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Parent Volunteer Manual

Role of the Volunteer

Ways to Assist the Teacher

Table of Contents


Important Information

[Background Checks] - [Confidentiality]
[Discipline] - [Health Information]

Background Checks

In the back of this booklet you will find two forms necessary to become a school volunteer.  These are criminal history background checks.  Please follow the directions for submitting each form.

There is a nominal fee for processing each form.  It takes approximately two weeks to process forms. The law requires that both must be submitted before you begin working in the classroom.  Once the forms have been sent back to you, bring the original to your school.  The building secretary will

make a copy for the school files and return the original to you.  Please note that all district employees are subject to the same forms.  Additionally, you will find information to assist you with obtaining the required FBI fingerprinting (Act 114).  If you have any questions about the Act 151 and Act 34 background checks, please direct them to the principal.

Confidentiality

All school volunteers are expected to maintain confidentiality while working in the school.  All things that are seen and heard at school about children and their families should be considered privileged information.  Trust must be established and maintained in order for this volunteer

program to be successful.  Volunteers can strengthen the bond between themselves and the school by following these guidelines:

   Treat all student information as personal and confidential regardless of source.

   Communicate relevant information about students to the respective classroom teacher or building principal.

   Seek clarification of unusual situations that occur in the school from the person(s)

involved and avoid discussing such matters with non-school personnel.

   Retain a sense of perspective regarding comments heard and actions observed.

   Understand that not all information can and will be shared with volunteers, due to legal considerations.

   Deal impartially with students regardless of background, intelligence, physical or emotional maturity.

   Do not discuss student progress or behavior with the parent.  All relevant information should be referred to the teacher or principal.  Direct inquiries about students to the professional staff.

   Speak constructively of all school staff; however, report difficulties involving the welfare of students or school to the principal.

   Do not discuss confidential information with anyone.  This information includes, but is not limited to:

Scholastic and health records

Test scores and grades

Discipline and classroom behavior

Character traits of children

   All volunteers are required to sign a statement of confidentiality.

Discipline

Discipline of students is solely the responsibility of the teacher in charge.  Volunteers should in no way discipline students.  Should students misbehave in your presence, you should report this immediately to the teacher in charge.  The teacher will then determine the necessary course of action.  Also note that we expect students to treat volunteers with the same level of respect given to other school personnel.  If you feel that students are not being respectful towards you, do not hesitate to discuss the matter with the teacher or principal.

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Health Information

Tuberculin Test

Pennsylvania Public School Code requires all school employees, including volunteers, to obtain a test for tuberculosis prior to employment or service.  A volunteer according to School Law is “any unpaid person who provides direct service to pupils on behalf of a school for whatever period of time.

Tuberculosis is a reportable communicable disease which is both preventable and curable. The tuberculin test is a harmless skin test that shows if a person has been exposed to TB germs.  The test is routinely given to children as babies and school children as part of their wellness care.

The test is done by a small disposable multiple puncture device on the forearm and is to be read within 48-72 hours.  If the test is negative, there is nothing to be done.  If a test reads positive, further testing will be necessary

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a virus that causes an infection in the liver.  Every year in the United States, approximately 240,000 people are infected with Hepatitis B virus.  Many school employees may also be at risk for contracting Hepatitis B infection, but it can be prevented, and its spread slowed.  Vaccination can help keep you and your family safe from Hepatitis B

An infection is caused by the spread of bacteria or viruses in the body.  These organisms can live in the air, on surfaces and within the body in body fluids.  The body has natural barriers that stop these organisms from entering it.  The skin is the most important defense system, but mucous membranes (thin layers that line all of the body openings) also form barriers.

Still, bacteria and viruses can easily pass into the body through cuts, scrapes and punctures in the skin or through mucous membranes.

Hepatitis B can be a very serious disease that is caused by the Hepatitis B virus.  Once inside the body, this virus can cause severe inflammation of the liver.  In some people, the virus causes no symptoms or a mild flu-like illness; rarely, it can cause death.  Hepatitis B can also lead to chronic liver disease or liver cancer.

The chance of infection among school personnel is lower than that for healthcare workers. The potential for transmission exists because you may come in contact with the blood and body fluids of persons who carry the Hepatitis B virus.  If you encounter contaminated blood, you have an increased risk of contracting the disease.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has said that one of the most effective methods of infection control against Hepatitis B is Hepatitis B vaccine.  There are some adverse reactions associated with Hepatitis B vaccines, but the vaccines are generally well tolerated.  For more information on adverse reactions, consult your doctor.  The vaccines are given by injection; generally, three injections are given in the arm over several months.

There are certain conditions under which individuals should not be given the Hepatitis B vaccine.  The physician giving the injections will ask you about these conditions.

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Parent Volunteer Manual *

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Application form *

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State Police Background Check form *

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PA Child Abuse History Clearance form *

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Statement of Confidentiality form *
 

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