Guidelines for DMPS Volunteers
Your role as a volunteer in the Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) is unique, special, and important. The following expectations and responsibilities are critical to the success of this position:
- All volunteers must sign in and out at the main office and wear some form of identification.
- Understand that your role is a supportive one. The principal, teacher, and/or volunteer coordinator are in charge.
- Be prompt and consistent in your attendance. Teachers and students will be depending on you. Notify the appropriate school employee as soon as possible if you can’t attend at your scheduled time.
- Giving gifts, without the approval of school staff, is inappropriate.
- Never be left alone with a student out of the view of other people. There should always be visual or auditory contact between you and a school employee.
- Your role as a volunteer does not include disciplining students. Report any concerns to the appropriate school employee.
- Be a positive role model for children in attitude, language, behavior, and dress.
- Be respectful of children’s diversity of culture, religion, and background. Don’t assume a child celebrates the same holidays as you. Also don’t assume the make-up of a child’s family (size, race, or gender). Practice correct pronunciation of the children’s names if unfamiliar.
- Be aware of how you interact with children. Don’t initiate touching a child (hand-holding, hugs, lap-sitting). It’s fine for you to respond to a child’s initiation of appropriate touch.
- Establish and maintain respectful, honest communication with school staff and other volunteers.
- Never use profanity, be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, smoke, carry a weapon, or attempt to buy or sell items while on school grounds.
- Positive closure is important to students when it comes time to end your role as a volunteer. Make sure school staff and the children you work with are clear about when your last day arrives. The children need to understand that you’ve enjoyed your time working with them.
The schools have the right to dismiss any volunteer who is deemed to have engaged in inappropriate behavior including, but not limited to, that described above. If a volunteer is dismissed, DMPS reserves the right not to reassign the volunteer at another school.