Community Volunteer Hub

Program Description

The Pleasanton PTA Community Volunteer Hub provides no-cost support for children and families while promoting volunteer participation in the Pleasanton community. Our goal is to create an opportunity for strengthening the entire community by engaging high school students, parents, retired people, and other adults to invest in the success of our students and our PUSD schools. The PTA Community Volunteer Hub will service PUSD students in grades K-12, and our first wave of focused outreach will prioritize children and youth with the highest need, including: homeless youth, foster care youth, English language learners, and low-income families.

Our tutoring and mentoring model allows us to customize our support for each student as an individual with unique social, emotional, and academic needs. We want our students look forward to each tutoring session and see their tutor as an ally, champion and mentor. Our volunteers will tutor students in Math, Science, Language Arts (reading & writing), Social Sciences, and Foreign Languages.

Program Guidelines

Commitment

  • Typically, a volunteer will meet with the student for 1-2 hours per week for an academic semester or a full academic year. Day and time to be agreed upon by the volunteer and the parent/guardian.

  • While we understand the need to be flexible and accommodate schedule changes when possible, tutoring is a formal event and needs to be scheduled in advance.

  • Please contact the volunteer or parent/guardian at least 2 hours before a session if you must skip or reschedule.

  • If the student does not have homework and their parent/guardian has not provided you with specific work to do, please use your creativity and take the initiative to read or write together, practice math facts, help them organize their folders, visit an educational website together, or play a game.

Setting

  • Because of the coronavirus pandemic, tutoring sessions will take place using web-based technology such as Zoom or Google Meet.

  • To ensure that online learning occurs in a safe, monitored space, we encourage a parent or another responsible adult to remain at the same location as the student during tutoring sessions.

  • During each tutoring session, the student is the highest priority. Volunteers should find a quiet place, free of distractions from which to connect to the student and refrain from doing other work during the session. Activities such as texting, chatting with friends or coworkers, playing with your phone, etc., are not permitted.

  • When tutoring in-person resumes, you must work in a location where other adults are present such as the Pleasanton Library or school library.

Technology

  • Each volunteer and student will provide their own device and use their own web-based application accounts for remote tutoring sessions.

  • If needed, Pleasanton PTA will train volunteers to use technology to connect with a student.

Communication

  • All communication, including online session invitations, should be handled between the volunteer and the student’s parent/guardian, unless it is expressly requested by the parent/ guardian for the volunteer to communicate with the student directly. If direct-to-student contact is requested by a parent/guardian, we ask you to continue to copy the parent/guardian on all email messages with the student so they are kept up to date on tutoring sessions.

Dress/Etiquette

  • For Students: It is important that they wear appropriate clothing and conduct themself as they would at school. Families should be aware of the student’s surroundings and do not share private or inappropriate information through background noise or visuals.

  • For Volunteers: Make sure that you are in an appropriate space in your home (such as a living room or kitchen), that you are aware of your surroundings, and that you do not share private or inappropriate information through background noise or visuals. In order to minimize distractions or unintentional sharing, plan ahead with other members of your residence, close unused tabs in your browser, turn off notifications before sharing your screen.

Confidentiality

  • Information about your student is confidential and should not be shared with others. This includes any personally-identifiable information about a student (including but not limited to student last name, parent email address, parent phone number, geographical location, name of school, etc.) to others.

  • This confidentiality extends to the disclosure of information through social media posts (both private and public), email, text message, or otherwise.

  • Please refrain from asking the student for any personal information such as cell phone number, personal email address or social media handles for platforms (including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or Snapchat).

  • When tutoring in-person resumes, you must work in a location where other adults are present such as the Pleasanton Library or school library.

  • This confidentiality does not apply to any information you disclose to: your student’s parent/guardian, Pleasanton PTA, PUSD staff, or as part of the suspected abuse or neglect procedures described below, or as otherwise required by law.

Reporting

  • Pleasanton PTA Volunteers are not required by law to be “mandated reporters” of suspected child abuse or neglect. However, if you do suspect child abuse or neglect, we ask you to report the situation to Pleasanton PTA Hub staff for the safety of the child.

Record Keeping

  • If you are tracking your volunteer hours, please have the student’s parent/guardian sign off on the hours you have met with the student at the end of each week or month. Pleasanton PTA will sign off on hours after the parent/guardian signature is acquired. If for any reason a parent/guardian signature is not possible, please contact us and we will work to find a solution.

  • Parents/guardians are encouraged to track the student’s hours and progress during the process.

Training info

The primary objectives of our volunteer training are to confirm the commitment of the volunteer, establish the basic parameters of the program, and to prepare the volunteers for our expectations of the volunteering experience.

Volunteers should keep in mind that these tutoring interactions should be student-centered. Even though students will ask volunteers about their lives and their opinions, it’s best to keep the focus mostly on the student and their homework and school-based projects.

These conversations should also support the idea that asking for help is normal (and fun!). The ability to ask questions and receive help without feeling stigmatized is a key ingredient in how a student may approach their future academic life and even their career. Tutors should emphasize the joy in asking, in answering, and in working and learning together.

Remember that a student’s parents and teachers are to be honored always, even if what you hear sounds disagreeable.

This means that even if you dislike “common core math” it’s not your place as a tutor to weigh in on that; it’s your job to roll up your sleeves with the student and figure it out together.

Finally, the best tutoring sessions are a great series of questions and answers. Tutors should be trained not to provide the answers but to urge students forward when they develop their own solutions to the problems presented in their assignments. Asking “Why do you think so?” and “How does that work?” gets students thinking. Saying, “Let’s look back at your teacher’s instructions,” or, “The textbook should tell us more,” helps center the conversation so the student has the best chance of getting their homework done independently with a tutor’s caring support.

We wish you success in your work and a meaningful volunteer experience!

Forms

Student Tutoring Request Form

If you are the parent/guardian of a PUSD student that would benefit from tutoring, please fill out this Google Form. We will review the request and respond to you via email within 2 working days.

Volunteer Tutor Application

If you are an a PUSD high school student or an adult volunteer in the Pleasanton community and would like to tutor elementary, middle or high school students in Math, Science, Language Arts (reading & writing), Social Sciences, or Foreign Language, fill out this application and indicate your subject(s) of interest and availability. We will review your application and respond to you via email within 2 working days.

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