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- Each school or the central office will determine the level of the volunteer’s planned activities based on the attached guidelines.
- If the volunteer’s activities will include level 3 activities (unsupervised interaction with students), a designated school employee will contact Personnel (Kay Fleet - email@example.com - 229.758.5592) to arrange for fingerprinting/background check. Payment for the background check may be provided by the volunteer or funds designated by the local school or parent teacher organization. Volunteers may not participate in level 3 activities until they have been cleared by Personnel. Volunteer background check must be repeated once every five (5) years.
- Each school or the central office will advise the volunteer to complete a volunteer release form.
- Designated MCSS personnel will make a copy of the volunteer’s state-issued photo identification.
- For level 2 volunteers, MCSS personnel will go to the Georgia and federal sex offender registry websites, search for the individual and complete the bottom portion of the volunteer release form.
- If the prospective volunteer is a registered sex offender or fails the background check, volunteer is disqualified from all volunteer activities. MCSS will keep volunteer release forms, for disqualified volunteers, on file in the main office.
- Once approved, MCSS will keep all volunteer release forms (including copy of photo ID) on file in prospective offices. MCSS ensures that level 2 volunteers are paired with an MCSS employee at all times. MCSS employees will be notified of placement of a volunteer in advance.
Criminal Background Checks
In support of student safety, the superintendent requires that all schools and administrative offices identify and screen all volunteers in accordance with the following guidelines. Security clearances (updated background checks) for volunteers must be renewed every five years.
Level 1 volunteers are non-district personnel who will have no direct interaction with students such as volunteers working on playground construction or assisting with facilities maintenance when school is not in session. Level 1 volunteers do not require criminal background checks.
Level 2 volunteers are non-district personnel who will have direct interaction with students with other adults present at all times. When Level 2 volunteers interact with students, a Miller County School employee or no fewer than two other adult volunteers must be present at all times. Level 2 volunteers do not require fingerprinting or GBI/FBI criminal background checks. School staff shall check the volunteers’ names in the Georgia and federal sex offender registries. Registered sex offenders may not volunteer. School administrators shall have the discretion to pursue any other screening methods including, but not limited to, personal interviews and reference checks. Examples of Level 2 volunteers include parents/guardians volunteering for a field day or school fair, classroom helpers, in-class tutors, performers and speakers from external agencies.
Georgia Sex Offender Registry: http://services.georgia.gov/gbi/gbisor/ or gbi.georgia.gov/Georgia-sex-offender-registry
Federal Sex Offender Registry: http://www.nsopw.gov/
Level 3 volunteers are non-district personnel who will have direct, unsupervised interaction with students. Level 3 volunteers shall be fingerprinted by the district and have GBI/FBI criminal background checks on file prior to service. Payment for the record check must be provided by the volunteer or a sponsoring organization, such as a business partner, Parent-Teacher Association or the school. School administrators shall have the discretion to pursue any additional screening methods, including, but not limited to, personal interviews and reference checks. Level 3 volunteers must be approved by Personnel and the principal of the school prior to participating in activities involving direct, unsupervised interaction with students. Examples of Level 3 volunteers include chaperones on overnight field trips who will have any unsupervised interaction with students and mentors who will have unsupervised interaction with students.
Exceptions to the criminal background requirements may be granted, by the Superintendent, Curriculum Director or Federal Programs Director on a case-by-case basis for guest speakers with legitimate, unique educational value.
Expectations of Volunteers
Miller County School volunteers are representatives of the school community and role models for students. As such, volunteers are expected to adhere to the system’s core values: integrity, high ideals, and expectations and sensitivity to the school environment. Volunteers must take personal responsibility for understanding the system’s ethical standards and applying them in volunteer activities.
All volunteers are expected to:
1. Make decisions based on what is best for students in all cases.
2. Maintain honest, equitable, professional relationships with students, parents, staff members, community members and other volunteers.
3. Observe local, state and federal laws, policies, rules, and regulations.
4. Maintain confidentiality of privileged information.
5. Support cooperation between the school and the community.
6. Refrain from using school contacts and privileges to promote partisan politics, sectarian religious views, or propaganda of any kind.
7. Safeguard school property, equipment, and materials
8. Implement board policies in a spirit of good faith.
9. Comply with appropriate standards of professional conduct including, but not limited to, displaying appropriate behavior, language, and attire at all times.
Qualifications of Volunteers
Prior to participating in a Miller County Schools volunteer activity, Level 1 volunteers must complete the Volunteer Release Form. Level 2 volunteers must have on file a Volunteer Release Form and have had their name checked in the Georgia and federal sex offender registries. Level 3 volunteers must have on file the required background check information, evidence that the volunteer has completed any required training, as well as a Volunteer Release Form.
Disqualifications of Volunteers
School administrators, with justified concerns, have the authority to exclude individuals from participating in volunteer activities in their schools. Volunteers – including parents – who are excluded from Level 2 or 3 volunteer activities due to a disqualifying offense on the background check or sex offender registry may not participate in Level 1 volunteer activities. Parents/guardians who are excluded from volunteer activities may attend public events at the school, such as Parent-Teacher Association meetings and student performances.
School volunteers must sign-in and out in the school office and obtain a visitor badge in accordance with school procedures.
Access to Student Information
School volunteers shall not have access to confidential student information including Powerschool.