Volunteer Hour FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Volunteering at John Adams Academy
Volunteer Hours – Modeling What We Teach
At John Adams Academy, parent involvement is not just a way to help out in your child’s classroom, it is the way we strengthen our community. Our mission is furthered anytime we come together to serve, lead or support our scholars. As a service leadership institution, John Adams Academy seeks to create an atmosphere where selfless service, community involvement and action for the public good are the norm. This is the legacy that we hope to pass to our children and just as importantly, it is one that that they will pass to their children. When families donate their time to the noble cause of investing in their community, they are truly restoring America’s heritage. In an aggressive culture where children are taught that peace and happiness come from the clothes that they wear, adulation they receive, or the number of friends they have on social media, we seek to have them experience something different. We want them to know that true peace of the soul comes when we put ourselves at the disposal of other human beings, selflessly doing the right thing for the right reason.
The parent, as the primary educator, is the most visible sign of servant leadership in forming the virtue and character of our scholars. Through our parent’s actions, scholars are able to see that service and servant leadership is not something that is only taught in the classroom, it is a standard lived in society.
Parents have a variety of talents, skills, and availabilities for service. Scholars, teachers and staff have a variety of needs. Sometimes the biggest difficulty is linking parents with those volunteer opportunities. To assist with this, we have been utilizing an online program called “ParentSquare” that provides a safe and efficient means of helping parents fully participate in the John Adams Academy community. ParentSquare is a two-way private communication platform that connects administrators, teachers, staff, groups and parents. Parents can join groups, find volunteer and donation opportunities, RSVP for events and report their volunteer hours, all in one easy location.
Each parent receives a ParentSquare account upon enrollment and an activation email is sent at that time. Whether you are a newly enrolled parent, or a parent who has not yet activated your ParentSquare account, simply sign on to www.parentsquare.com with the email address or cell phone number that you used to enroll at John Adams Academy and an activation email will be sent to you. To download the ParentSquare app for Android or iOS click HERE.
If you need any assistance please contact the Outreach Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The pages below are resources for signing in to ParentSquare, joining groups, finding volunteer opportunities, and reporting completed volunteer hours.
What is the importance of my volunteer hours?
How many volunteer hours is my family asked to complete each year?
At the outset of your involvement with the Academy, we ask for a voluntary commitment of forty (40) hours per year, per family. We are a community of like-minded individuals that seek the better good of society by the demonstration of public and private virtue.
Are the volunteer hours required in order for my scholar to be enrolled at JAA?
No, volunteer hours are completely voluntary and the Academy cannot force you to complete them. They are a commitment you make to model servant leadership when you join us. The lack of service is a loss to our community and our children.
What happens if I do not complete all of my hours, will I be billed or my scholar punished?
No, as stated above volunteer hours are completely voluntary and the Academy cannot force you to complete them. Our goal would be to work with each parent to identify a variety of opportunities for service so that the agreed upon volunteer hours can be completed. There are no negative consequences to a parent or a scholar if a parent was unable to complete the requested number of hours. Again, this is commitment you make to your children and their educational community.
Can I make a financial payment instead of doing volunteer hours?
Yes, some parents choose to make voluntary financial contributions because of their personal situation, at a rate of roughly $20 per hour. (The average cost to JAA for similar or like tasks.) This is purely voluntary and nothing replaces the example of servant leadership.
Can I exchange purchased items for volunteer hours?
YES! You can exchange requested purchased items for volunteer hours at the exchange rate of 1 hour per $20 spent. Example: a purchase of $10 would equal 30 min. and a purchase of $40 would equal 2 hours. Please include time spent gathering items. Example: If cookies were made for an event and a ½ hour was spent at the store procuring items, you would include the ½ hour getting the items +Cooking time + the cost of the items donated.
Where do I find volunteer opportunities?
For information on how to find volunteer opportunities please click HERE.
Can another member of my family work my volunteer hours for me?
Yes, as long as YOU enter those hours on your ParentSquare account. Example: your sister helped out in the classroom for 1 hour. You would log into your ParentSquare account and enter that 1 hour and note that it was your sister who worked in the classroom in the “Additional Details” box.
Are there volunteer opportunities available after hours or on the weekends? Yes!
What do I do if I have a real family emergency that prevents me from completing my hours for a certain period of time?
We understand that there may be certain times where a family emergency prevents some from fulfilling the volunteer hours request (Historically less than 2% of families) in which case you should immediately contact the Outreach Dept. at email@example.com to discuss ways to assist your family. With that said, a busy life or previous commitments do not preclude families from honoring the request made when joining the Academy.
How often do I need to check ParentSquare ?
Though, you can customize your ParentSquare preferences for immediate notifications, we suggest that parents use the Digest Function to receive all notifications one time per day to respond to projects that are time sensitive.
Is childcare available so I can do my volunteer hours?
No, due to strict licensing laws for childcare, we are prohibited from making childcare available. This however, does not preclude parents from organizing off-site arrangements or play-dates that can be supported through the ParentSquare functionality. We will recognize hours for parents who watch children for this purpose, so others can volunteer at the Academy.
Can I volunteer in other areas of the Academy if my child is not in that grade or program?
Yes, all volunteer opportunities are available to all parents/grandparents/guardians, despite the age or grade of their scholar. In fact, getting involved in other areas is a great way of getting to know the entire JAA program and to build community synergy.
If my family has excess hours, can I donate my excess hours to those that have had real emergencies and need extra hours?
We do not bank hours or allow families to designate extra hours specifically to a particular family. We do however, track hours and log types of services completed which means you can log any hours above the forty requested by entering “Above Request” in the notes. Those hours can offset the shortfall for families that have legitimate emergencies. Please remember that nothing replaces the individual contributions of a collective group and the diversity of the talents that abide within our parent community. The preference is to always seek ways in which families can become more involved through acts of service. With that said, please notify the Outreach Department at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of any family with an undue hardship or particular circumstance.
What if I have a particular expertise or talent that I can offer to the Academy?
This is a great strength of the ParentSquare platform. For the first time you will be able to list your particular passions or expertise to be considered for projects in those areas. Though, we can’t assure you that we will have projects where we can always utilize those strengths, we can assure you that we will work our hardest to offer you more meaningful ways to contribute. To list your specific technical expertise, please contact the Outreach Department at email@example.com
Do teachers keep track of my hours?
No, parents are expected to track their own volunteer hours via their ParentSquare account. Teachers do not keep track of volunteer hours but may verify hours if lost or entered incorrectly.
How do I report my volunteer hours?
For instructions on how to report volunteer hours please click HERE.
Can I report my hours via a smartphone?
Yes, you can report your hours via a smartphone. The ParentSquare app for Android or iOS can be downloaded HERE.
What if I can’t report my hours with a computer? Can a paper log be submitted?
Yes, you are always free to submit a paper log for your hours at the front desk at elementary or secondary office. We also have the computer and Chromebook lab available for you to access your ParentSquare account. Please feel free to inquire at the front desk.
Is there someone I can talk to when it comes to problem solving in the area of volunteer hours or servant leadership?
Yes, because of the importance your example plays in the development of servant leadership for our scholars and community the Academy has devoted several staff to the success of this core part of our program. The Outreach Department is always available at firstname.lastname@example.org, for assistance.