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Volunteer to help a child with disabilities

This is an extremely important program and very gratifying for volunteers who take part. You can help make a difference in the life of a child. Metro Schools is looking for people to serve as surrogate parents for students with disabilities. Federal and state law require a parent or a guardian to advocate for a child's educational needs when he or she has a disability. They help make decisions in the best interest of the child. Surrogate parents are volunteers who are appointed for students when there is no parent or guardian available.

The two biggest examples of this are when the parent’s rights have been terminated, and/or when we can’t locate the parent. In these instances, the foster parent and/or the group home representative can’t serve as the parent during the special education process.

Surrogate parents have no financial responsibility for the students they represent. Surrogate parents and students have contact only in the school setting.

To serve as a surrogate parent, volunteers must agree to the following:

  • Be willing to attend no less than a three (3) hour training session
  • Be willing to complete a background check for volunteers through the Pencil Foundation
  • Be employed by an organization or business other than MNPS or any other agency involved in the education or care of the student
  • Be willing to represent the child throughout the special education decision making process
  • Be willing to become acquainted with the child’s educational needs
  • Respect the confidentiality of all records and information
  • Monitor the child’s education program, services, and/or placement
  • Recommend appropriate changes in the services and/or placement of the child

There is a training session on Friday, April 25,  from 8:30 until 12:00 pm at Martin Professional Development Center. Reservations must be made so materials can be prepared for each participant. For more information, and to make reservations, please contact:

Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools Department of Special Ms. Betty Holmes 2601 Bransford Avenue Nashville, Tennessee 37204


The deadline to reserve a spot is Tuesday, April 22, 2014.

Please consider volunteering for this very important program. It really can turn a child's life around.