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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

Our district just threw a curve ball at us. They are increasing the requirements for chaperoning field trips to a higher level of background check. It used to cost $25 for each check. But now it will be $67 for each check!!!

To put the cost in perspective our next field trip will cost about $1500 for the transportation and admission for 85 kids. If 3 parents come from each class that would add another $900 to the cost of the trip!

Most of the families at our school are low income. So asking them to pay would exclude lots of people. 

We've already cut back on trips because the expense is so high. Adding this cost could potentially illuminate field trips all together unless chaperones are limited to just what's needed to help. But parents get irate when they are told they can't attend trips. 

How does your school handle this? Any suggestions?

by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 7:54 PM
Replies (11-20):
annelauer
by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 8:48 PM

In our state school volunteer background checks are run through the State Patrol free of charge to the school.  They are not national checks though.  Some schools may run some sort of national background check with fingerprints in the FBI database or something.  I don't know.  I can see them charging if they did though.  How often would the parents have to get the check?  Is it a one-time fee or would it be necessary for each time they volunteer?

maxswolfsuit
by Max on Apr. 26, 2013 at 8:49 PM


Quoting annelauer:

In our state school volunteer background checks are run through the State Patrol free of charge to the school.  They are not national checks though.  Some schools may run some sort of national background check with fingerprints in the FBI database or something.  I don't know.  I can see them charging if they did though.  How often would the parents have to get the check?  Is it a one-time fee or would it be necessary for each time they volunteer?

The ones we do now are annual. 

But in another reply a mom said the $67 check last forever. That would certainly make things easier. 

steelcrazy
by Emerald Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 9:16 PM

 At our school, the PTA pays for the children's and teacher's admissions as well as the busses.  Parents pay their own admission and carpool to the destination.  Only 3 parents are permitted to chaperone per classroom.  Clearaces are required at the highest level for our state, which costs $48.50 for all 3 needed.  The parents are also responsible to pay for their clearances, however our district only requires a parent to obtain them once so long as they remain an active volunteer with the school and sign a waiver stating that they haven't been arrested in the past year.  FBI fingerprinting costs $28.50 and is one of the clearances that we are required to have.  We also need to have a state police criminal check and a child abuse check done - both are through the state though and cost $10 each.

DaisyRae
by Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 9:22 PM

I just asked my child's teacher about this, since I am going on the field trip to the zoo with her class...she said last year they didnt check ANYONE and she thinks this year it will be the same. Officially, on paper, the school claims they require it...they had before paid for it as long as you passed the background check, they stopped doing that-not sure why. I dont like that they dont check people out. There are some real creeps in this area and I dont want to find out one of them got into a classroom-whether its my child's or not-becuase the school got lazy about its "requirements"

annelauer
by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 9:25 PM

I actually think it is really reasonable to just pay $70 one time.  Maybe ask the PTA or a local business sponsor to offer a hardship fee waiver for those who pledge to be active but can't afford it.


Quoting maxswolfsuit:


Quoting annelauer:

In our state school volunteer background checks are run through the State Patrol free of charge to the school.  They are not national checks though.  Some schools may run some sort of national background check with fingerprints in the FBI database or something.  I don't know.  I can see them charging if they did though.  How often would the parents have to get the check?  Is it a one-time fee or would it be necessary for each time they volunteer?

The ones we do now are annual. 

But in another reply a mom said the $67 check last forever. That would certainly make things easier. 



goddess99
by Michelle on Apr. 26, 2013 at 9:25 PM

In our school district for the public schools anyway there are no background checks required. I don't know why, but there are not. Maybe see if your PTO could help or if it's going to be like that from now on maybe try to do small class fundraisers to off-set that cost.

Barabell
by Barbara on Apr. 26, 2013 at 9:40 PM

They don't do background checks here, to my knowledge. You can search the state website (BCA) for free for local convictions. So they might do that without my knowledge.

mom2maryjoseph
by Bronze Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 10:05 PM

As for as I know they don't do background checks.  We also do not do many field trips.  I think my 2nd grader has done  2 total trips.  Last year they went to the other county school to see a play no chaperones beyond teachers.  The 2nd one was for his gifted class.  They did have chaperones, but no background checks that I know of to go.  We are also in the poverty area so I can't see the distirict or the parents paying for them.


huskermom98
by Silver Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 10:41 PM

Our school doesn't require chaperones to have background checks, but then again they do not have a ton of parents available (or willing?) to help chaperone field trips.  Last year I was able to help with one of their trips and there were a couple of parents, but also a lot of school aides.  That was kind of a good thing though because the aides know the kids better than most parents

I volunteer in my son's classroom on a weekly basis and I don't have to do anything beyond signing in and out each time--the same as any old visitor would have to do. 

mommybug77
by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 10:43 PM
You can chaperone without one. You need one to be a room mom or be alone with kids. The school paid for mine.
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