Highland Lakes Elementary School is seeking a different type of parent-volunteer — one to patrol the Granite Shoals campus, boost security efforts, and create a positive atmosphere for students. The Parents-on-Patrol program currently has only three volunteers.
“Parents-on-Patrol has been implemented at all (Marble Falls Independent School District) campuses this year,” said Megan Hamilton, the district’s communications specialist. “We have always encouraged parent-volunteers, but COVID-19 restrictions certainly hindered those efforts.”
Volunteers are assigned duties such as conducting checks on exterior doors, scanning parking lots, monitoring cafeterias, and maintaining order as students arrive at and leave the campus.
“The more adults we have actively participating in our ‘see something, say something’ culture, the safer we are as a school community,” Hamilton said.
As the nation continues to grapple with school shootings, one of the most recent in Uvalde in May, MFISD has increased security measures at all of its campuses. In October, the Granite Shoals City Council approved an interlocal agreement between the city and the district for a school resource officer at Highland Lakes Elementary. The campus will introduce and swear in the officer at an assembly on Friday, Dec. 9.
Parents-on-Patrol is not all serious business. Volunteers also might help school staff monitor children at recess, where they’re encouraged to unleash their inner-child and serve as positive role models by throwing around a football, pushing kids on the swing, and other fun activities.
“A friendly parent giving out smiles and high-fives as children see them in the halls can be the bright point in a student’s day,” Hamilton said. “Our kids experience a range of home-life situations that are out of our control, but we make every effort for school to be a safe, happy place where adults are present and caring.”
Interested applicants will need to pass a background check administered by MFISD and receive training from the district’s Central Office.
Upon acceptance into the program, volunteers will get a shirt and a lanyard to wear on duty.
“Every opportunity we have to foster a supportive environment for students is extremely appreciated, and the impact the parents who volunteer make is significant,” Hamilton said. “Teachers and staff also appreciate seeing active volunteers at school because it shows a level of support and commitment from the parents.”
To learn more about volunteering for Parents-on-Patrol at Highland Lakes Elementary School, contact Cathy Jacobson at 830-798-3650 or email@example.com.