Dear BUSD Teachers and School Staff Members:
Thank you for visiting our site! Berkeley Public Schools Volunteers (BSV) wants to support you and your students by matching you up with interested and enthusiastic volunteers from our community! Volunteers can help out at school in so many ways. In the words of your BUSD teachers, here are just a few examples of what volunteers have done in the classroom:
- Gave children individual attention
- Eased classroom management
- Read with students 1-on-1
- Organized classroom materials
- Created beautiful displays
- Served as a role model for a child in-need
- Helped with homework + kept groups on-task
- Informed me of student issues and needs
Where do volunteers come from?
In a diverse place like Berkeley, our volunteers, naturally, come from every part of the community! Our volunteer ranks include UC Berkeley and Berkeley City College students; college graduates and mid-career professionals pursuing a career in teaching or education; retired community members; and lots of people simply interested in helping kids succeed in school!
Are BSV volunteers screened?
BSV screens all volunteers as per our agreement with BUSD. We require a comprehensive orientation, covering our tips for communicating and working with students and teachers, as well as some do’s and dont’s for our schools in the BUSD Volunteer Contract. Starting in Fall 2012, all mentors and any volunteers supervised by non-certificated/credentialed staff will need a full Dept of Justice and FBI background check–free of charge! BSV will be the official live scan or fingerprinting office for all BUSD volunteers, so if you have any questions, please see our page on BUSD Volunteer Policy or contact us for an explanation.
We also send you a green volunteer information sheet via inter-district mail with your volunteer’s contact information, interests, and two personal references for you to contact, if you would like more information on the volunteer’s ability to support your class. If you have further questions about our screening policy or process, please contact us.
What about TB testing? Is that required?
Please see the updated BUSD Volunteer Policy page to learn more or contact BSV for more details.
How do you make the volunteer placements?
We use the information and schedule you list on your Volunteer Request Form to match your needs and interests with those of potential volunteers. For each volunteer we place with you, we send you a green volunteer information sheet via inter-district mail and your contact information from your request form and a name badge to the volunteer. Your volunteer may contact you before you receive the green form; we have asked them to be proactive and contact you as soon as possible to discuss tasks, scheduling and classroom policies and dynamics. See our Become a Volunteer page to see our volunteer placement process and expectations.
What if the volunteer isn’t a good fit for me or my class?
If the match doesn’t work out–for any reason!–please let us know and we will refer the volunteer to another teacher. You always have the right to ask BSV to remove a volunteer from your classroom, stop sending volunteers or update your request at anytime. We just ask that you clarify any reasons why the volunteer is not working out so we can better serve you and other teachers. Please contact us ASAP with any changes to your schedule or needs to avoid misplacing volunteers!
How do I get started?
Now all you need to do is to let us know you would like to have a volunteer in your classroom! Click through to the Request a Volunteer page to find out what information we need from you. The more specific you can be, the better we can advertise and match a volunteer to your needs. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.