If any person in the state of Colorado wants to work in a public
K-12 school, a thorough background check is one of the first things
to be completed.
Teachers or potential teachers are subjected to a much more
extensive background search, which includes being
Volunteers in the schools, however, do not have fingerprinting
done, but a background check is still completed nonetheless, said
Cathy Kainer, a specialist with the PSD Partnership and Volunteer
“Volunteers get a background check through the (Colorado Bureau
of Information),” Kainer said.
Because the volunteers are never alone with children, the
fingerprinting does not need to be done, Kainer said.
“We have a policy that volunteers need to be supervised by a
teacher or other supervisor when they are working with the
children. They are never alone with them,” Kainer said.
Other activities that volunteers are prohibited from doing with
students are taking them off campus premises, transporting a
student in their private vehicles or spending time with a student,
in the school or out.
Convicted sex offenders must register with the state and city of
Fort Collins. Once a convicted sex offender registers, the school
district is notified by the city, Kainer said.
As for volunteers, PSD hires a local screening company, Premier
Employment Screening Services, to complete the background check on
Travis Neidert, an account manager with Premier Employment
Screening Services, said the background consists of a search of
more than 3,300 county courts across the country for both felony
and misdemeanor records.
Neidert said most searches are conducted at the state level,
which provides “repositories varying in detail and scope of
information for each state.”
The available data reflects arrest information obtained by
police departments, information on county cases forwarded by local
courts, or other criminal records a state has on a given
individual, Neidert said.
If the PSD asks for a more detailed search on an individual, a
search can be done at the county level. Neidert said a county-level
search is more detailed than the state-level search.
A county-level search provides information on an individual’s
criminal history, including criminal charges, dates and sentencing,
and disposition records. Other more detailed information can also
be obtained by further request, Neidert said.
“If we have anybody come up with some red flags on their
background check then a different steps are taken,” Kainer
If the red flags consist of minor infractions, like traffic
citations or an underage drinking ticket, the volunteer can still
participate. However, if someone’s check comes up with a felony
conviction or a more serious misdemeanor charge, the file in
question is sent to the PSD Personnel Office and a letter is sent
out to the individual asking her or him to come in and discuss the
Kainer said a felony conviction does not always automatically
exclude an individual from volunteering in the schools.
“If someone had a felony conviction seven years ago for writing
bad checks, but since that time has been clean, we will consider
them for the program,” Kainer said.