APS encourages and welcomes volunteers in our schools. We invite parents, families, and community members to get involved and support students throughout the year. Our volunteer activities vary from school to school, and volunteers can get involved and make a difference by helping with a wide variety of activities. Interested in volunteering with us? To ensure the safety of our students, staff and visitors, there are a few steps to complete before beginning your service. There is an updated application process for the 2019-20 school year as part of the new Visitor Management System, so please read the steps below and FAQ carefully.
- Complete the Volunteer Application Form. This form serves as an introduction of yourself and your interests and availability. The application process is managed online and through the secure online platform that we use for the Visitor Management System, called Raptor Technologies. The application process includes a safety check that screens volunteers against sex offender registries. Applicants will be asked to identify the activities they are interested in supporting, the school(s) where they want to volunteer, and if they are volunteering on behalf of a partner organization. Once your application is received, you will receive a generated email confirming receipt. To begin the application process, click on the link below:
- Complete the mandatory online Safe Schools Sexual Misconduct training. Before the volunteer application is approved, the sexual misconduct training will need to be taken and passed. This training is required for any volunteer (parent or community member) who regularly supports schools, chaperones a field trip, etc. and is available in multiple languages. School-based Volunteer and Partner Liaisons will create an account for the volunteer in Safe Schools and assign the Sexual Misconduct training once the application is complete. When the course is completed, a certificate is created to serve as proof of satisfying the training requirement.
- Contact the school(s) where you wish to serve. Each volunteer will be informed as to the status of their application once completed. If you do not hear back about the status of your application within one week please contact your school’s Volunteer and Partner Liaison and let them know how you want to get involved. Once approved, your application is valid for two years. You will be able to sign in at your school as a Volunteer.
When filling out the application, please note that applicants are required to complete all fields that are marked with an asterisk.
How to Volunteer: Frequently Asked Questions
As a community, we are mindful of our shared responsibility to create safe, healthy school environments that foster student success and well-being. APS is grateful for your partnership in this effort. Below are answers to frequently asked questions to help clarify the volunteer application, training and screening requirements.
Who can be a volunteer? Volunteers may include parents/guardians and other family members, as well as members of the community interested in supporting education and have any interest in investing their time and talents to support students in Arlington.
How do I become a volunteer? All volunteers who regularly support schools and school sponsored activities must complete an application and State-mandated Safe Schools Training for volunteers and chaperones. This training requirement also applies to volunteers who regularly help in the classroom, and those who wish to attend field trips and chaperone trips to the Outdoor Lab. The application and online training is provided in English and Spanish.
Who needs to complete the application and training? Who is exempt? Only individuals who regularly support schools must complete the training. This means those who volunteer on an ongoing basis, including enrichment providers. Individuals who support at large events or those who assist at one-time events under the supervision of school staff members are not required to view the training at this time. Below are examples of the types of activities that do not require completion of the training:
- Parent/community members who serve as one-time guest readers or speakers in classrooms under APS staff supervision
- Parents or family members who are observing or supporting a student recognition, celebration or party
- Parents/guardians serving as a lunch buddy one time or visiting to eat lunch with their children
Why do I need to complete this process if I want to chaperone my student’s field trip? It is essential that chaperones complete the process since they are often off-site, off school grounds with groups of students other than their own children and may be unsupervised by APS staff members during those trips at certain times.
What is Raptor Technologies? Raptor Technologies is the online platform APS uses for the Visitor Management System as well as for volunteers, sex offender screening and the visitor, volunteer, contractor, and staff sign in/out process. Individuals wishing to volunteer with an individual school or multiple schools is able to complete their application online in English and Spanish by accessing the Raptor Technology systems links dedicated to the school division.
Where can I find the online volunteer application link? The link to the online application can be found by clicking one of the links below.
How will APS know that I have completed the training? Participation is recorded and tracked by APS within the Safe Schools System. Schools will access a report listing the family and community members who have successfully completed the training. Once complete, contact the school liaison with your certificate and they will load it into the Raptor system so that you will be approved for two years.
How long does it take to complete the volunteer process? The volunteer process usually takes about a week from start to finish but may be expedited if you coordinate with your school’s liaison.
- Fill out the volunteer application online (approx. five minutes)
- Receive the Safe Schools training link (usually within 48 hours of completing application)
- Complete the online training (approx. 35 minutes)
- Send certificate to V&P Liaisons
- Receive approval email from Communications Coordinator (usually within one week)
If I completed the Safe Schools training 2018-2019 school year, or with a previous employer, do I have to take it again in the 2019-2020 school year? Yes. Because this is a new system, all volunteers need to complete the process. APS takes safety seriously and is committed to providing a caring, safe and healthy learning environment. Virginia requires that a mandatory sexual misconduct training be provided to all volunteers. Safe Schools is the vendor that APS has selected to provide virtual training that meets the requirements. The course is administered online and everyone is required to take the training. Once completed during the 2019-20 school year, approved volunteers will not need to retake the training for a period of two years. Volunteers are required to complete the training every two years beginning after the 2019-20 school year.
Once I’ve completed the training, can I begin volunteering? Yes.
How do I find volunteer opportunities? The best way to begin volunteering is to contact the school directly to find out what volunteer opportunities are available.
What procedures do I follow when volunteering? To best support school staff and students, volunteers are expected to follow these procedures each time they volunteer:
- Volunteers must sign-in and sign-out of the building using the Visitor Management System (VMS).
- Volunteers must wear the VMS produced volunteer identification name tag at all times while on school property.
- Volunteers may not access confidential student or personnel records and should respect the confidentiality of students.
- Volunteers working with students must be within view of other APS staff members and avoid unsupervised, one-on-one student contact.
Who should I contact if I have questions or concerns about my role as a volunteer or required volunteer training? Please contact the school you wish to volunteer directly. The list of school liaisons is available here. For concerns not addressed at the school level, contact Dawn Smith, the APS division-wide Volunteer Coordinator. She can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 703-228-2581.
We appreciate your interest in working with our students and our schools!