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ADDitions & Volunteers

ADDitions:

ADDitions is the name given by the Orange County Public Schools to its school volunteer program. School volunteers are extra-special people who are committed to making schools the best they can be. They offer special attention and caring that can inspire students to reach for and realize their dreams.

Here, at OGA, our volunteers tutor individual students in our classrooms, hallways, garden areas, media center and in the auditorium. Some choose to assist teachers with the preparation of educational materials. Others prefer to assist in the Media Center and with our technology program. Others have time to accompany students on field trips and present information and special programs to our students. We also have volunteers, both stay-at-home and working parents, who prepare materials at home for teachers. Volunteers supplement the work of classroom teachers and school staff by providing an extra pair of hands to help meet students' needs.

This program is a component of the ADDitions program. School volunteers work at the schools of their choice and participate in activities that match their interests, such as assisting teachers in the classroom, designing bulletin boards, working with students, serving as computer tutors, working with art classes, or helping out in the office or media center.

Every school in the county needs volunteers. From elementary to high schools to alternative and exceptional education centers, educators value the time and special talents of volunteers, and welcome them into the classroom.

Be a school volunteer and help make students' dreams come true.

The required paperwork may be completed at https://volunteer.ocps.net or we can guide you through this process or provide you with more information.


ADDitions School Volunteers...

-ENRICH THE CURRICULUM by sharing their skills and expertise with students and teachers,

-PROVIDE INDIVIDUAL ASSISTANCE to students who need extra attention,

-ASSIST TEACHERS with non-instructional tasks to allow them to spend more time planning and delivering instruction,

-PROVIDE ADULT ROLE MODELS for students by generously sharing their time and talents.

How Do I Become a Volunteer?

  1. Interest Surveys are sent out in the Welcome packages at the beginning of each school year or when a new student registers. Teachers then contact the volunteer to establish a mutually convenient time.
  2. Call our Office at 249-6950 or drop by to complete a Volunteer Application. You will be contacted to arrange your time. Our school's ADDitions Coordinator will be happy to talk with you about available options.
  3. In respect for our teachers' schedules, please do not just "show up" and expect to be given something to do. Your time is valuable to us and we want to have work planned for you. We want you to come back!

What is a Volunteer Application form?

All persons working with Orange County students are required to complete a Volunteer Application form. This is a two-part form containing some basic questions. There are two very good reasons to complete this form.

  1. In today's society, as parents and educators, we worry about the safety of our children. By requiring background information on our volunteers we are protecting our students.
  2. Being registered as a volunteer provides the individual with liability insurance when performing duties on school grounds or field trips.

NOTE: This district rule also includes members of the PTA and School Advisory Council.

Do I Have to Complete a Volunteer Application?

Quite simply, YES. All volunteers, including field trip chaperones, MUST have this application on file.

Do I Have to Sign In?

In accordance with OCPS rules, all persons on campus are required to sign in at the Office upon arrival. Please wear an ADDitions badge while on campus. It identifies you to our staff and students as a member of our team.

Please also record your hours volunteered here or at home. These hours are tallied monthly and submitted to the school district. Totals of volunteer hours are used in meeting criteria for the Golden School Award and the Five Star School Award.

Responsibilities of Volunteers

  • Be prompt, dependable and regular in attendance. Please call or email if you cannot attend on your scheduled day.
  • Support and supplement the instructional program of the classroom teacher.
  • Understand and accept all students.
  • Communicate regularly with the teacher or staff member with whom you work.
  • Be careful to ensure that a child's work and behavior in school is held in confidence.
  • Know and observe all policies and procedures in our school, i.e. fire drills, reporting accidents, lunchroom routine, student restroom privileges.
  • Discuss concerns that may arise with the teacher or ADDitions Coordinator.
  • Remember you are a role model for the students.
  • Refer ALL discipline concerns to a school staff member. Volunteers are asked to never discipline a student themselves.

An Ideal Volunteer!

  • Is friendly, reliable, flexible, young or old, rich or poor.
  • Has a professional attitude and interest and enthusiasm for working with young people.
  • Has the ability to work cooperatively with teachers and school staff.
  • Volunteers on a regular basis.
  • Recognizes that well-educated students are our greatest natural resource.
  • Has or is willing to acquire the skills that are needed to volunteer in the schools.
  • Has the time and willingness to serve.
  • Understands the role of the teacher to determine appropriate instructional goals for students.

Tips for Volunteers

  • Be honest in your approach and attitude. Students will trust and respect you when they know you are sincere.
  • Be patient when working with students. Give yourself time to get established and find your niche.
  • Be fair. Avoid comparisons between students, teachers and schools. Everyone is different.
  • Be flexible in adapting to special situations.
  • Be consistent. Apply the same rules every day to every student.
  • Be considerate. Treat individuals with respect and courtesy and expect the same in return.
  • Be friendly. You can accomplish miracles with a smile and a "thank you."

Hints for Working With Students

  • A student's name is very important. Make sure you say the student's name the way the student wants it said. The same goes for correct spelling. It says to the student "You are important and I have taken the time to know this about you."
  • Show that you are interested in the student as a person. Listen carefully to what the student has to say. By your words and actions, let your student know you care.
  • Meet the unexpected needs of your student by being creative.
  • If you must be absent, call the school. Both teachers and students count on your assistance and will miss you, but they will be reassured that you cared enough to call.
  • Students make mistakes. Let them know that making mistakes is a part of learning. Do not be afraid of making mistakes yourself!
  • Build the student's self-esteem. Praise your student honestly and frequently. Remember attentiveness and effort can be as important as performance.
  • Keep the progress of each student a confidential matter between you and the student's teacher.

Most importantly "THANK YOU" for caring about and helping our students at
Orlando Gifted Academy!

Log on to www.volunteer.ocps.net to get started on a rewarding volunteer experience.

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