The Superintendent shall ensure that the School implements a volunteer program to supplement and support the efforts of employed staff to work directly with students in the instructional or residential programs, or to provide support services in other departments of the School. In implementing the program, the School shall consider volunteers a resource that requires advance training, planning and preparation for effective use. Volunteers shall not be used to usurp, diminish, or replace the positions or functions of employed staff. If practicable, the School shall include volunteers in addition to paid staff in planning the implementation of the program. [Govt. Code 2109.003]
Volunteers serve without receiving compensation in the form of hourly wages or salary.
Reimbursement for necessary and authorized expenses are not considered compensation.
The purpose of volunteer activity at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired is to meet the needs of the School and its students rather than to meet the needs of prospective volunteers.
The Superintendent designates the Director of Community Resources to coordinate the School’s volunteer program. The Director of Community Resources or designee will work with prospective volunteers who have a genuine interest in visually impaired students or the operation of the School and can provide a needed service within the School’s programs or operational functions.
Volunteers in the school shall work directly under the supervision of the designated staff member in whose activity they are assigned, in accordance with approved procedures.
PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS AND GUIDELINES
All prospective volunteers shall fill out an application form provided by the School.
The School’s volunteer program shall include:
- An effective training program for paid staff and prospective volunteers.
- The use of paid staff to plan and implement the volunteer program.
- An evaluation mechanism to assess the performance of volunteers, the cooperation of paid staff with the volunteers, and the overall volunteer program.
- Follow-up studies to ensure the effectiveness of the program.
Govt. Code 2109.004(a)
The School may:
- Reimburse volunteers for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of volunteer services.
- Cooperate with private organizations that provide services related to those provided by the School.
- Purchase engraved certificates, plaques, pins, and/or other awards of a similar nature that do not exceed $50 per person in value to recognize special achievement and outstanding service of volunteers.
Govt. Code 2113.202(b)
CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD
This section applies to a volunteer or person who has indicated, in writing, an intention to serve as a volunteer with the School.
This section does not apply to a person who volunteers or is applying to volunteer with the School if the person is volunteering for a single event on the school campus and will be escorted by School employees so that at no time is the volunteer alone with a student.
Criminal History Record Check
Upon the request of campus administrators, TSBVI shall obtain the criminal history record of prospective school volunteers and shall inform volunteers when their services are to begin.
TSBVI requires a criminal history record check of all prospective mentors.
A volunteer may not perform any volunteer duties until:
- The volunteer has provided to the School a driver’s license or another form of identification containing the person’s photograph issued by an entity of the United States government; and
- The School has obtained from the Texas Department of Public Safety and may obtain from any other law enforcement agency, criminal justice agency, or private consumer reporting agency all criminal history record information that relates to a volunteer.
The School shall pay any costs related to obtaining criminal history record information under this section.
Education Code 22.0835
A volunteer who is serving as a direct service volunteer at TSBVI is immune from civil liability to the same extent as a School employee under Education Code 22.051. However, this section of law does not limit the liability of a person for intentional misconduct or gross negligence.
A “volunteer” is a person rendering services for or on behalf of the School on School premises or at a School-sponsored or School-related activity on or off School property who does not receive compensation in excess of reimbursement for expenses.
Education Code 22.053; 30.02
A person who volunteers to assist with an extracurricular activity is not liable for civil damages arising out of an act or omission relating to the requirements under Education Code 33.205 regarding safety precautions [see Policy FM] unless the act or omission is willfully or wantonly negligent. Education Code 33.211
Subject to Civil Practices and Remedies Code 91.003 (liability insurance requirements), a health-care practitioner who, without compensation or expectation of compensation, conducts a physical examination or medical screening for the purpose of determining the physical health and fitness of the patient to participate in a school-sponsored extracurricular or sporting activity is immune from civil liability for any act of omission resulting in the death of or injury to the patient if:
- The health-care practitioner was acting in good faith and in the course and scope of the health-care practitioner’s duties;
- The health-care practitioner commits the act or omission in the course of conducting the physical examination or medical screening of the patient;
- The services provided to the patient are within the scope of the license of the health-care practitioner; and
- Before the health-care practitioner conducts the physical examination or medical screening, the patient signs a written statement that acknowledges:
- That the health-care practitioner is conducting a physical examination or medical screening that is not administered for or in expectation of compensation; and
- The limitations on the recovery of damages form the health-care practitioner in connection with the physical examination or medical screening being performed.
If the patient is a minor or is otherwise legally incompetent, the patient’s parent, managing conservator, legal guardian, or other person with legal responsibility for the care of the patient must sign the written statement.
Civil Practice and Remedies Code 91.002
Immunity for Shelter Workers
A School volunteer is not civilly liable for an act performed in the discharge of duty if the person is performing an activity related to sheltering or housing individuals in connection with the evacuation of an area stricken or threatened by disaster. Gov’t Code 418.006, 431.085
Training-Concussion Oversight Team
A licensed healthcare profession who serves on a volunteer basis on the School’s concussion oversight team [see Policy FM] must have had training in the evaluation, treatment, and oversight of concussions at the time of appointment or approval as a member of the team. In addition, the professional shall, at least once every two years, take a course in the subject matter of concussions approved by the University Interscholastic League (UIL), the Texas Department of State Health Services Advisory Board of Athletic Trainer, or the appropriate licensing authority for the profession.
The professional must submit proof of timely completion of an approved course to the Superintendent or designee. A licensed healthcare professional who is not in compliance with these training requirements may not serve on a concussion oversight team in any capacity.
Education Code 38.154, .158
The Superintendent shall develop procedures to implement a Volunteer Program. These procedures shall address, but not be limited to, the following areas: criminal records checks, documentation of time volunteered, training of volunteers, monitoring of volunteers, dismissal of volunteers, and cancellation of volunteer activities.
Amended: 9/26/86, 11/12/87, 9/25/92, 3/26/93, 9/29/95, 1/23/98, 5/28/03, 11/18/05, 6/4/08, 4/5/19