Volunteer Clearance Policy & Procedures
The West Shore School District welcomes and encourages volunteers in its schools, classrooms and as part of extracurricular activities. For the safety of District students and staff members, any adult wishing to volunteer is required to complete the Volunteer Application Process before being approved to do so. More detailed information can be found in the Guidelines for Volunteers Guide available for download below.
In August 2018, the West Shore School District revised this process to meet the requirements of the Child Protective Services Act of 2014. This Act requires that any returning volunteer or prospective volunteer:
- Present themselves at any district school building or the District Administration building with a government issued photo identification card. The ID card will be logged into the District’s School Gate Guardian system, which checks the volunteer’s information against several state databases.
- If volunteering for the first time, provide the District with an original Act 34 PA Criminal History Record Check (PA State Police) and an Act 151 PA Child Abuse History Certification which are less than five years old at time of submission.
- In addition to the above, prospective volunteers who have not lived in Pennsylvania continuously for the past ten (10) years at the time of application must also provide an Act 114 FBI Criminal History Clearance (fingerprint) obtained at the prospective volunteer’s expense until such time as the volunteer lives continuously in Pennsylvania for ten (10) years. Those prospective volunteers who have lived in Pennsylvania continuously for the past ten (10) years at the time of request must sign a disclaimer (waiver) affirming that there are no charges in other states that would prohibit selection as a volunteer. This waiver is available for download below.
- Provide the District with a Tuberculous (TB) test that is less than ninety (90) days old at the time of presentation. A TB test is not required to be repeated provided at least one occurrence of volunteer occurs during a school year. A break in volunteering will require a new TB test.
Clearances must be renewed every sixty (60) months.
The District reserves the right to require additional information as part of the volunteer application process
The first time registering as a volunteer and annually thereafter, a volunteer will be asked to provide a signed Volunteer Affirmation form. Signature on this form affirms that the volunteer is in compliance with state volunteer regulations AND has read and understands the District’s Guidelines for Volunteers, which includes important information regarding the volunteer’s responsibility as a Mandated Reporter of suspected child abuse and the procedures for reporting any such suspicion. Current school district employees wishing to volunteer in any capacity must also complete and submit this form. The Volunteer Affirmation form can be downloaded below.
Photos and Student Privacy
Volunteers to our schools and at school-related events (including class parties and field trips) are welcome to take photos of their own child(ren) for their personal use. However, volunteers and visitors are asked to respect the privacy and confidentiality of other families. At school and school events (including field trips) students have an expectation of privacy. This is governed by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Volunteers should not take photographs or videos which clearly identify someone else’s child or their work and share them on social media websites.
Please Note: After school sporting events, concerts, and high school graduation ceremonies are considered public events and photographs are allowed.
Board Policy 907 outlines safety and security procedures for persons wishing to visit a school building.