Volunteer at TOPS! We need you!
Volunteers are essential to supporting our students and staff, and volunteering is a fantastic way to join our tight-knit community and a great way to get to know other families, teachers and staff, as well as your students’ classmates. Many TOPS programs benefit from your involvement, whether it is helping in the library, during lunch or recess, with students’ safe arrival and departure, supporting in the classroom or art, doing projects from home, chaperoning field trips, or leading/contributing to TOPS events throughout the year.
How to Volunteer at TOPS
All volunteer applications are done online. Please go to the Seattle Schools main Volunteer webpage for more information on how to submit your application. Friends of TOPS will cover background check fees for families recently relocated from out-of-state, or those who need financial assistance. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
If you would like ideas on where TOPS could use a lending hand, please contact the Volunteer Coordinators or your Room Reps.
Thank you for supporting TOPS and making a difference!
Sarah Kinsella and Angela Gillespie
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 the SPS Volunteer page to learn more.
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:
- Unsupervised volunteers who work with children regularly (including remote/virtual volunteers).
- Volunteers chaperoning overnight field trips longer than three days.
- 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.
All gym and sports volunteers must be current on CPR, First Aid, Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Concussion Courses.
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.?
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 last year. Do I have to reapply this year?
Your online application is on file so please do not create a new application. On your second volunteer anniversary, you will receive an email with login instructions to renew your application.
Can I use my smart phone to apply?
Our online volunteer application is smart-phone friendly.
Thank you for helping create safe schools, and for your generous donation of time and talent!