Neshaminy Volunteer PolicyNeshaminy School District recognizes that volunteers can make valuable contributions to the school district. The Board encourages the use of volunteers, subject to the guidelines set forth in this policy. This policy is established to formalize Board practices and to provide measures for a safe environment for all employees and students, in full compliance with laws and guidelines mandated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Definition of a volunteerVolunteer – One who voluntarily provides a service to the school district without compensation. The building principal authorizes the selection and use of parents/guardians, community members, and others, as volunteers to assist and supplement regular school district staff. The principal will provide a policy letter to each volunteer and obtain an affirmation form to be completed by the volunteer. Under no circumstances shall a volunteer be considered an employee of the district. A volunteer shall receive no wages or other valuable consideration for the performance of volunteer services. The volunteer position is not a right, but a privilege that is conferred by the Board. Any such volunteer position may be eliminated at any time for any reason or no reason.
Who needs to obtain volunteer clearances?Any adult applying for or holding a volunteer position who is responsible for a child's welfare or has direct contact with children during curricular or co-curricular activities needs to obtain volunteer clearances. Examples include coaching assistants, classroom volunteers, Home & School activity volunteers, playground volunteers, office volunteers, field trip chaperones, or school musical / drama volunteers. Clearances are not needed for such activities as concession stand operators (as long as children are not also working in the concession stand), 50/50 or raffle ticket sales at school and sports events, or one-time classroom visitors or educational speakers (though proper ID is still required for all school visitors).If you have any questions as to whether a clearance and affirmation is needed for a particular volunteer role or activity, please contact your school principal.
Volunteer GuidelinesThe Neshaminy School Board has established the following guidelines with regard to volunteers:
TutoringAssisting in supervising studentsPreparing instructional materialsClerical assistance
- The building principal or designee shall assume general authority and responsibility over all volunteers serving at that site. A record of their names and a brief description of the service performed shall be maintained at the building level.
- Volunteers may undertake activities such as, but not limited to those listed below, provided that such activities are under the direction of school district staff, and do not conflict with any provisions of policies or procedures of the school district.
- Volunteers shall be required to have clearances. The above aforementioned volunteers shall comply with the legally mandated employee requirements and procedures for a criminal history check – Act 24 and Act 114 (Criminal Record Background Check) and Act 151 (Child Abuse History Clearance).
- Clearances shall be at the volunteer’s expense. In cases of need the expense for clearances may be considered for reimbursement by the building principal. As long as the volunteer stays in continuous service, there is no need for additional clearance checks.
- Volunteers are required to submit to a tuberculosis examination if the volunteer work may involve ten or more hours per week in direct contact with children. The cost of the examination shall be at the volunteer’s expense.
- Volunteers shall not administer or enforce discipline upon students.
- Except in cases of emergency, volunteers shall not administer first aid or medicine to students.
- Except as specifically authorized by the building administrator on a case-by-case basis, volunteers shall not operate any motor vehicles owned by the school district, nor shall they transport students as part of any school district program or activity.
- All volunteers shall maintain confidentiality in working with students, staff, and all privileged information in the school.
Procedure for obtaining volunteer clearances2 - Print, read and sign the Volunteer Affirmation3 - Read and fill out the Act 24 Arrest / Conviction Report and Certification form4 - Apply for the Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check - Act 34 at https://epatch.state.pa.us/Home.jspThis clearance is now FREE. Helpful hints:
- You do NOT need to create a user name and password to do this clearance.
- You should click on submit a new record check, under credit card users on the left.
- After you have filled in all the information required, and it has been submitted and paid for, you will receive one of 3 results:
Request Under Review - If a background check has returned a result of "Request Under Review". The review process will be completed in approximately 2 - 3 weeks. So check back in 2 to 3 weeks to view an updated status.No Record - you will need to print the certification form by clicking on the Certification Form hyperlink.NOTE: THE CERTIFICATION FORM SHOULD BE PRINTED OR SAVED; ONCE VIEWED YOU WILL HAVE NO FURTHER ACCESS TO THE DOCUMENT (which is what needs to be turned into the office - NOT the receipt/invoice.) Record - the relevant information will be mailed to you and that is what you need to submit.
5 - You must do either A or B below:A. If you can answer NO to all 3 questions below, then print, read and sign the Volunteer Affadavit and have it notarized.1 -
Are you applying for a paid position?2 - Are you attending a school trip that lasts 3 or more days?3 -Have you lived anywhere else, besides the state of Pennsylvania, in the past 10 years?B. If you answered YES to any of the 3 questions above you need to apply for your Federal Criminal HistoryBackground Check - Act 114. The cost of this clearance is $24.25 and can be obtained here:Choose the 'Pennsylvania Department of Education' option on this page.6 - Apply for your Child Abuse History Clearance - Act 151, There is no cost for this clearance.This clearance requires you to create a new account. After you create your new account you should have the following information readily available to help you complete your application:
- Addresses where you have previously lived
- Names of all individuals with whom you have lived to include parents, guardians, siblings, spouses, etc.
If you have any questions about the Child Abuse History Clearance, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions page. If you need further assistance, please contact the ChildLine and Abuse Registry's Child Abuse Clearance Unit at 1-877-371-5422.7 - If your volunteer work involves 10 or more hours per week in direct contact with children, you must be tested for tuberculosis and show documentation that you are free from tuberculosis before serving as a volunteer. This test can be completed by your family physician or at a qualified clinic (such as those found at some pharmacies), and will be at the volunteer's expense. TB tests generally take 3-4 days to complete. Provide a copy of the documentation from the test facility upon completion of the test.
Once you have the completed paperwork as outlined above, please return them to the main office at the school your child attends. These records will be kept for a period of 5 years, so you do not have to complete them each year. If you child moves up to a new school (from elementary to middle school, for example) you will need to present the clearance documents at the main office of their new school. If you have children in multiple district schools and wish to volunteer at those schools, the documents must be presented to each school (state guidelines require this paperwork to be maintained at the school building level).If you have any questions about these procedures, please contact the main office staff at your child's school.
Don't Wait!Act 34 - the Pennsylvania State Police Clearance - can take 2 to 4 weeks to process and Act 151 - the Child Abuse History Clearance - can also take 2 to 4 weeks. You will NOT be allowed to volunteer or chaperone a school trip unless all appropriate volunteer paperwork is complete and submitted.
Please don’t let these procedures scare you away!It is for the safety of our children. Neshaminy School District truly values our volunteers and appreciates the effort it takes to complete this process. If you have any questions, please contact the office staff at your child's school.
Helpful LinksVolunteer packet (Letter, Board Policy, Volunteer Affirmation, Volunteer Affidavit)