Volunteer approval process


It takes a village...

... to raise a child and an entire community to make a school “Someplace Special.” Every year, the students of Buena Vista benefit from the strong tradition of parents, grandparents, and members of the community who are willing to give their time to support our programs and, most importantly, our children.

The Buena Vista PTA simply could not do all the amazing things it does without a lot of help. We have a place for every member of our school community whether you are a stay-at-home parent, a parent who works part-time or full-time outside the home, or even a grandparent who is retired. You can check out the Volunteers section of our website for an overview of some of those opportunities.

Volunteers must be approved

Recently the Greenville County School District established new guidelines for volunteers. Anyone who wants to help out in any school in the county has to submit an application for either a Level 1 or a Level 2 volunteer clearance. A school employee has to supervise Level 1 volunteers at all times, but they can help in classrooms, the Media Center, or with campus activities. The front office staff will run Level 1 volunteers’ I.D.s through the National Sex Offender Registry every time they check in to the school.

While we value our Level 1 volunteers a great deal and appreciate their contribution to our school, the Buena Vista PTA is encouraging all of its volunteers to apply for a Level 2 volunteer clearance. This clearance is important, because it allows volunteers to work with students one-on-one, to chaperone field trips, and to help out with any last minute needs of our students and staff. Once you have the Level 2 clearance, which includes a criminal background check, it’s good for three years. That process can take up to two weeks, so we are encouraging all of our volunteers to complete the application as soon as possible.

Volunteer Approval Process

Our front office staff has put up QR codes throughout the building that will take you to the District’s Visitor and Volunteer Guidelines page, which contains links to the Level 1 and Level 2 applications. If you do not have a QR code scanner or if you have not been inside the building this school year, you can click HERE for more information.

Buena Vista’s administration and the PTA would love for you to get involved at whatever level fits into your life. No matter what you do at the school, you will always check in with the ladies in the front office. They want to pass along some important information that will make things easier for them and for you:

  • Bring your I.D. with you every time you come to volunteer.
  • If the District cleared you as a Level 2 volunteer last year, your clearance is good for two more years, but you will need to have your driver’s license picture scanned into the system this school year. The District will send out an email to notify you when your clearance is about to expire. Also, you will need to create an account on the District’s new Volunteer Portal (more on that in a bit).
  • NEW THIS YEAR: The volunteer clearances are good for any Greenville County School, so if you have a child at Buena Vista and another one at Riverside Middle for example, you will fill out one application that will cover you for both schools.

Still not sure how it works?

Fifth grade teacher Jessica Rahn created the Tip Sheet below for parents to make the process as easy as possible. As you may know, fifth graders are going on a field trip to Washington, D.C. this year, and that requires many parent chaperones who have to be cleared as Level 2 volunteers by the District. Mrs. Rahn created the Tip Sheet for her class, but she’s agreed to share it with all of us! We hope it will answer any remaining questions you have, but if it doesn’t, please refer to this VOLUNTEER PROCEDURE provided by GCS, CONTACT a member of the PTA Board, or ask someone in the front office. We want to help you help our school!