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Watermark Volunteer Policy

          Volunteers are integral to the success of Watermark Classical Academy. We deeply respect and encourage the many efforts of our exceptional volunteers who give so willingly of their time to the students and staff of Watermark. Watermark encourages and promotes school volunteering in order to expand and enhance partnership with our parents and community involvement within our school while maintaining safety and security for students and staff. 

         Under Act 15 of 2015, which amends the provisions of the PA Child Protective Services Law, certain clearances are required for ALL volunteers that provide care, supervision, guidance or control of a child or children. In compliance with the law, any Watermark volunteer will be required to obtain and submit all required clearances along with the signed Volunteer Registration Form prior to the first day that volunteer services are provided. 

Some examples of volunteers requiring clearances include: field trip or school event chaperones, classroom volunteer assistants, recess, lunchroom and library volunteers, and volunteer coaches/club advisors.

        Note: Parents and others merely visiting schools are not normally required to obtain background checks to the extent that such visitors are visiting the school irregularly and without providing for the care, supervision, guidance, or control of children. Some examples include parent/teacher conferences, attending school assemblies or concerts, assisting with school birthday parties, parent guest readers, collecting tickets to events, working concession stands or participating in “Career Day” as supervised presenters. In this capacity, school visitors do not need the clearances. 

Clearance Requirements


If you have been a continuous resident of Pennsylvania for the past 10 years, you are required to submit each of the following: 

  1. Pennsylvania State Police Clearance (free for Volunteers) 

  2. Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (free for Volunteers) 

  3. Signed “Volunteer Clearance Exception” statement 

If you have NOT been a continuous resident of Pennsylvania for the past 10 years, you are required to submit each of the following: 

  1. Pennsylvania State Police Clearance (free for Volunteers) 

  2. Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (free for Volunteers) 

  3. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Clearance ($22.60 – volunteer responsible for this cost) 

Hard copy volunteer clearances must be submitted in a sealed envelope along with Watermark’s Volunteer Registration Form to the Instructional Head of School or they can be emailed to The forms can be found at the following links:

  1. Pennsylvania State Police Clearance (free for Volunteers) – click on the “New Volunteer Record Check” button

  2. Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance (free for Volunteers)
    You will need to create an individual account. Once you obtain your login ID and password, go to “Individual Login”, select “Access My Clearances”, read the Learn More page and at the bottom of the page, click “Continue”. Go to “Create Clearance Application” and scroll down to “Begin”. Indicate “Volunteer Having Contact with Children” as your purpose of certification. Complete the application.

  3. Signed “Volunteer Clearance Exception” statement - Print from website and sign.

  4. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Clearance ($22.60 – volunteer responsible for this cost)
    If a volunteer has not been a resident of Pennsylvania for the previous 10 years, but obtained their FBI certification at any time since establishing residency, they may provide a copy of the certification and are not required to obtain any additional FBI certification. If they have not already obtained an FBI clearance then they should follow the instructions below:

Volunteer Expectations

      Under no circumstances shall a volunteer be considered an employee of Watermark. A volunteer shall receive no wages or other consideration which has a monetary value for the performance of volunteer services. The volunteer position is not a right, but rather a privilege. As such, any volunteer position may be eliminated and/or the services of any volunteer may be terminated at any time at the sole discretion of the Instructional Head of School. 

     The Instructional Head of School shall assume general authority and responsibility over all volunteers serving/working with the students in the building or in school-related activities for which the Instructional Head of School is responsible. Watermark will maintain a school-wide database of all approved Watermark volunteers that can be accessed by the Instructional Head of School. The database will include the names of approved volunteers as well as the expiration dates for each individual clearance. The date of the oldest clearance will be noted as the official approval date. The clearances will expire five years from the official approval date. A copy of the clearances/exception forms will be maintained in Watermark files until their expiration dates, at which point they will be destroyed. The Instructional Head of School will send an email reminder to individuals when their clearances are 90 days from expiring.


All volunteers must sign in at the school office before proceeding to their volunteer site.

Volunteers must wear a visitor’s tag while in the building.


       Volunteers should be punctual and prepared. If something arises, and you cannot meet your volunteer responsibilities, please try to find another parent to take your place or let the teacher or the Instructional Head of School know. 

       Volunteers are expected to manifest by daily example the highest Christian virtue. Therefore, the volunteer is expected to be a role model in judgment, dignity, respect and Christian living and therefore should use appropriate language, be encouraging and dress modestly. 

       Volunteers will work within the rules of the school, as determined by the teachers and the administration. 

 When working with students the volunteer should not: 

  • Leave a student unsupervised; 

  • Take students off the school property without permission from the school staff; 

  • Give food, drink or candy to any student unless authorized by school personnel; or 

  • Physically, verbally or emotionally abuse or mistreat a child. 

       Volunteers shall meet any standards that may be established by federal, state, or local government, or by the Watermark Board or Administration. No volunteer shall be permitted to access, review, disclose, or use confidential student information, or participate in conversations in which confidential student information is discussed. Examples of such information include, but are not limited to, the following: grades or other measures of academic performance, class standing, standardized or other test scores, attendance records, disciplinary history, intelligence test scores, personality and interest test scores, individualized education plans, health data, family background information, teacher or counselor ratings and observations, and any other verified or unverified information contained in a student's file maintained by Watermark staff. If volunteers have questions about the confidentiality of student information, they should consult with the building principal. 

       Volunteers will not be asked to assume the professional responsibilities of Watermark employees. 

Volunteers may provide assistance that is supportive, when under the direction of a Watermark employee. 

Volunteers should expect obedience and respect from students. Volunteers will not be permitted to directly administer student discipline, but should relate any discipline issues to the student's teacher to handle. 

Volunteers will not be permitted to administer first aid, except in the case of an emergency. If there is a safety concern or an emergency issue, it must immediately be communicated to someone in authority.

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