Fairwood Explorer's Family Participation Program

  • Fairwood Explorer is a family participation school in the Sunnyvale School District.  As a member of the school community, each family is asked to volunteer in three ways:

    1. In the Classroom
    2. In support of the school community
    3. As a Field Trip Chaperone and Driver. 

    You can find out more about each of these roles in the description below. 

    To begin volunteering, please complete the Volunteer Application on Better Impact. To volunteer as a chaperone on a field trip, you will also need to complete fingerprinting.  You can speak to our front office staff for more information on how to complete the fingerprinting process for free.

    Finally, to review the available volunteer positions, please read the Volunteer Handbook (bottom of this page).  You will also find a copy of the Volunteer Job Preference Form at the end of this page.  You should receive a copy of this form from your child's teacher, but you can also access it here. 

Classroom Volunteers

  • At Fairwood Explorer, creating a caring and cooperative community to support student learning is at the center of what we do every day. Families are expected to volunteer 2 hours per child with a maximum of 6 hours/week. Each teacher uses parent volunteers in different ways. However, the common thread in all classes is the desire to have all volunteers focus on supporting student learning.  The teacher will work with his or her classroom coordinator to provide choices for a 2-hour time slot (or two 1-hour time slots) for volunteering in the classroom each week. Volunteering generally begins the last week of September/the first week of October.

    Classroom Volunteering Jobs

    Explorer classrooms benefit from strong parent involvement. Each classroom organizes parent volunteers slightly differently, and the teacher will provide the details for their specific classrooms. Some typical parent jobs include:

    • supporting small group instruction
    • skills coaching
    • leading activities that support instruction and connect to content standards
    • documenting/displaying the learning process and student work
    • monitoring the playground and lunch during recess
    • preparing materials
    • teaching social skills lessons through Project Cornerstone of Second Step
    • supporting arts instruction by serving as a "Meet the Masters" teacher

    Some parents prefer to work two hours at a time, others prefer to work for shorter periods on multiple days. We gladly welcome parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nannies, and any other adult who loves your child and is willing to commit to a regular volunteer position. Some families have one adult volunteer for two hours and other families arrange to have multiple adults share the opportunity to participate.

    The teacher will make every effort to help find a situation that works for our families. Generally, it works best when helpers are able to commit to specific jobs and time slots for the year. We understand that sometimes people need to make changes to their schedules.  Classroom coordinators and teachers can help to amend your volunteer role should the need arise.

    School Volunteering Jobs

    In order to support a variety of school programs and events, we also ask every family to volunteer to support at the school level.  Every family is asked to volunteer for 10 hours at the school level per year.  Examples of school volunteering jobs include:

    • Spooky Story Night
    • Stargazing Night
    • Steam Night
    • International Festival
    • Walk-a-Thon
    • School Socials 
    Field Trip Chaperone

    Fairwood Explorer prides itself on providing a wide variety of exciting field trips each year.  From plays and trips to local businesses to overnight field trips to Gold Country. To support these trips, we ask that every family volunteer to drive and chaperone for at least two field trips per year.

    Field Trip Driver

    Field trip drivers help our classes explore a wider area of the Bay Area and engage in a wider range of field trips, including overnight field trips.  If you are willing to be a driver for a field trip, you will need to complete the following actions:

    • All private vehicle drivers are required to be fingerprinted prior to providing transportation. 
    • All volunteer drivers must complete the Driver Registration form.
    • All volunteer drivers must be at least 21 years old.
    • Drivers will need to provide proof of license and proof of liability insurance. The minimum acceptable liability limit for privately owned vehicles is $100,000 per occurrence. If you transport students often, it is recommended that your coverage be $300,000 per occurrence.

    Proof of fingerprinting, license, and insurance will be submitted to either the Classroom Coordinator or the Field Trip Coordinator. Once you are approved to transport on a trip, please review the Volunteer Driver Instructions (see below) for basic information regarding expectations.

Sunnyvale School District Volunteer Application Process

    • The district office is utilizing a platform called Better Impact to create a volunteer portal for each volunteer.
    • The approval process can take 3 or more weeks to be completed, with fingerprinting taking the longest. Please plan accordingly. This process cannot be expedited.
    • Click here to visit the District webpage to learn how to become a volunteer.  To register as a volunteer at Fairwood Explorer, you can complete your application at this link: Better Impact