Shawnee Mission updates requirements for volunteers, with fingerprinting, background checks needed every 3 years

The district has taken steps to clarify the volunteer roles that will require MVP approval starting this summer and beyond.

The Shawnee Mission School District has updated its policies for volunteering, and will require that anyone who wants to work with students in the district go through a fingerprinting/background check every three years.

To be eligible to volunteer through the district’s My Volunteer Pal (MVP) program, people must complete an online MVP application, attend a training session, and submit fingerprints for a background check.

The district has also taken steps to specify who does and does not need to go through the MVP application and approval process.

“We’re striving to improve consistency in policies so that there will not be confusion about who should, or should not be an MVP volunteer (someone with a background check through fingerprints),” wrote Shawna Samuel, the district’s director of communication. “Basically, any volunteer who has contact with our students, without supervision by an administrator, teacher or someone in authority at the school, will need to become a MVP.”

Volunteer roles that will require MVP approval include:

  • Chaperones for district approved field trips
  • Chat ‘n Chew
  • Chess Club
  • Lunch buddies
  • Mad Science
  • Master Gardeners
  • Mentors
  • In-school volunteers (art room, library, etc…)
  • Tutors
  • Watch Dogs

People who volunteer “in a one-time, group supervised setting, or non-student contact capacity” — a classroom party volunteer, for example — would not need to get MVP approval.

Training sessions require a reservation and are limited to 12 participants. The first training session of the summer is scheduled for tonight, with additional sessions June 19 and August 7, 14 and 21.

The district offers drop-in screening for fingerprints on Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and from 12:45 to 4 p.m. Volunteers must attend a training session before they can have their fingerprints screened.

All volunteers must submit to a fingerprint rescreening and background check every three years to remain eligible.