Volunteering and Visiting CPS

  • Welcome to Columbia Public Schools!

    The philosophy of volunteers in Columbia Public Schools embodies the belief that community participation in our schools enriches the school program and fosters the public's interest in our schools, both of which can make a positive difference and strengthen the educational environment.

    The safety and well-being of our students, staff and volunteers is our number one priority. Parents and community volunteers enhance the educational experience and we value everyone’s time and support.  If you are interested in helping our schools, please contact our Community Relations Office.  We welcome the involvement of parents and community members in our schools.  Volunteers require a background check.  Visitors are invited to the campus for a specific event/reason, sign-in and sign-out from the main school office on a visitors log, and under the direction of the principal.  Visitors are neither alone with nor supervising any students.

    Missouri law requires school volunteers who will be alone with students, unsupervised by CPS employees, to have criminal background checks that include fingerprints before volunteering and interacting with students.  Fingerprint records are submitted to the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a search of criminal history files and will come at a cost to the volunteer.  

    Volunteering and visiting Columbia Public Schools procedures are updated with Missouri law changes. 
    We determine by definition if someone is visiting (under the supervision of a CPS employee) or volunteering (alone with students in a supervisory role).

    Defining Volunteers and Visitors

    Volunteers:  Any individual who assists the district on an uncompensated basis and who is unsupervised by a CPS employee while with students. These individuals with a completed background check may volunteer to assist with student activities before or after school, and chaperone students on field trips.  

    These individuals may be on school grounds to interact with their child(ren), attend activities, school events, assemblies or have lunch with students with a Columbia Public Schools employee present.  They may also be assisting the school with supervision by a CPS employee such as a room parent for classroom parties, mentoring or tutoring students in the classroom or media center, assisting the office with making copies or some other similar activity.  Visitors do not require a background check.

    A few things to note about visiting CPS:

    • Visitors are under the direction of the building principal. 
    • Visitors sign in/out school buildings. 

    All visitors and volunteers shall act in accordance with district policies, regulations, and school rules. Volunteers and visitors are under the direction of the building principal. Volunteers and visitors may be asked to leave the campus if they violate a school rule.  Volunteers shall maintain the same confidentiality standards expected of certificated personnel and exhibit the ethical behaviors of a professional. Volunteers shall not have access to confidential student files or records.  Volunteers will be covered under the district's liability insurance policy while performing services sponsored by the school or the district.

    Volunteer program questions may be directed to the Office of Community Relations at cpscomm@cpsk12.org or (573)214-3960.

    Thank you for your support of the community and Columbia Public Schools. Your contribution makes a difference!