The PA House passed Act 153 of 2014 into law on October 22, 2014 and Act 15 of 2015 on July 1, 2015. These PA laws apply to employees and unpaid volunteers who are responsible for the welfare of a child or have direct contact with children. While many community-based programs and religiously-affiliated organizations have long required background checks for volunteers, these laws provides a specific directive on the timing and type of background checks now required.
The NHSD Board of Education passed the Volunteer Clearance Policy No. 917 in April 2015 with an updated version passed in May 2015. The policy identifies three types of school volunteers, listed below.
1. Program Volunteers – Any volunteer who works under the general direction and supervision of an adult employed by North Hills School District AND provides direct services to students or may, possibly have unsupervised contact with students. Examples include but are not limited to: volunteers who assist the coaching staff of an athletic team; volunteer athletic trainers or equipment managers; chaperones for overnight student trips and choreographers, musicians and other individuals who provide assistance to students in the marching band or school musical, and club/activity sponsors.
All Program Volunteers shall have board approval prior to serving as a Program Volunteer in NHSD.
2. Assistive Volunteers – A volunteer who works under direct supervision and direction of an adult employed by North Hills School District AND does not provide direct services to students or have unsupervised contact with students. Examples of Assistive Volunteers include, but are not limited to: homeroom parents, individuals who assist with school activities, holiday parties, chaperones for field trips.
Assistive Volunteers must have superintendent or designee approval prior to serving as an Assistive Volunteer in NHSD.
3. Classroom Presentation Volunteers – Any individual who volunteers to present during a classroom lesson or school activity and is under the direct supervision of a classroom teacher or administrator during the entirety of the presentation. These visitor/volunteer opportunities are typically one –time events. Visitors do not have direct contact with children. Examples of Classroom Presentation Visitors include, but are not limited to: guest speakers, college admission/career day visitors.
Individuals at North Hills School District will not be permitted to serve as an independent or assistive volunteer unless they have submitted the appropriate clearances. Please click here to identify the specific clearances needed and learn how to obtain them.