New for 2016-2017
The following Volunteer roles at Merion will require that parents/guardians have their background clearances filed with LMSD:
• classroom assistants
• lunch/recess volunteers
• chaperones for field trips
• volunteer club advisors
Recent changes to Pennsylvania's Child Protective Services Law have had a significant impact on the requirements for individuals serving as school volunteers. Beginning July 1, 2016, all Tier 1 school volunteers (as defined below) - including parents - must submit background clearances prior to serving at school. This requirement applies whether you are interested in volunteering for a single event or over a period of time. Volunteers are defined as individuals eighteen (18) years or older serving in an unpaid position with a program, activity, or service project for the District. A volunteer who will have direct contact with children - meaning the care, supervision, guidance, or control of children and routine interaction with children - is designated as a "Tier I" volunteer.
If there is any chance you might wish to volunteer at Merion next year, please click here (www.lmsd.org/community/obtaining-clearances/index.aspx) for instructions on how to obtain and submit your background clearances.
The District will provide notification as to whether an event will require a volunteer to submit clearances. Note that once your updated clearances are on file, you will not need to re-submit clearances for each volunteer opportunity. Volunteer clearances are valid for sixty (60) months from the date of issue. Fees associated with state clearances for volunteers have been waived; however, if you are required to also submit an FBI clearance, you would be responsible for the costs associated with obtaining that clearance.
LMSD also distinguishes between "volunteers" and "visitors" in that visitors are viewed as individuals who are attending and/or observing an event or activity without providing a service to the students, staff, or school/district operations and who would not be responsible for the care, supervision, guidance, or control of children.
Examples of the types of roles/situations NOT requiring clearances include but are not limited to:
- Attending a performance (choral, instrumental, play)
- Mystery reader
- Kid Writing (kindergarten)
- Book Fair
- Assisting with pretzel sales, plant sale, pumpkin sales
- Halloween parade
- American Education Week