Volunteer Handbook

Our schools seek to enhance the learning experience of its students by involving parents, guardians, grandparents, and other community members within the life of our school as volunteers.


The goal of our volunteer program is to match the needs of the teachers, staff, and students with the talents and energies of our volunteers and to maintain communication between volunteers and the teachers and staff they assist.


What can volunteers do?


Volunteers are an essential part of our school community.  Volunteers provide extra hands to teachers and they use their unique talents for classroom enrichment.  Without the efforts of volunteers many special events and programs at Harold Martin School would not be possible.  Opportunities for volunteers within Harold Martin School include, but are not limited to, tutoring and enrichment work within classrooms, planning for special events, assisting with theatrical productions, baking for class parties, working with student writers in our publishing center, chaperoning field trips, helping out on the playground, providing extra help in the library and assisting in art, music, and gym classes.  Volunteers can work in the school weekly, monthly, or give a few hours for a special event.  Each volunteer offers a unique set of interests and experience as well as his or her own level of commitment; all contributions of time and effort make a difference to the school and are greatly appreciated.


Who can Volunteer?
Our schools welcome parents, grandparents, caregivers, and other community members to share their time, commitment, and special skills with our students within the framework of our volunteer program.  There are volunteer opportunities to fit into almost every schedule.  Those unable to work within the school will find opportunities to complete tasks at home or after school hours; those unable to commit to any regularly scheduled time will find ample opportunity to help out with special events or programs.  No special education or professional experience is necessary to volunteer.  The volunteer program thrives because of the great variety of talents and interests within the Hopkinton community.  The most important quality of a volunteer is a genuine desire to make a difference in the life of our students and school community.


Expectations of Volunteers


Confidentiality –This is essential to the success of a school volunteer program.  Volunteers may hear, read or observe information about a student’s school or home life during the course of their volunteer duties.  It is required of all volunteers that they keep such information strictly confidential.


Rules and Regulations – Volunteers work under the direction of the teachers and staff members.  Volunteers are in the school to assist staff and teachers in their mission to educate and care for our children.  We are expected to treat each student and staff member with kindness and respect.  Volunteers serve as role models for the students and should remain professional and courteous at all times.   Student discipline issues, emergency procedures and use of the phones will be reviewed at the volunteer orientation.


Commitment – Volunteers are valued and respected members of the school community.  If you are unable to fulfill your volunteer commitment, please call the school (746-3473) in a timely manner so that appropriate staff members can be notified and substitutes can be arranged as needed.


Training of Volunteers

All volunteers are encouraged to attend a volunteer orientation program presented at the beginning of each school year.  This program will allow volunteers to become familiar with the school building, school rules, parking areas, emergency procedures, and other general information.  Volunteers may also be trained to use appropriate pieces of equipment within the school.


If you are unable to attend the orientation and you are interested in a regular commitment to the school, you are encouraged to contact a member of the volunteer committee to discuss the above issues and arrange a training session if needed.


Individual teachers will provide necessary training and instruction for their own classroom volunteers.  Volunteers for the publishing center, the library and other special events or programs will receive specific training for these roles.


Procedures for Volunteers

All volunteers must fill out a volunteer information sheet.  This form includes questions about interest and availability as well as emergency information.  Before beginning an assignment, each volunteer must have on file a signed Volunteer Confidentiality Agreement.  It is essential that volunteers read and sign this form before working in our schools.


Each volunteer must sign in when arriving for an assignment.  The form includes date, time in/out, location, and tasks performed.  Each volunteer must wear a name tag while in the school.  All volunteer hours, both inside and outside the building (work at home) should be recorded in the HMS Volunteer Log.  Accurate records of volunteer hours allow the Volunteer Team to recognize the contributions of individual volunteers and to evaluate the progress of the program as a whole.


Volunteer Concerns


Volunteering within the schools is a rewarding and truly enjoyable experience.  On occasion, problems do arise.  Questions and concerns that arise about individual assignments or students during the course of volunteer work should be taken up with the supervising teachers or staff.  Volunteers are not responsible for disciplining students.  Any discipline issue should be referred to the student’s teacher.


If a problem should arise, the Volunteer Team will handle these issues on a case by case basis with assistance from the principal as needed.  If a volunteer decides that he or she cannot fulfill an accepted assignment, the appropriate staff member or a member of the volunteer committee should be notified immediately.  Questions about general volunteer procedures or any aspect of the volunteer experience can also be taken up with the Volunteer Team members at any time.


How to Get Involved
The PTA distributes a volunteer participation form to all parents of children at this school at the beginning of the school year.  This form is an invaluable resource for our volunteer program.  Those interested in volunteering should indicate their availability and areas of interest on this form and return it to the school.  Lists generated from this form are kept by the volunteer committee and distributed to the teachers and the PTA.  These lists are used throughout the year to recruit and assign volunteers as needs arise.
Individual teachers most often seek their own volunteers for classroom-related work and field trips through class newsletters.  Each teacher has his or her own specific needs and procedures for recruiting and utilizing volunteers.  Individuals interested in classroom volunteer work should contact the child’s teacher.  School wide programs, such as the publishing center or library often seek volunteers through the school newsletter.  Other volunteer opportunities are seasonal events and will be posted in the HMS Parent Flash.
Interested volunteers may also contact the school (746-3473) or the volunteer committee members at any time to express interest, offer suggestions or propose ideas. Our Volunteer Team Leader for this year is Erin Crawford at Maple Street School and Julie Zapton at Harold Martin School.

