Why does the Mt. Lebanon School District (MTLSD) require clearances in certain volunteer situations?
To ensure the safety of our students, MTLSD requires volunteers to comply with the Mt. Lebanon School District Policy IJOC School Volunteers. The objective of this policy is to "promote a safe and secure school environment by establishing requirements and procedures to be followed to confirm that school volunteers are in compliance with the provisions of Act 153 of 2014 which amended the Child Protective Services Law to require unpaid volunteers in the District’s schools who will have direct contact with children to obtain background clearances prior to commencing services as a volunteer in the District’s schools."
When does a volunteer need clearances?
The Mt. Lebanon School District Administrative Guidelines for Background Checks and Medical Exams Employee and Volunteer Requirements outlines the requirements for clearances.
What should I do once I receive my clearances?
Originals of the PA Child Abuse and Criminal Records clearances will be mailed to the applicant’s home address. Those originals must be presented to the building secretary when you arrive for your first volunteer activity requiring clearances. A copy of each background check will be made from the original and kept on file in the school office. Once all clearances are submitted, you will be issued a volunteer card, to be presented in the school office as needed when you volunteer.
Applicants should provide to the building secretary their PAE Registration # that they received when they registered online for the FBI finger print clearance. The building secretary will share the PAE # with the Human Resources Department so the applicant’s report can be reviewed online.
Applicants may request a paper copy of the federal FBI Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) when they register to be fingerprinted. This will be the applicants’ only opportunity to request a copy. The paper copy will be mailed to these applicants by 3M Cogent. The “unofficial” paper copy is a copy of the CHRI that the School Administrator will review online. The applicant may share the paper copy of the CHRI with prospective employers. However, the School Administrator is required to review the official CHRI online and print a copy of the CHRI if the applicant is hired by the public school or private school or their contractor, or if the applicant is approved for student teaching.
How often do I need to update my clearances?
Program volunteers (works under the general direction of teacher/administrator and provides direct services to students) will not be required to obtain a federal criminal history report if the individual has been a resident of Pennsylvania within the past 10 years and signs a 10-Year Resident Of Pennsylvania Affidavit in the presence of the principal or principal’s designee affirming they have not perpetrated or been convicted of any offense. The 10-Year Resident of Pennsylvania Affidavit will be signed on an annual basis. The state clearances will need to be renewed every 5 years.
Casual volunteers (infrequent volunteers and in presence of teacher/administrator when with students) will be required, on an annual basis, to sign the Casual Volunteer Affirmation in the presence of the principal or principal’s designee affirming they have not perpetrated or been convicted of any offense.
What if I cannot afford the clearance fees?
In the event financial hardship may deter you from volunteering when clearances are required, please see your building principal or the MTLSD Director of Human Resources Katie Devine at (412) 344-2080 or firstname.lastname@example.org for financial assistance. All information regarding your request will be kept confidential.
Is there any other screening necessary for school volunteers?
The Division of School Health, in discussion with the TB Program at PA Dept. of Health have agreed that volunteers requiring TB Testing are those who provide 10 hours or more per week in direct contact with children.
TB test must be administered within 3 months of employment or volunteer activity or a note (on the physician's letterhead) stating that the person is free of communicable tuberculosis would meet the TB test requirement. This must also be dated within 3 months of employment or volunteer activity.
A copy of the TB test results will be made from the original and kept on file in the school office.