School Volunteers

It is the policy of the School Committee to encourage volunteer efforts in the schools.  Parents/guardians, business representatives, senior citizens, and other community volunteers are recognized as important sources of support and expertise to enhance the instructional program and vital communication links with the community.  The volunteer program will be coordinated in cooperation with building administrators.

*All visitors who might be unaccompanied by another adult in the school and volunteers in schools are subject to a C.O.R.I. (Criminal Record Offender Information) check. Please see this handbook’s section on C.O.R.I. Requirements and the Belchertown Policy Manual; Sections ADDA, ADDA-R, ADDA-E-1, and ADDA-E-2 for more information.

 

C.O.R.I. Requirements

It shall be the policy of the Belchertown Public Schools to obtain all available Criminal Offender Record Information (C.O.R.I) from the criminal history systems board of prospective employee(s) or volunteer(s) of the school department including any individual who regularly provides school related transportation to children, who may have direct and unmonitored contact with children, prior to hiring the employee(s) or to accepting any person as a volunteer. State law requires that school districts obtain C.O.R.I. data for employees of taxicab companies that have contracted with the schools to provide transportation to pupils.

The Superintendent, Principal, or their certified designees shall periodically, but not less than every three years, obtain all available Criminal Offender Record Information from the criminal history systems board on all employees, individuals who regularly provide school related transportation to children, including taxicab company employees, and volunteers who may have direct and unmonitored contact with children, during their term of employment or volunteer service.

 

Volunteer Guide to PeaceBuilders

Belchertown Public Schools are PeaceBuilders Schools!

Our job as adults who support students and the greater school community is to guide and encourage PeaceBuilding.  We expect that all volunteers who work with our students will know the basics of the PeaceBuilders program in order to use common language and a common approach to solving problems and interacting with students.  At any time, if you have questions about the PeaceBuilders program or your role within the program, please contact the Principal in the building you are working in. 

What is PeaceBuilders?

PeaceBuilders is a district-wide violence reduction program that was implemented beginning in the 2011 - 2012 school year.  It is more than just a program; it is a change in the way students interact with each other and work together to solve problems.

At all schools, adults and students pledge to: Praise People, Give Up Put Downs, Seek Wise People, Notice Hurts, Right Wrongs, and Help Others.

Each school has its own plan and set of activities for building peace.  As you work with students and within the classrooms, you will notice components of the program.  You may even be asked to lead a PeaceBuilders lesson.  Keep the information in this guide in mind when working with our students and join our efforts to create a peaceful environment!   

PeaceBuilders Discipline

Calm is control - Always remain calm when dealing with and disciplining students.  Your calm demeanor is your strongest tool, and it's the best form of role-modeling.  Students learn how to behave by watching adults.

Turn down the volume - A calm, low pitched voice helps to calm an angry or misbehaving student, and it puts you in control of the situation.  A calm, quiet voice makes students feel safe and peaceful.  It is also good role-modeling.

Use friendly body language - When interacting with students, make sure you are sending a calm message through your facial expressions and your body language.  Students are experts at interpreting our moods by our voice, our face and our body language.  It takes some practice, but we can appear calm on the outside even when we're not on the inside, and this helps us control students and situations.

Keep your conversation private - When you do need to reprimand or discipline a student, keep it private to avoid humiliating the student (which will only lead to anger and resentment and does not necessarily change the behavior for the long term).  This will also avoid giving the student unnecessary attention for his/her poor behavior.

By following the PeaceBuilders model, we can teach by example by being role-models for our students.