Volunteer Guidelines

Thank you for caring about your child’s school and sharing in the education of the children of Southwest. Parent support is a valuable asset and is encouraged in our school.

The volunteer guidelines have been prepared to offer volunteers information to help us all. Please note that time you spend with us is greatly appreciated. Southwest Elementary is proud of the fact that all of our staff members and volunteers maintain the highest professional and ethical standards in their conduct with students and adults.

Volunteers should understand their role and responsibility in the overall operation of the school. The following guidelines have been implemented so that our volunteers can effectively provide their services to our school, making this a positive experience for all!


You should have:

  • a genuine interest in the students
  • a professional commitment to your volunteer activity
  • regular attendance, if required
  • volunteers must have a completed criminal background check on file (this includes chaperoning field trips)


All volunteers must sign in and out at the school office. Make sure that you wear identification badges provided by the school while in the building. This is a safety issue for everyone.


As you work with the staff and students, information of a confidential matter may be discovered by you. The problems, abilities, relationships and confidence of the student’s parents and staff should never be discussed with anyone who does not have a professional right to know. Please respect student and staff privacy, like you would your own.


  • Volunteers are to work in the classroom in the presence of teachers.
  • Please respect the authority of the teacher and the school administrator.
  • Students must understand the role of the teacher as the leader in the classroom. It is important not to seek out your child (or vice versa) and to treat all children equally in your role as a volunteer.
  • If a volunteer has concern or input about an activity or procedure used in the classroom, we ask that they speak privately with the teacher when the students are not present.
  • Student discipline is the sole responsibility of the classroom teacher or staff member. If you observe student behavior that concerns you, you should inform the teacher or other available staff member.
  • Some teachers may not need volunteers and/or may not have used volunteers in the past. If this is the case, please consider volunteering in another area of the school!
  • All volunteer activities MUST be prearranged.
  • As stated in the HPS Field Trip Guidelines for Sponsors and Chaperones: “No other family members or friends may go on field trip (i.e., no preschoolers or other brothers and sisters). All adults will be classified as chaperones.” When volunteering at school, please do not bring preschoolers or other brothers and sisters.
  • Please be prompt and consistent.
  • Please leave your cell phone in the car or set it to the vibrate setting. If you need to speak on the phone, please feel free to step to a private area or outside.
  • Volunteers should not be stopping in classrooms and/or alternate locations to visit with their children.
  • The staff lounge is reserved for our staff from 11:30 – 1:30. Volunteers are asked to not be in the lounge during these times.
  • Failure to abide by these policies may result in us letting you know that your services as a volunteer are no longer needed.


“Universal Precautions” means treating everyone as potentially infectious. You should never touch blood or body fluids unless you are wearing plastic gloves. This applies to any cuts, scrapes, nosebleeds, etc. Every classroom has gloves and other first aid supplies.


Because of the numerous severe peanut and nut allergies, Southwest is a peanut safe school. This means that peanut products are still allowed but only in designated places. Some classrooms may be peanut free depending on the severity of the allergy. Be aware that some children react to just the smell of peanuts. When you volunteer, please make sure that you do not have any peanut butter or nut products with you. Also, if you have eaten or prepared anything with nuts or peanut butter, please make sure that the residue is not on your hands or clothing.


If you should ever have an accident while here in the school, please make sure you report it to the classroom teacher and also to the school secretary. If a child should have an accident, inform the classroom teacher and they will notify the office.


Emergency exits are located throughout the building. Their location is posted in every room on the bright orange map. Please check your location and be aware of your surroundings.


It is important to follow the teacher’s directions for each of these.


Volunteers may NOT, under any circumstances, give students medication.