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Volunteer

Seattle Public Schools Policy No. 5630 recognizes the valuable contribution by volunteers. In order to provide students with a safe environment and allow for a variety of opportunities for volunteering, volunteer participation is classified into several categories.

Getting Started
All schools are asked to designate a school site volunteer coordinator.  All volunteer work must be done under the direction of an assigned teacher, site volunteer coordinator, principal or vice principal.  Volunteers must comply with the district’s volunteer screening requirements.

EVERYONE, even people who have volunteered in the past, need to go through our volunteer application process.

If you are new to volunteering – with Seattle Public Schools, there is a multi-step process to complete.  You need to know that applications are processed weekly and cannot be expected to be approved next day.  For this reason, we recommend you complete this process well ahead of when you will want to volunteer. Your approval will last for 2 years, when you will be asked if you’d like to renew.

If you have completed an application for yourself in past years – go into your account (if you’ve forgotten your password, there’s a link for that) to update your information and complete the new requirements.  There is a Covid Health and Safety video and a vaccination requirement.  The former is watched online and the latter is shown to the school Volunteer Liaison on the day you come to volunteer the first time. You will then be on our approved list and not need to show it again.

  • Category A volunteers can fulfill most of our requests. These are volunteers that work alongside staff with our students.
  • Category B volunteers need further screening because they are being asked  to work alone with students – in person or online.

Email or call Kristina with questions kebartleson@seattleschools.org 206-252-4084


How to Apply to Volunteer with Seattle Public Schools

Why Volunteer in Your Child’s School?

  • Higher grades, test scores & graduation rates
  • Better attendance
  • Increased motivation & self-esteem

Checklist for New Volunteers

Visit our volunteer website to:

  • Review volunteer handbook
  • Complete online training
  • Apply securely online
  • Background check required

Questions? Contact your school office or visit Volunteer

Additional Steps for Certain Volunteer Roles

The following volunteer roles require a national background check, regardless of how long the volunteer has resided in Washington:

  1. Unsupervised volunteers who work with children regularly (including remote/virtual volunteers).
  2. Volunteers chaperoning overnight field trips longer than three days.
  3. Volunteers involved in any sports or gym activities coordinated by the school (for Athletics see *).

If situations 2 or 3 apply to you, visit the volunteer website to learn more.

* Important: Athletic coaches must apply via SPS Athletics Department.

Sports Safety

All gym and sports volunteers must be current on CPR, First Aid, Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Concussion Courses.

Field Trips

Field trip volunteers supervise students. Once approved to volunteer, request additional forms from the field trip organizer to review and acknowledge your important responsibilities.

Keeping Students Safe

Child Abuse Prevention

Nationally, one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before age 18. Volunteers help to protect children by learning to recognize and report potential abuse.

At SPS, each volunteer completes an online Sexual Misconduct Prevention training before start of their service.

Criminal Background Check

  • If you have lived in Washington State for the past three (3) years, SPS will complete your state background check at no cost to you.
  • If you came to Washington from another state in the past three years, you will need to purchase a one-time national background check.

New or newly returned to the U.S.?

Visit the SPS Volunteer page for more information.

Why is there a fee for out-of-state background checks?

Unlike our state, the federal government does not provide schools with free screening tools. SPS selected a vendor to offer secure, affordable background checks for the volunteers who need them ($21 in most cases).

Frequently Asked Questions

I completed an online application in 2021. Do I have to reapply this year?

Your online application is on file so please do not create a new application. On your second volunteer anniversary, you will receive an email with log-in instructions to renew your application.

Can I use my smart phone to apply?
Our online volunteer application is smart-phone friendly.

Thank you for helping create safe schools, and for your generous donation of time and talent!