• VOLUNTEER PROCEDURES AND CLEARANCES

    *NEW INFORMATION* Updated September 2017 

    Thank you for your interest in volunteering in our Centennial Schools. We value your involvement and participation in our programs and trips.  We recognize that volunteers and helpers can make valuable contributions to the school district, and we encourage the use of volunteers and helpers subject to the requirements of applicable law and CSD Policy 916.

    For the safety of our children, CSD Policy 916 holds certain requirements for volunteers.  Volunteers serve in a vital role for which we are grateful in the running of our day-to-day programming. Depending on the situation, “Volunteers” requires certain documentation. 
     
    Here are the guidelines intended to help our school community interpret policy procedures. 
     
    HOW CAN I BECOME INVOLVED IN AND PARTICIPATE IN SCHOOL PROGRAMS, EVENTS, OR ACTIVITIES AS A COMMUNITY MEMBER?
     
    The School District recognizes three different categories for individuals to become involved in and participate in school programs, events, or activities:
    1. VOLUNTEERS
    2. HELPERS
    3. VISITORS
    Definitions of each of these categories can be found below.
     
    WHO NEEDS CLEARANCES?
     
    All VOLUNTEERS are required to obtain clearances. Only those who meet the below definition of a Volunteer are required to obtain clearances. A volunteer means an unpaid individual who:
    1. has been given responsibility for the care, supervision, guidance or control of children; or, 
    2. who is intended to or known to have regular and repeated contact with children that is integral to the individual’s responsibilities. 
    Individuals who meet the above-referenced definition of a volunteer are required to obtain clearances.  To further help you determine whether you meet the definition of a volunteer, examples of where individuals who would meet the definition of volunteer are as follows:  
    1. An adult, parent or guardian comes to school to assist the librarian and/or students in the library; 
    2. An adult, parent or guardian volunteers to go on a class trip and provides assistance to the teacher(s) during the course of the day, but may, at some point, be alone with a child; 
    3. An adult, parent or guardian coach attending practices and/or events on a regular basis. 
    The District also recognizes two categories where an unpaid individual may participate in school activities, but DO NOT meet the definition of a volunteer and DO NOT need clearances:
    • HELPER:  A helper means an adult who provides help or assistance to the school district or any school district event or function, but who does not meet the definition of a volunteer. A helper would not meet the definition of a volunteer where the individual: 
      • (1) is not responsible for the welfare, care, supervision, guidance or control of a child or children; or 
      • (2) does not have regular and repeated interaction with children because the helper is present sporadically, intermittently or only occasionally. 
    Examples of those who meet the definition of a helper (and who DO NOT need clearances): 
    1. An adult, parent or guardian comes to school to help a teacher with a class party;
    2. An adult, parent or guardian comes to a couple of track meets to assist the coaches with timing students or engaging in other tasks of assistance;
    3. An adult, parent or guardian volunteers to go on a class trip by riding with the students on the bus and providing assistance to the teacher(s) during the course of the day and is always present with a school district employee;
    4. An adult, parent or guardian volunteers to be a chaperone at a school dance, the junior prom, or the prom;
    5. An adult, parent or guardian volunteers to assist and provide help to the teacher(s) putting on the high school show over the course of a weekend;
    6. An adult, parent or guardian volunteers to come to school to read to children or to tutor children on one or more occasions other than on a routine basis. 
     
    • VISITOR: A visitor means an adult, parent or guardian who is visiting the school to participate in an event or observe an event and who is not providing any services to the district or its students and who has no responsibilities. 
    Examples of those who meet the definition of a visitor (and who DO NOT need clearances):
    1. An adult, parent or guardian who is attending a meeting about his or her child;
    2. An adult, parent or guardian visiting a classroom to observe; and
    3. An adult, parent or guardian attending parent visitation nights, a school play or show, or other activity of the school.
    4. An outside guest speaker.
     
    WHEN DO I NEED TO GET MY CLEARANCES?
    • All volunteers are required to obtain clearances prior to volunteering.  
    • Continuing volunteers need to renew clearances once every 60 months. 
    • A volunteer has the affirmative obligation to notify the Director of Human Resources if they are arrested or convicted of a crime after clearances have been initially submitted.
    WHAT PAPERWORK DO I NEED TO COMPLETE IN ORDER TO VOLUNTEER? *All of the required clearances and TB test results must be dated within one year of starting date to volunteer.
    1. Volunteer Disclosure Form -  all volunteers must have a Volunteer Disclosure Form on file with the Human Resources Department. 
    2. Act 114 FBI Federal Criminal History Report- $27.00 (Online registration) (Please select the Pennsylvania Department of Education entity when registering for your FBI clearance.)
      • This is a two-step process: (1) Register and pay online, and schedule your fingerprinting appointment.  Print the registration receipt with the PAE number.  The PAE number must be provided to Human Resources; (2) Visit a fingerprinting site to have your fingerprints submitted electronically.  
    3. Act 151 Child Abuse History Clearance- Free for Volunteers (Online registration)
    4. Act 34 State Police Criminal History Report- Free for Volunteers (Online registration)
    5. TB Test Form - all volunteers who are in direct contact with students 10 or more hours per week must submit the results of a TB test in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Health.  
    IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT CLEARANCES: 
    • All of the required clearances listed above must be dated within 60 months/5 years of submission.
      For individuals whose FBI Criminal History Report is older than one year, individuals must submit a paper copy of the unofficial Criminal History Record Information (CHRI) report on Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) letterhead.
    • TB test results must be dated within one year of submission.
     
    HOW DO I SUBMIT MY PAPERWORK?
     
    Complete the above forms and return it with required clearances to the Human Resources Department via email, fax, or mail/in-person:
    • Email to volunteer@centennialsd.org, or;
    • Fax to 215- 347-1386, or;
    • Mail/in-person to the Centennial School District, Administration Building, 433 Centennial Rd., Warminster, PA 18974.
    REQUIREMENTS OF A VOLUNTEER
    • A volunteer must read CSD Policy 916.  
    • A volunteer must complete the Volunteer Disclosure Form along with required clearances (and TB test results) to the Human Resources Department prior to volunteering.  
    • A volunteer must renew their clearances every 60 months. 
    • A volunteer has the affirmative obligation to notify the Director of Human Resources if they are arrested or convicted of a crime after clearances have been initially submitted.
    • Volunteers may not assume the responsibilities of District staff but may provide assistance when under the direction of a staff member and with the permission of the Administrator.
    • Volunteers may not administer or enforce discipline upon students.
    • Except in the case of life-threatening emergency, volunteers shall not administer first aid or medication to students.
    • Except as specifically authorized by Administration 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 are required to maintain absolute confidentiality in working with students, staff and all privileged information in the school.

    Once again, thank you for your invaluable involvement which enriches our program overall. Thank you for your support.  If you have any questions about volunteering, assisting as a helper, or coming in as a visitor, please contact the Human Resources Department by emailing us at volunteer@centennialsd.org.