More information about volunteering in Pinellas schools
The Pinellas County School Board had a brief discussion last week about what type of screening is required for volunteers, and whether the more rigorous Level II screening discouraged anyone from volunteering. (See that blog item here.)
District staff members have put together a little more information about what's required.
Here's a list of frequently asked questions about volunteering:
Do all volunteers require a criminal background screening?
Yes. All volunteers require a background screening, according to Pinellas County School Board policies. Volunteers who have unsupervised contact with students also require Level II screening, a more extensive criminal background check that involves fingerprinting.
What is unsupervised contact?
Unsupervised contact occurs when volunteers are not supervised by Pinellas County employees. There are various situations when this can occur. If parents who drive students or chaperone students for field trips and overnight trips won’t be supervised by district employees, they must be must be Level II screened.
Is it ever okay for a volunteer who has not been Level II screened to be unsupervised?
According to School Board policy, this should only happen infrequently, in unanticipated situations.
How much does background screening cost.
The initial background screening required for all volunteers is free. The Office of Strategic Partnerships conducts these screenings using a criminal background investigation service.
How much does Level II Screening cost?
The vendor, EZ FingerPrints charges $51 at school sites or $48 at its office. The costs are strictly the costs that the vendor charges to administrate the fingerprint screening. Pinellas County Schools worked to negotiate the best price possible for its volunteers.
Who pays for Level II screening?
Volunteers are responsible. But school booster clubs, PTAS and other volunteer groups sometimes offer tohelp cover the costs.
Is this a new policy?
No. The Pinellas County School Board approved this policy in 2009.
Who do I call to ask questions about the Level II volunteer screening process?
Michelle Roberge, (727) 588-6000 x1853 or Dr. Valerie Brimm, (727) 588-6405.