Skip To ContentSkip To Content

    How to Volunteer at SPS 

    Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Seattle Public Schools! Whether you are a parent, a family member, or a community member, the following resources will help you prepare to volunteer with our students.​

    STEP 1: Online Training - Preventing Sexual Abuse of Children and Youth

    Nationally, 1 in 4 girls & 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before age 18. Through this course, you will 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.

    STEP 2: Volunteer Handbook

    Review the Volunteer Handbook for info and tips to consider while volunteering with SPS.

    STEP 3: Volunteer Application

    • We transitioned away from annual paper applications in August 2018.and since then saved over 14 trees! Learn about our paperless volunteer application and how to apply online here.
    • Once you are approved as a volunteer in our online system, your application materials will stay active for as long as you volunteer with any SPS school. Every two years, we will ask whether you would like to stay active, and if so, request your permission to complete a new background check. 
    • If you need a paper application, please request it from the school office where you wish to volunteer. 

    Note: Athletic Coaches (both volunteer and paid) must apply through the Athletic Department using this online application. For more information, contact or call 206-252-1800. 

    STEP 4: Background Check

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

    • 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 you completed this step last school year, you will not need to do so this year. 
    • 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. 

    Learn more about volunteer background checks and how SPS is keeping students safe:

    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 for information about assistance. 

    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.