ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Background checks used to be performed only at district offices
Albuquerque Public Schools has made it easier for parents and other willing volunteers to help out in their schools, by moving the application process online.
Would-be volunteers used to have to go to APS headquarters in person to get a background check. School board members had expressed concern that the process dissuaded busy parents from volunteering, especially those who live far from the Uptown administrative building.
The process also used to cost $33. It now costs $12, which can be paid online with a credit or debit card.
Volunteers can go to www.aps.edu/volunteer-with-aps to fill out the application and pay the fee. Those who pass the background check can start volunteering within 10 business days.
An APS news release encouraged volunteers to fill out the application now so they’ll be ready when school starts Aug. 13.
Those without computer access can still go to 6400 Uptown NE to fill out the application, or they can go to their child’s school, where computers will be made available.
The application asks for contact information, date of birth, Social Security number and driver’s license number. This is used for the background check.
APS estimates that volunteers spent 35,000 hours in the classroom last school year and that their service is valued at $3.5 million.
In the news release, volunteer program manager Sonja Martens encouraged volunteers to take advantage of the streamlined process.
“We encourage you to volunteer with our schools, and we appreciate all of our volunteers, whether they are students seeking community service opportunities, a family member seeking to become more involved in the education of their children, a senior citizen seeking an outlet for their skills and experience, or a corporation wishing to give employees greater opportunity to be involved in their community,” she said.