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    Seattle Public Schools encourages parents, family members, and community members to volunteer with us! Read about current volunteer opportunities.

    Getting Started as a School Volunteer

    STEP 1:

    • NEW! Our volunteer applications are now "green". Learn about our new paperless volunteer application and how to apply online here.
    • Once you are approved as a volunteer, your online application materials are good for two years  - after two years you will be able to elect to keep it active
    • If you need a paper application, please request it from the school office where you wish to volunteer. 

    Note: Athletic Coaches (volunteer and stipended) must apply through the Athletic Department - please email or call 206-252-1800. 

    Step 2: Prevent Child Sexual Abuse
    View the Adult Sexual Misconduct Prevention - online course (click here)

    Nationally, 1 in 4 girls & 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before age 18. We can all help protect children by learning to recognize and respond to sexual abuse.

    • If you haven’t in the past, complete the 17-min Adult Sexual Misconduct Prevention training at
    • At the end of the video you will have an opportunity to enter your information, including email address. Once submitted, an automatic email will be sent to you (previously a certificate) - please save it to attach it to your volunteer application. 
    • If you experience technical challenges with the training, please reboot your computer. 

    STEP 3:

    Submit your application online. If you requested a paper application, turn it into the school or dept. volunteer coordinator/contact.

    STEP 4:

    SPS is committed to providing students with a safe educational environment. This includes ensuring every volunteer and staff member completes a criminal background check.

    • A background check is mandatory once each school year. This allows SPS to review potential new criminal records.
    • The designated school contact will confirm your identity using a photo ID and determine the type of background check required based on your application packet.
    • Volunteer applicants who have lived in our state for the past three years can be screened by SPS via state criminal records database. This database is accessible to SPS for free via Washington State Patrol.
    • Unfortunately, the federal government does not provide an equivalent criminal records database. Applicants who are newer to our state must go through a one-time $21 U.S.-wide background check conducted by an online vendor.
    • If your volunteer role will involve regularly spending unsupervised time with students, you must complete the national background check even if you are a long-time resident of Washington. 
    • If you are instructed to complete the national background check, learn more here. National background check results are usually ready in 1-3 days.

    Every parent or caretaker should have the opportunity to participate in their student’s education. If you face barriers to completing the online background check, please visit our web page for family volunteers or information about assistance. 

    Learn more about volunteer background checks and how SPS is keeping students safe here or go to

    Please note: While all volunteers must be screened through the background check, a criminal history does not automatically disqualify one from volunteering in the schools. 

    STEP 5:

    While you are waiting for approval please read the Volunteer Handbook for additional info and tips to consider while volunteering with SPS.

    Volunteering at a Specific School

    If you are interested in working with a particular school, please contact that school directly. Visit the SPS School Directory webpage for contact information.

    Not all schools have a Volunteer Coordinator, but all schools have someone able to respond to people interested in being a volunteer in their school or programs.

    Volunteer as a Coach

    Looking to volunteer as an athletic coach? Athletic coaches (both volunteer and paid) are required to complete additional ASM prevention training and national level background check. Athletic coach role description and application are available at the district job board.

    Volunteer Group Opportunities

    The Self Help Projects Program regularly needs volunteer groups to implement school building or ground improvements, including: 

    • Painting a classroom
    • Weeding and mulching landscape areas
    • Installing new playground equipment
    • Creating a mural
    • Developing a school garden
    • Landscape renovation
    • Developing a conceptual master site plan

    Learn more on The Self Help Projects Program webpage. 

    School and Community Partnerships

    Seattle Public Schools believes it is vital to engage families and community members in the life of the school as a community center of learning.

    To learn more visit: our Community Partnerships webpage.

    Communities in Schools of Seattle

    Are you looking for ways to meet people, get involved, and give back to your amazing community? Our goal is to connect volunteers. Just take a quick look below to learn about our various on-going projects and programs:

    Watch our video with some of our outstanding volunteers!

    Also on Vimeo at

    The friendly URL for this page is:


    For questions about available volunteer opportunities or the status of your volunteer application contact the school or site where you would like to volunteer. 

    For questions about SPS Volunteer Program policies contact Ania Beszterda-Alyson - Volunteer Services Program Administrator at