Welcome to volunteering in the Ephrata Area School District! Throughout your child’s educational career, there will be many opportunities for parents/guardians to become involved in the classroom. Volunteers are essential to the success of all of our students! There is an African Proverb that says, “It takes a Village to raise a child!” Nowhere does that become more evident than when one considers the countless volunteers who give of their time and skills in helping the Ephrata Area School District pursue its mission Achieving Success One Student at a Time. We greatly appreciate all of the volunteers who provide much needed assistance to students and teachers through their participation in classroom support as well as special events and activities.
To start the process, we have included below information about volunteering within the district and requirements set forth by legislation and also our policies. Recent legislation extensively amended the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL), including significant changes to background check requirements for volunteers.
Please contact the respective principal in the building where you seek to volunteer if you have additional questions. You may also contact the Human Resources Department at (717) 721-1513 for answers to your questions.
Contact information for each school is as follows:
Akron Elementary School: (717) 859-0400
Clay Elementary School: (717) 721-1100
Fulton Elementary School: (717) 721-1130
Highland Elementary School: (717) 721-1160
Ephrata Intermediate School: (717) 721-1405
Ephrata Middle School: (717) 721-1468
Ephrata High School: (717) 721-1478
The Ephrata Area School District has three Board policies that address important rules and procedures for volunteers. Board Policy No. 916 – School Volunteers provides volunteers with specific information about the types of volunteering opportunities and the guidelines and requirements. Board Policy No. 907 – School Visitors establishes procedures governing school visits and Policy No. 917 – Parent/Family Involvement outlines guidelines for effective involvement in the schools.
- Board Policy No. 916 – School Volunteers (PDF)
- Board Policy No. 907 – School Visitors (PDF)
- Board Policy No. 917 – Parent/Family Involvement (PDF)
- Board Policy No. 806 – Child Abuse (PDF)
Steps to Becoming a Building Volunteer:
For the safety of our students and to provide a secure learning environment, volunteers must complete all requirements, which include clearances dated no more than 12 months from date of submission to the District Office.
Please click on the appropriate requirement to review, complete and print.
- Volunteer Application Form (PDF)
- Volunteer Disclosure Statement (PDF)
- Act 34 – PA Criminal History Record Check (Free to volunteers)
- Act 151 – PA Child Abuse History Certification (Free to volunteers)
- Act 153 Volunteer Affidavit (PDF) affirming that volunteer has been a resident for a full 10 years OR – Act 114 – Federal FBI Criminal History Clearance (Federal FBI Clearance Link is for VOLUNTEER PURPOSES ONLY. Clearances are at the expense to the volunteer, if applicable – $23.85). You must submit either the Act 153 Volunteer Affidavit or the Act 114 Federal FBI Criminal History Clearance. The District does not accept Department of Human Services FBI Clearance Certificates.
- PDE Arrest/Conviction Report and Certification Act 24 Form (PDF)
- TB (Tuberculosis) Test Results (Test result format provided by healthcare provider and at the expense to the volunteer)
Once the seven items are completed and/or obtained, the completed packet should be presented in full to the District Human Resources office for review and processing.
Volunteers for our Athletic Teams should provide all seven items to the Athletics Office, Attention Mr. Michael O’Donnell, Athletic Director.
Only one set of up to date clearance documents per volunteer is necessary to volunteer throughout the district. Clearances will be retained in the District Human Resources Office and will remain valid for five years from the date of the oldest clearance.
Guidelines for Volunteers
The following guidelines must be followed when providing services to the district:
- Volunteers must honor all applicable privacy laws and regulations. It is expected that confidential information about students, staff, other volunteers, or school district business be maintained as confidential. Anything that is overheard concerning students or staff should never be shared outside the building.
- Volunteers must sign in and out of the school office during all working hours unless they are working as an athletic coach.
- Volunteers must wear the name tag/identification provided at the sign-in. Volunteer athletic coaches do not need name tags.
- Volunteers do not assume the professional responsibilities of school staff. Volunteers offer support and operate under the primary direction of staff.
- Volunteers are not permitted to directly administer student discipline outside of the guidelines established by the building administrator. Similarly, volunteers should not administer first aid unless in the case of an emergency.
- Volunteers should honor that safety is a top priority. They should become familiar with the surrounding area and make note of exits and safety equipment. Volunteers must remain calm and protect themselves and others from accidents and injuries. School staff or the building administrator should be contacted in the case of an incident, and any relevant information must be relayed. Any accident involving a student, school staff, or volunteer that occurs on school property must be reported to the school office using the designated district accident report form.
- Volunteers do not receive compensation for their services to the district. They are not Board-approved paid employees of the district.
- Volunteers are provided the same liability insurance coverage during school-sponsored activities as provided for employees of the district.
Compliance with Drug/Substance Abuse and Tobacco Use Policies
The Ephrata Area School District works to maintain a safe and drug-free school campus. The district prohibits the use of controlled substances and tobacco on school property. The Board prohibits the use, possession, distribution, and being under the influence of any controlled substances during school hours, at any time while on school property, at any school-sponsored activity, and during the time spent traveling to and from school and school-sponsored activities.
Act 191 of the Pennsylvania Legislature of 1988 24 P.S. 5-527 requires that any employee of the Ephrata Area School District who is convicted of the delivery of a controlled substance or convicted of the possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver shall be terminated from his or her employment with the district – regardless of where the violation occurred. The same policy applies to volunteers.
The Ephrata Area School District is dedicated to providing a healthy, comfortable, and productive environment for staff, students, and visitors. Because the Board is concerned about the health of its employees and because it recognizes the importance of adult role-modeling for students during the formative years, a tobacco free environment is enforced. The Board prohibits tobacco use in a school building and on any property, buses, vans, and vehicles that are owned, leased, or controlled by the school district. The Board prohibits tobacco use at school sponsored activities that are held off school property.
The volunteer position is a privilege and not a right. Any volunteer position may be eliminated and/or a volunteer may be removed from a volunteer position at any time for any reason.
The Ephrata Area School District will not discriminate in employment, education programs, or activities based on race, sex, handicap, or national origin. This policy of non-discrimination extends to all other legally protected classifications in accordance with state and federal laws including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Inquiries should be directed to Diane Gibson, Director of Human Resources, Ephrata Area School District, 803 Oak Boulevard, Ephrata, PA 17522.