Howard-Winneshiek Community School District values and encourages our parents and community members to volunteer in our schools. We believe that volunteers make a valuable contribution to our faculty, staff and students. To provide for the safety of all of our students and staff, background checks are required to enter into our schools and work with students. Please see the guidelines below for your information:
|REQUIRES A BACKGROUND CHECK||DOES NOT REQUIRE A BACKGROUND CHECK|
|Volunteer working one-on-one with a student.||Visitor that does not leave the office.|
|Volunteer working with limited supervision or alone with students.||Visitor attending our school for activities that are open to all parents of an entire classroom at school.|
|Visitor who will be among the students during the school day ( ex: sitting with child at lunch).|
|Volunteer accompanying students on a field trip.|
|Vendor with a prearranged appointment, work identificaiton, who has business to conduct at our schools, and is met at the office by the person responsible for these individuals.|
|Examples (not limited to):||Examples (not limited to):|
|Tutors, mentoring, field trip chaperones, volunteer coaches and/or activity advisors, scheduled helper, joining child in the lunchroom.||Concerts, programs open to all parents, classroom and school open houses.|
|Complete Volunteer/Visitor Application Consent Form at least 1 week in advance, once approved and notified name will appear on APPROVED ONLY list, and person will be granted access. Check-in at the office upon arrival.||Check-in at the office.|
**The district reserves the rights to make all final decisions regarding volunteers/vistors
Q: Why do the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District require clearances in certain volunteer situations?
A: To ensure the safety of all students, Howard-Winn requires any non-employee having access to students and to the school building during the school day to comply with the School Board Policy.
Q: How do I find out if I have been approved?
A: The personnel at our schools only receive a list of individuals who have been approved. They do not receive a list of individuals who have applied or who have not been approved. If you are approved, you will be placed on the approved volunteer/visitor list. If you have not been approved, you will either receive a letter requesting that you provide the detailed police report related to your arrest, or you will be provided a letter indicating that you have been denied approval.
Q: Why does the criteria state, “regardless of conviction”?
A: While a court might determine the conduct was not illegal, some individuals do not receive a conviction as a result of technicalities of the law and/or if charges are dropped. In some of these circumstances the individual actually committed the illegal act but is not being held legally responsible. Therefore, the actual conduct of the individual, particularly for an arrest related an act of aggression, is reviewed as documented in a police report and a decision is made to ensure student safety based upon the conduct not the conviction.
Q: Where does the District get the background check information?
A: IOWA DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Crime Information Bureau
Q; How often do I need to update my clearances?
A: Background checks are conducted every 1-3 years.
Q: Can I appeal the decision?
A: There is not an appeal process for volunteers and visitor background check determinations. The decision of the Superintendent is final.
If you have any additional questions, please contact the principal of the school where you wish to volunteer.