Our school is founded on the belief that our school is alive when parents and teachers work together – assuming the best of intentions of each other. Our motto is: Inspired to Create! So, let’s get to it.
All volunteers are required to sign in at the school office and receive a visitor’s pass. All volunteers who work with a child or children unsupervised by staff will be required to get a background check before beginning service with the school. Please check with our Principal for more information.
MORNING GREETERS (7:45 A.M. - 8:15 A.M.)
Choose a day or days to greet students arriving by car or on foot. Assist them safely out of cars and direct them to the crossing guard. Note questionable behavior by students or drivers and report these to the Principal. It is important that greeters commit to a regular schedule so that all shifts are covered -- if possible, try to match up with other parents who can cover the times that you cannot.
AFTERNOON PARKING LOT SUPPORT (3:00 P.M. - 3:30 P.M.)
Choose a day or days to help keep our children safe in the parking lot in the afternoon. Help them cross to their cars. Help keep the flow of traffic moving, ensure all cars are driving slowly and carefully, and ensure that all cars are safely and appropriately parked. It is important that greeters commit to a regular schedule so that all shifts are covered -- if possible, try to match up with other parents who can cover the times that you cannot.
Teachers have various needs for assistance. If you would like to help in a classroom, check with any teacher (not just your own child's teacher) to make arrangements in advance for a time to volunteer. Some tasks might include:
- help with ongoing project work
- take chairs off of tables, sharpen pencils, lay out class projects, etc.
- assist younger children to get coats, lunch boxes, etc., neatly into their cubbies
FIELD TRIP CHAPERONE
Parents (or other adult family members) are needed to chaperone field trips. Chaperones help reduce student/teacher ratio on field trips and maximize the value of learning exercises. As a chaperone you will be acting as an agent of our school and responsible for ensuring the supervision and safety of the students assigned to you. NOTE: Volunteer hours are counted at a maximum of 8 hours per day for overnight trips.
This is a special role for two parents in each grade, and it is also a critical part of our school communication system. Teachers may call on the two Classroom Representatives to assist with planning and coordinating classroom activities, projects, supply needs, field trips, etc. This job requires the ability to work closely with the teacher, maintain a contact list of phone numbers and emails for each class family, and help organize the parent volunteers for the class. The Classroom Representative is automatically a member of the Organized Parent Group (OPG) and is required to regularly attend the OPG meetings.
The Classroom Representative will also serve as the liaison to the Director of the OPG. In this capacity, the Classroom Representative will periodically receive important information about school-wide policies and events from the Director of the OPG. The Classroom Representatives will help communicate this information to the other classroom families and encourage attendance at significant events and meetings.
Persons in this role should plan to give several weeks notice if they need to leave this position and, if necessary, make every effort to help locate their replacement.
SPECIAL SKILLS VOLUNTEERS
CNCS welcomes the skills of family and friends to bring diverse experiences to our students. You may have a special skill or talent (e.g. music, crafts, sewing, gardening, building, poetry, etc.), or even access to materials that would enhance a study. Please discuss your ideas with the Principal or your child’s teacher, and see if there is a way for you to share your skill/talent in our classrooms.
BREAKFAST (7:45 A.M.-8:15 A.M.) & LUNCH SERVICE ASSISTANTS (11:00-1:00)
Volunteers are needed to assist with making sure each child has a lunch, and cleaning up daily between the hours of 10:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. You can choose to perform this task on a particular day(s) of the week, or periodically with advanced notice. To volunteer as a Lunch Service Assistant, please contact the Office Coordinator. This position is directly supervised by the CNCS Staff.
PLAYGROUND ASSISTANTS (10:30-12:30)
Parents are needed to help staff with playground supervision during the lunch recess: to facilitate organized games, observe free-play activities for safety, and report and assist with any injuries. This position is directly supervised by the CNCS Staff.
MONDAY MAILER ASSISTANTS (11:00 AM – 2:30 PM, MONDAYS)
Several parents are needed to help copy, organize, collate, and distribute Monday mailers each Monday. This is a vital posi- tion to support school-parent communication and one that requires dependability and consistency. Copying will take place in the main office. All organization, collating, and distribution will be done in the Parent room or other available locations.
SPECIAL PROJECTS ASSISTANT FOR THE MAIN OFFICE
Parents are needed to be on-call for special office projects. Please sign up with the Office Coordinator, and we will contact you as needed.
Volunteers are needed to collect, catalog, and organize books for the school library as well as to assist children in how to search for books on topics of interest. These hours can be weekly, monthly, or periodically. The hours for shelving, cata- loging, etc. can be flexible for parents who need to participate outside of the regular school day.
