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DCPS Volunteer FAQs

photo of classroom and students

Do I need to go through the volunteer clearance process?

Any individual that will be providing volunteer services, including parents, must complete the DCPS Clearance process. The only exceptions granted are individuals in the groups noted below:

  1. You are volunteering for a one-time,on-campus event, like Career Day or Field Day. Please email the Clearance Team at [email protected] to confirm whether you qualify for a clearance exception.
  2. You are a potential volunteer under the age of 18. Individuals in this group should complete this form: Under 18 Years Old Volunteer Application and return to [email protected]
  3. You are a potential volunteer with an active secret or top secret federal security clearance. Individuals in this group should complete the Federal Security Clearance Verification letter in lieu of being fingerprinted with DCPS. The original signed verification form, a copy of a state issued photo ID, and TB test taken within the last 12 months should be emailed to [email protected]

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

Fingerprinting services are offered 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?

We strongly recommend that you complete the DCPS Clearance Application online prior to your visit to save time. Note that within the application, you must indicate your school location. 
When you report to DCPS Central Office for the fingerprinting process, you must bring negative TB test results taken within the last 12 months to receive fingerprinting services. 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 provide fingerprinting services without one of these forms 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 interested in volunteering during the school day, use the school profiles link to identify schools that may be a good match. Please 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 DCPS Partner Directory of 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 Clearance Team unless you meet the exceptions noted above. 

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

Yes, all coaches must complete the DCPS clearance process. 

What happens if I do not clear the background check?

We strongly encourage volunteers to include as much information as possible within their online Clearance Application  about prior incidents that may reflect on a  FBI background check. Volunteers who have a prior incident noted on their background check will receive a letter from the Office of School Security with further instructions to move forward in the clearance process.  

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

Clearance letters are emailed within 5-10 business days of the fingerprinting date. 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. 

When does my volunteer clearance expire?

DCPS clearance records are valid for 2 years from the fingerprinting date. As a reminder, the date of your clearance is at the top left corner of your clearance letter. Once the 2 year period has past, you must return to DCPS Central Office to complete the fingerprinting process. Note that a new TB test is not required for returning volunteers.