Upper Merion Area School District

Inspiring Excellence

Dear UMASD Families:

As some may be aware recent amendments to state law have led to changes in clearance requirements for school district employees and volunteers. PLEASE NOTE: These changes are in a state of flux because of amendments to the legislation being considered in both the State House and Senate. Additionally, the Governor has waived fees for the PA Criminal History Clearance and the PA Child Abuse Clearance. There is also a provision to the FBI Federal Criminal History Report (fingerprinting). If you have been a Pennsylvania resident for 10 consecutive years prior to the date of your volunteer application, you may sign a waiver in lieu of obtaining the FBI clearance.

If you volunteer for our district, need to be aware of the following for the 2016-17 school year:

#1. Volunteers will be required to obtain the PA Criminal History Clearance and the PA Child Abuse History Clearance

#2. Volunteers will be required to obtain the FBI fingerprint check if they have not been a Pennsylvania resident for 10 consecutive years prior to the date of your volunteer application. If they have, they are required to submit an affidavit indicating so.*

#3. Volunteers will need to renew clearances and affidavits every five years in order to remain in compliance.

Again, please note that these changes went into effect July 1, 2015.

Should you have any questions after reviewing this information, please contact us by email  lboccella@umasd.org or call (610) 205-6419

Thank you for all you do to support our schools!

*If you have been a PA resident for 10 consecutive years prior to the date of your volunteer application, you may sign a waiver in lieu of obtaining the FBI clearance. This waiver is included as part of the application packet. 
Submit Completed Application with copy of clearances to the Administration Building Attention Lisa Boccella.
 

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School volunteers are valuable members of the UMASD Family. Through donating your time and talents, you can help the Upper Merion Area School District continue to provide the tools, knowledge and resources for our students to succeed in and out of the classroom.

As a result of new Pennsylvania laws (starting July 1, 2015), all volunteers must complete and submit a (Click Here) Volunteer Application Form and obtain the following three clearances:

 


 
Frequently Asked Questions

No. The changes referenced in this section go into effect July 1, 2015. However, you are welcome to get all three clearances now and have them on file for the 2015-16 school year. 

 

I already have clearances from my work with another organization. May I submit these to my child's school in order to volunteer?  Yes, provided the clearances are all under one year old. Please submit copies along with district volunteer application.

Yes, provided the clearances are all under one year old. Please submit the originals for copying along with the district volunteer application.

 

I don't remember how old my clearances are. How can I find out? If you have kept the originals, refer to the date on the clearance forms to see when you obtained them. If you cannot locate your originals, it is best to have the clearances done again.

If you have kept the originals, refer to the date on the clearance forms to see when you obtained them. If you cannot locate your originals, it is best to have the clearances done again.

 

If I am visiting a school, do I need to have my clearances done? No. If you are visiting a school for a specific purpose, such as a parent teacher conference you do not need to have your clearances on file.

No. If you are visiting a school for a specific purpose, such as a parent-teacher conference, or you are coming in to provide a one-time service (reading to a class, making a presentation to a class), you do not need to have your clearances on file. If you visit on more than one occasion during a school year clearances will be required.

 

How much do the clearances cost? Beginning July 25, 2015, there will be no cost for the Child Abuse History Clearance and Criminal History Clearance for a volunteer. The FBI Federal Criminal History record (if required) costs $27.00. The Upper Merion Area School District does not reimburse for these costs.

Beginning July 25, 2015, there will be no cost for the Child Abuse History Clearance and Criminal History Clearance for a volunteer. The FBI Federal Criminal History record (if required) costs $27.00. The Colonial School District does not reimburse for these costs.

Yes, effective July 1, 2015, all volunteers who have not lived continuously in Pennsylvania for the past ten years must have the FBI Criminal History Record report on file with the district. Once you obtain this report, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at your building and ask them to submit the information for approval.

 

I am not familiar with the FBI Criminal History Record report. How do I obtain this? The FBI Criminal History record report is a fingerprint-based record check. An applicant may register to obtain the check online at www.pa.cogentid.com or by phone 1-888-439-2486 before going to a fingerprinting site. Payment of $27 is made at the time of registration. Fingerprinting sites in our area include UPS Stores in King of Prussia (Henderson Rd King Of Prussia, PA 19406) , Norristown (34 E Germantown Pike, Norristown, PA 19401), and Wayne (295 E Swedesford Rd, Wayne, PA 19087) to name a few. APPLICANTS SHOULD BE SURE TO APPLY VIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION ON THE COGENT WEBISITE.

The FBI Criminal History Record report is a fingerprint-based record check. An applicant may register to obtain the check online at www.pa.cogentid.com or by phone at 1-888-439-2486 before going to a fingerprinting site. Payment of $27 is made at the time of registration. Fingerprinting sites in our area include UPS Stores in Norristown, Phoenixville, and Exton to name a few. Click here for more detailed instructions and addresses for these UPS sites. APPLICANTS SHOULD BE SURE TO APPLY VIA THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION LINK ON THE COGENT WEBSITE.

 

Currently volunteers are required to have licenses scanned by the LobbyGuard system upon entering a school. However, you WILL NOT need to have your license scanned to volunteer once your clearances are on file and you are an approved volunteer. We initiated this requirement as a way to double-check the backgrounds of volunteers whose clearances may have been obtained more than a year ago. The recent changes to the state law ensure that we will have recent clearances on file for all volunteers, and the additional step of requiring a license scan on top of three clearances could prove to be prohibitive to those who want to volunteer. License scanning will continue at district schools as a way to track visitors in and out of the building.

Why do we have to get new clearances every five years? In December 2014, the state made amendments to Act 153 (Child Protective Services Law). The law was amended to require all school employees, contractors AND volunteers having direct contact with children to obtain new clearances every 60 months.

In December 2014, the state made amendments to Act 153 (Child Protective Services Law). The law was amended to require all school employees, contractors AND volunteers having direct contact with children to obtain new clearances every 60 months.

 

Thank you for your interest in serving as a volunteer!

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