Become a Volunteer

130_BSV_DearDay_20100305bwWhat does it take to become a Berkeley Schools Volunteer?

Your interest in working with kids and teachers is the basis for your success as a school volunteer. We place volunteers under direct supervision of BUSD teachers and staff so the people working everyday with our students can control how, where, and when to apply volunteer support. You design your volunteer schedule directly with your supervising teacher.

What are the requirements for volunteers in Berkeley schools?

Because you will be working with our hardworking staff and children during the school day, we do have volunteer requirements and friendly reminders:

All new volunteers are required to attend a BSV New Volunteer Orientation so we can explain special district initiatives, needs and volunteer do’s and don’ts in our schools. Please click through to read more and register for an Orientation.

We will present many volunteer options at our orientation, during which you will tell us in what type of volunteer opportunity you would like us to place you. You can also read through our volunteer opportunities before you attend an orientation. Teachers tell us volunteer consistency and punctuality are more important than being an expert in a particular subject or having years of experience. We welcome seasoned professionals and newcomers alike!

Volunteers should have/be:

  • at least 2 hours a week available to volunteer for at least one semester (unless other arrangements have been made)
  • at least 16 years old (“minor” volunteers are usually restricted to placements working with Pre-K through 5th grade students)
  • able to pass required screening steps (varies by placement; no cost to you)
  • willing to work with diverse student classrooms of mixed abilities, learner levels, backgrounds and cultures
  • able to support staff and student learning (with reasonable accommodations)
  • love to work with kids/youth (you can specify age/grade preferences)
  • UC Berkeley students can volunteer for credit through our Field Studies course

Please review our Volunteer Policy page for additional requirements.

If you have already completed a BSV orientation, please submit a Returning Volunteer Form for a new name badge and/or new placement.


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Are you a Parent/Guardian of a student currently attending a BUSD school?

If you are a parent/guardian of a child currently attending the BUSD school at which you wish to volunteer, you have rights under the CA Education Code to do so with prior notice and approval from the school site and staff. If you choose to volunteer outside your child’s classroom, your school site may ask you to come through BSV for additional clearances. Please understand this is to protect all our students, as school sites have limited ability to screen volunteers. You may also choose to come through BSV’s training to find community, improve your strategies for working with children and teachers, and for help finding other volunteer opportunities. Please contact us or your school site to ask about your specific situation.

Business, Club or Church?

BSV matches teachers with individual volunteers. With that said, we sincerely value our partnerships with groups and organizations to strengthen and educate the Berkeley community and will seek new ways to connect your members with our schools. Please contact us with your interest and needs and we will do our best to find opportunities to match.