Calgary Board of Education

 
Volunteer Program

We are fortunate to have a very active volunteer program at West Dalhousie School.

We want to introduce to you the aims of the volunteer program as well as tasks you may be asked to complete while volunteering in the school. All volunteers are encouraged to attend an orientation meeting in the fall of each year which outlines the responsibilities and ethics of volunteers. Note: In accordance with the Calgary Board of Education policy, all volunteers must have a police security clearance successfully completed prior to volunteering in the school.

Aims of the Volunteer Program

  1. To enhance the learning of our children by
    • increasing the adult:student ratio,
    • providing students with other adults in a school setting,
    • supplementing teacher instruction by providing support to individual students,
    • lending support in the preparation of instructional material,
    • helping teachers in non-instructional tasks to lessen their loads (thereby freeing the teacher to spend more time with students),
    • providing support to students through parental involvement.
  2. To enhance and encourage partnership between parent and teacher by
    • providing a welcoming atmosphere in the school for parents,
    • enabling parents to understand what goes on in school.
  3. To improve community awareness and communication between the school and the community by
    • providing parents with information so they can advocate for the school,
    • involving the community (i.e., parents) in the educational process,
    • utilizing the interests and talents of the community,
    • promoting an awareness in the community of the school's programs,
    • providing personal growth opportunities to parents and community members.

Types of Parental Involvement

Volunteers coming to West Dalhousie School can help in a variety of ways. Priorities include: working with the children in the classrooms, or working in the library, workroom, or office under the direction of West Dalhousie staff.

Volunteers working in the classroom have a variety of tasks that they might be asked to do by the teacher. Generally, though, the tasks fall under one of the following situations:

  1. Volunteers may be asked to
    • act as a scribe, printing words or sentences that the children will dictate,
    • listen to children read,
    • help students find research material in the library,
    • participate in or supervise different types of board games,
    • supervise a small group of children, while the teacher works with another group.
    • assist in the preparation of educational materials,
    • help put up and take down displays.
  2. Volunteers may be asked to share a particular interest, hobby, or area of expertise which would enhance the learning experiences of the children.

A classroom coordinator is assigned to each teacher. It is the responsibility of the coordinators to schedule the classroom volunteers. All volunteers will be given a copy of the volunteer schedule as organized by the coordinator.

Volunteers working in the library, under the supervision of the library assistant, may be asked to

  • shelve books,
  • check out books and card returned books,
  • help with the end-of-year inventory,
  • work with computers,
  • other duties as needed.

A brief orientation is given by the library assistant to familiarize the volunteers with library procedures.

Volunteers working in the workroom under the supervision of the administrative secretary may be asked to

  • put up and take down displays in the halls,
  • clean up various areas of the school (basement storage, math supplies area)
  • carry out minor typing duties,
  • other tasks as needed.

An orientation is given by school staff to inform volunteers of any procedures involved in the duties assigned.

Throughout West Dalhousie School, volunteer responsibilities are as varied as the children, teachers, and classroom programs that we work to support. Individual classroom needs are best determined by the individual classroom teachers.

In addition to the above, volunteers are frequently required to assist with special events (Terry Fox Run, Sports Day) and field trips.