Volunteering, Visiting, Observing, and Conferences Guidelines

Our highly effective program depends on the partnership of everyone in the community. The many hours of parent volunteer time that you put in help support the work of educating our children. We recognize that from time to time, parents may also have the need to come in to school to observe what their children are studying and how the classroom operates. It is also crucial for teachers and parents to communicate about a child’s progress and needs.

MCPS policy requires that anyone who enters the building for any reason or any amount of time must sign in and out at the office and let us know why they are in the building. Please do not go anywhere in the building without first printing and wearing a badge. If you do not check in at the office and are not wearing a badge, you will be stopped by staff and sent to the office to check in. While visiting we ask that you silence cell phones and pagers.

We strive to limit any interruptions to the instructional program. While observing, volunteering, or visiting, please be respectful of student instruction and teacher time and do not engage in a discussion with your child or the teacher, or ask for an update on your child’s progress without previously arranging to do so.

These ground rules outline the differences between volunteering, visiting, observing and conferencing. It is our hope that these will clarify roles and responsibilities - your job and our job.

Visiting

We always welcome visitors to our school and remind you that you MUST come by the office first. We will be glad to help you. Students may not bring student guests to school.

Volunteering

We depend on more than 6,000 hours of volunteer help that we receive every year. From clerical work to tutoring, our volunteers have a tremendous impact on our students’ progress. The volunteer support is greatly appreciated by the students and staff. When you volunteer you are coming to school to provide support to the teacher and the program. You receive direction from the teacher on what needs to be done. (Directions are usually kept in a pre-determined location so that you can assist teachers without interrupting their instruction or their time). The expectation for volunteers is that you are here to help and that you will be doing what the staff and students need. Our volunteers are the best and we appreciate the thoughtful support that you give to our school!

Conferences

Call ahead to schedule a conference time with your child’s teacher to address your questions or concerns at any time. Teachers cannot interrupt their planning and preparation or their instruction “for just a moment”. If all parents did this, we could not focus on teaching and meeting the needs of the students. Except for extreme emergencies your lawyer or doctor does not accept drop in chats and teachers cannot do this either. If you feel that you have a real emergency, then please contact the office and we will help to address your needs. The office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day to receive your calls and messages and teacher’s will reply within 24 hours of receiving a message.

Observing in the classroom - - From time to time parents feel the need to observe their child's classroom. Remember to schedule observations ahead of time so that you are not surprised by changes in schedule or special activities. Our first priority is to maintain the instructional program, so visitors may not interrupt instruction by trying to talk to the teacher or students. If you are visiting to observe, then you are quietly watching, not interacting. A staff member who will be able to answer any questions you have after the observation will accompany you to the class.

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