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Volunteer at TOPS! We need you!

Volunteers are the reason TOPS has so many fantastic programs, activities and strong classroom support! Volunteering helps create a wonderful, tight-knit community for our kids and is a great way to get to know the families, teachers and staff at TOPS. We need volunteers of all kinds – from people who are willing to lead big events to people who want to take on support roles, people who want to do small projects at home to people who want to show up the day of and lend a hand.

How to Volunteer at TOPS

All volunteer applications are done online. Please go to the Seattle Schools main Volunteer webpage for more information how to submit your application. Friends of TOPS will cover any background check fees for families recently relocated from out-of-state. Email for assistance.

Thank you!

If you need any ideas on where TOPS could use a lending hand, please contact the main office or our Volunteer Coordinators. Whether it’s the Fall Fundraiser, Taste of TOPS, or the TOPS Auction – there are these and many more chances to contribute your services. Some are: daily recess and lunch help (this is critical), Room Reps, tutors, field trip coordinators, grant-writing folks, class or grade book order coordinators, and of course, help in the classroom.

Get to know the school and the staff, get to know your children’s classmates, make a difference.

Thank you for supporting TOPS!

Teri Gaines and Candice Boley
TOPS Volunteer Coordinators

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 the fall of 2019. Do I have to reapply this year?

Your online application is still 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 update your application.

Can I use my smart phone to apply?

Yes! Our online volunteer application is smart-phone friendly!

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