Volunteering in the District

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Sun Prairie Area School District. We have many community members who volunteer in our schools, making a world of difference in the education of our students.

Why the Schools and Community Need You ...

  • Individualized attention helps boost students' academic performance and self-confidence
  • Positive role-modeling helps students learn good behaviors and habits
  • Students learn to be positive contributors to their community



Schools of Hope

Schools of Hope is a program in which caring volunteers from our community tutor struggling students in an effort to increase the academic performance of students of color and those from low-income families. Volunteers are trained and then matched with students who need this additional help. It is a partnership between sun Prairie Area School District, United Way of Dane County, Centro Hispano and the Urban League of Greater Madison. This dynamic collaboration relies on the unique expertise of each partner agency and staff t manage and develop the projects. If you are interested in volunteering for Schools of Hope, please complete the Schools of Hope Volunteer Application in addition to the Criminal Background Check information.

As a Tutor, You Will . . .

  • Feel the satisfaction of helping students succeed
  • Learn new skills and sharpen old ones
  • Connect with the public education system
  • Contribute to personal wellness
  • Help students perform better and boost their self-esteem
  • Enable students to excel, so they become positive contributors to our community

Did you Know?

The number of Sun Prairie children from low-income families has significantly increased over the years. In 2010, approximately 29% of all SPASD students were economically disadvantaged. Growing up in poverty can result in:

  • Smaller vocabularies as school starts (800 words on average vs. 10,000 words for students from more affluent homes)
  • Less time listening to books read aloud (25 hours vs. 1,000 hours)
  • Significantly lower scores on tests

Volunteer tutors play an important role in boosting school success for underachieving students.

Our school locations for Schools of Hope are:

Prairie View MS Coordinator (608) 834-7890

Patrick Marsh MS Coordinator (608) 834-7652

Cardinal Heights Upper MS Coordinator (608) 318-8155

Westside Coordinator (608) 834-7525
Northside Coordinator (608) 834-7171
CH Bird Coordinator (608) 834-7322
Creekside Coordinator (608) 834-7754

AVID Tutors

Tutoring AVID students is an extremely rewarding experience for people of all ages and backgrounds; as a tutor, you will help us achieve our mission of closing the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society.

We ask that our tutors commit to a semester's worth of tutoring on Tuesdays or Thursdays or both; however, we also offer flexibility in where and when our tutors can help out. Tutors are also asked to commit to tutoring at one of our buildings exclusively. 

We do require our tutors to get a background check through the school district, and we also require our tutors to go through four hours of training in AVID-specific strategies prior to beginning their tutorial duties. Follow-up trainings each quarter will last four hours apiece and will occur outside of the regular school day; tutors will be given significant notice prior to attending these trainings.

This is a paid position.


WatchDOGS® are fathers, grandfathers, uncles, and other father-figures who volunteer at the school for a day. During the day, WatchDOGS® will:

  • Help in their child's classroom,
  • Play at recess,
  • Eat lunch with students, 
  • Watch the school entrances and hallways,
  • and any other assigned activities where they actively engage with not only their own students, but other students as well.

For more information about this national program, please visit WatchDOGS®

School Friends Program

Big Brothers Big sisters of Dane County coordinates the School Friends program at Westside Elementary. The School Friends program pairs volunteer mentors from the community (Big) with students in need of a mentor.

Bigs and the student will meet at the school at the same time each week for an hour. The pair may choose to work on homework, shoot hoops, or just talk about the day. The positive impact this relationship has on the life of a student is tremendous and well-documented, resulting in better grades, attendance, behaviors and self-confidence for the student. As positive the experience is for students, the program volunteers agree that being a Big is an incredibly rewarding experience, as well.

To become a Big or to learn more about the impact you could have on students, please contact their office: (6080 661-5437   or email.



  • Adopted by the Administration: August 4, 2004

Revised by the Administration: March 12, 2007; December 14, 2009; September 22, 2010

IICCSchool Volunteers; IICC-E, Code of Ethics for Volunteers

KK, Visitors to the Schools During the School Day

KK-R, Procedures for Implementing School Visitor Policy

School Board policy requires that all volunteers complete a National Criminal History Background Check. 

Volunteers, as defined by Policy IICC, are “adult volunteers who consistently and routinely volunteer in the schools for educational purposes and have access to confidential student information and/or unsupervised contact with students.” 

The following outlines the steps required:

1.       The volunteer should contact the Human Resources Department to obtain the volunteer registration packet.  The packet contains the forms required for completion of the background checks.  Packets will also be available at each school for direct distribution.  (Individuals may also choose to make a one-to-one appointment with the Human Resources Department to complete the packet.)

2.       To maintain confidentiality, completed packets should be sent only to the Human Resource Department.

3.       Upon receipt of the completed materials, Human Resources will conduct a confidential national criminal background check. 

4.     Upon completion of the background check, Human Resources will contact the individual to inform them of the results of the background check if something appears on the background check that was not disclosed or causes concern.

5.       The Human Resources Department will issue a notice to individuals who successfully complete the background check.  Volunteer name badges will be available at the schools for the individual who has undergone a successful background check.

6.       Each building administrator will identify an individual or individuals to act as a building volunteer coordinator.  The volunteer coordinator will have access to the database of volunteers who have successfully completed the background check.  Badges will be located at each building and will be issued on a daily basis when volunteers check in and returned upon checking out at the building.

7.      It is the responsibility of school staff facilitating the volunteer activities to make sure that the volunteers have been screened prior to performing their duties.  This can be done by viewing the volunteer name badge or by verifying with the Building Volunteer Coordinator that the individual is included in the list.

8.   Volunteers who have not completed a successful background check shall not be provided unsupervised access to students or to confidential student information.

9.   School administrators retain the authority to approve all school volunteers and the tasks they perform in the schools.