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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 (31-40):
mommaFruFru
by Gold Member on Apr. 27, 2013 at 9:13 AM
Ours are free to parents and the school. But they are very simple.. just s check my name and b-day, IF something comes up on that one they do a more in-depth one.
Barabell
by Barbara on Apr. 27, 2013 at 9:34 AM


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. 

My work has recently been discussing the costs of federal background checks. The $67 amount sounds like a federal background check with a "wrap-back" feature--meaning that if there is a change in their criminal status then you'll be notified of it automatically. 

disneymom2two
by Silver Member on Apr. 27, 2013 at 9:34 AM

I don't think the parents should have to pay for the checks but I find it frightening that they don't have to have one.


Quoting PurplePieguy:

shoot we don't even have to have one. 



Lynn750
by Bronze Member on Apr. 27, 2013 at 11:54 AM

   Our district doesn't require background checks on any field trip chaperones, since they are never alone with the kids.  We usually have so many parents volunteering to go, they have to do a lottery to pick the names.  Even when they went to the Grand Canyon, and left at 4:30 in the morning, there were parents who volunteered to go!  (The crazy ones!  LOL!)

   I think it's sad that they're making it so hard for parents to go, and may hurt the kids by not allowing field trips anymore.  I get that they want to make sure the kids are safe, but if the chaperones are never alone with them, I think they're taking it to far, when potentially elimiinating the trips altogether.

   You didn't say how often your district requires the background checks.  Are they only good for a year, or a couple of years?  I like the idea of PTO/PTA helping out, but in a low income school, their resources are probably limited, too.  It's not right that only a few parents are cleared and can afford to go, and there are probably many others who are excluded because the funds for the checks just aren't there.

JonesMama
by Bronze Member on Apr. 27, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Wow.

Our school doesn't do background checks. I wish they would.

CjEmmemommy
by on Apr. 27, 2013 at 12:02 PM

You pay for the trip like the kids but the background check is free.

PurplePieguy
by on Apr. 27, 2013 at 12:15 PM

It doesn't matter. We aren't allowed on field trips. 

Quoting disneymom2two:

I don't think the parents should have to pay for the checks but I find it frightening that they don't have to have one.


Quoting PurplePieguy:

shoot we don't even have to have one. 




____________________

MamiJaAyla
by Bronze Member on Apr. 27, 2013 at 12:17 PM

my district LARGE has different levels and for simple day trips or coming in to read its just dl general check since they will always be with staff and are never alone with studenjts.

For level 2 and 3 the check is more intense and includes fingerprints etc.  They tried that for level 1 as well but abandoned the practice after losing so many volunteers and instead implemented a level system.

Pukalani79
by Silver Member on Apr. 27, 2013 at 12:54 PM

 I hadn't heard of our district doing background checks, but I understand why the do.  When the kids were in public school, they only allowed so many parents.  There was more than one time when I was told "Thank you for your willingness, but we have enough parents to go" and that was fine. Disappointing at times, especially when my son was hoping his dad would go, but it happens.  Now they go to a Country School District run homeschool center and I've always been told that parents were welcomed to join.  So, I don't know how it works.

3wonderfullboys
by on Apr. 27, 2013 at 1:21 PM

We have no background checks and the only cost to us is admission's and gas if we have to drive.

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