A1: Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI)

Category: Foundations & Basic Commitments

Procedure A1: Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI)



1.  Persons For Whom A Criminal Offender  Records Information (CORI) Check May Be Obtained

Through the Superintendent’s certified designees (Director of Human Resources and Human Resources Assistant), all Amherst-Pelham Public Schools shall periodically, and at least every three years, obtain all available Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) from the Criminal History Systems Board on individuals who may have direct and unmonitored contact with children, including:

  • all current and prospective school department employees;
  • contracted service delivery providers;
  • individuals who regularly provide school related transportation to children, including taxicab or van company employees contracted with the schools to provide transportation of students;
  • any subcontractor or laborer who performs work on school grounds; and
  • regular volunteers.

“Direct and unmonitored contact with children” is defined, in accordance with the provisions of a Massachusetts Department of Education CORI Law Advisory dated December 17, 2013, as meaning “contact with students when no other employee, for whom the employer has made a suitability determination pursuant to 603 CMR 51.00 of the school or district is present.  A person having only the potential for incidental unsupervised contact with children in commonly used areas of the school grounds, such as hallways, shall not be considered to have the potential for direct and unmonitored contact with children.  These excluded areas do not include bathrooms and other isolated areas (not commonly utilized and separated by sight or sound from other staff) that are accessible to students.” 

In the case of volunteers, this means that individuals who routinely assist in the building or those working in classrooms doing individual work with a child or small group work, anyone who will drive students in private vehicles for a school-sponsored purpose, those engaged in overnight supervision of field trips, and any volunteer work which might allow an adult to develop a relationship with a student or students must be subjected to a criminal records check. As a general guideline, individuals will not be considered to have “direct and unmonitored contact with children” when they are assisting the schools in situations such as working at fund-raisers, chaperoning at dances oron field trips, dropping in to have lunch with their child at school, serving as guest speakers, or attending  student performances.

The Amherst-Pelham Public Schools expect appropriate school personnel to review contracts and subcontracts to determine whether contractors, subcontractors, or laborers who perform work on school grounds will have only the potential for incidental unsupervised contact with children in commonly used areas of the school grounds or whether there is a potential for direct and unmonitored contact with children which necessitates that a CORI check be performed.

 

2. Process For Obtaining CORI Data

In accordance with State law, all current and prospective employee(s), contracted service providers, volunteer(s) as described above, and persons regularly providing school-related transportation to children attending the Amherst-Pelham School District shall sign a CORI Request Form, which shall be maintained by the Human Resources Office, authorizing receipt by the District of all available CORI data from the Criminal History Systems Board.  In the event that an individual has questions concerning the signing of the CORI Request Form, he/she may meet with the Director of Human Resources. 

In the case of a current or prospective employee, contracted service provider or person regularly providing school-related transportation to children attending the Amherst-Pelham Public Schools, if the concerns are not resolved and the individual fails to sign the CORI Request Form, the District may take appropriate action, which may include disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or termination of the contractual relationship.  In the case of a volunteer, if the concerns are not resolved and the individual fails to sign the CORI Request Form, the District will prohibit the individual from serving as a volunteer in the Amherst-Pelham Public Schools.

CORI Request Forms are received as follows:

          For:                                                                   Provided To:

  • Current or prospective employees             à        Office of Human Resources
  • Contracted service providers                     à        District contact for contracting process
  • Volunteers                                               à        Building Principals or coordinators

All completed CORI Request Forms will be forwarded to the Human Resources Office for processing. 

Forms will be submitted by the Human Resources Office via an electronic process to the Criminal Offender Record Information Board.  Upon receipt of the CORI report from the Criminal Offender Record Information Board, the Director will review the report as set forth below.

 

3. Action Regarding Unsatisfactory Reviews

In the case of a current or prospective employee, contracted service provider or person regularly providing school-related transportation to children, the Director of Human Resources may, as necessary, notify the Superintendent that the CORI report is not satisfactory.  Upon receipt of such notification, the District may then take appropriate action, which may include disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment or termination of the contractual relationship. 

In the case of a volunteer, the Director of Human Resources will notify the individual that the CORI report is not satisfactory.  Upon receipt of such notification, the District may then take appropriate action, including prohibiting the individual from serving as a volunteer in the Amherst-Pelham Public Schools.  Arrangements will still be made for parents/guardians with unsatisfactory CORI results to be part of their child’s school activities, conferences and other parent responsibilities.

 

4. CORI Review Factors

The Amherst-Pelham Public Schools, subject to applicable law and applicable collective bargaining agreements, reserves the exclusive right concerning all employment decisions or volunteer service decisions made pursuant to Chapter 385 of the Acts of 2002 and may consider any of the following factors when reviewing CORI data:  the type and nature of the offense, type of sentence, whether the individual successfully completed probation, the date of the offense, and whether the individual was subsequently arrested as well as any other factors that the District deems relevant.

 

5. Appeal Process

If an individual wishes to challenge the Districts’ determination made pursuant to Chapter 385 of the Acts of 2002, he/she may request a review of the determination with respect to the CORI check by sending a letter to the Superintendent of Schools within five (5) days of receipt of the determination.  The letter should state the reasons why the determination with respect to the CORI check should be reversed.  The Superintendent of Schools will respond to the letter within five (5) days, in writing, with the findings of the review.  This determination shall be final.

If an individual seeks to request a review or an appeal of a determination with respect to a CORI check on the grounds of the accuracy of the CORI report, the individual may do so by filing the appropriate paperwork to initiate a challenge with the Criminal History Systems Board.  During the period of any challenge to the accuracy of a CORI report, the individual will not be allowed to engage in any duties.

 6. Cori Records

All reports from the Criminal Offender Record Information Board will be maintained in the Human Resources Office.  CORI information will not be disseminated except for the purpose of furthering the protection of students attending the Amherst-Pelham Public Schools.

In accordance with State law, the dissemination of CORI information for any purpose other than to further the protection of students attending the Amherst-Pelham Public Schools is strictly prohibited.  In the event of any unauthorized dissemination of CORI data, the school department will take appropriate action, which may include disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

 

 

Authorizing Document(s)

MGL Chapter 71, Section 38R

DESE Guidance—2007

POLICY ADDA: Criminal And Sexual Offender Record Information (C.O.R.I)

 

Updated:

July 2014

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