During the school day help is also needed. You may be asked to assist your child's class for just 1/2 hour a week. Here you may find yourself asking the students, "What kind of things are you interested in reading about?" Those interested in this activity should check with Kate Seidl, our Reading Specialist.
Volunteers are needed to work with our Resource teachers. Please don’t forget to offer your assistance to the Music Teacher, the Atelierista, PE Teacher and Student Support Services.
SCHOOL TOUR GUIDES
Guides are needed to represent the school on tours with prospective new families and promote interest in the school's phi- losophy and unique qualities. These tours occur during the enrollment period. Please check with the Principal if you are interested.
ENRICHMENT AND CLUBS
We have ongoing need for volunteers to sponsor special activities for both upper and lower grades. We need talent and ideas for ways to bring enrichment into our program. Please contact the Principal if you have an idea or skill to offer, and look for updates in your Monday Mailer.
BUILDING COMMITTEE SPONSORED WORK DAYS - KEEPING OUR SCHOOL BEAUTIFUL
(2nd Saturday of each month. 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM)
All school parents, kids and extended family and friends are invited to come over and lend a helping hand. Volunteer hours accumulate for each person who attends so the more the merrier. These Saturdays will include any ongoing facility or fur- niture maintenance and repair, painting, moving, cleaning or hauling unused items to the City Dump. Check the parent board and Monday Mailer for details.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT
If you have IT support expertise and would like to contribute to our technology infrastructure, contact David FitzSimmons, CNCS middle school math teacher.
OFF-SITE & AFTER-HOURS ACTIVITIES
CELEBRATIONS AND EVENTS
We love to celebrate at City Neighbors! Every school-wide event is an opportunity to be involved with our school, support our students, and earn volunteer hours. Please watch for upcoming events in the Monday Mailers and see you there!
TASKS FROM HOME
There are a large variety of jobs that can be done at home. If your schedule makes it difficult to fulfill your participatory obligations during school hours and you need some suggestions, talk to your committee chair, classroom representative, teachers, the Principal, and Board members about possible tasks you can perform from home. Please check with the Director of Accountability, Liz Zogby, for more information.
SUPPORTING OUR STUDENTS AND SCHOOL THROUGH ADVOCACY
Speaking up or showing up on behalf of the students of City Neighbors and all Baltimore City schools is an activity that is essential for our school community! There may be times when the Baltimore City School Board, the Maryland State Department of Education, or our State Government in Annapolis will need to hear from us regarding laws or policies that have a direct effect on our students’ education such as funding and governance.
City Neighbors Charter School is a member of both the Baltimore City Charter School Coalition and the Baltimore Education Coalition. As a school community we participate in lobby days in Annapolis, we rally in the streets of Annapolis and in front of City Hall, and we call and write to our elected officials about the issues that are important to us. Parents and family members will be supported by City Neighbors if they have a desire to attend these legislative hearings, offer testimo- nials regarding important educational issues, or would otherwise like to participate in the process. To become involved with the advocacy work please contact Sue Fothergill, Board President, for more information. Being an advocate is an important way to contribute to City Neighbors and our wider community!
We know we haven’t thought of everything. If you know of an opportunity that you believe would be appropriate for fulfilling your volunteer hours, please contact the Director of The Organized Parent Group for approval.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Why aren’t we logging hours the way we used to?
We want the focus on our volunteer service policy to be on the work and not on compliance. Rather than spending a lot of time logging hours, counting hours, processing data – we want to spend time figuring out how to make sure every family is an integral part of creating our school.
- What is this “Our Family Commitment” form?
It is a way to help you plan how you will contribute to creating City Neighbors this year. Will you be an active member of a school committee? Committee meetings and events are important work for our school – and are a way to contribute hours. Do you plan on hosting an after-school club for our students? These opportunities are critical to our students – and another way to contribute hours. Maybe you always attend Coffee with Mike to share ideas or Parent Information Nights to learn more about our school’s curriculum. However you plan on contributing, build a plan that adds up to at least 40 hours of service. Then check in your progress after each trimester and see how you’re doing.
- Could you show me an example of how I might meet my hours?
There are many occasions to fulfill CNCS hours. Here is an example of a typical yearly schedule that would lead to the fulfillment of the hourly expectation:
- 2 HRS - Summer building work
- 2 HRS - Back to School Night
- 20 HRS - (2 hrs a month X 10 months) Monthly Committee Meeting
- 4 HRS - Building work days
- 2 HRS - Winter Arts Celebration
- 2 HRS - Tasks from home
- 2 HRS - Help set up the Gala
- 2 HRS - Coffee with Mike X2
- 4 HRS - Chaperone a Fieldtrip
40 Hours - Total