Volunteer works with students

Getting Started!

1. Sign up on-line

Somerville Public Schools strives to match volunteers with meaningful opportunities that will best support student learning and meeting needs of the whole child/student.  Weekly volunteers: help us match you with a great opportunity and track our progress by self-registering on SPS VolunteerMatters.

2. Attend a Volunteer Orientation

Please be advised that Massachusetts schools are closed for the remainder of the school year.  All in-person Volunteer Orientations are suspended until further notice. 

Volunteer Orientations are held monthly at 42 Prescott St. (Cummings Building), Somerville. There you will meet volunteers new to Somerville Public Schools, learn best practices for serving in a public school and hear about specific needs and opportunities to serve. To RSVP email jcapuano@k12.somerville.ma.us or call 617-629-5475. Individuals with disabilities or individuals who require auxiliary aides, services or interpretation for communication, please email jcapuano@k12.somerville.ma.us  or call 617-629-5475 at least 48 hours prior to event.  Every effort will be made to accommodate your needs. 

3. Submit your CORI Form

For the safety of all students, all volunteers, regardless of time commitment or volunteer activity, are required to have an approved CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) before serving in a Somerville Public School. CORIs may be obtained and submitted at a Somerville Public Schools' Volunteer Orientation, through the Enrollment Center main office, 42 Prescott St., or directly through any Somerville Public School main office (elementary schools only), Monday through Friday, 7:30am-3:00pm. CORIs must be submitted on paper form with the applicant’s signature and photo identification (license, Massachusetts ID, REAL ID, US passport or US Government issued picture identification). Individuals without a Social Security Number may also apply. Individuals without a photo ID may submit a birth certificate or other US Government issued identification.

Volunteer Resources

Volunteer Guidelines

This Guide outlines Somerville Public Schools' practices for all volunteers and the expectations SPS educators and staff have as you serve in a Somerville school.

Somerville Public Schools remain steadfast in their commitment to serving all students and families, regardless of citizenship. Somerville Public Schools has a moral and legal obligation to enroll and serve every child living in our district without regard to immigration status, and without fear of discrimination.  As a volunteer serving in our schools, thank you for helping to continue to provide a welcoming, safe, inclusive and nurturing educational experience for all of our students.  This resource may be helpful in your volunteer work:  Teaching Tolerance - Diversity, Equity and Justice , and Immigrant and Refugee Children: A Guide for Educators and School Support Staff.

Literacy, Tutoring, ELL



Interactive reading games and activities: http://pbskids.org/games/reading/ 

Teen Ultimate Reading List

25 Books that diversify students’ reading lists\


The Chronical of Evidence-Based Mentoring


Best Practices of SPS Volunteer Math Tutors

  • Care  Get to know your student(s). Your tutoring may be a student's first 1:1 tutoring experience. Getting to know each other is important in gaining the student's trust, and retaining their interest and commitment to tutoring moving forward. Learn about student's favorite subjects, things they like to do, and share information about yourself.  

  • Consistency and Commitment   Commit to a weekly schedule for the school year. Your consistency helps solidify tutoring as a before-school, in-school, or after school option for students and educators. Be on time, provide at least 24 hours' notice if you need to cancel a session, and consider an alternative to weekly volunteer tutoring if you cannot commit to a once-weekly schedule. 

  • Communications  Secure educator's contact and determine how and how often they will communicate with you. Weekly or before each session is ideal.  You should receive regular updates about student's learning goals and progress.  If you notice gaps in student's understanding of certain concepts, notify educator as soon as you can.  Ask for help if you need it from educator!

  • Curriculum  From educator secure math curriculum for your student. Identify with educator and through your own observations which skills the student is needing extra help with; find out when quizzes and test occur to work on similar problems leading up to testing.   

  • Celebrate Effort, Build Confidence  Create an environment where the student is encouraged to ask questions. Model the steps you take to tackle a difficult problem. Praise student for their hard work and great problem-solving.  Celebrating the student's effort, not their abilities, can foster a positive mindset for future educational achievement and joy in learning: https://www.mindsetworks.com/science/.   Add fun, subtract testing stress, make it relevant wherever you can.


  • http://www.ncpublicschools.org/curriculum/mathematics/scos/  Instructional support tools by grade and standard, with explanations and examples.  Use as backup to unpack content. 
  • Khan Academy – searchable by topic, grade, skills, subject.
  • Internet 4 Classrooms – High-quality, free Internet resources to use in instruction, developing project ideas, reinforcing specific subject matter areas both in the class and at home and even for online technology tutorials.
  • We are Teachers: 23 fun hands-on ways to teach and practice multiplication, division.
  • Cool Math – Coolmath was designed for everyone from the frustrated, the confused, the bored students of the world who hate math to the math geeks of the world.
  • Math Playground – Create math worksheets, practice facts and play logic games.
  • Math Goodies – Math Goodies is a free math help site featuring interactive lessons.
  • Math Cats – Enrich children’s mathematical understanding; provides math explorations, trivia, and classroom activities for all grades.
  • A Math Dictionary for Kids – This site explains 600 common mathematical terms in simple language using animation and other techniques.
  • Fun Math Calculators – Provides math calculators for all sorts of things, from climate, to shopping, cooking, saving money, converting measurements, and plenty more.

Mentoring Resources