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Project Cornerstone

Policies for School-Based Volunteers

Listed below are Project Cornerstone’s policies for volunteers who work in schools. In addition to these important policies, please adhere to the requirements specific to your school site. These simple guidelines help ensure that your activities support the educational mission of the school.

Why Volunteer?
As an asset builder in your school community, your responsibility is to build assets in all youth. Some volunteers view this program as a way to spend more time solely with their child or to evaluate their child’s behavior or the teacher’s performance. Project Cornerstone volunteers are committed to building developmental assets in all students. “All kids are our kids”.

Confidentiality Policy
In California, children’s rights are protected by the Family Right to Privacy Act. Everything that you see and do concerning children is private and confidential. As a volunteer, you are often privy to information which is confidential and protected by law. This information can range from students’ daily work and activities to teachers’ work or behavior. Information about students’ grades, behaviors, test scores, and any other item that is the exclusive domain of the school’s professional staff must be kept confidential.

Child Abuse Prevention Policy
The prevention of child abuse is a special concern of Project Cornerstone/YMCA as well as schools because of our role as an advocate for children and their rights. California law requires employees of a public or private youth-serving organization to report known or reasonably suspected child abuse. 

If you know or reasonably suspect that a child has been abused, you must:

  • Report what you have observed to the classroom teacher, and ask him or her to file a report with Child Protective Services.

  • Contact your Project Cornerstone Program Coordinator to let them know that a report was made based on your observation.

Procedures
As a Project Cornerstone volunteer at a school site, you must adhere to the following sign-in policies:

  • Most schools have a sign-in procedure for volunteers working on campus.  Please adhere to your school’s volunteer policy.

  • Volunteers in the ABC, Los Dichos and the Chinese Cultural Program are required to track their activities. This is a mandated request by our funders who make it possible to offer these programs. Please consult with your program lead for details on tracking activities at your site.

Support School Faculty and Administration
Project Cornerstone is in partnership with your school community. As a representative of both Project Cornerstone and your school, you have the opportunity to build a unique, trusting relationship with school staff, parents and students. If you are concerned about something that is happening in the classroom or at the school, please wait and speak privately with an appropriate school staff member about your concerns.

As guests, please do not chat with other volunteers during class time as it is disruptive to the students and the teacher.

Referring Student Problems
School staff is trained to deal with children’s needs on the school campus. Do not intervene in a classroom problem without the express permission of the teacher. As an asset builder on campus, you may be the caring adult a student comes to with a problem. Along with providing safety and comfort to the student, please advise school staff regarding student problems anywhere on campus.

Dress Code
Project Cornerstone welcomes and wishes to involve people of all ages from diverse cultures and backgrounds. The appearance of volunteers needs to be welcoming to our youth and adults we work with.

Clothing should be neat, clean and appropriate for a classroom setting. Garments or items advertising messages not consistent with our mission are prohibited (e.g., alcohol, drugs, profanity, gang-related items, violence/hate speech, or political statements).

Zero Tolerance
Project Cornerstone supports the schools in our area that maintain weapon-free and drug-free policies. Project Cornerstone volunteers may not smoke on any campus. Do not come to school to volunteer in any part of our program if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

All adults are expected to participate in any safety drill that occurs while they are on campus. No adult may remain inside when the school is being evacuated.

Use of School Property
Please follow your school’s rules for use of all school facilities and equipment including computers and copy machines.

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