Volunteer Opportunities

Harold Martin School is a member of the New Hampshire Partners in Education Program.  Families are also partners in education as they give their time, energy, and special skill to our school community each and every year.  As a result, the HMS Volunteer Program is a proud recipient of the Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence in Volunteering.


There are many ways YOU can help. The HMS Volunteer Team has outlined a number of volunteer opportunities available to you:


Room Parent ~ Assists teachers in planning and organizing parties and other special events.  Sends emails or makes telephone calls as needed.  (Generally selected by teachers)


Special Events ~ Holidays, Earth Day, Author’s Day, Artist-in-Residence.  Class room assistance, food, beverages, or supplies may be needed for one time special event.


Classroom Support ~ Works on special projects, student displays, or general assistance needed in the classroom.


Theatrical Assistant ~ Works on scenery, painting, sewing, puppets, costumes as needed for special theater/musical events.


Academic Support ~ May involve tutoring, enrichment, or guest speaking to support classroom curriculum.


Baking ~ Refreshments and goodies needed for Classroom Socials or Special Events.


Gardening ~ No green thumb required!  Weeders needed throughout the year.  Special projects as needed.


Helping the Nurse ~ Assists School Nurse with clinical or clerical duties as requested.


Music ~ Assists Music Teacher with special music events.


Art Assistant ~ Assists Art Teacher with special art events/projects.


Copying, Laminating, Typing ~ Copying, laminating, and typing projects for teachers and staff.


Publishing Center (Typing/Editing/Printing) ~ A volunteer coordinator is needed to direct and oversee the Publishing Center.  Additional volunteers are needed for interviewing children, typing the children’s work, editing/proofreading the children’s work, and printing the children’s work.                                          (See Publishing Center handout for additional information.)


Playground Work ~ Seasonal clean-up or special equipment projects.


Field Trips ~ Chaperones needed for fun, educational trips to compliment curriculum.


Projects That Can Be Done at Home ~ Tracing, cutting, gluing, and other fun activities that can be done at home.
Lunchroom Helpers ~ As needed for special events.


Crossing Guards/Parking Lot Assistants ~ As needed for special events.


Playground/Gym Helpers ~ As needed for special events or study units.


FUN FAIR ~ The PTA’s Annual Premiere Fundraiser held in May.  Volunteers needed for the Fun Fair Committee, assist with set-up/clean-up, and the day of the event.  Details are posted in the Parent Flash.


Working With Children (one-on-one or in small groups) ~ Work with children for Math, Reading, or Spelling games or assignments.


Grade Level Volunteer Coordinator ~ Facilitate communication and assist the HMS Volunteer Team in securing volunteers for various activities.  A parent from each grade is helpful as they are more familiar with families in their child’s grade.


In-Kind Support ~ Time or donations given from a personal endeavor or business.  Printing, musical talents, landscaping, fitness, etc.


Reaching for the Stars Enrichment Program ~ A 6-week after school enrichment program offered Friday afternoons between February and April school vacations.  (March 5 – April 16, 2010)  Volunteers are needed to lead  enrichment courses and to provide child care for those leading or assisting in classes.  Previous enrichment activities included Quilting, Jewelry Making, Woodsy Wise, Karate, Fit Kids, Yoga, Spanish, Scrapbooking, Art, Kids in the Kitchen, etc.  The courses vary with the talents of those willing to help.


Harvest Fall Festival Annual HMS Halloween Parade through Hopkinton Village and over to Kimball Cabins for activities and games sponsored by the Hopkinton Recreation Department.


Other duties as assigned…


To get started, please complete the HMS Volunteer Program Form.  The HMS Volunteer Team will inform the teachers, staff, and committees in how you would like to help.  For additional information, please send an e-mail to contact the school at 746-3473  We look forward to working with you!
Please remember to document all volunteer hours on your Volunteer Log.  All volunteer hours are tallied and submitted to the NH Partners in Education Program. Thank you!

Volunteer Event Calendar

September ~ Volunteer Sign-Up & Orientation

October ~ Halloween Parade and Harvest Fall Festival

November ~ Parent/Teacher Conference Day (Lunch for Teachers)

December ~ Holiday Socials (as defined by individual Teachers)

January ~

February ~ Valentine Socials (as defined by individual Teachers) Author-In-Residence Program/Staff Appreciation Luncheon
March ~ Fridays-Reaching for the Stars After School Enrichment Program

April ~ Fridays-Reaching for the Stars After School Enrichment Program

May ~                 FUNFAIR!

June ~ Year End Field Trips              Kindergarten Fun Day

August ~ Ice Cream Socials

News

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