Table of contents
As required by the Diocese of St. Petersburg, we ask that all volunteers read the following information concerning volunteering at St. Luke Early Childhood Center:
ROLE OF THE VOLUNTEER
Volunteers in the Catholic Schools and Centers of the Diocese of St. Petersburg add a great dimension and enrichment to the life of the children and center. Volunteers are valued members of the center community. Under the direction and supervision of the administrator and the center staff, volunteers assist in the provision of educational and other services to students and faculty. We would like to encourage all parents to choose an area suited to their talents and convenient to their schedules. All volunteer opportunities are subject to current social distancing guidelines and regulations.
SPECIFIC VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES
Some areas in which you may wish to volunteer include room parents, volunteering time in the classroom, fundraisers, holiday parties, special activities (Thanksgiving feast, outreach programs, etc.), and making special presentations to the students. The various activities sponsored by PALS are described below.
PARTNERS ASSISTING LITTLE SAINTS (PALS) – PALS meets every other month for the purpose of supporting and enhancing St. Luke Early Childhood Center and to offer educational and social activities for the members. All parents and faculty are automatic members of this organization. PALS provides enriching activities for the children that complement the curriculum and also provides educational opportunities for the parents.
PALS OFFICERS – Parents are elected on a yearly basis to coordinate all PALS activities and work in conjunction with the staff to provide special events to enhance our program.
STEERING COMMITTEE – Consists of PALS officers, the center administrator, and teacher and parent representatives. The steering committee meets monthly to plan PALS meetings and to coordinate committees and activities sponsored by PALS.
ROOM PARENTS – Each class will select two room parents to help coordinate parties and special activities. The teachers will select the room parents at the beginning of the year based on volunteers. Room parents must be available to attend all PALS meetings.
CLASSROOM VOLUNTEERS – We welcome our volunteers in the classroom! The teacher will determine with the volunteer the type of work needed and the days and times assistance is necessary and appropriate.
PROCEDURE FOR CHECK-IN
All volunteers are required to report to the office to sign in and receive a volunteer badge. This is required before entering any classroom. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
During volunteer work, confidential information about students or teachers may be learned. This information must remain confidential in any setting inside or outside the center, just as one would wish his/her own privacy rights to be respected. At times, the volunteer may come into possession of information about students, which may need to be conveyed to the volunteer’s supervisor (teacher or administrator). If appropriate in the judgment of the administrator, other persons on a “need to know” basis may be advised by the administrator to include, but not limited to, parents/guardians, and pastor.
SUPERVISION OF VOLUNTEERS
The administrator is responsible for the total center operation and supervises all who serve in any capacity in the school/center and in official school-related activities. The administrator may delegate the supervisory role to a designated member of the center staff for specific activities. Volunteers will be expected to review and adhere to policies and procedures contained in the Parent Handbook and the Parent Code of Conduct.
It is the goal of Catholic Schools and Centers of the Diocese of St. Petersburg to instruct students in the formation of a Catholic conscience so that they will choose behaviors which foster responsibility. In order to accomplish this, volunteers are requested to manage students in positive and constructive ways while they uphold the center’s Discipline Policy. This can be accomplished through intervention and encouragement techniques and strategies, which are administered through proximity, eye contact, and privacy. In addition to supporting the Discipline Policy, volunteers are expected to support the decisions of administrators and teachers. A volunteer may never employ corporal punishment for any reason.
HEALTH EMERGENCY AND SAFETY PROCEDURES
All situations should be dealt with individually with prudent, adult judgment as the primary response to any illness or injury. Simple scrapes, small cuts, bruises, etc. will be taken care of in the classroom. If a child falls or bumps himself/herself, the situation should be taken seriously. The teacher will observe a few seconds and check vital signs. If only you witnessed the fall or injury, please call to the teacher for assistance. Following all emergencies, an incident report will need to be completed.
Serious injury such as a possible broken bone, severe bleeding, or allergic reaction should be dealt with immediately and with caution. DO NOT MOVE THE CHILD. DO NOT LEAVE THE CHILD. Call for the teacher for assistance. Remove other students from the proximity of the situation as soon as possible. Keep the child as still and comfortable as possible until help comes.
All medication must be administered by a trained staff member. All volunteers, serving more than 10 hours a month on campus, must undergo first aid and CPR training.
Chapter 415.504, Florida Statutes protects children from abuse and/or neglect. Abuse is defined as including any non-accidental injury, sexual battery, financial or sexual exploitation or injury to the intellectual or psychological capacity of a person by the parents or other persons responsible for the child’s welfare. Neglect is failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care or needed supervision.
Under Florida Law, anyone who suspects child abuse is legally obligated to report that abuse. It is the volunteer’s responsibility to inform the center administrator of any suspicions of abuse. If for some reason, the administrator declines to make a report based on a volunteer’s suspicions, the volunteer still has a legal obligation to report. The child abuse hotline number is 1-800-342-9152.
HARASSMENT/SAFE ENVIRONMENT POLICY
St. Luke Early Childhood Center strives to establish a Christian, professional and supportive educational community for administrators, faculty and staff, parents, and students. The Diocese of St. Petersburg has adopted and promulgated a harassment policy for its schools and centers that addresses behaviors that interfere with fulfilling the school/center mission. We, at St. Luke Early Childhood Center, condemn any form of harassment and will address all credible allegations in accord with the diocesan policy. We are also committed to providing a safe environment for our students. All staff, according to Diocesan policy, have participated in the safe environment training, which addresses the safety of all of our children.
Please read and follow the criteria listed in the Parents Code of Conduct on this webpage. We would like to thank all our volunteers for their service and commitment to St. Luke Early Childhood Center. Your involvement is very much appreciated by our entire faculty and staff.