SCDSB moves to limit background checks to volunteers with
'direct' 'regular contact'
The start of a new school year is accompanied by the flow of parent
volunteers whose involvement ranges from chaperoning field trips to
non-teaching classroom help and school yard and lunch monitoring.
Currently, the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) requires all
volunteers to provide an original copy of a Criminal Records Background
Check which includes a Vulnerable
Sector screening, executed within the last six months prior to
beginning to volunteer. However, because those checks can take more
than a month to return from police, it can limit the number of
volunteers available on short notice.
This month, the Board is moving to loosen that restriction with an
amendment that removes the word "all" and replaces it with "any
volunteers who come into direct contact with pupils on a regular basis"
will still be required to provide all the required crimincal records
Brian Jeffs, Superintendent of Business Services told Free Press Online
the revision to the volunteers in schools policy is "intended to
provide greater clarity for volunteers and school administrators."
The change follows on last September's revisions which now permits
parent, community volunteers, educational assistants, and non-teaching
staff to take over run extra curricular activities, which was in
response to last year's job action by teachers, which effectively wiped
those out in 2013. Those volunteers would be required to complete the
Criminal Record Check process and the principal would need to evaluate
whether the individual is qualified to run or coach the activity, and
the volunteer would need to be trained. The training would consist of a
centralized training protocol and course for coaches/ volunteers.