• Thank you for choosing to Volunteer at Chester Upland School District

    At the Chester Upland School District, we highly value the work of our volunteers. Your support makes our schools a safer and more nurturing place for our children and families. You help us create a constellation and continuum of support for our students by strengthening our ties with families and community. Your time and energy truly make a difference in the lives of our young people, and we can’t thank you enough for that. As you are joining our school community, we wanted to share with you some tips and suggestions that would help us ensure that you are having a truly positive volunteering experience. Please read the FAQs below and complete the attached paperwork to apply to serve as a volunteer! 


    Click Here to Read the Volunteer Letter from Dr. Parkinson

    Click Here for the Required Volunteer Paperwork


    *Please note that all paperwork must be completed in order to volunteer

    Volunteer Requirements Frequently Asked Questions 

    Who needs clearances? 
    Adults applying for or holding an unpaid position as a volunteer with a childcare service, a school, or a program, activity, or service responsible for the child’s welfare or having direct volunteer contact with children you will need clearances. 

    If your clearances are older than 60 months, you must renew your clearances. 

    Examples of unpaid positions as a volunteer responsible for the welfare of a child or having direct contact with children can include but are not limited to:

    • Parent/Guardian chaperones for schools 
    • Agency volunteers that help with transportation or other services 
    • Big Brothers/Big Sisters 
    • Literacy programs 
    • Little League 
    • Coaches 

    NOTE: The above list is NOT inclusive of all volunteers. Please follow the following guidance to determine if a volunteer is required to obtain certifications: 

    • Only adult volunteers are required to obtain clearances. 
    • If the volunteer has direct volunteer contact with children because they provide care, supervision, guidance, or control of children and have routine interaction with children.
    • With regard to routine interaction with children, consideration should be given to what the volunteer’s role is within the agency. Is their contact with children regular and repeated contact that is integral to their volunteer responsibilities? 

    Are there any exceptions to the clearances requirements for students who volunteer?
    Yes, students who volunteer are not required to obtain clearances if they meet all of the following requirements: 

    • The individual is currently enrolled in a school. 
    • The individual is not a person responsible for the child's welfare. 
    • The individual is volunteering for an event that occurs on school grounds. 
    • The event is sponsored by the school in which the individual is enrolled as a student; 
    • The event is not for children who are in the care of a childcare service. 


    What is the definition of child? 
    For purposes of certifications, a child is an individual under 18 years of age. 


    How is direct volunteer contact with children defined? 
    Direct volunteer contact with children is defined as the care, supervision, guidance or control of children and routine interaction with children. 


    Which clearances are needed? 
    All prospective volunteers must obtain the following clearances: 

    • Report of criminal history from the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP); and 
    • Child Abuse History clearance from the Department of Human Services (Child Abuse). 

    Additionally, a fingerprint based federal criminal history (FBI) submitted through the Pennsylvania State Police or its authorized agent is required if: 

    • The position the volunteer is applying for is a paid position; and 
    • The volunteer has lived outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the last 10 years. 

    Volunteers who are not required to obtain the FBI clearances because they are applying for an unpaid position and have been a continuous resident of Pennsylvania for the past 10 years must swear or affirm in writing that they are not disqualified from service based upon a conviction of an offense under §6344. 


    Examples of Volunteers (have routine interaction, direct contact, or are responsible for children’s welfare; clearances are required) 

    Examples of Visitors (do not have routine interaction, direct contact, nor are responsible for children’s welfare; clearances not required) 

    • Parent/Guardian chaperones for schools 
    • Big Brothers/Big Sisters 
    • Literacy programs 
    • Little League 
    • Coaches 
    • Helping with a bake sale 
    • Career day speakers 
    • Assembly presenters 
    • Helping with a school garage sale 


    Are there requirements for volunteers to obtain free Child Abuse and PSP clearance? 
    Yes. For the fee to be waived for the Child Abuse and PSP clearance the following conditions must be met: 

    • The clearances are required as a condition to volunteer. 
    • The clearances may not be used for employment or any other purpose. 
    • The clearances shall only be provided free of charge to a volunteer once every 57 months. 
    • The volunteer swears or affirms, in writing, under penalty of 18 Pa.C.S. §4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to authorities), the following: 
    1. The clearances are required as a condition to volunteer. 
    1. The volunteer has not received background clearances free of charge within the previous 57 months. 
    2. The volunteer understands that the clearance shall not be valid or used for any other purpose. 


    I am a new volunteer. When do I need to request a child abuse history clearance? 
    All new volunteers must submit clearance prior to the commencement of service. 


    How often do I need to renew my clearance? 
    All volunteers will be required to obtain clearances every 60 months.  

    Volunteers are excused from obtaining the Act 114 (FBI Criminal Background) clearance if the individual has been a resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania during the entirety of the previous 10-year period AND submits an affidavit attesting that they have not perpetrated or been convicted of any offense that would preclude their employment by the School District under Act 34 (Criminal History), Act 114 (FBI Criminal Background), or Act 151 (Child Abuse) or Section 6344(C) of the Child Protective Services Law.


    If a volunteer has not been a resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania during the entirety of the previous 10- year period. You will need to provide FBI Criminal history certification.

    • The FBI federal criminal history certification costs $22.60
    • To schedule your appointment, visit https://uenroll.identogo.com and enter Service Code 1KG6XN. You will need a credit or debit card.


    Can I use a child abuse history clearance or PSP criminal history I obtained for my volunteer activities for other volunteer activities? 
    Yes, any person who obtained their clearances within the previous 60 months may serve in a volunteer capacity for any program, activity, or service. 


    Are there any other requirements? 
    If a volunteer is arrested for or convicted of an offense that would constitute grounds for denying participation in a program, activity or service, or is named as a perpetrator in a founded or indicated report, the volunteer must provide the administrator or their designee with written notice not later than 72 hours after the arrest, conviction or notification that the person has been listed as a perpetrator in the statewide database. 

    A volunteer who willfully fails to disclose information as required above commits a misdemeanor of the third degree and shall be subject to discipline up to and including termination or denial of a volunteer position. 


    What is the provisional certification requirement for volunteers? 
    “Nonresident volunteers,” specifically individuals who reside in another state or country may serve as a volunteer for no more than 30 days in a calendar year if they provide clearances from their state or country of residence. If the individual will be volunteering for more than 30 days in a calendar year, they must obtain clearances as outlined above under “Which clearances are needed.” Volunteers who reside in Pennsylvania do not have a provisional period and must obtain clearances as outlined above under “Which clearances are needed.” Nonresident volunteers must provide the person responsible for the selection of volunteers with documentation of their clearances from their state or country or residence. 


    Are volunteers mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect? 
    Yes, all volunteers are mandated reporters. Although training is not required, a free 3-hour online training can be found at www.reportabusepa.pitt.edu