Volunteer

One of the many wonderful things about Burning Tree Elementary School is the partnership between the teachers, administrators and parents. Together, we further enrich the lives of our children and create a strong and diverse community that provides a stimulating and enjoyable atmosphere for everyone. Volunteering is a great way to meet other parents, spend time with teachers and share experiences with your children at school.

The key to our success in creating this community is the donation of your time, talent and treasure to the school. Over the course of the school year, there are hundreds of opportunities to get engaged with the school for an hour a day at home or for a day at a school event, to longer term commitments organizing particular events or serving on the PTA Board. Our approach is flexible enough to accommodate any schedule, interest and skill-set. And, as a result, we are able to provide additional support to the teachers for our students, ensure teachers and staff feel appreciated by our community and stay involved in our children's school lives.

Examples of short-term commitments:

  • Media Center
  • Classroom Party Planner (Halloween, Valentine’s Day and End of the Year)
  • Field Day 
  • Bus Driver Appreciation
  • Teacher Appreciation Lunch
  • SSL Volunteer (Volunteer Form)

Examples of day-of-event volunteers:

  • Book Fair
  • Science Fair
  • Talent Show
  • Bingo Night
  • Back to School Picnic
  • Spring Fair
  • Skate Night

Examples of longer-term Commitments:

  • Classroom Liaison 
  • Board Positions
  • Planning Committees for all major events, such as Spring Auction, International Night and the Spring Fair

Volunteer Requirements FAQs

What are the requirements to volunteer at Burning Tree Elementary School?
All volunteers are required to sign-in at the front office when volunteering at school.  Based on the type of activity, adult volunteers are required by Montgomery County to complete the MCPS online Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect volunteer training.  In addition, certain activities require background checks, including fingerprinting.

What activities require the online training?
Online training is required for adult volunteers who are assisting with recess, dismissal, Field Trips that end after 7 pm or overnight and for those adults who regularly spend time in the classroom.  

What activities do NOT require the online training?
The training is not required for one-time events under the supervision of school staff, observing or helping with class parties or celebrations, guest readers or speakers or parents/guardians eating lunch in the cafeteria with their children. 

When do I need to complete the online training?
Online training needs to be completed PRIOR to participating in any of the activities listed above. 

Where do I find the online training?
Online child abuse and neglect training for volunteers is provided on the MCPS website and takes about 45 minutes to complete https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/childabuseandneglect/reportingchildabuse/story_html5.html 

Will the online volunteer training be provided in multiple languages?
Yes. The online training is currently available in Spanish, Chinese, French, Korean, Amharic and Vietnamese. 

How will we know that volunteers have completed the training? 
As volunteers complete the training, participation is recorded and tracked by MCPS.

If I took the online training last year, do I need to take it again this year?
Beginning with the 2017-2018 school year, volunteers will need to complete the child abuse and neglect training at least once every three years to continue volunteering. If volunteer training was taken in: 2016–2017 renew in 2020–2021, 2017–2018 renew in 2020–2021, 2018–2019 renew in 2021–2022. 

When do I need to complete fingerprinting and a background check?
Volunteers on overnight field trips and Volunteers on other field trips that extend beyond 7:00 p.m. in the evening (e.g. out of area, out of state) are required to complete criminal background checks, including fingerprinting.  This includes chaperones for 5th Grade Williamsburg trip. 

Active federal, state, and local law enforcement personnel who have completed a criminal background check as a requirement of employment are exempt from the MCPS background check requirement. However, they are required to provide a copy of their official law enforcement agency issued policy identification to verify exemption from fingerprinting requirement. For all others who have been fingerprinted for their work (White House, a government agency, etc.), they must be fingerprinted through MCPS or American Identity Solutions (AIS) in order for MCPS to receive the reports from the authorities (past and future criminal activities). 

Where do volunteers go for background checks?
 Fingerprinting and background checks may be obtained at the following location(s) by appointment: 

 Location     Address Phone
 The Office of Human Resources Development (OHRD)
  •  45 West Gude Drive, Rockville, Maryland 20850
  •  301-279-3276
 American Identity Solutions (AIS)    
  • 6701 Democracy Boulevard, Suite 110, Bethesda, Maryland 20817
  • 12501 Prosperity Drive, Suite 200, Silver Spring, Maryland 20904
  • 7361 Calhoun Place, Rockville, Maryland 20855
  •  301-571-9479
  • 240-670-7952
  • 301-296-4499
   
  
How long does it take to be cleared?
It takes approximately four weeks to complete the background check process. 

Who pays for volunteers to complete their background check? 
The volunteer is responsible for the cost of the background check. The cost is $54 at OHRD and $59 at AIS. On a case-by-case basis, schools may work with volunteers to make alternative arrangements to cover the cost. 

Who informs potential volunteers that they have been approved or not approved?
Potential volunteers will receive notification by mail of the background check results. 

Who should I contact if I have questions about volunteer training and background checks?
If you have any questions or concerns about volunteer requirements, please contact your school.  In addition, concerns not addressed at the school level may be directed to Dr. Jonathan T. Brice, associate superintendent, OSFSE, at 240-453-2426.

Join us for a tremendous experience contributing to our community and watching it grow. For more information about volunteer opportunities, please contact Meri-Margaret Deoudes, Vice President of Volunteers at volunteers@burningtreepta.org.

If you plan to volunteer in the classroom, you must complete the online Volunteer Training Program from Montgomery County Schools http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/childabuseandneglect/. More info regarding this policy and requirement will be communicated through BTNet.