Atlanta Public Schools
Booker T. Washington
Areas Available for Parental VolunteersBoard Policy ManualSection4. Personnel & Talent ManagementTitleCriminal Background Check - School VolunteersCodeGAK(1)-R(1)StatusActiveAdoptedJanuary 10, 2012Last RevisedApril 26, 2018
Recruitment, utilization, coordination, and training of volunteers are the responsibility of each school administration.
Criminal Background Checks
In support of student safety, the superintendent requires that all schools and administrative offices identify and screen all volunteers in accordance with the following guidelines. Security clearances for volunteers must be renewed every two years.
Volunteers will be issued volunteer badges, which must be displayed at all times while on school property. All volunteers must complete and sign a Volunteer Release Form.
Level 1 volunteers are non-district personnel who will have no interaction with students, such as volunteers working on playground construction or assisting with facilities maintenance when school is not in session. Level 1 volunteers do not require criminal background checks. Prior to service, Level 1 volunteers will be required to sign a Volunteer Release Form, which will be kept on file at the school. Principals may use their discretion to order a criminal history name search of a Level 1 volunteer. Volunteers will be notified by the school principal if a criminal history name search will be performed by the Office of Safety & Security, at no cost to the volunteer.
If it becomes known that Level 1 volunteers have one or more prohibited offenses in their criminal history that would exclude them from Level 2 volunteer service, they will not be allowed to volunteer.
Level 2 volunteers are non-district personnel who will have supervised interaction with students. Prior to service, Level 2 volunteers are required to submit a Volunteer Release Form and Criminal History Release Form, allowing the scan of their full names and driver’s license through the appropriate criminal databases by the Office of Safety & Security. Registered sex offenders will not be allowed to volunteer.
Level 3 volunteers must be approved by the Human Resources Division and the principal of the school prior to participating in activities involving direct, unsupervised interaction with students. Examples of Level 3 volunteers include chaperones on overnight field trips or any other volunteers who will have any unsupervised interaction with students. Level 3 volunteers shall be fingerprinted by the district and have GBI/FBI criminal background checks on file prior to volunteer services. Payment for the record check must be provided by the volunteer or a sponsoring organization, such as a business partner, Parent Teacher Association or the school. Registered sex offenders will not be allowed to volunteer. School administrators shall have the discretion to pursue any additional screening methods, including, but not limited to, personal interviews and reference checks.
Exceptions to the criminal background requirements may be granted by the Deputy Superintendent on a case-by-case basis for guest speakers with legitimate, unique educational value.
Expectations of Volunteers
APS volunteers are representatives of the school community and role models for students. As such, volunteers are expected to adhere to the system’s core values: integrity, high ideals and expectations and sensitivity to the school environment. Volunteers must take personal responsibility for understanding the system’s ethical standards and applying them in volunteer activities.
All volunteers are expected to:
- Make decisions based on what is best for students in all cases
- Maintain honest, equitable, professional relationships with students, parents, staff members, community members and other volunteers
- Observe local, state and federal laws, policies, rules, and regulations
- Maintain confidentiality of privileged information
- Support cooperation between the school and the community
- Refrain from using school contacts and privileges to promote partisan politics, sectarian religious views, or propaganda of any kind
- Safeguard school property, equipment, and materials
- Implement board policies in a spirit of good faith
- Comply with appropriate standards of professional conduct including, but not limited to, displaying appropriate behavior, language and attire at all times
Qualification of Volunteers
Prior to participating in an APS volunteer activity, Level 1 and Level 2 volunteers must complete the Volunteer Release Form. Level 3 volunteers must have on file within the Office of Safety & Security the required background check information. The school must maintain evidence that the volunteer has completed any required training, as well as a Volunteer Release Form.
Disqualification of Volunteers
School administrators with justified concerns have the authority to exclude individuals from participating in volunteer activities in their schools. Volunteers—including parents—who are excluded from Level 2 or 3 volunteer activities due to a disqualifying offense on the background check or sex offender registry may not participate in Level 1 volunteer activities. Parents/guardians who are excluded from volunteer activities may attend public events at the school such as Parent Teacher Association meetings and student performances.
School volunteers must sign-in and out in the school office and obtain a visitor badge in accordance with policy KM Visitors to School and school procedures.
Access to Student Information
School volunteers shall not have access to student information, including Infinite Campus, without express written consent from the parents/legal guardians of the students.
Date Issued: 1/10/2012
Revised: 12/22/2017, 4/26/2018
Chief Ronald Applin
Office of Safety & Security – Operations Division
(404) 802-2177BookBoard Policy ManualSection3. Operations & Facilities ManagementTitleVisitors to SchoolCodeKMStatusActiveAdoptedFebruary 9, 1981Last RevisedJune 2, 2014
The Atlanta Board of Education recognizes that the participation of parents and community members in the activities of the school is a key contributor to student success. Atlanta Public Schools welcomes parents and other visitors to the schools. The system provides opportunities to learn about the system’s diverse educational programs and to attend teacher conferences and public events, such as athletic competitions and fine arts presentations.
The district’s highest priority is to provide a safe, secure and orderly educational environment, especially in the classroom. To ensure the safety of students, the confidentiality of personal information, and the integrity of the learning environment, the board limits visitors to:
- The parent/guardian of a current student.
- Other family members of a current student at the request of the parent/guardian.
- Individuals with official business approved in advance by the school principal, including, but not limited to, community volunteers, student mentors, board members, and guest speakers.
- Outside service providers who currently provide private educational or therapy services to a student at the request of the parent/guardian.
All visitors must sign in at the school office and obtain a visitor’s badge that must be worn at all times while in the building or while on the school grounds. In accordance with policy GAMA Safe and Drug-Free Workplace, visitors shall not possess weapons on APS property, in a school or other APS facility, or at any school or district-sponsored activity in accordance with O.C.G.A. §16-11-127.1, any other applicable laws and administrative regulations issued by the superintendent. Visitors who may interact with students other than their own children shall comply with the requirements of policy GAK(1) Criminal Background Check. Parents/guardians who request a classroom observation or a teacher conference shall provide at least 24 hours advanced notice.
Visitors shall behave in a professional manner at all times and shall not distract teachers from instruction or otherwise interrupt the instructional process. Student and adult spectators at school events that are open to the public are expected to model good sportsmanship and citizenship. Any visitor to a school or school event who violates this policy may be asked to leave the event and may lose the privilege of coming on campus and attending future school events.
The presence of unauthorized visitors on school grounds or facilities may constitute trespassing and may subject violators to criminal prosecution under the laws of the state of Georgia.
The superintendent is authorized to develop regulations to implement this policy.
Last Revised: 6/2/2014
Revised: 4/6/1990, 3/12/2007, 8/12/2013
First Adopted: 2/9/1981
Chief Ronald Applin
Office of Safety & Security – Operations Division