
- Shall notify the school principal of applicants who disclose criminal history on the volunteer application and submits a new background check request from the Background and Fingerprint Department.
- Pursuant to state regulation, shall provide orientation for school volunteers and may request assistance for specific training from the Community Schools and Partnerships Department. The orientation may cover the following basic topics:
- District procedures regarding volunteer screening, school policies and procedures, including sign-in procedure
- Volunteer identification – all volunteers shall receive volunteer identification from the school to be worn while on campus and surrender the name badge at the conclusion of each day’s volunteer activity.
- Places at the school, i.e., where to sign in, where to park, location of restrooms, and staff lounge and a school map.
- People at the school – principal, vice principal, school secretary, custodian, counselor, and nurse.
- Time schedule and school calendar
- Communication at the school – who and when to call if volunteer will be absent; where to turn if volunteer has a problem.
- Volunteer Code of Conduct
- Ethics and confidentiality of volunteering
- May assign volunteers in cooperation with staff members and provide training, guidance and supervision.
- Shall, after consulting with principal, terminate volunteer workers when necessary and may request assistance from the Community Schools and Partnerships Department
- Maintains record of school volunteer program through sign-in sheet, at the school site that shows days and hours worked.
Volunteers in Schools
Individual volunteers shall be responsible for understanding the provisions of this procedural directive. Volunteers shall:
- Comply with appropriate district screening procedure and submit a school volunteer application
- Comply with sign-in procedures at the school site and wear volunteer identification while on campus.
- Perform volunteer work under the direction of assigned teacher, school volunteer coordinator, and/or school administrator.
Human Resources Department
Human Resources shall conduct appropriate screening and background checks for volunteers. Human Resources shall maintain all criminal background clearance records.
Administrative Position: Assistant Superintendent for School and Community Support/Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources
Department Director: Director of Community Schools and Partnerships
Legal Cross Ref.:
- §22-29-7 NMSA 1978
- NMAC 6.50.18
Board Policy Cross Ref.:
Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:
- Volunteer Coordinator’s Handbook
- Volunteer Code of Conduct
- Employee Handbook
- Mentor Program Coordinator’s Handbook
- Mentor Handbook
- School Volunteer Application
- Volunteer Confidentiality Form
- Deny as Volunteer Template
NSBA/NEPN Classification: IJOC
Revised: May 1995
Revised: April 1996
Revised: May 1997
Revised: May 2003
Revised: November 2012