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Volunteering at Olympic View

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.

SPS serves 53,000 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.

At SPS, the volunteer application process varies based the supervision setting of your volunteer role:

Category A Volunteer: All school and remote volunteer roles that support the school, staff or families; can include direct student contact if the volunteer is supervised. District personnel must be on site and within view if the volunteer will interact with students. Alternatively, another adult approved SPS volunteer must participate in the activity and be present at all times. Standard volunteer onboarding process applies to Category A volunteers. 

Examples: classroom or library assistance, field trip planning, office or recess support, school newsletter editor, family tech support volunteer. 

Category B Volunteer: All school and remote volunteer roles that involve contact with students without staff or other approved Category A volunteers present. Additional screening is required for Category B volunteers. 

Examples: math club coach, breakout room facilitator (in a virtual classroom), one-on-one tutor (including remote/virtual), mentor. 

How to Volunteer…

Volunteers should complete every step or confirm that they are current with their application.


Current Volunteering Opportunities

OV Art Committee

We L O.V. E. Art and hope you do too!

O.V. has an Art Committee that supports our

  1. Art Docent Program (for every classroom) led by Jenny Hellmann
  2. Art Residencies with Creative Advantage Teaching Artists for each student (by grade level)
  3. Art Night for the whole family to enjoy
  4. Community Art projects (like our murals and fence-weaving)
  5. Enrichment activities at many PTA sponsored events

And much more!

If you are interested in participating or just learning more… please contact Liz Law (Co- Lead and Multi-Arts Teacher) at melaw@seattleschools.org or Sarah Wichlacz (Co-Lead and Parent) at swichlacz@gmail.com

Join the OV PTA…

Please consider becoming a paid member of the Olympic View Parent Teacher Association. Membership strengthens the voice of our community, helps support the WA State and National PTAs, and allows you to vote on OV PTA matters, including how to spend the money we fundraise. Scholarships are available, if you need one.

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 2021. 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 log-in 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!