VIP - Volunteer in Person
Will Parents Need to Sign-Up for VIP?
Answer: For most parents, the answer is No. See details below:
• When a parent stops by to eat lunch with their child, attend a classroom or school celebration, or drop something off to the classroom, enrolling in and registering for an account in the VIP Volunteer Program is NOT necessary.
• To be considered a volunteer, parents are most often working in a capacity supporting students who are not their own, or in a non-parent role capacity. This includes assisting teachers or staff at the school, attending a field trip where they are helping supervise other children, or assisting at a school or district event. Under these circumstances parents are deemed volunteers and will need to enroll and have a VIP volunteer account.
What is the VIP - Volunteer in Person Program?
VIP is an easy way to get involved in your local schools!
Walla Walla Public Schools new volunteer program, VIP – Volunteer in Person, features a one-stop, easy-to-use online volunteer management system. Those interested in volunteering, whether a parent, grandparent, community member or local businessperson, will simply visit the district or any school website and click on the VIP logo graphic. This will allow you to see what volunteer opportunities are available by school, complete an online onboarding and background check process, and sign up for volunteer opportunities. Interested parents or community members can register to volunteer for a specific event, classroom, experience or signup to be contacted when their assistance may be needed.
New volunteers -- Getting started is easy!
1. Visit the VIP website at https://wwps.galaxydigital.com/
2. Create an account
3. Review Volunteer Handbook (see below) and complete background check
4. Review volunteer opportunities
5. Schedule a volunteer assignment
For more information, contact Beth Swanson, Communities in Schools.
Expectations and Guidelines for Volunteering
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Walla Walla Public Schools. Our schools depend on volunteers and value their contributions. Your willingness to serve the students and staff of the district is greatly appreciated.
This handbook outlines the guidelines and expectations that volunteers must follow to create safe and successful experiences for students, staff and volunteers. All volunteering relationships established through Walla Walla Public Schools must take place with students on the school campus during school hours or at other authorized school activities only.
You Are Part of an Education Team
Volunteers who are committed to helping students be successful are important members of the school team. These individuals are essential to bringing the outside world to the school. Students benefit from contact with individuals who can share experiences, create connections and assist them through the learning process..
• Enrich the curriculum
• Enrich student’s learning opportunities
• Provide help for individual students
• Provide opportunities for meaningful service
• Assist teachers and staff
• Establish a school and community partnership for quality education
• Enhance all aspects of the educational process
Working closely with the classroom teacher and school staff includes:
• Following the direction of a school staff member
• Accepting direction and suggestions from teachers
• Respecting the privacy of teachers and students by not discussing school matters away from the classroom
• Understanding that evaluation of a student’s learning can only be done by school personnel.
• Committing to working in a classroom to support and improve education for all students
• Seeking help from the teacher when you need additional information or instruction
• Sharing ideas and constructive comments with the teacher
• Acknowledging that school personnel are responsible for student discipline
• Referring to the classroom teacher or appropriate school staff member for final solution of any student problem which arises, whether of an instructional, medical or operational nature
Enjoy working with students by:
• Finding ways to establish a good rapport with students
• Providing help and assistance without doing the work for students
• Showing a genuine interest in each student
• Accepting each student and encouraging the best from them
• Using patience and kindness
Sometimes a volunteer placement may not be a good fit for the volunteer, the teacher or the school. If your volunteer placement does not work for you, the teacher or the school for whatever reason, your volunteer assignment may be rescinded, modified or changed. You also may request a different placement.
Volunteers are expected to:
• Complete the approval process
• Sign in and out at the office and always wear an ID badge while on school grounds
• Wear professional attire
• Show respect for all staff and students
• Share concerns regarding students with the school staff only
• If you cannot make your scheduled volunteer time, please call the school so the teacher is informed
• Please do not bring younger children to the school during your volunteer hours
• Please turn off your cell phone while you are volunteering in the classroom and refrain from making personal calls or texting while on the school campus
Names of approved volunteers may be released to Walla Walla Public Schools PTSAs, upon request, for the purpose of recruiting volunteers or verifying approval status for school activities.
Ground Rules for School District Facilities:
• No smoking, vaping, chewing or tobacco of any kind is allowed, including outdoors and while traveling in district vehicles
• No weapons allowed
• No drugs or alcohol allowed
• Do not use school equipment for personal purposes
Maintain Student Confidentiality:
Volunteers are expected and required to keep all ‘student information’ that they come across while working as a volunteer for the district confidential. Federal law strictly prohibits school districts and district volunteers from releasing any student information without parent/guardian permission. Student information includes all academic, medical and personal information. Volunteers cannot take photos of students during their volunteer activities and post them publicly without authorization from the school. Student work, like artwork or papers, is also protected by law and cannot be shared publicly without written permission.
Disclosure of student information by a volunteer is a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and may subject the volunteer and the district to civil liability. It is very important that you keep information about students confidential.
Do not discuss students or their progress with others –even their parents. Do not make references to student’s abilities in front of other students. The only person who should be told about a student’s work is their teacher. If parents ask about their student’s progress, suggest in a friendly way that they contact the teacher.
Community Service Hours:
Walla Walla Public Schools strive to find volunteer opportunities that are mutually beneficial to both the volunteer and the students in our schools. We understand that people may need community service hours for a variety of reasons, and ask that volunteers work with their direct supervisors at the school to arrange for signatures that confirm hours worked. However, Walla Walla Public Schools cannot allow volunteers to complete court-ordered community service hours through our schools.
Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying:
The board is committed to a safe and civil educational environment for all students, employees, parents/legal guardians, volunteers and community members that is free from harassment, intimidation and bullying. “Harassment, intimidation or bullying’ means any intentional electronic, written, verbal or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, including gender expression or identity, mental or physical disability or other distinguishing characteristics when an act:
• Physically harms a student or damages the student’s property
• Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s education
• Is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment or
• Has the effect of substantially disrupting the orderly operation of the school
District Harassment Policy:
The district asks you to review pertinent policies in detail prior to volunteering. These policies can be located under “Important School District Policies” at the end of this handbook. Volunteers and parents who engage in harassment, intimidation or bullying on school property or at school activities will be restricted from school property and activities, as appropriate.
Volunteers can help in the school:
• classroom activities
• special school events/projects
• art docent program
• after school programs
Each school also has a parent teacher organization that can always use extra volunteers for its programs. Contact your school for more information.
Safe Interaction with Students:
The school board expects that all staff and volunteers will strive to set the kind of example for students that will serve them well in their own conduct and behavior and contribute toward a school atmosphere that is friendly but has a degree of formality.
General Guidelines for Safe Interaction with Students:
All interactions with students should be professional and focused on teaching and learning. These guidelines protect both the student and the volunteer.
• Take a student or students on private outings
• Initiate social activities with students
• Have a prolonged verbal exchange with students if you have an impromptu encounter at a public place
• Provide childcare for students
• Ask a student to baby-sit for your family
• Engage in Social Networking with students via Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter or any other social networking website to initiate or maintain relationship(s) with any student that is not consistent with appropriate professional behavior and/or boundaries
• Text or call students
• Say or write things to a student that you would be uncomfortable sharing with the student’s parents, district/school administrators or the teacher you are working with.
• Make any comments that are based on gender or could be construed as sexist
• Make any comments and/or innuendos that are sexual in nature or could be construed as sexual
• Make jokes that belittle or diminish another person
• Give students compliments that focus on physical attributes
• Initiate conversations or correspondence of a private and/or personal nature with students
• Text or call students
Working Alone with Students at School:
• Always keep the door open and lights on
• Do not post anything on class windows that would obstruct a clear view into the room
• Giving gifts to students is not encouraged. If gifts are provided, they should be:
o Of nominal value
o Identical for all students in the class
o Approved by the teacher or administrator in charge of the program
Physical Contact with Students:
It is the District’s expectation that all physical contact between volunteers and students must be professional and appropriate. For Field Trips and Off-Campus Activities it is the general policy of Walla Walla Public Schools that all off-campus field trip and activity chaperones are at least 21 years of age.
The use of personal vehicles for school district event is not permitted for volunteers.
What is the difference between a chaperone and a volunteer?
For the purpose of volunteering in Walla Walla Public Schools, a chaperone is a volunteer who is over the age of 21 who has the responsibility of supervising students during an off-campus field trip or activity. During these types of activities, teachers are expected to maintain specific chaperone-to-student ratios. (The exact ratio varies based upon age of students and type of activity).
Extracurricular and Enrichment Activities:
Schools often provide before and after-school programs. All extracurricular and enrichment activities must be organized under the authority of Walla Walla Public Schools or its PTA/PTSA partners and comply with all applicable rules and regulations.
Individuals who wish to become volunteer coaches for any school must complete the following steps:
1) Complete the Walla Walla School District Volunteer Application and be approved as a volunteer. (This process can take up to two weeks to complete, so volunteers are recommended to begin this process early).
2) Provide proof of valid First Aid and CPR card to the building athletic director. Classes are available through the district if the volunteer does not have current certifications.
3) Review and agree to comply with mandatory reporting information.
4) Review and agree to comply with social media policy and procedure.
5) Complete other applicable WIAA requirements (contact the district athletic director or program head coach for more information)
Please note: Volunteer coaches must be at least 21 years of age to chaperone off-campus activities.
Report Suspected Abuse or Neglect:
As a volunteer, you are in a unique position to observe students. If you suspect that a student may be the victim of abuse or neglect, report it immediately to the principal, school counselor or another school district employee.
Volunteering is a privilege
Volunteering is a privilege, not a right. All volunteers serve at the sole discretion of the building principal, volunteer coordinator or teacher. Permission to volunteer in a school may be revoked at any time by the building principal or the district Volunteer Coordinator.
IMPORTANT DISTRICT SCHOOL POLICIES:
Policy 3205 - Sexual Harassment of Students Prohibited
Procedure 3205 - Sexual Harassment of Students Prohibited
Policy 3207 - Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying
Procedure 3207 - Prohibition of Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying
Policy 3210 - Nondiscrimination - Students
Procedure 3210 - Nondiscrimination - Students
Policy 3421 - Child Abuse and Neglect
Procedure 3421 - Child Abuse and Neglect
Policy 4210 - Regulation of Dangerous Weapons on School Premises
Policy 5253 - Maintaining Professional Staff/Student Boundaries
Procedure 5253 - Maintaining Professional Staff/Student Boundaries
COMPREHENSIVE NONDISCRIMINATION STATEMENT:
Walla Walla Public Schools does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scounts and other designated youth groups.
Walla Walla Public Schools will also take steps to assure that national origin persons who lack English language skills can participate in all educational programs, services and activities. For information regarding translational services or transitional bilingual education programs, contact 509-527-3000. The following employees have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination.
Title IX Coordinator & Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator
Dr. Mindy Meyer, Director of Human Resources
364 S. Park Street
Walla Walla, WA 99362
Section 504/ADA Coordinator
Barb Casey, Director of Special Education
364 S. Park Street
Walla Walla, WA 99362
VIP website at https://wwps.galaxydigital.com/