833 moves ahead with employee background-check policySchool District 833 is taking another look at a policy regarding checking employees’ backgrounds for criminal activities.
By: Judy Spooner, Woodbury Bulletin
School District 833 is taking another look at a policy regarding checking employees’ backgrounds for criminal activities. It includes volunteer coaches, some of whom are paid by booster organizations.
District attorney Mark Porter said it is current district policy to do background checks on volunteer coaches who are considered to be part of team management. The new policy would include all volunteer coaches.
Earlier this year, the board discussed a policy but questioned whether volunteers should have to pay the cost of background checks and the proposed policy was tabled.
In July the board will take another look at a similar policy proposed by Porter.
The revised policy requires the district to pay $20 per volunteer background check, and to implement the policy in August. Prospective employees would have to pay the fee.
A new law on background checks signed by the governor after the most recent legislative session allows districts to contract with private vendors for checks instead of using only the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Outside vendors have access to many databases, Porter said, that could yield more information. Companies can access a national registry of sex offenders, for example
There is a concern, Porter said, about background checks for students employed by the district because criminal information is “generally not available” on juveniles.
As to periodic checks on teachers who are already working for the district, Porter said the district should wait until the Minnesota School Boards Association comes up with a model policy.
Also, the policy can be extended at a later time to include coaches of after-school academic activities, volunteers who regularly work in classrooms and chaperones who assist on field trips.