Welcome to the Armstrong School District's School Volunteers Web site. Here you will find information and links regarding state and federal background checks, fingerprinting services and procedures, and clearance forms.
PARENT (ADULT) / STUDENT VOLUNTEER INFORMATION
Effective August 25, 2015, Governor Wolfe signed Act 15 into law which amends some of the requirements for background checks for school volunteers as set forth in the Child Protective Services Law.
Direct volunteer contact is a newly defined term in Act 15 that is intended to clarify some of the confusion as to who must obtain clearances. It is defined as the care, supervision, guidance or control of children AND routine interaction with children. Routine interaction with children is defined as the regular and repeated contact that is integral to a person’s volunteer responsibilities.
Adults serving in UNPAID positions (school volunteers–non-athletic) for school-related programs, activities or services must obtain the Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check and Department of Human Services Child Abuse Clearance prior to beginning school volunteer service. Volunteers are now required to provide updated clearances every 60 months thereafter rather than every 36 months. Original clearance paperwork should be submitted at the building level where copies are made for the volunteer’s file.
NOTE: Policy 910 and 910-AG reflect the updated submission of clearances as mentioned above.
Act 126 (Child Abuse training) must be completed by the end of the first volunteer school year. The FREE training is good for five (5) years.
Volunteers may still be exempt from obtaining FBI criminal history checks if he/she has continuously resided in Pennsylvania for ten (10) years before beginning serving as a volunteer. Act 15 also permits exemption from obtaining FBI criminal background checks for volunteers who have not resided in Pennsylvania for ten (10) years, has received an FBI criminal background check elsewhere during his/her Pennsylvania residency and has provided it to the school district. Additionally, the volunteer must still sign the Disclosure Statement for Volunteers swearing or affirming that they are not disqualified from volunteering or have been convicted of a criminal offense that would prohibit the individual from volunteering.
Act 15 provides for a waiver of fees (FREE) for the Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check and Department of Human Services Child Abuse Clearance for VOLUNTEERS only. This change was intended to make it easier and less burdensome for volunteers to obtain their clearances. These free certifications may not be used are not valid to satisfy the background check clearances for paid positions for employees. FREE background certifications will only be provided to an individual once every 57 months. No reimbursement from the District is provided since clearances are FREE.
If a District student volunteers for an event, he/she is exempt from providing background checks if all of the following are satisfied:
• The student is currently enrolled in a school.
• The student is not responsible for the child’s welfare.
• The student is volunteering for an event that occurs on school grounds. For example, the student is volunteering to assist with band camp or the high school musical.
• The event is sponsored by the school in which the individual is enrolled as a student. This means that college students returning to volunteer would not be exempt from providing certifications as they are not enrolled in the District.
• The student cannot be volunteering for a child care service.
If you have further questions or concerns, please contact the building principal.