Dear OPA Families and Friends:
I know many of you are thinking about how you would like to be involved at your campus this year. Of course, we love when family members and friends take time to volunteer so I want to take this opportunity to remind you of new aspects of our volunteer policy – as well as some other policy changes – so you can be prepared when it’s time to come to campus and help out. The following provides a summary of the changes in policy and the full policies can be found on the OPA website if you require further clarification.
For our volunteers, the biggest change this year is that we have instituted some best practices that are found in nearly every other public school and that are intended to improve campus safety. I think we can all agree that, when it comes to the safety of our students, we should take every reasonable precaution. The most significant changes are:
- Every volunteer must provide fingerprints for a Department of Justice/FBI background check.
- A completed background check is required for anyone wishing to work with students in school-sponsored academic or extracurricular activities whether on or off the school site.
- People wishing to volunteer must also submit to a tuberculosis (TB) risk assessment and, if risk factors for TB are found, proof that they are free of TB.
- Approved volunteers will be given a laminated pass that they are to have with them at all times when performing volunteer duties. This will make it easy to differentiate volunteers from school visitors.
Please visit our policies, practices and procedures page to start the application process.
Visitors are also welcome and must register at the office when they arrive. In addition, there are other policies in place to protect students and staff:
- Visitors will be accompanied by a school staff member while on campus unless other arrangements are made in advance.
- Visits to the school should be arranged 24 hours in advance whenever possible. Meetings with teachers, deans and chancellors should be made at least 3 days in advance and during non-instructional time.
- When visitors have finished their business at the school, they are to leave the campus and not loiter. Those waiting to pick up students should do so at the designated space.
- Campus leadership has the discretion to deny entry to those who he or she feels may be a threat to the health and safety of students or staff or who may disrupt the conduct of school activities. There is an appeal process for any visitor denied entry.
OPA has also made updates to its social media and meal plan policies that you can review on the website as well.
Thank you for your time and attention to these important changes. The safety and security of our staff and students will always be our highest priority.