Apply or Renew
Two weeks are required for approval. Volunteer applications must be completed at least two (2) weeks before the expected volunteer service start date. See details below.
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- Returning Volunteer? Renew via the Volunteer Portal
- What type of volunteer role are you applying for?
- Two Weeks Minimum Required for Approval
- Step 1: Online Training – Preventing Sexual Abuse of Children and Youth
- Step 2: Volunteer Handbook
- Step 3: Volunteer Application (includes Background Check)
- Step 4: School Approval
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Seattle Public Schools! Volunteer opportunities vary by school. We recommend that you complete the following application process after receiving confirmation from a school staff member about your volunteer role. Whether you are a parent, a family member, or a community member, the following resources will help you prepare to volunteer with our students.
SPS serves 50,000 vulnerable children and youth. We are committed to carefully screening volunteer candidates to ensure student safety as required by law, SPS policies, and the Washington Schools Risk Insurance Pool (our insurance provider).
Returning Volunteer? Renew via the Volunteer Portal
If you volunteered with SPS since September 2018, we likely already have a volunteer application on file for you. Please do not create a new volunteer application! Visit our Renew or Update Volunteer page for details.
What type of volunteer role are you applying for?
At SPS, the volunteer application process varies depending on the setting and area of service:
Review the SPS Volunteer Handbook for more information about volunteer categories and application types.
Two Weeks Minimum Required for Approval
For the following reasons, volunteers must update their applications at least two (2) weeks before the expected volunteer service start date:
- SPS receives up to 15,000 volunteer applications and renewals each year. Approval of each volunteer requires action by your school’s Volunteer Program Liaison (VPL) and one central office staff member.
- Due to budget cuts, many school office positions were cut by 50% or eliminated, and central office staff are absorbing additional duties.
- VPL duties are carried out by one member of the school office staff who has many other duties.
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.
- Complete the 17-min Adult Sexual Misconduct Prevention training.
- Answer test questions during the training and on your volunteer application.
Step 2: Volunteer Handbook
Carefully review our online Volunteer Handbook to learn about volunteer responsibilities, rights, and tips for successful volunteering.
Step 3: Volunteer Application (includes Background Check)
- Volunteer applications are processed online. Every year SPS volunteers save 14 trees by completing and/or updating their applications online. Thank you!
- Once you are approved as a volunteer in our online system, your application materials will stay active for as long as you volunteer with SPS. 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 experience problems creating your volunteer application, visit our volunteer portal guide for tips.
Step 4: School Approval
Before your first volunteer shift, the school volunteer program liaison must verify your identity in person (or through an online meeting for virtual volunteers). Please have the following available:
- Government-issued photo ID
- If you did not complete the national (Sterling Volunteers) background check AND your Washington State ID was issued less than 3 years ago, please bring proof of 3-year residency in Washington State. Examples: older/expired ID, lease agreement, utility bill, school records. Make sure this document was issued at least three years ago and features your full name and a Washington State address. If your child attends the school, office staff may be able to review your child’s school registration records (not all staff have access to them).
During this last step, if the school volunteer program liaison confirms your identity and verifies that you selected the correct background check type on your volunteer application, they will add your name to the list of approved volunteers for that school.
If you have questions about your application or background check, call the school office or email the school’s volunteer program liaison.