Frequently Asked Questions about Volunteers



    1. Why does the Derry Township School District require certifications?
    Every day parents and guardians entrust the care of their students to the District and as part of that responsibility, the District wants to ensure that it is doing everything it can to keep students safe.


    2. Why do volunteers need all these clearances/certifications?

    The District requires all three certifications because each represents a unique database of records. The PA child abuse and criminal records are maintained in two different state databases, while the FBI checks criminal history through a national database of criminal records. The mandated reporter training certification is required because the law defines volunteers as mandated reporters.


    Return to Top 3. What clearances/certifications do volunteers need?

    Volunteers are required to submit the following clearances:

    •    Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Certifications
    •    Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check
    •    FBI Federal Criminal History Check
    •    Mandated Reporter Training Certification

    •    The Tuberculosis Screening

    4. Why do volunteers need a TB Test?
    Section 1418 of the Pennsylvania School Code states, “Each teacher, any other school employee and any person providing services for school children under contract shall be given tests for tuberculosis in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the Advisory Health Board. Each student teacher and volunteer participating in student activities shall be given the same tests for tuberculosis, but no person shall be required to submit to a particular test if he shall furnish a statement setting forth adequate reasons for being excused from taking the test. In such case, an alternative method of testing shall be administered.

    5. What should I do once I receive my clearances/certifications?
    Originals of the PA Child Abuse and Criminal Record certifications will be mailed to the applicant’s home address or sent electronically if submitted online. Those originals must be presented to the District’s Human Resource Specialist. A copy of each background check will be made from the original and kept on file in the District office.

    Applicants should provide to the Human Resource Specialist their PAE Registration # that they received when they registered online for the FBI fingerprint clearance.  The Human Resource Specialist will then review applicant’s report online.  

    Applicants should provide a copy of their mandated reporter training certificate to the Human Resource Specialist.

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    6. Is there any other screening necessary for school volunteers? 
    Yes, a TB test must be administered within 3 months of registering to volunteer. A copy of the TB test results will be made from the original and kept on file in the District Office.

    7. Other school districts don't require parents to jump through all these hoops. Why does Derry Township School District require all of these documents?
    The Derry Township Board of School Directors based on the recommendations of the policy committee and the administration, decided to take a conservative approach, believing it to be better to err on the side of safety. Unfortunately, it's a sign of the times we live in. It should be noted that many other school districts in the area also require volunteers to get the three background checks.

    8. Who pays for the certifications?
    It is the responsibility of the volunteer to pay for his/her certifications.


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    9. How much does it cost to become a volunteer? 
    It depends. The costs for the three background checks totals $23.25. This includes the Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance, the Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check, and the FBI Federal Criminal History Check. Effective July 25, 2015, the fee for volunteers seeking PA Child Abuse History and PA Criminal Record clearances will be waived by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Tuberculosis screening can range between $10 - $90 depending on the location and your individual health insurance coverage. There is no cost for the online mandated reporter training. With that being said, the costs to become a volunteer could be as low as $27. However, depending on the cost for the TB the costs could exceed $100.

    10, What if I cannot afford the certification fees?
    In the event financial hardship may deter you from volunteering when certifications are required, please contact the Assistant to the Superintendent for Personnel and Student Services, (717) 534-2501 ext. 3201, for financial assistance.  All information regarding your request will be kept confidential.

    11. How much time will it take to receive my certifications?
    It depends. Volunteers that submit the applications online have received all of their certification information back in a little as five days. However, we generally advise individuals to allow at least two weeks if they are submitting their forms online. Volunteers submitting forms via standard mail can expect to wait between four to six weeks before receiving all of their certifications.

    Return to Top 12. How often do I need to update my clearances/certifications?

    Volunteers are required to update their certifications as indicated below.
    • Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Certification (Every 5 years)
    • Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check (Every 5 years)
    • FBI Federal Criminal History Check (Every 5 years)
    • Mandated Reporter Training Certification (Every 5 Years)
    • The Tuberculosis Screening

    13. Who should I contact if I am having trouble completing the applications.
    • Human Resources Specialist, at 717-534-2501 ext. 3290
    • Assistant to the Superintendent for Personnel and Student Services, at 717-534-2501 ext. 3201

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    14. Do I need to submit the paperwork or certifications if I want to assist with PTO-sponsored events that are held outside of the school day (e.g. Festivals, ice cream socials, etc.)?
    DTSD volunteers do not need to provide the paperwork or certifications to assist with PTO events outside the school day, as these are not school-sponsored events.