Evanston/Skokie School District 65 welcomes community members, parents, and caregivers to participate in our school programs. Our schools have many volunteer opportunities and actively participate in a child’s education. We welcome you to our school and thank you for your willingness to partner with us in providing an excellent educational program to our students.
Volunteer guidelines are established for the benefit and safety of all children and staff. Volunteering and visiting within the school building is a privilege. The needs of the children are our highest priority. Please review the following information to ensure a safe and successful volunteer experience.
Board Policy 6:250 - Any volunteer who will have direct contact with students without the continuous supervision of a present staff member for an extended period of time and/or on a long-term or regular basis ( e.g. semester or school year) will be required to submit to a criminal background check, including, where appropriate and necessary, fingerprinting.
Examples of such volunteer roles subject to this requirement include tutoring, assisting club or athletic activities, or chaperoning overnight trips or activities.
Examples of volunteers who do not have unsupervised access to students and are not subject to this background check include guest speakers or a parent or legal guardian who assists in the classroom or accompanies his or her child’s class on a supervised day field trip where each group of students is supervised by a staff member.
Types of Volunteers
There are two types of volunteer positions in District 65.
- Volunteer activities in contact with students while supervised by school personnel
- Guest Speakers
- Anyone who is serving in a tutoring, mentor, and coach capacity
- Any individual providing volunteer service at a school where s/he does not have a child enrolled
- Volunteering through a community partner with direct student contact
- Day and Overnight field trip chaperones
All individuals interested in volunteering must first complete the volunteer form. The principal and school district will review the form and determine eligibility.
An individual shall be deemed ineligible to volunteer if s/he has been:
- convicted of any criminal offense enumerated in 105 ILCS 5/34-18.5(c) of the Illinois School Code (“Enumerated Offense”);
- convicted of an offense that requires him/her to appear on a sex offender registry in any jurisdiction; or
- designated as ineligible for rehire by District 65.
Approval Process for Limited Volunteers Approval Process for Comprehensive Volunteers
- Complete the volunteer form
- Review Volunteer Handbook
- Sign in via the Hall Pass system at the school at which you are volunteering
- Follow all identification procedures as well as the confidentiality, safety, mandated reporting and harassment policies
- Complete the volunteer form
If approved, you will be notified by District 65 staff and be asked to complete the next steps:
Approval Process Components
Background Check Form
What does the Background Check process look like?
- A Background Check Form is required for individuals who will volunteer within the school at any time during the school year under the guidelines of a comprehensive volunteer.
- From start to finish, the process can take 30-45 days to complete, so it’s best to fill it out as soon as possible. Although the form is available for completion year-round, it is highly encouraged to complete or renew during the summer to avoid a backlog at the beginning of the school year.
Who should complete the background check form?
- "Any volunteer who will have direct contact with students without the continuous supervision of a present staff member for an extended period of time and/or on a long-term or regular basis (e.g., semester or school year) will be required to submit to a criminal background check, including, where appropriate and necessary, fingerprinting. Examples of such volunteer roles subject to this requirement include tutoring, assisting club or athletic activities, or chaperoning field trips during the school day where there isn’t a staff member present, overnight trips or activities.”
- Parent volunteers, and staff from other organizations are required to be fingerprinted through District 65, regardless of being fingerprinted through another organization (ETHS, Right at School, Y.O.U., Books and Breakfast, etc.,). Volunteers are required to be fingerprinted thru District 65 as that information is not shared between organizations.
- Parent volunteers will be required to complete a background check every 3 years.
What is Hall Pass?
For individuals who will be limited volunteers at the school on an occasional basis, a Hall Pass identification scan is required. Hall Pass is District 65’s visitor management system. The system helps to monitor visitors, parents, vendors, and volunteers. The system checks visitor information with an integrated, comprehensive database of registries for every state and the District of Columbia as well as orders of protection within our student information system.
Please note Hall Pass does not check or report on immigration or citizenship status.
Approved visitors will be asked to wear a printed name badge with their photo and return it to the main office when leaving the building.
Building Entry Procedures
Whether you are volunteering on a regular basis or for a one-time project or event, please arrive a few minutes early to park your vehicle and enter the building through the main entrance. Please notify the school office and/or supervising faculty member in advance if you are unable to make a prearranged volunteer event. If you are unable to reach your party, please leave a message with the school office.
Volunteers are required to sign in at the main office and receive a volunteer or visitor badge via Hall Pass that is required to be always worn while volunteering. Signing in each time you volunteer allows school personnel to locate you immediately in case of an emergency. You will be asked to provide a U.S. or Foreign government-issued ID. This is a safety measure for all students and staff. This information will not be shared with immigrant officials.
Volunteer Assignment and Visitor Access
Volunteer, Don’t Interfere! Please adhere to your specific volunteer assignment or designated visitor location. Visitors and volunteers may not walk the building or “visit” classrooms or areas that are not specific to their volunteer or visitor assignment. Volunteers and visitors may not utilize their time in the school to interrupt instruction, hold unscheduled parent conferences, take cell phone calls, monopolize staff time, or seek answers to questions during inappropriate times. Parents/caregivers are encouraged to contact their child’s teacher through a phone call or email to ensure their questions are properly addressed. Visitors and volunteers should respect our teachers’ time, including during lunch breaks, as they have many responsibilities to conduct. Respectful interactions, courtesy, and being mindful of precious instructional time goes a long way to ensuring a positive, harmonious school experience for all.
Part of Our Team
As a school volunteer, you are part of a team supporting student success. Every team member is a role model for students. Setting an example of professionalism and good citizenship involves interacting with students, staff, and other visitors in a respectful manner. Accepting direction and responsibility and showing appreciation for school staff will set positive examples students will remember. School volunteer roles and participation/access to student activities are contingent upon respectful interactions with students and staff. Please be sure to read the Volunteer Handbook to learn more about the District's volunteer policy and some standard procedures for volunteers. It is our hope that you will derive a great deal of personal satisfaction from your time in our schools.