Parents on Campus

What is Parents on Campus?

The goal of the Parents on Campus program is to promote a positive and safe environment for all members of the Van Meter community during the daily lunch period. As part of this program, parent volunteers assist students at lunchtime by opening containers, encouraging positive behavior and excusing students from the lunch area. In addition, Parents on Campus volunteers help the playground supervisors by solving minor problems and monitoring the play areas until the final lunch recess bell. Staff personnel will always be available to provide guidance and to handle a difficult situation should it arise.

How Does it Work?

You may volunteer for Parents on Campus on a regular schedule, i.e. weekly, bi-weekly or once a month. Drop-ins are also welcome as your schedule permits. On your scheduled day, you should arrive prior to the lunch period at the main office to sign your name in the POC binder and to put on a green volunteer vest. Students are expected to remain seated while they are eating their lunch, after which they will raise their hands to be excused. When excused, students make one trip to dispose of trash and recycle. Students then walk out to the playground.

As more and more students are excused from the lunch area, POC volunteers should move out to the play areas, including the blacktop, the play structures, and the fields. The most effective way to help is by walking around and mingling with students.

Lunch times

Grade K11:45 – 12:15
Grades 1-211:45 – 12:35
Grade 312:00 – 12:45
Grades 4-512:10 – 12:55

Regular or Drop-In?

We welcome parents who wish to “drop-in” to volunteer without regularly scheduled days.

Rainy Days

On rainy days, volunteers are needed even more. Sign in to help monitor lunch in the cafeteria. During rainy day recesses, interested parents are welcome to supervise their child’s class and facilitate rainy day activities and games.

Lunchtime Recess Alternatives

In addition to playing on the playgrounds and in the fields, students have the option of going to the Computer Lab, Library, and/or Game Room. Adult supervision is provided for these indoor alternatives.

At select times in the fall and in the spring, students will be able to participate in a twice-weekly Running Club.

Helpful Hints

Students who need assistance find it difficult to talk to POC volunteers engrossed in conversations. Please remember to be available and approachable.

Walking around the playground is the easiest way to let children know you are available. Your visibility encourages them to make positive choices about their activities. If you see a large group gathering, wander over and see what is going on. Chances are if the activity is positive they will tell you what they’re doing; if the activity is negative they will stop immediately when you arrive.

If you observe minor misbehaviors, like students throwing trash on the ground, please feel free to intervene by requesting students to pick up after themselves.

Please report to staff any inappropriate, unsafe, or questionable behaviors you observe.