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community involvement

VOLUNTEERS
Frequently Asked Questions about Volunteer Screenings
Q: Who needs to fill out a volunteer application?
A: Any person who comes in direct contact with students and assists in office, library, and classroom support, fieldtrip, chaperoning, tutoring and school or booster activities.
Q: Why do I need to fill out a volunteer application?
A: Our number-one priority is the safety of our students. Each volunteer is required by school board policy to submit an application so we may conduct a criminal background screening. This screening is conducted at no cost to the volunteer.
Q: What if I have some criminal convictions?
A: We are not looking for volunteers with only perfect backgrounds. We just want to ensure our students' safety. Please call our office in confidence should you have questions about your specific situation.
Q: Where do I obtain an application?
A: Volunteer applications are available at every Duval County public school and also should be included in each student's 2005-2006 registration packet sent at the beginning of the year. You may also download and print out applications online. Click here for the volunteer application.
Q: Why is it necessary for me to provide my Social Security number and birth date?
A: There are two ways to access national criminal records: fingerprinting, which is costly and can be time consuming, and a search utilizing Social Security numbers with an individual's correlating birth date. We chose the second method because it is less costly to the district and more convenient for volunteers. Please be assured that all applications will be kept confidential and secure in the district office.
Q: Where do I turn in my volunteer application?
A: You may drop it off in a sealed envelope at any of our schools, or mail it to:
Community Involvement
Duval County Public Schools
1701 Prudential Drive, Room 614
Jacksonville, FL 32207
Q: What happens to my application after I turn it in?
A: Applications are delivered directly to the Community Involvement Office, where the criminal background check will be completed. Once cleared, you will be sent a Volunteer Identification Card. This card is good for two years. Your selected school(s) will also receive your contact and preference information.
Q: I'm just visiting my child. Do I need to complete an application?
A: Probably not. The difference between a visitor and a volunteer is determined by whom you interact with and how. While it is up to school administration to determine if you are a visitor or volunteer, here are some typical examples of each. Visitor: parent bringing treats for their child's birthday, father attending Take Your Dad to School Day, parent having lunch with their child and no others, special guest classroom speaker. Volunteer: field trip chaperone, parent visiting child in classroom, but periodically assisting students, parent eating lunch with child and child's friends.
Q: I have a right to volunteer or visit any school, don't I?
A: No. Being cleared by the Community Involvement Office does not create a right to volunteer. Volunteers serve at the request of school administration/faculty. If you wish to visit your child, you must get the permission of school administration before doing so. Sometimes volunteers and visitors can disrupt classroom activities. Our first priority is educating students.
Q: Who do I contact with questions?
A: You may read more about volunteer programs and opportunities on our website by clicking here.
For questions about the screening process, call 390-2432.

For general volunteering questions, call our main number at 390-2960.
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