VOLUNTEERING FOR SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP
The School District of Springfield Township values the unique contributions made by parents, guardians and community volunteers to the educational and extracurricular programs of the school district. Accordingly, the Board encourages the use of parent/guardian and community volunteers, subject to certain requirements and procedures as set forth below.
Definition of a Volunteer
A volunteer is defined as any individual who performs a service for the school district without compensation, remuneration or other consideration and who otherwise meets the requirements of this policy. A SDST student who would like to volunteer in SDST schools are not subject to these requirements. A volunteer need not be a parent/guardian of a student enrolled in the school district. A volunteer shall include but not be limited to the following opportunities:
- Assisting with classroom or building special events/celebrations (excluding public events such as concert or parade)
- Chaperoning a single day field trip and/or overnight field trip/competition
- Volunteering with any of the district interscholastic athletic teams and musical performance groups
- Advising or assisting an extracurricular activity
- Providing supplemental assistance to a student
- Being a Mystery Reader
- Volunteering in a classroom
- Volunteering to eat lunch with your child
Holding the position of a volunteer is not a right, but a privilege conferred upon the volunteer by the Board, acting through the building principal of each school within the school district. All volunteers have specific requirements that need to be completed PRIOR to participating in any volunteer experience.
2. Clearances- Under amendments to the state Child Protective Services law, all volunteers who come into contact with students must obtain specific clearances. Prior to participating in any volunteer opportunity, each SDST volunteer shall be required to complete and submit the following three clearances:
- It is suggested by the state that you submit for your clearance electronically as it will quicken the response time.
- If you have lived in PA for 10 consecutive years the FBI Fingerprints are waived.
3. TB Test - PA State Code and District policy requires all volunteers to have a TB test completed.
4. Volunteer ID Badge- All 3 clearances and the SDST Volunteer Registration and Disclosure Statement must be turned into the Human Resources Department. Your photo will be taken and you will be issued a SDST Volunteer Photo ID Badge with an expiration date from the date your earliest clearance will expire.
All items must be received BEFORE the volunteer activity.
We can not guarantee you will be cleared if you turn in your paperwork the day of the volunteer activity.
VOLUNTEER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Why did the procedure change?
Under amendments to the state Child Protective Services law, all teachers, staff, administrators, contractors and volunteers who come into contact with students must obtain criminal background check and child abuse clearances from the FBI, PA State Police and Department of Human Services every 60 months.
The new rules are based on recommendations from a Task Force on Child Protection. The new volunteer clearance requirements go into effect August 25, 2015.
How do you distinguish between a visitor and a volunteer?
A visitor is viewed as an individual who is attending and/or observing an event or activity without providing a service to the students, staff, or school/district operations. Some examples of these events would include but are not limited to: Back-to-School Nights, Parent/Teacher conferences, American Education Week, holiday concerts, etc.
School visitors do not need to follow the new clearance guidelines, but will still be required to present a driver’s license or government issued photo identification to the school’s receptionist. This ID is scanned into the Raptor System and is cross-referenced with the data base maintained by Raptor Technologies of sexual offenders throughout the United States.
Is there a cost associated with clearances?
Yes, detailed information can be found by clicking the links below. The following costs are associated with each clearance for volunteers:
Act 34: PA State Police Clearance- FREE for volunteers
Act 151: Child Abuse Clearance- FREE for volunteers
Act 114: FBI Fingerprint Criminal Clearance- $27.50 at an approved location
The cost for obtaining these required background clearances (total of $27.50) shall be covered by the volunteer.
Do I need a Tuberculosis (TB) test?
Yes, PA State Code and District policy requires all volunteers to have a TB test completed. Link to PA School Code.
How long are my clearances and Volunteer badge good for?
Your clearances will expire five (5) years from the date on the clearance. If you have a clearance issued on 3/20/2015, your clearance will expire on 3/20/2020. Your volunteer ID badge will have an expiration date on the badge. This is the date that one or more of your clearances will expire. You will be asked to obtain new clearances and a new badge will then be issued to you at that time.
How long is my TB test good for? Will it need to be renewed?
State law does not require your TB test to be renewed. Therefore, once you obtain your TB test initially as a volunteer, we will not ask you to get another one completed for your length of time as a volunteer.
Where do I submit all of my Volunteer Paperwork?
All paperwork can be turned into the Administration building. This is the white building directly behind the Middle School. Address: 1901 E Paper Mill Road, Oreland, PA 19075. We are available for volunteers to walk-in, Monday through Friday during the school year from 8:00am until 4:00pm and Monday through Thursday 8:00am-4:00pm during the summer. Please contact Heidi Fallon with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org