VOLUNTEERS IN SCHOOLS
Cranston Public Schools appreciates volunteer efforts in its schools. Parents, college students, senior citizens, elected officials, business representatives, and community members are important sources of support and expertise that enrich the instructional program, assist teachers, and connect the student body with the community.
A volunteer is any non-compensated person who wishes to donate his/her time within a school building, at a school sponsored event, or where children are present.
Volunteers must adhere to all Cranston Public Schools policies and regulations including but not limited to Code of Conduct, Confidentiality, etc.
Volunteers shall not physically discipline a student.
Volunteers shall be required to complete an Application and an Information and Disclosure
Volunteers may be required to participate in an orientation and / or training established by Cranston Public Schools.
Volunteers must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
Volunteers must adhere to the confidentiality of what is observed and not shared outside the classroom. Volunteers must maintain confidentiality, and are not permitted to discuss student/school related issues in the outside community.
Volunteers shall not have access to confidential information / files / records.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Upon initial application, all volunteers shall be required to obtain a Rhode Island BCI. All out-ofstate volunteers, or volunteer applicants who have not resided in Rhode Island for a period of one year, shall be required to obtain a National Fingerprint BCI.
The cost of the background check, if any, is the responsibility of the applicant.
Volunteers should not be with a student/s unless in the presence of a classroom teacher, administrator, or appropriate school personnel. A volunteer shall not be in a one-on-one situation with a child, during or outside of a school day.
Volunteers must provide identification and sign in/out at the school’s main office.
Volunteers shall wear the “Visitors” badge or other means of identification, as required by school policy.
VOLUNTEER LIABILITY AND INDEMNIFICATION
A volunteer shall at all times indemnify and save harmless the Cranston Public Schools and its officers, agents and employees on account of and from any and all claims, damages, losses, judgments, workers’ compensation payments, litigations expenses and legal counsel fees arising out of injuries to persons (including death) or damage to property alleged to have been sustained by (a) officers, agents and employees of the Cranston Public Schools or (b) any other person, which injuries are alleged to have occurred on or near the work or to have been caused in whole or in part by the acts, omissions or neglect of the volunteer.
This Policy may not apply to parents observing classrooms, guest speakers, performers, student mentors who are enrolled in Cranston Public Schools, truancy court personnel, newspaper reporters, vendors for school related items such as rings, yearbooks, delivery vendors, and alike, provided they are accompanied by the Superintendent or school personnel.
The Office of Human Resources shall maintain an accurate file of signed Volunteer Disclosure Statements, criminal background checks and verifications of health information as required by Policy.
If there is any disqualifying information concerning a potential volunteer, it will be noted by the Attorney General’s office. It is the responsibility of the Superintendent or his/her designee to meet with that person and explain that he/she will not be able to participate due to the information contained in the report(s).
“Disqualifying information” means those offenses listed in § 23-17-37, and those offenses listed in §§ 11-37-8.1 and 11-37-8.3.
§ 23-17-37 Disqualifying information. – (a) Information produced by a criminal records review pertaining to conviction, for the following crimes will result in a letter to the employee and employer disqualifying the applicant from employment: murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, first degree sexual assault, second degree sexual assault, third degree sexual assault, assault on persons sixty (60) years of age or older, assault with intent to commit specified felonies (murder, robbery, rape, burglary, or the abominable and detestable crime against nature) felony assault, patient abuse, neglect or mistreatment of patients, burglary, first degree arson, robbery, felony drug offenses, larceny, or felony banking law violations. An employee against whom disqualifying information has been found may request that a copy of the criminal background report be sent to the employer who shall make a judgment regarding the continued employment of the employee.
(b) For purposes of this section, "conviction" means, in addition to judgments of conviction entered by a court subsequent to a finding of guilty or a plea of guilty, those instances where the defendant has entered a plea of nolo contendere and has received a sentence of probation and those instances where a defendant has entered into a deferred sentence agreement with the attorney general.
§ 11-37-8.1 First degree child molestation sexual assault. – A person is guilty of first degree child molestation sexual assault if he or she engages in sexual penetration with a person fourteen (14) years of age or under.
§ 11-37-8.3 Second degree child molestation sexual assault. – A person is guilty of a second degree child molestation sexual assault if he or she engages in sexual contact with another person fourteen (14) years of age or under.
Any volunteer against whom disqualifying information has been found may request that a copy of the criminal background report be sent to the Superintendent, who shall make a judgment regarding whether the individual may volunteer in Cranston Public Schools.
Any volunteer wishing to appeal the Superintendent’s decision may do so by writing a letter to the Chairperson of the School Committee within ten days of the Superintendent’s decision, requesting a hearing before the School Committee.
This policy shall take effect thirty days from passage.