Volunteer Process Frequently Asked Questions
The following information is provided to help school administrators, faculty, staff and parents understand changes in the policies affecting school volunteers and field trips. These policy revisions were made to address parent and community concerns regarding student safety during and after the school day.
Per Board Policy IFCD, all volunteers who will be working with students of the school must complete a Volunteer Registration Application on an annual basis. Furthermore, school volunteers are mandated reporters of abuse pursuant to OCGA 19-7-5.
All persons interested in volunteering in the Fulton County School District must complete an application every two years. Even if a person has completed an application in the past. To keep in compliance with State Law and best practices, we will require everyone to re-register/register after June 1, 2018. The registration process can be found on the FCS District Website under Community/Partners and Volunteers. In accordance with State Law, all volunteers must be current with the Child Abuse Reporting Protocol Training before being allowed to volunteer in our schools. All applicants must wait 24 hours after applying for application processing. Applicants should be prepared to spend about 10-15 minutes for the training and application process. It is very important that volunteers enter their full legal name as it appears on government issued ID. Please do not use nicknames or goes by names on the application.
What is a school volunteer?
A school volunteer is a non-paid person who serves in an auxiliary capacity under the direction and supervision of school personnel. A volunteer is one who performs duties that an employee could perform such as making copies, filing, sorting, escorting students, assisting with lunch duty, media center or front office tasks. Any person who leads or assists students other than own in programs or tutors a student(s) is considered a volunteer.
How do I begin to volunteer?
To begin the volunteer process, please visit this link to complete the child abuse reporting training and the online registration process. When registering, one must use their legal name as it appears on your government identification. The process is self-paced. On your first visit to the school, your government identification will be required.
Is the inclusion of being a mandated reporter a Fulton County Schools requirement?
No. House Bill 1176 was signed by Governor Deal on May 2, 2012. This Bill revised OCGA 19-7-5 requiring all school affiliated volunteers to become "mandated reporters" of suspected child abuse. Fulton County Schools is simply complying with a state law.
Does every person need to complete the registration process and abuse reporting training?
No. A parent acting in the role of a parent is not required to register or complete the child abuse reporting training. Examples include visitors to the school for: parent / teacher conferences, 504/IEP meetings, school wide and classroom programs, eating lunch with their child or any visit to sign in or check out their student. Visitors must however sign-in at the front desk and offer their government identification to be scanned into the visitor identification system.
Do I have to complete the entire process at each school that my children attend?
No. The district approves volunteers. However, it will be vitally important that you choose the schools you wish to volunteer in during the registration process.
I've made a mistake in the past, will that exclude me from volunteering at my child's school?
Not necessarily. The questions during the registration process are very specific about past felony offenses. If you answer "yes" to any of the questions, you’re required to contact the Department of Safety & Security for additional screening prior to volunteering in any capacity. These offenses will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Individuals on the GBI registry will be automatically excluded from volunteer opportunities.
Is the sex offender registry available to the public?
Yes. In accordance with OCGA 42-1-12, the GBI is the central repository for Georgia’s Violent Sexual Offender Registry. You may visit their website for more information: http://gbi.georgia.gov/georgia-sex-offender-registry.
I have concerns about someone within my community. What should I do?
Contact your local police department with any questions. The municipal law enforcement agency is tasked with investigating community concerns, not the school district.
Are there limitations on volunteers working directly with students?
Volunteers may work with small groups of students or an individual student in a tutoring or mentoring capacity or assist in other ways at the principal’s discretion. A volunteer may work with an individual student only in an open area such as a hallway or media center, or in an area where they are observed by another volunteer or staff member. At no time should a volunteer be left alone and unobserved with an individual student in a private or secluded area such as an office or classroom. However, persons operating in an official capacity such as a court-appointed advocate, who provide proper identification and have parental or guardian permission, may meet privately with students without being observed.
Can volunteers help out with after school programs or activities?
Volunteers may assist students beyond the school day. The school volunteer policy applies beyond the regular school day during extra-curricular and school-sponsored activities. During such activities, volunteers should not be alone with a student unless specifically directed to do so by a staff person in charge, and then only under emergency or exceptional circumstances.