Classroom Volunteers

Safety First in BUSD Classrooms

In early fall 2021, BUSD leadership gave the OK for Berkeley Schools Volunteers to resume recruiting, screening, matching, and placing Classroom Volunteers across the district.

To do so safely, BSV has added new practices to our 2021-22 BSV Safety Protocols for Volunteers.

Highlights for ‘21-22. Classroom Volunteers must:

  • be fully COVID vaccinated & approved by BSV before volunteering

  • be cleared through a background check before volunteering (exception: parent volunteers supporting in their own child’s class)

  • volunteer in one classroom at one site only (to minimize cross-contamination)

  • sign in and sign out in the Visitors Binder in the school’s main office every visit! (This is imperative for effective contact tracing)

  • wear their ‘21-22 BSV Name Badge at all times while on a BUSD campus

Thank you for helping keep BUSD classrooms safe and focused on learning!

The Volunteer Commitment

Consistency matters – both for student learning and for strong teacher partnerships. As such, we ask BSV’s Community Volunteers to commit at least an hour per week (preferably more) for the entire school year.

Investing in the Future

Volunteering in schools makes a difference to:

  • students who thrive with more personalized attention from an additional caring adult
  • teachers whose capacity to support all students is super charged with an extra adult in the room
  • community members who find joy and meaning in giving back to their local community

The Match: BSV matches community volunteers to BUSD “Host Teachers” who request volunteers. We make the matches based on the volunteer’s grade level and subject area preferences, as well as availability.

The Volunteer Commitment

Consistency matters – both for student learning and for strong teacher partnerships. As such, we ask BSV’s Community Volunteers to commit at least an hour per week (preferably more) for the entire school year.

The Impact


“It is a great living experience of the cycle of giving and receiving. I give some of my good and receive from their good in return.”
-Tocosa, BSV Volunteer since 2016

Our volunteers come to, and stay with, BSV for so many reasons:

  • To laugh and be inspired by young people
  • To give back to the community they love
  • To level the playing field for all kids
  • To support hard-working teachers
  • To meet like-minded peers in BSV’s committed community of learners

Who Can Volunteer?

BSV welcomes volunteers come from all walks of life.

Our volunteers are professionals and retirees, students and parents. They are generalists and specialists. Some are teenagers, others middle-aged, and still others septuagenarians. They come from many different countries and speak many different languages. Our volunteers live both within and beyond Berkeley’s city limits.

What unites BSV volunteers is their love of kids and their commitment to showing up for learning. BSV volunteers also share a vision of high quality public schools for all students. BSV volunteers are learners as well as teachers!

FOR COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS

General Screening Requirements (for new volunteers only)

Requirement Details
Be 16 years of age (by first day of volunteering)* Complete a Minor Permission Form, signed by parent/guardian
Complete Live Scan Fingerprinting with DOJ/FBI background check This is waived for parent/guardian volunteers, as long as they are volunteering only in their own child’s classroom
Provide proof of COVID-19 Vaccination Inclusive of 2 week waiting period
Not applicable for distance learning volunteers
Have no record of sexual offenses BSV checks your name against a National Online Registry of Sex Offenders
Attend BSV’s New Volunteer Orientation Virtual training over Zoom
Returning and new volunteers are also required to complete “Community Cultural Wealth and Asset-Based Thinking” training in October (after placement)
Able to volunteer at least one hour per week and commit to the end of the school year Not inclusive of travel time

To minimize cross-exposures, BUSD student volunteers (i.e. Berkeley High) are NOT currently permitted to volunteer in other BUSD schools.

Additional Screening Requirements for Specific Placements ONLY

Condition Additional Screening Requirements
…for those volunteering in a BUSD preschool/CDC
  • Negative Tuberculosis Test (or Risk Assessment) – from past 60 days; valid for 4 years
  • Documentation of Vaccinations for Influenza, dTap, and MMR
…for volunteers with “frequent or prolonged contact with pupils” (e.g. volunteers where cumulative face-to-face time with students exceeds 8 hours)
  • Negative Tuberculosis Test (or Risk Assessment) – from past 60 days; valid for 4 years

Where to Volunteer?

BSV offers almost as many pathways for volunteering as there are volunteers! We are confident that we can help you find the right fit for your schedule and interests.

Use the links below to learn more about the many volunteer opportunities available in Berkeley Unified:

Volunteer Info FOR TEACHERS

 

BSV’s Classroom Volunteers program is ready to identify the right community volunteer to support your students and classroom needs.

What do Classroom Volunteers Do? Classroom Volunteers provide 1:1 or small group support across subject areas, support whole class learning, serve as community role models, and even help prep materials.

Who are the Classroom Volunteers? They are members of the local community, from college students and BUSD parents to working professionals and retirees. They come to BSV because they enjoy working with kids and want to see them succeed.

How does BSV match volunteers to teachers? Our team uses the information and schedule you list on your Request a Volunteer form to match your needs and interests with those of potential volunteers. We then connect you and your volunteer via email. Your first step together is to have a First Meeting, before starting, to share visions, talk scheduling, discuss specific classroom tasks, and overall classroom dynamics.

As a teacher, how do I request a volunteer? Request BSV volunteers HERE. Teachers who’ve had volunteers in the past should check their inbox for shorter, custom

Once we connePlease read the BSV Volunteer Contract for details on volunteer requirements, expectations, and BUSD do’s and don’ts for volunteers.

Please read the Volunteer-Teacher 1st Meeting Checklist to learn what questions we advise volunteers to ask teachers before getting started. You may wish to add additional questions or create a list of answers to make your site-based orientation easier!

How do I get started?

If you would like to have a volunteer in your classroom please complete our Request a Volunteer form. The more specific you can be, the better we can advertise and work to match a volunteer to your needs.

Please email Berkeley Schools Volunteers (bsv@berkeley.net) with any changes to your schedule or placement details.

BREAKING NEWS: BUSD is now permitting Berkeley Schools Volunteers to support classrooms in-person on BUSD campuses.

Volunteer onboarding will begin with returning volunteers and move into new volunteers by middle to late September.  Volunteer onboarding will be rolling through the winter.

For the first time, parent volunteers will also need to be (COVID vaccination) screened by Berkeley Schools Volunteers in order to volunteer in their child’s classroom.