SPA Frequently Asked Questions

What is the School Partner Agreement (SPA)?

A legal agreement between the School District of Philadelphia and a partner organization that speaks to partnership expectations and required documentation for school-based partners. The SPA can be prepared online through the submission of a form by the partner and executed using electronic signatures.

Who should complete the SPA?

School-based Partner Programs that meet the following criteria:

  • Formal entities (nonprofit organizations, private corporations, and
    government agencies),
  • Providing high-quality and ready-to-implement programs or services,
  • Within District school communities,
  • At no cost to the District or its schools.

Who is responsible for signing the SPA?

The individual responsible for executing agreements on behalf of your organization (e.g. Director, President, CEO).

What information should I have ready before beginning the process of preparing a SPA?

  • Organization’s official name, including corporate designation (e.g. Inc., LLC, etc.)
  • Organization’s Employer Identification Number, or Federal Employer Identification Number (e.g. 00-0000000)
  • School locations where providing programs or services
  • School Partner’s Scope of Work:
    • Program start and end date
    • Days of the week and time of day when program operates
    • Grade range of students served
    • Primary goal(s) of the program/services
    • Total number of SDP students that will be served

Can my organization negotiate the terms and conditions of the SPA?

Unfortunately, the SPA terms and conditions are non-negotiable. If your organization wishes to negotiate terms and conditions with the School District of Philadelphia, you will need to pursue the traditional process of preparing a Memorandum of Understanding through the District’s Office of General Counsel.

Which documents will be required along with my executed SPA?

Once you complete your SPA form, you will receive additional detail about the next steps for submitting the following required documentation:

  • Background clearances for all program staff/volunteers working directly
    with students:

  • Two separate liability insurance documents, including 1) a Certificate of Insurance and 2) an Additional Insured Endorsement, sent to
  • A third-party evaluation of your program or your program’s theoretical
    framework/logic model. These documents are encouraged, but not required.

What are the benefits of being a Fully-Approved SPA Partner?

Once you are a fully-approved SPA partner, you will be:

  • Covered by the District’s Media Release Form
  • Included in our Partner Directory
  • Eligible to participate in our annual Partner Fair during the August Leadership Convening
  • Eligible for invitations to special events such as our Partner Lunch Mixer and membership in one of our Communities of Practice

Are partner staff required to complete or attend the Office of Family and Community Engagement’s (FACE) Volunteer Orientation?

Partner staff are NOT required to complete FACE’s Volunteer Orientation. You are only required to complete and submit clearances listed in the School Partner Onboarding Guide.

What are key points from the School Partnership Agreement?

  1. This agreement does not cover any exchange of dollars. If you are being paid by SDP or a school for the program at issue, you will need a Limited Contract Agreement (contracts up to $20,000) or an Agreement for Services (contracts over $20,000).
  2. This agreement covers one program and all SDP school sites where that program is operating. If your program is operating in multiple schools, please make sure to list all District schools within which your program is operating.
    1. If your program is also located in charter schools, the SPA will not cover those program sites. You are encouraged to obtain a separate legal agreement for any non-District program sites.
  3. If your organization operates multiple school-based program models, a SPA must be completed for each separate program.
  4. This agreement does not cover student-level data sharing. School Partners seeking student-level data for the purpose of research or evaluation must complete the Office of Research and Evaluation’s Data Request Form.
  5. School Partners must agree to be compliant with FERPA and all other applicable laws.
  6. The SPA must be renewed annually.

Is a P.O. Box an accepted form of address?

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept P.O. Boxes as the official address for your School Partner Agreement. If the P.O. Box is your official address, please provide a physical mailing address to which mail can be delivered to your organization.

Can professional development (PD) related programs complete a SPA?

The SPA is intended for programs that serve District students as their main audience. Dedicated Professional Development programs should pursue a Memorandum of Understanding instead.

If I’m an organization with multiple programs, will I need to submit more than one SPA?

Yes, each program that you offer must have its own School Partner Agreement, because each agreement contains a scope of work that must be specific to each program model. If you have other programs for which you need to prepare School Partner Agreements, please submit them here.

(Please note that each agreement covers one program and all program sites that are District schools. If your program is operating in multiple schools, please make sure to list all District schools within which your program is operating.)

Will summer programs need a SPA?

Yes, any program that operates within District schools should be covered by a legal agreement for the appropriate contract year.

Can the staff of my organization complete clearances independently, or does the entire organization have to be part of one submitted certificate?

Individuals affiliated with your program may submit their own clearances through the District’s online clearance submission portal. However, if you are authorized to submit clearances for your staff and/or volunteers on behalf of your organization, we recommend organizing and scanning all certificates into one batch, as this will speed up the processing and review time. If training is completed as a group, you may hand in one certificate with your organization’s name on it, featuring an attendance sheet with dated signatures from each participant.

Is my program eligible for the SPA if students and/or their families are asked to pay a registration or enrollment fee?

Cost to families/students is not something that we currently consider when determining School Partner Agreement (SPA) eligibility. You are welcome to continue with the SPA completion process if your program is at no cost to the District or its schools.

If your question wasn’t answered here, please feel free to contact Marianna Sann at