CNHI/Southeast Iowa

March 20, 2014

Decade old charge keeps parent from chaperoning



The official Centerville District policy which covers volunteering for the schools is vague on what conditions or guidelines volunteers must follow in order to be approved.

The Centerville Community Board of Education Code No. 904.2 states, in part, “Guidelines for volunteers will be provided by the administration team.” The last revision to that code was Nov. 11, 2003.

The last review of the policy was done in November of 2012. At their regular meeting in December of 2012, the board ultimately decided to leave the language of the policy the same, but did direct in comments to the superintendent that they would like volunteer agreements to be brought to the board for approval going forward. However they also indicated the administration and superintendent would have discretion on which volunteers to present for approval.

During the review process, it was also shared with the board that attorney Rick Engel recommended that anyone involved with the district, including volunteers should undergo background checks. The board accepted this advice. Since then, all volunteers have had to submit to a background check and be brought to the board for approval before they can volunteer for any position in the district. Volunteer positions can range from reading in the classroom, coaching, field trip supervisors or many other duties.

The school district can accept or reject the services of any volunteer. The district may also end a volunteer agreement at any time. The non-employee volunteer contract located in the 900 series of board policies states in part, “I understand that my participation as a volunteer may be terminated at any time, without cause …”

Collins said she requested a copy of the board policy as well as a written statement of why she wouldn’t be allowed to go from Ryan, but wasn’t given either, saying the superintendent nodded but ultimately ignored her request.

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