SCDSB policy change would open extra curricular activities to
Volunteers have been part of a school's community
for generations, traditionally parents of a student.
Their value to the staff support system is enshrined in policies across
the province including the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB).
However, for the most part, they support teachers in areas like lunch
time supervision, recess, field trip chaperones, and fund raising
campaigns. Their roles are about to broaden if an amendment to the
Volunteers in Schools policy is approved to include "extra-curricular
activities when staff are not available."
"Community volunteer coaches will be subject to a board application,
screening and training process commensurate with the level of risk of
the activity as described in the administrative procedure memorandum
(APM 7220, Volunteers in Schools)," according to the report and
recommendation from John Dance, Superintendent of Facility Services, to
be tabled Sept. 11th at the Program Standing Committee meeting. "The
expectation of GBSSA and OFSAA regarding teacher supervision at those
events will be addressed in every case."
Extra curricular activities came into wide focus last school year
because public elementary and secondary school teachers refused to run
them as part of province-wide job action to protest the Liberal
government's Bill 115. According to their contracts, extra curricular
activities are voluntary on a teacher's part. As a result sports
programs, after school clubs, and field trips were wiped out.
UPDATED - If the amendment is approved by the board's trustees, parent and community volunteers, as well as educational assistants and non-teaching staff, would be able to take over extra curricular activities in the event of another job action by teachers. A volunteer would have to complete the Criminal Record Check process and the principal would need to evaluate whether the individual is qualified to run or coach the activity, and the volunteer would need to be trained. The training would consist of a centralized training protocol and course for coaches/ volunteers.