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.
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
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
- working in an office,
cafeteria, or media center;
- assisting with a school
- tutoring a student in
- 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.
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
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
- 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
Following are the procedures for Level 2 background screening for
- 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
- 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
Punta Gorda Police Department via MorphoTrust USA, Inc.
- 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.
- Cost is $51.00.
- To schedule an appointment, call 800-528-1358 or visit www.identogo.com. Provide this authorization number when
making this appointment: VECHS –
IMPORTANT INFORMATION – PLEASE READ
BEFORE SCHEDULING APPOINTMENT
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
- 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.
- 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
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.