At Senita Valley, we appreciate parents, grandparents, and neighborhood volunteers. There are opportunities for volunteering in classrooms, in the library, tutoring, on field trips, and with the PTSA. We also have opportunities for helping at home for those who are unable to come to school during regular school hours. We are committed to providing quality educational opportunities and your help is needed and appreciated.
Contact our Volunteer Coordinator
Linda B Strayer
To become a volunteer, you must complete the on-line volunteer application found at www.applitrack.com/vail/onlineapp. You must also complete a criminal history affidavit.
If you have a grandparent, aunt, uncle or adult friend who wants to volunteer on a regular basis, they also must complete the on-line volunteer application, affidavit, as well as, be fingerprinted before they will be allowed to volunteer on campus. Please call our Volunteer Coordinator at 879-3112. We need you!
Senita Valley encourages visitation by parents and other adults. However, Senita Valley does not allow children to bring friends or relatives to spend the day as a classroom participant. In all cases, visitors should contact the teachers to make advance arrangements for classroom visitations. All visitors must sign in and obtain a visitor’s badge in the office before visiting the campus.
Why We Value and Need Volunteers
Parents play an important role in our partnerships with the community. Through these connections, our school has developed a relationship with a local church. The members of a local church built an OK to Read Corral with bricks purchased by families. This space, in our school courtyard, was created for students as an outside area for students to read. A small fountain, a canopy for shade, and a table and benches make this a peaceful place to be and adds beauty to our campus.
Make a Difference Day finds community members, parents, staff, and students working together to plant trees and flowers which provide a pleasant atmosphere in which to walk around the school. A school vegetable garden was built along with a cactus garden funded through a grant from the Tucson Succulent Society.
The hard work of our community partners has an impact on our school, in return, we work to make sure that our school can give back to the community. Senita Valley hosts the collection of canned goods for local food banks, shoes for low income families, and Pennies for Patients as a way to give back to our community.
Parent involvement is key in supporting learning at Senita Valley. Parents are involved in their child’s education from the first day of school to the last because of the open line of communication that teachers and administrators provide. Teachers send out weekly e-mails to update parents on weekly objectives, spelling lists, and activities that will be taking place in the classroom. Parents are also encouraged to contact teachers. To show that the parenting role is valued, teachers consult parents about the needs of students and ways to ensure that students achieve their very best. Staff can then develop behavior management plans when needed.
The Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) meets once a month to develop and plan fundraising and community events that have become part of our school’s culture. The PTSA enhances the role between parents and school as they work together to make decisions about what they would like to see take place at the school.
“The feedback we received from our parent survey were numerous requests to change PTSA meeting times and how it was difficult for parents to attend because of childcare. We created an easier path by changing our meeting time and providing childcare to accommodate parents. We now have more members attend our meetings. Our PTSA grows because our members and staff support our mission to help support our students with their educational needs.” – R.C., Senita Valley PTSA President
An event that the PTSA created is the school-wide Spell-A-Thon. This fundraiser was put in place as a way to see more of an emphasis on and excitement for spelling throughout the school. Students are given a grade level spelling list that they can study using the engaging activities provided in the Spell-A-Thon packet. Throughout the week of the fundraiser, students ask family and friends to support their education by pledging money for each word that the student spells correctly. The event then culminates in a “Bee” assembly for the whole school to celebrate the success of students and the fundraiser. Staff dress as bees and teachers are “honeyed” on stage.
Senita Valley’s volunteer base is supportive of classroom teachers, administrative needs, and school events. Teachers recruit parents from within their classrooms on Meet the Teacher night, Curriculum Night, and throughout the school year by providing sign up sheets and making volunteer opportunities known through e-mails and flyers.
Once parents are recruited to volunteer, they are referred to the volunteer coordinator to fill out a volunteer application and an affidavit. Volunteers can assist in the classroom by working with small groups of students, helping with class projects, or becoming room parents that help with many classroom activities such as door decorating and planning classroom events. They can also volunteer for school-wide events such as Teacher Appreciation Week, the PTSA MUDventure, and our Annual Family Festival event. Volunteers who are unable to come into the classroom, but would still like to help, are given the opportunity by teachers to take projects home to complete.
As a way to make sure our volunteers feel like an integral part of the school, we invite volunteers to an appreciation luncheon and nominate them for district awards, such as Volunteer of the Year. All volunteers are recognized at Vail Pride Day. We celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Week where students and staff are encouraged to find creative ways to thank the volunteers who do so much for our students and school.