Volunteers and Partnerships

Volunteer Background Screening

The Sarasota County School District welcomes volunteers in schools and is grateful for their support. In order to be approved to volunteer in schools, interested individuals first must apply through the school district's volunteer registration system. Volunteers can apply using the volunteer registration computer at any district public school or in the Volunteer and Partnership Office located in the school district administration complex at 1960 Landings Blvd., Sarasota. This application process includes a criminal background screening. The information below describes the various levels of background screenings required for school volunteers. PLEASE NOTE: The level of criminal background screening required of a volunteer is determined by the level of supervision under which the volunteer works and the nature of interaction between the volunteer and the student. Although a volunteer may be called a tutor, a mentor, or a chaperone, those designations may differ from school to school and do not determine the level of screening required. 

RAPTOR Screening
Florida state law and Sarasota County School District policy require that every person who visits a district school must be screened through the national sexual predator/offender database. The district uses a program called RAPTOR, the district visitor management system, to perform this screening that is required upon every visit to a school. Although all school volunteers must undergo a criminal background screening (see below) before they are allowed to volunteer in schools, they also are required to be screened through RAPTOR every time they visit a school, as are all visitors to schools.

Level 1 Criminal Background Screening
A Level 1 criminal background screening is required for volunteers when the volunteer is continuously and directly (within sight or hearing) supervised by a school staff member. Level 1 criminal background screenings of volunteers are conducted automatically upon registration by the district’s Department of School Safety and Security at no cost to the volunteer. Volunteer assignments that require Level 1 criminal background screening include but are not limited to the following:   

  • assisting a teacher in the classroom; 
  • working in an office, cafeteria, or media center; 
  • assisting with a school event;
  • tutoring a student in academics; 
  • chaperoning on a daytime field trip with the staff supervision required for volunteers approved at Level 1.  Please note that the minimum age for volunteer chaperones on daytime field trips is 21 at the elementary school level and 25 at all other grade levels.

A volunteer approved at Level 1 will receive an email notice of approval if an email address was entered during registration. The volunteer’s name subsequently will appear on the list of approved volunteers for the school(s) for which the volunteer registered. Volunteers not approved at Level 1 will receive a letter from the Department of School Safety and Security to that effect including information on how to file an appeal.

Level 2 Criminal Background Screening
A Level 2 criminal background screening is required for volunteers who work with students in unsupervised settings and/or when the interaction with students is of a more interpersonal interaction than academic focus. Level 2 volunteer screenings require an FBI fingerprint check of criminal history. Volunteer assignments that require Level 2 criminal background screening include but are not limited to the following: 

  • working with a student(s) in a setting not continuously supervised by current school staff;
  • working with a student in a long-term, interpersonal relationship (e.g., formal mentoring);
  • transporting students other than his/her own children;
  • volunteering when not under the continuous supervision of current school staff;
  • chaperoning overnight field trips and daytime activities when volunteers may not be under the continuous supervision of current school staff. Please note that the minimum age for volunteer chaperones on overnight field trips at all grade levels is 25.

Following are the procedures for Level 2 background screening for volunteers:

  • For volunteers mentoring in schools through a community mentoring organization with which the district has a current interagency agreement (e.g., Big Brothers Big Sisters), screenings may be done through that organization, which submits screening documentation to the school district Volunteer and Partnership Office. 
  • Individuals in other volunteer assignments that require Level 2 screening must have already been approved at Level 1 and have an active account in the school district’s volunteer registration system. Volunteers who are active and approved at Level 1 may schedule a fingerprinting appointment either directly through the district’s Department of School Safety and Security or through MorphoTrust USA, Inc. by selecting one of the following two options to schedule an appointment:
    Sarasota County School District Department of School Safety and Security 
    • 1960 Landings Blvd., Sarasota, FL  34231
    • Fingerprinting hours are 8:30AM – 4:00PM BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
    • Cost is $38.00. (Payable to Sarasota County School District by Money Order or Cashier’s Check only)
    • To schedule an appointment, call 927-9000, extension 31132.
    MorphoTrust USA, Inc.
    • Locations are available in North Port and Sarasota.
    • Fingerprint appointments vary by location. Some locations offer Saturday appointments.
    • Cost is $51.00. (Payable at the time of scheduling by credit card, debit card, or electronic check)
    • To schedule an appointment, call 800-528-1358 or visit www.l1enrollment.com  Provide this authorization number when making this appointment: VECHS – V58020003
     

IMPORTANT INFORMATION – PLEASE READ BEFORE SCHEDULING APPOINTMENT

  •  Please be advised that the fingerprint costs are non-refundable if the volunteer is not approved. Therefore, it is essential that volunteers are approved at Level 1 before applying for Level 2 screening.
  • Volunteers must present a current photo ID at the pre-scheduled fingerprinting appointment. Acceptable forms of ID include the following: state or federally issued driver license, state ID, military ID, or alien registration card with photo. Expired photo ID cards are not accepted.
  • Schedule the appointment 2-3 weeks prior to the date the school needs proof of Level 2 approval.
  • Volunteers must reactivate in the volunteer registration system at the beginning of each school year. The Level 2 clearance will stand for those volunteers who reactivate and who have no criminal dispositions.
  • For questions regarding school district volunteer requirements, call 927-9000, ext. 31500.
  • For questions regarding the Level 2 screening process, call 927-9000, ext. 31128.

Principal/School-based Administrator Authority

  • All registered and approved volunteers serve with the approval of the principal or director who may rescind this approval should they determine the volunteer is not a good fit with the school.
  • The principal determines staff appropriate to supervise volunteers. 

School District Employees Serving as Volunteers
When a school-district employee serves as a volunteer and not as an employee, the employee must register in in the volunteer registration system and notify the Volunteer and Partnership Office that they have Level 2 clearance.

 

Communications and Community Relations
Gary Leatherman, Director
gary.leatherman@sarasotacountyschools.net

Debbie Tippen, Administrative Assistant
debbie.tippen@sarasotacountyschools.net

Media Relations
Scott Ferguson, Specialist
scott.ferguson@sarasotacountyschools.net

Online Communications
Mina Ajrab, Specialist
mina.ajrab@sarasotacountyschools.net

Phone: 941-927-4009 or
941-927-9000 ext. 74009
Fax: 941-927-4059
1960 Landings Boulevard
Sarasota, Florida 34231
Green 3rd Floor

Education Channel 20/33
Leanne McIntire, Manager
leanne.mcintire@sarasotacountyschools.net
Phone: 941-361-6355
Fax: 941-361-6358 
4748 Beneva Road
Sarasota, Florida 34233

Volunteer & Partnership Office
Danielle Schwied, Coordinator 
danielle.schwied@sarasotacountyschools.net

Alice Faria Stevens, Administrative Assistant 
VolunteersPartners@sarasotacountyschools.net 
Phone: 941-927-9000, ext. 31500
Fax: 941-361-6539
Green 1st Floor

Staff Listing

Wednesday
1/18/2017 - Restorative Strategies Staff Training

Wednesday
1/18/2017 - SPHS Open House

Monday
1/23/2017 - Restorative Strategies Training for Middle School Counselors

Monday
1/23/2017 - IB Night - RHS

Tuesday
1/24/2017 - STEM Fair Judging Schedule (grades 3-5) at Robarts Arena

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