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    Volunteer at SPS


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    Coronavirus updates for volunteers 

    Please visit district's SPS COVID-19 webpage for all information related to school closures. 

    Volunteering during school closures

    While our community is facing an unprecedented challenge, we are heartened by the many ways individuals and families are offering to support each other. Volunteers are helping with distribution of meals, learning packets and laptops, making masks for meal site staff, providing online tutoring, and so much more! Our latest volunteer effort is organizing the SPS Family Tech Support Helpline along with our partners Alliance for Education and SeaCiti. 

    How can volunteers help?

    1. If you were registered to volunteer with SPS prior to March 2020, visit to sign into your SPS volunteer profile and join the COVID-19 response team today. Our first effort is likely to focus on supporting buses distributing food. This is an essential activity under the new directive from the Governor - public health requirements will be followed, including screenings, social distancing, safety supplies.

    2. We know that many community members who want to support our students also need an income. School lunchrooms have been short-staffed since the start of the school year. You can apply at to become a sub during school closures and beyond (see more information below and share with others!)

    3. Lastly, please remember that SPS families rely on many volunteer-powered community organizations. Visit to support local service providers affected by COVID-19 volunteer shortages.

    Now, more than ever, we are thankful for our supportive community of volunteers!


    Please help us spread the word about nutrition team job openings! Forward this information to individuals in your community who may be interested in our paid, on-call positions: 

    Hiring nutrition substitutes now

    • Join our nutrition services team as a substitute
    • Prepare and serve meals, help maintain safe and clean environment
    • Choose from short and long shift across Seattle at $16.61/hr; opportunity to move into FT positions with benefits

    Learn more at & apply today!




    March 6, 2020 

    Preventing the spread of COVID-19 in schools

    As a school volunteer you play an important role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in school communities: 

    • Wash your hands when you arrive at the school, after using the restroom, and prior to handling any food. 

    • Help school staff reinforce good hygiene: remind students you volunteer with to sneeze into a tissue or elbow, not to touch their face, and reduce physical hand contact. Watch this short video with your family members for more hygiene tips. 

    • Stay at home when you are sick or if you were directed by a health official or agency to be quarantined. Notify the volunteer office if you or someone you are in close contact with test positive for Covid-19. 

    • Follow recommendations of Seattle - King County Public Health applicable to your situation. 

    Please visit and bookmark your school website for updates specific to that building, including potential event or program cancellations and school closures. 

    Impact on field trips

    SPS has postponed all district-sponsored out of state travel for staff and students through the end of the school year, including district-sponsored field trips and international travel. Washington state travel is still approved, but flights are canceled. Schools are working with families on reimbursements and the superintendent will be issuing a letter of support this week to provide to travel agencies and airlines.


    Seattle Public Schools encourages parents, family members, organizations, businesses, and other community members to volunteer with us!


    Volunteers make a BIG difference in the classroom

    When volunteers commit to serving at a school, students achieve higher grades, have access to more opportunities, and gain community connections to help them thrive.

    • Research shows that students who receive direct support from volunteer tutors achieve higher grades, test scores, and are more likely to graduate.
    • When volunteers provide clerical support to staff, educators have more time for instruction and individualized support for students working to meet academic standards.
    • Volunteers make programs supporting lowest-income students possible: Friday food backpacks preventing weekend hunger, school supply drives, etc.
    • Schools with large numbers of volunteers offer students more learning experiences through clubs, field trips, enrichment.


    Students in a classroom

    Can every school count on volunteer support?

    SPS-wide, schools enjoy tremendous volunteer support with over 20,000 individuals available to help. Unfortunately, some schools receive hundreds of volunteer applications while others only a few.

    On average*, Title I schools receive 100 volunteer applications per year, compared to 250 for remaining schools. The higher the percentage of low-income scholars in the school, the fewer volunteers are available to support classrooms.

    Volunteers in schools - inequities

    Step Up for Equity – volunteer where the need and opportunity for impact are the greatest

    Help a student get closer to meeting academic goals, feel supported and more confident coming to school. Volunteer for 1-2 hours every week to show your support for “Title I” schools!

    • If tutoring is not for you, how about organizing books or instructional materials?
    • Want to make sure students don’t go hungry over the weekend? Help stuff backpacks with food on Fridays.

    Learn about volunteer needs in Title I schools.

    Volunteering at a high school

    KING5 Morning News Anchor Steve Bunin recently returned to Seattle. This former ESPN anchor mentored teens in every city his career took him and received the President's Volunteer Service Award from Barack Obama. Steve volunteers at Rainier Beach High School as a mentor – he was matched with athlete Anthony Allen because of their shared interest in sports. Steve and Anthony’s weekly meetings focus on supporting Anthony's goals in school.

    For lasting impact and the most rewarding volunteer experience, make a 3-month commitment to one classroom or program. This is a big ask, as are volunteer needs in Title I classrooms. By showing up at the same school regularly, you show students that their success matters to you and that their school is supported by the community. You also develop rapport and trust while learning how to best support your scholars and can make a big impact on their lives. 

    Reny Mathan and Melissa Bean volunteer weekly at Northgate Elementary as tutors and classroom helpers in Mrs. Mulder’s Kindergarten Classroom. Reny (sitting on the left below) intentionally selected Northgate Elementary (one of our Title 1 schools) for her volunteer service.

    Volunteers in the classroom

    “Volunteering at Northgate Elementary gave me an opportunity to put my efforts where I felt they were needed and appreciated, and where I could feel I was making a difference, whether it be helping teachers with class prep or students with learning.”

    What are Title I schools?

    Title I schools have high numbers or percentages of disadvantaged students who:

    • live in poverty,
    • are homeless or lack stable housing,
    • live in foster homes,
    • regularly experience food insecurity,
    • lack access to after-school academic supports.

    Learn about current volunteer opportunities in Title I schools.

    * Based on 2017/18 school year data for K-8 schools.

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    Quick Links:

    Apply to volunteer with SPS

    Look up your volunteer application

    Contact your school's volunteer program liaison

      ASM Prevention Course

      Background Checks

    Chaperone Form

       Volunteer Driver Checklist

       Volunteer Handbook

       Field Trip Resources

    SPS Policies Policy No. 5630 (Volunteers)

    All-City Tutor Trainings Free Tutor Trainings provided by the Seattle Tutoring Coalition.

    Volunteer Program Brochure


    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 Volunteer Program procedures and policies, contact Ania Beszterda-Alyson - Volunteer Services Program Administrator at