Blog

 
     

Kansas School District Adds Volunteer Background Checks

By Michael Klazema on 9/15/2017
Newton USD 373, a unified school district that serves the city of Newton, Kansas, and several surrounding areas, is adopting a new background check policy for the 2017/18 school year. The policy will require all regular or semi-regular volunteer workers throughout the district to pass background checks. Per a report from The Kansan, the new policy was not spurred by any one incident according to the school and is intended to protect the best interests of students.

The Newton USD 373 school district consists of nine schools, including one early education program, five elementary schools, two intermediate schools, and one high school. The high school, Newton High School, has an enrollment of more than 1,000 students across four grades. The new background check policy will apply to volunteer roles at all nine Newton schools.

The new background check policy won’t automatically require checks for all volunteers, reports explain. Parents or community members who volunteer on a one-off basis won’t be expected to submit to screenings. The checks will kick in after an individual has volunteered on three separate occasions. Administrators claim the policy will ensure that regular volunteers are properly vetted. All volunteers, from classroom aides to parent drivers, will be expected to adhere to the policy after three volunteer instances.

So far, the district only has plans to run criminal history checks. The Kansan noted that the district has explicitly decided against using credit or financial history checks for volunteers. The district superintendent said that Newton USD 373 is only looking for “behavior that would be potentially harmful to our staff or students.” As a result, the district will be looking primarily for convictions they consider serious—such as violent crimes, sex crimes, or crimes involving children—as well as for drug offenses. The district will allegedly pay more attention to recent criminal activity, with leeway given for crimes that occurred when the prospective volunteers were young.



The district may adopt a repeat background check policy going forward under which volunteers need to get new background checks every few years, coverage indicates. As of right now, no such policy is in place. The district is considering how often it should require follow-up checks with the likely interval being every five years. Since Newton USD 373 will be screening all active, regular volunteers starting this fall, the district claims there won’t be any need for follow-up checks for at least a few years.

Per coverage, each volunteer will need to pay a fee for his or her own background check. School board members said the charge would be $19 per check. The district has already conducted 80 or more volunteer background checks so far this school year to keep up with the rush of start-of-term elementary school field trips.


Sources: http://www.thekansan.com/news/20170912/volunteer-background-checks-pursued

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton_USD_373

Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • December 11 The Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General criticized a migrant youth detention center on the border for not running the proper background checks. Federal law requires the facility to screen all employees with FBI fingerprint checks.
  • December 06 In a bid to combat money laundering and illicit funding sources for terrorists flowing through the country's real estate sector, Singapore's government now mandates background checks for buyers purchasing properties prior to development.
  • December 04 What is a reference check? How does it vary from a work history check? We explore these questions and others.
  • December 04 Chicago Public Schools has dismissed hundreds of employees, coaches, vendors, and volunteers based on background check findings. The district recently vowed to re-check the majority of its 68,000 employees after a Chicago Tribune investigation revealed holes in its background check policies.
  • November 29 Striving to create a safer environment more conducive to productive training and leadership development, the Army has recently moved to adopt a uniform policy of background checks for certain roles. 
  • November 27 For hiring managers to verify the information provided on a resume, verification is essential.  Such is the purpose of employment history background checks.
  • November 27 California’s biggest public school district is waiving the cost of volunteer background checks. The move is meant to encourage more family - and community members to get involved with the school district.
  • November 22 Contractors play an important role in the workforce, delivering services to both individuals and organizations. Vetting contractors for suitability continues to be a challenge, as two recent articles prove.
  • November 21 When it comes to background and pre-employment checks, it can be instructive to look at the characteristics of the ten most massive U.S. employers.
  • November 21

    Verification checks are a powerful way to assess how truthful a job candidate has been on his or her application or resume. These checks can verify work history, education verification, professional licenses, and favorable personal qualities.