RSS rebuilding volunteer numbers, hosting training sessions

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, April 5, 2022

SALISBURY — Rowan-Salisbury Schools is looking for more volunteers in the wake of the pandemic.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began and schools were ordered to close in March of 2020 the district began a no visitor policy, but now all the district’s schools are accepting volunteers again and RSS wants to rebuild its volunteer numbers.

April is National Volunteer Month and the district will be sending out more information on volunteering in the next few weeks via social media.

There will be a training session held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday and another at noon on May 3 at Wallace Educational Forum. RSS Community Relations Specialist Amanda Howard said the sessions will last about an hour and go over general information as well as procedures anyone working with children in the schools should be aware of.

“We go over some information about the school system itself, who we are, what our mission is, what our vision is as well as what our volunteer mission and vision is,” Howard said.

Howard said anyone interested in volunteering should get in touch.

“Everybody has special gifts and we feel like those should be shared,” Howard said.

Some of the areas the schools are looking for volunteers in are people to read one-on-one with students, chaperones for field trips and test proctors, volunteers for concession stands and help with book fairs. Some schools are looking for lunch helpers who free up planning time for teachers.

Howard said the schools have been short on volunteers, and in the past many volunteers have been older people who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

“I’m hoping that with the numbers being as low as they are that people will feel safe enough to come back in and participate,” Howard said.

She said the district has set a goal to grow its volunteer base by 10%, which should be a modest goal because more people are reaching out about getting involved.

“People are searching for that sense of normal routine again and we have a lot of volunteers that are there on a daily basis,” Howard said.

Right now the district has 912 active volunteers in its database though it is difficult to say if some of them have been inactive recently. She said the hope is to have full participation by the end of the school year.

Every volunteer has to get a background screening. There are two tiers of volunteers, those who are not allowed to be alone with students and those who have undergone training to monitor students.

Volunteer registration and background check forms are also available on the district’s website at

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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