Become a Volunteer

130_BSV_DearDay_20100305bwWhat does it take to become a Berkeley Schools Volunteer?

Your interest in working with kids and teachers is the basis for your success as a school volunteer. Because you will be working with our hardworking staff and children during the school day, we also have some requirements and friendly reminders:

All new volunteers are required to attend a BSV New Volunteer Orientation so we can explain special district initiatives, needs and volunteer do’s and don’ts in our schools. Learn more and RSVP here.

We place volunteers under direct supervision of BUSD teachers and staff so the people working everyday with our students can control how, where, and when to apply volunteer support. You design your volunteer schedule directly with your supervising teacher.

Classroom volunteers should have at least 2 hours a week available to volunteer and be able to make a commitment of at least one semester, unless other arrangements have been made. Our minimum age requirement is 16 years, and “minor” volunteers are usually restricted to placements working with Pre-K through 5th grade students.

Please review our Volunteer Policy page for more requirements.

Teachers tell us volunteer consistency and punctuality are more important than being an expert in a particular subject or having years of experience. We will present many volunteer options at our orientation, during which you will tell us in what type of volunteer opportunity you would like us to place you. You can also read through our volunteer opportunities before you attend an orientation.

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Group Volunteering

Berkeley Schools are fortunate to have such strong community support, and groups are always encouraged to volunteer to support our students and teachers. Groups interested in volunteering should discuss possible options and limitations internally before contacting BSV to talk details. BSV will make every effort to connect your group with a staff person who is interested in hosting a group or special event but we are limited to what works for school staff. If you can split into smaller groups or are willing to “share a placement” (split a volunteer placement between several people throughout the week) you have a much better chance of finding a teacher or staff person willing to host you.

Volunteering is limited to school hours only. Classroom settings with direct student contact are typically not appropriate for groups larger than 3-5 volunteers per “placement”.

Long-Term Group Volunteering

Contact BSV with answers to these questions:

1. How many people plan to volunteer?
2. How often and when are your group members available to volunteer?
3. Do you need to volunteer together with the same host teacher and/or at the same school site?
4. Is there a grade level or subject your group is interested in?