Burr Ridge School District 180
Parent Volunteer Guidelines
The CCSD#180 Board of Education will be providing most of the basic school supplies that students need for this school year (i.e. pencils, pens, papers, folders, spirals, kleenex, wipes)
What can families do to say THANK YOU? Attend Open House, attend both student/teacher conference nights, provide a regular spot to complete homework at home, encourage silent reading, support AR and Study Island, volunteer a minimum of 3 hours in your schools!
Thank you for volunteering to work in your child’s classroom. We depend upon you, our volunteers, to help make Burr Ridge Schools a special, supportive place to learn and grow. There are several issues that we would like to make clear to ensure a positive relationship between you and the school community, for the good of our students.
Sign In at the Office and Wear Volunteer Badge
Parent volunteers must check in at the office, and wear a volunteer ID badge, each time they work at any of our Burr Ridge 180 Schools. Besides the obvious need to know who is in our school, we often receive calls for our parents. Knowing where they are is vital, especially in emergencies. Please sign in and out on the volunteer roster in the school office.
We insist that you maintain confidentiality outside of class. If parents ask you about a student’s performance or behaviors, please refer them to the teacher. It is inappropriate to discuss situations observed while acting as a volunteer. We also require that if you have a question about a specific child, you ask the teacher in confidence and privacy, not in the presence of students or parents.
Names and Labels
Every child brings to school his or her own specific skills and abilities. Everyone is unique and special in their own special way. Some learn quickly; some come to school with more developed skills. Each child grows and learns at his/her own pace. To us, they all come just the way they are supposed to be. We are here to help them grow as fast as they can. Please do not make value judgments or label the abilities or skills of any child. Please be careful not to compare your child to another in the class as they are all unique individuals.
Questions and Issues
We don’t expect you to agree with everything a teacher does in class; but each teacher’s job is to make decisions in the best interest of the whole class. If you have a problem, issue or disagreement with a teacher, please bring it to the teacher’s attention privately at an appropriate time. Discussing issues in the middle of class, or with other staff members or parents is not appropriate at any time. Clear, open, and direct communication is vital to our success.
The school, and each classroom, has an established discipline policy. Please talk with the teacher to see how you can fit into and support the program. When issues arise concerning inappropriate student behavior, we encourage parents to check with the teacher for the appropriate action and to support students by encouraging them to make good choices and demonstrate appropriate behavior.
We appreciate you efforts and help. Whenever possible, we try to work toward positive discipline. In practice, we ‘catch’ the students doing appropriate things and give the recognition in front of other students. We try to focus our direction on what we want the children to do, rather than on what we don’t want them to do.
Positive example: “I want the group to be quiet because I have some important instructions. Thank you, Anna. Sean, I can tell you are listening.”
Negative example: “Stop talking this minute. Sara, that means you. Sean, I told you not to talk.”
Accept and Value Diversity
Each of our parents comes from a slightly different background and culture. They all have their own ideas and experiences about raising children. The diversity of people, values, cultures, and beliefs is what makes such a rich experience for all.
Helping the Teacher and Class: Your Primary Responsibility
Parent volunteers work under the direction of the classroom teacher who defines the volunteer’s duties and expectations. Your primary responsibility in the classroom is helping the class as a whole. By supporting the class, you will be building your own child’s self-esteem. Please try to keep our role as volunteer and parent separate in the classroom. If your child has a problem, let your child work out the problem with others and the teacher through established classroom routines and procedures. Please do not try to solve problems for your own child while in class; that takes power away from your child. We are striving to help our students become more independent and self-sufficient.
It is important that you set a scheduled time with the teacher to assist in the classroom and that you follow through in a timely manner. The teacher will be planning for you to be there.
Whenever possible, please call the day before (or at least send a note the morning of your commitment) if you are not going to be able to be in the classroom at the scheduled time. The teacher is counting on you and needs adequate time to adjust the class plans.
Support the classroom teacher to maximize instructional time
When you are volunteering in a classroom where several parent volunteers are present, please keep adult conversations to a minimum. This will assist students in staying focused on the classroom lesson or activity. Also, to avoid any unnecessary classroom interruptions, if you carry a cell phone, please turn off the ring tone and hold any phone conversations outside of the classroom.
Thank you for joining us in the educational partnership!
The Burr Ridge 180 Staff
Click Here for Dr. Schneider's Letter to Parent and Community Volunteers
Click Here to Download the Volunteer Information Form