Thank you for your interest in volunteering within the Howard County School System! We value our volunteers and the contributions they make to our students and schools.
According to HCPSS Board Policy, all parent volunteers must complete a Confidentiality Training Course about protecting the privacy of our students, staff, and schools.
In addition, room parents have additional guidelines related to their very special roles. Please review the Room Parent information at the bottom of this page.
All visitors to the building are required to sign in at the office before going anywhere in the building. In addition, we ask that you sign out at the end of your time with us.
Please turn your cell phone off or, at least, to vibrate. Volunteers are asked not to use their cell phones in the school building, as cell phones can create disruptions and be distracting to a learning environment.
Volunteers are to be positive role models at all times. Please treat others with respect and patience throughout the day.
As a volunteer, you are required by law to protect the confidentiality of all student information that you see or hear while volunteering. FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), a federal law, as well as state regulations, protect student information.
It is essential that you are careful not to divulge any confidential information that has been received during your time spent volunteering at school.
If you should become aware of information regarding a student that you feel needs to be shared, concerns should be directed to a school administrator. The school administrator will determine to whom this information will be disseminated.
In an effort to support a school environment that is conducive to learning, volunteers are asked to refrain from bringing a child or children with them to volunteer.
We love small children but siblings and/or daycare children, etc. are not allowed in instructional areas during your volunteer time.
Please dress appropriately. Remember that you are a role model, so professional attire is important. Please do not wear a hat in the school building.
Adult restrooms are located in the back hallway behind the media center and next to the technology classroom. There is also an adult restroom located in the staff lounge.
Volunteers are asked not to use student restrooms.
All meetings/conferences with staff must be scheduled in advance and may not occur during time with students (including arrival/dismissal times). Please do not attempt to conference with your child's teacher(s) during your volunteer time.
We look forward to having you volunteer! If you are scheduled to volunteer on any given day and are unable to be at school, please call the office as soon as possible.
Parent volunteers who are working on non-instructional tasks (clerical/cut and paste activities, etc.) are to work in the center areas of each team. Only parents who are working with small groups or individual students supporting instruction are to be in the classroom.
Child abuse and child neglect are against the law. Educators, health care workers, police officers, etc. are required by law to report suspected abuse or neglect. In addition, school volunteers, community members, and others are expected to report if there is a reason to believe that abuse or neglect possibly occurred. Reports should be made without attempts to do further investigation, interrogation or other verification of the allegation.
Should you have reason to believe that a child is being abused or neglected, contact the Howard County Department of Social Services (DSS) 410-872-4203 or the Police Child Abuse Unit 410-313-2635, or the Maryland State Police 410-386-3000. Speak to the teacher, an administrator, or the child abuse liaison during school hours if you have questions.
If the abuse or suspected abuse of a student involves a staff member, please notify DSS and then a school administrator.
If you are the room parent you may be responsible for organizing parties and handling class collections. Your homeroom teacher will let you know his/her needs. Each teacher will need to clarify his/her expectation of his/her room parent.
There may be times when you want to send home a letter to parents related to an activity the teacher has asked you to plan. All letters must be approved by an administrator. Sometimes there may be a policy or procedure that you are not aware of and the administrator can help by giving you information that will help to align the letter's content with school or school system requirements.