For many school-based partners, the School Partner Agreement (SPA) process is likely the easiest and most efficient option for organizations to meet state law and District policies.
SCHOOL PARTNER AGREEMENT
SPA COMPLETION PROCESS
All partner programs operating in School District of Philadelphia (“the District”) schools must have a fully-executed legal agreement in place with the District covering their work in schools. Recurring, school-based partner programs can efficiently satisfy that requirement by completing the School Partner Agreement (SPA).
The SPA utilizes a template scope of work and non-negotiable terms and conditions. We are not able to allow negotiation of the terms and conditions contained in the SPA. If your organization’s legal counsel wishes to negotiate terms and conditions with the District, you will need to work with your program office or school contact to prepare a Memorandum of Understanding with the District’s Office of General Counsel.
View an example of the SPA, including the terms and conditions here.
The SPA features a centralized process for the submission of background clearances and insurance documentation. All required documentation must be submitted and approved prior to beginning work in schools.
Partner programs can submit the information that is required for their scope of work via a web-based form. It will only take about 10-20 minutes to complete the form. The Office of Strategic Partnerships (OSP) will review that information and prepare a digital version of the SPA via Docusign.
Once the information has been reviewed and approved, partner programs will receive a digital version of their SPA for e-signature.
If you’d like to review the SPA questions prior to starting the form, view a PDF copy of the form here.
If you’re ready to complete the SPA, click the green button below.
Certificate of Liability Insurance and Additional Insured Endorsement:
Certificate of Insurance (view sample) must include the following coverages:
- Commercial General Liability Insurance
- Professional Liability Insurance
- Sexual Molestation Coverage
- Workers’ Compensation
- Automobile Liability Insurance
In addition to the Certificate of Insurance, partners must obtain an Additional Insured Endorsement (view sample) from their insurance provider.
For coverage requirements and further guidance on how to submit these documents to the District’s Office of Risk Management, view pages 8-10 in our Onboarding Guide.
Submit your Certificate of Insurance and Additional Insured Endorsement to the Office of Risk Management at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make sure to include your organization and program name in the subject line of the email.
Staff of partner programs who regularly work in District schools are classified as “volunteers” under School Board Policy 916 (“Volunteers”). A volunteer is “an adult applying for or holding an unpaid position with a school or program, activity or service or a person responsible for a child’s welfare or having direct volunteer contact with children.” If certain staff do not regularly work on-site in District schools (e.g. teaching artists that do one-off workshops), they may be considered “visitors” as defined in the policy and are not required to submit the background clearances listed below.
Partner staff who work regularly in District schools must submit the following clearances and datasheet:
- PA Child Abuse History Clearance
- PA State Criminal Record Check
- Act 126 – Child Abuse Mandated Reporter Training Certificate
- Safe Schools Mandated Reporter Training (Free, 3 hours)
- For both paid and unpaid partner staff/volunteers
- Safe Schools Mandated Reporter Training (Free, 3 hours)
- FBI Background Check with Fingerprinting
- Request for Waiver of FBI History Check (for unpaid staff only who have lived in PA for 10+ years)
- Signed Partner Staff Code of Conduct Agreement (for unpaid staff only)
- Each organization must submit and complete a Partner Staff Clearance Datasheet which outlines their staff member’s contact information and clearances. Please include ALL staff members, both new and returning who will be working in schools this school year/summer.
Datasheet and clearance submission process:
The Office of Records will follow-up with the URL Weblink and Password to a secure File Transfer Portal (FTP) for you to upload clearances. Click here for a stepper on how to upload your partner staff clearances via the FTP.
Access to the FTP is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Please notify and copy our records specialist, Ryan Gorsky at email@example.com when making submissions to the FTP site.
View our Onboarding Guide (pages 10-12) for more guidance on the clearance submission process.
In addition to a binding legal agreement with the District, we encourage partners to develop a Site-Specific Collaboration Plan (“Collaboration Plan”) with each school they are partnering with. The Collaboration Plan is an opportunity for school staff and partners to establish a shared vision for the partnership and clarify partner and school expectations.
For more information about the Collaboration Plan, and a template of the plan, please click here. We recommend that you download the document and open it in Adobe Acrobat to access the fillable PDF and signature function.
Partners will still have the option of collaborating virtually with schools. If you are planning to implement virtual programming in collaboration with one or more schools, we strongly recommend putting a SPA in place to prepare for this. As outlined in our guidance for approved partners providing virtual support to schools, each principal will be responsible for determining whether to continue with virtual partnerships at their school this fall. Partners will not be authorized to begin a virtual program with a school until they have the support of the principal(s), a legal agreement in place with the District and have submitted all required insurance and background clearance documentation to the appropriate offices at the District.
If your program will not be operating during the school day and you will not need to rely on school principals/staff to play a substantive role in coordinating/implementing your program, you may not need a legal agreement with the District for your virtual programming. If you are unsure if your program needs an agreement, please feel free to reach out to our office at firstname.lastname@example.org.