Volunteer Background Checks

The following information is to provide clarification and consistency in the procedures for performing background checks on individuals that volunteer in the Sparta Area School district.

  1. The State of Michigan requires by law that school districts perform background checks of school employees. The Sparta Area Schools Board of Education adopted policies #3121 and #4121 in compliance with State requirements.

  2. The Board of Education also adopted new policies specifically for individuals who volunteer in the district; these policies are #3120.09 and #4120.09. This was done to better insure the safety of students that may come into contact with volunteers during school sponsored activities. Background checks of volunteers are not required by law, but conducted under district policy.

  3. Board policies require all potential volunteers be screened through ICHAT (Internet Criminal History Tool) and OTIS (Offender Tracking Information Services-sex offender registry). This is to be done prior to the first time an individual participates or volunteers for a school sponsored activity.

  4. Daily Building volunteers and volunteers attending fields trips are required to have a background check completed through our Districts Raptor system at the individual building in which the event is pertaining.  This check will require the volunteer to present their ID at the building once a year to be added to the system.

  5. All records are kept confidential and will not be received or disseminated to anyone not directly involved in the screening process.

  6. The district reserves the right to perform additional background checks at any time for the duration of the volunteer's service in the district. This can be performed regardless of self disclosure of inappropriate behavior following the initial check.

  7. Checks will not necessarily be done on an annual basis. The district is limited as to the number of submissions to ICHAT and OTIS during a school year. Additionally, the background check process is time consuming, and personnel resources would not allow for annual re-checks of all volunteers.

  8. A master list of approved volunteers will be maintained by the district in accordance with Board policy.