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DCPS Volunteer FAQs

photo of classroom and students

Do I need to go through the volunteer clearance process?

Anyone who has the potential to be alone with a student or is volunteering on a regular basis needs to go through the clearance process. DCPS does not process volunteers who are placed at charter schools, private schools or other off-site locations.

When can I come in to complete the volunteer clearance process?

Starting November 1, 2015, volunteers are fingerprinted on a walk-in basis Monday through Thursday from 8 am to 5 pm and Fridays from 8 am to 3 pm.

What do I need to bring with me to be processed and fingerprinted?

You will need to complete the online application, first time volunteers must show proof of a negative TB test taken within the last 12 months or chest x-ray taken within the last 5 years, a state issued photo ID, and have a confirmed DC public school placement. You will also need to know your social security number. We will not fingerprint anyone without these documents and a school name. No exceptions will be made.

What if I can’t complete the online application at home?

We have computers available on the 10th floor at 1200 First Street, NE for you to complete the online volunteer application.

What is a state issued photo ID?

We are able to accept a driver’s license, non-drivers ID, passport or military ID. Unfortunately DCPS will not be able to fingerprint you without once of these form of ID.

What if my tuberculosis (TB) test was positive?

If your skin test is positive, but you do not have active TB, then you will need to show negative results from a blood test taken in the last 12 months or a chest x-ray taken in the last 5 years.

Do I need to know the name of the school where I will be volunteering?

Yes. All volunteers must have a confirmed placement in a DC public school before going through the clearance process.

What if I do not have a volunteer placement yet?

If you are looking for a placement during the school day, use the school profiles link to identify schools that may be a good match. Feel free to reach out directly to the schools to explain what you would like to do and when you are available. If you are interested in volunteering after school, or in the evening, please reach out directly to one of our vetted community based organizations.

Does DCPS process and fingerprint charter school volunteers?

No. We do not use DCPS resources for non-DCPS volunteers. Charter and private schools have their own requirements and will not accept a clearance letter from DCPS.

Does DCPS accept outside background checks?

No. All volunteers must be fingerprinted through the DCPS Office of School Security. The only exception is for potential volunteers who have an active secret or top secret federal security clearance.

I have a secret or top secret federal security clearance. What do I need to submit?

You will need to complete the online volunteer application and submit the federal security clearance verification form, proof of a negative TB test taken within the last 12 months, and a state issued photo ID. The verification form should be signed by the granting agency and mailed to the volunteer office. We can only accept the original signed federal security clearance verification form (no faxes, scans or copies).

I am coaching a sport. Should I complete this form?

No. The clearance process for coaches (paid and unpaid) is managed by the Athletic Office. For more information, call the Athletic Office at (202) 729-3288.

Do student teachers go through the volunteer process?

No. Any student who is receiving course credit for being in a DC public school should go through the student teaching process. For more information, email [email protected].

Do DCPS new hires go through the volunteer process?

No. Any student who is receiving course credit for being in a DC public school should go through the student teaching process. For more information, email [email protected]. Note that this does not include DC charter schools.

What happens if I do not clear the background check?

First of all, we encourage volunteers to include as much information as possible about anything that may show up on the FBI background check. Volunteers who have a hit on their background check will receive a letter from the Office of School Security with a copy of their background check. The letter will include instructions on submitting the proper documentation in order for a decision to be made about the clearance.

I was fingerprinted last week. When will I receive my clearance letter?

The clearance letters will be emailed to you 5-10 business days after you are fingerprinted. You are not eligible to begin volunteering until you receive the clearance letter.

Can I request another copy of my DCPS volunteer clearance letter?

Yes. Please email [email protected] and include the correct spelling of your first name, last name, and date when you were fingerprinted. Also include the name of the program and DC public school where you will be volunteering. Please keep in mind that if you went through coaching process, you will need to ask the Athletic Office at (202) 729-3288 for a copy of your clearance.

When does my volunteer clearance expire?

The clearance is valid for two years. The date of your clearance is at the top left corner of your clearance letter. After the two years you are required to go through the volunteer clearance process again.