FAQ

Have questions? Learn about the San Francisco Education Fund’s services and how you can partner with us.

What does the San Francisco Education Fund do?

The San Francisco Education Fund harnesses the power of the local community to give public school students, particularly those from underserved communities, the support they need to succeed. We do this by providing volunteers, educator grants, scholarships and school-company partnerships.

We focus on helping students reach critical milestones on the path to college: Reading proficiently by the third grade and performing at grade level in mathematics by the eighth grade

Find out more about our programs.

Where does the San Francisco Education Fund provide its services?

While the Education Fund’s volunteers dedicate time in schools throughout the San Francisco Unified School District, we work most deeply in a set of high-need schools we call “Focus Schools.” Find out more about our Focus Schools.

What is Circle the Schools? How can I get my company involved?

Circle the Schools is a program that pairs local companies with public schools to work together to accomplish common goals. Companies commit to participating in at least three to five activities with the school and focus on helping the school reach its own unique objectives. Find out more about this program and how you can get your company involved.

How can I volunteer in a classroom?

The Education Fund’s volunteer training and clearance process will prepare you to volunteer weekly in a San Francisco public school.

What is the time commitment to volunteer?

We ask all ongoing volunteers (tutors, mentors and classroom support) to commit to a minimum of one hour per week, during the school day (typically from 8am-3pm as well as some after school opportunities from 3-5pm) for an entire school year.

What is involved in the clearance to become a volunteer?

Volunteers who have signed up to attend an information session will then be prompted to fill out a volunteer application, attend a specialized training and complete the clearance process: All school volunteers must pass a background check and test negative for tuberculosis (TB). You should bring a government-issued photo ID to your training so you can be fingerprinted for your background check and answer a few questions about your TB risk.

You will receive detailed information throughout each step of the process either by phone or email.

How long does it take to be cleared to volunteer?

After you have attended a training and been fingerprinted, it will normally take one to three weeks to get cleared, depending on when we hear back about your fingerprinting results and references.

If there is a delay in receiving your fingerprint results from the Department of Justice we will contact you.

How soon can I start volunteering?

After you are cleared, it will take, on average, two weeks to obtain a placement at a school. We will reach out to you if we expect this process to take longer for any reason.

Please do not start volunteering with students until you’ve been notified of your final clearance and your placement has been confirmed by an Education Fund coordinator.

Are there any costs involved in volunteering?

Fingerprinting costs $78 (this fee is considered a tax-deductible donation). This is a hard cost to the San Francisco Education Fund, but we never want money to be a barrier to volunteering. We have scholarship forms available at our training for those who need assistance with paying or need to pay on a sliding scale. We ask that all volunteers pay what they can.

I’m an educator. How can I request volunteers?

Teachers and other schools staff may request volunteers to serve as tutors, mentors or other classroom support by filling out a tutor request form or a mentor request form.

How do I apply for an educator grant?

San Francisco public school educators are invited to apply for a variety of grants offered by the San Francisco Education Fund as well as our partners. Visit our Grant Opportunities page to see all available grant opportunities and eligibility requirements.

What if I have a friend that would like to volunteer in my class?

We can help them gain clearance to start volunteering in your class. Let your friend know to sign up with the Education Fund to become a volunteer. The first step is to complete the online information session and then to let us know that they want to volunteer in your classroom.

I’m a high school student. How do I apply for a scholarship?

High school seniors in SFUSD may apply for a Maisin Scholar Award. Be sure to review the requirements and eligibility before submitting an application.

I want to make a difference, but I do not have time to volunteer weekly. How can I support the San Francisco Education Fund?

Donations from supporters like you make our work in public schools possible. Make a tax-deductible donation to the San Francisco Education Fund today.

Have a question we did not answer here?

Email us about general inquiries, or visit our staff page to contact individual staff members.