A new state law (PA Act 153) requires all volunteers to have three completed clearance checks. These clearances will need to be renewed every five years. This means in part that parents of students who the School has identified as School chaperones on School-sponsored field trips, or are regularly scheduled to assist in the School during school hours and/or after School at School-sponsored events, who have regular direct contact with children and/or who will be responsible for students, will need to obtain the clearances.
Limited contact visitors or event participants that are not responsible for students, such as attendance in an audience, participation in a celebration, incidental role at a School event, guests at parties, where students are supervised by professional and/or authorized School staff, will not require clearances.
For those who wish to be a School Volunteer, state law now requires the Pennsylvania Criminal History Record, Child Abuse History Clearance and, in some cases, FBI Federal Criminal History Record check and that they are updated every five (5) years in order to continue as a volunteer. Parents who have clearances that are less than one year old at the time of submission, may provide these documents to the school. Please bring forms to Mark Murray, Director of Finance and Operations.
The process can be initiated online and produces clearances quickly. Please follow the links below for each of the three (3) clearances.
1. PENNSYLVANIA CRIMINAL RECORD CHECK
This record check can be done online with almost immediate confirmation.
- Go to https://epatch.state.pa.us and click on “Submit a New Record Check” (Volunteers Only) and follow the instructions. Please select “Volunteer” as the Reason for Request. At the end of the process, please print the certification form as proof of submission. As a volunteer, there is no fee to complete this form.
2. PENNSYLVANIA CHILD ABUSE HISTORY CLEARANCE
This clearance can be completed online for the quickest result.
- Go to https://www.compass.state.pa.us/CWIS. You will create a login for your Keystone ID number. This includes a combination of letters and numbers you create for yourself. This process takes up to 14 days to complete. Then you will need to return to the link and choose “access my clearances”. At bottom of each page, click “continue” until you reach the clearance request. There is no fee when you complete this online form.
3. FBI FEDERAL CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD
Note that a prospective volunteer who has lived in Pennsylvania for the past 10 years is not required to submit this clearance. Instead, the volunteer can complete this form, including having it notarized, and then submit it to our Business Office.
If you have not lived in Pennsylvania continuously for the past 10 years, the FBI Federal Criminal Record History is required. This requires a 2-step process including online registration and fingerprinting taken digitally at a registered site.
- To register, go to https://www.pa.cogentid.com/index_pdeNew.htm or call 888-439-2486 (M-F, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.). Please be sure to choose the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) when registering. There is a $27 fee for this clearance, which includes an automatic mailed unofficial copy of the results directly to the applicant.
- Once you have registered, proceed to an approved fingerprinting site to be digitally fingerprinted. A list of approved locations is available here and on the cogent website. Your Registration Number starting with “PAE…” must be provided to the school office so your results can be retrieved.
Please bring all clearance documentation in a sealed envelope to the Farmhouse, to the attention of Mark Murray, Director of Finance and Operations. The school will maintain an updated list of clearances, so that teachers know what parent volunteers have their clearances. If you have any questions about this process, wish to be reimbursed for the fingerprinting fee, please contact Mark Murray.