Policy ADDA: Criminal and Sexual Offender Record Information (C.O.R.I)

The Superintendent of Schools, or his/her designee, will obtain from the Criminal History Systems Board and will have access to all available criminal offender record information (CORI) of current or prospective employees, interns, any individual who regularly provides school related transportation to children, and any volunteer who regularly has direct and unmonitored contact with children.

The Superintendent of Schools, or his/her designee, will also have access to all criminal offender record information of any subcontractor or laborer who is hired to perform work on school grounds and who may have direct and unmonitored contact with children.

A CORI check will be conducted on every employee and every such volunteer at the time of employment application or commencement of volunteer service. Requests for data will be made to the Criminal History Systems Board. Any prospective employee, whether full time or part time, or volunteer who regularly may have direct and unmonitored contact with children, will be required to sign a form acknowledging the request of such information and will be advised in advance that a record check will be done. CORI checks will be conducted on all of these individuals every three years, and a CORI check may also be done during the intervening period at the discretion of the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee.

Recognizing the confidential and sensitive nature of the information involved, only the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee will have access to such data and only to the extent such information is needed for the performance of his/her duties, as follows; for the purpose of considering and making decisions regarding otherwise qualified applicants for employment or volunteer status, and in considering and making decisions for retention of current employees, interns or volunteers. Any such information gained will be treated in a confidential manner and retained in secured files with access only by the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee. Only one copy of an individual’s CORI record will be maintained.

The Superintendent of Schools, or his/her designee, will adhere to the following State Criminal History Systems Board procedures to determine eligibility for employment or volunteerism:

Where Criminal Offender Record Information checks are part of a general background check for employment or volunteer work, the following practices and procedures will generally be followed:

I. CORI checks will only be conducted as authorized by CHSB. All applicants will be notified that a CORI check will be conducted. If requested, the applicant will be provided with a copy of the CORI policy.
II. An informed review of a criminal record requires adequate training. Accordingly, all personnel authorized to review CORI in the decision-making process will be thoroughly familiar with the educational materials made available by CHSB.
III. Unless otherwise provided by law, a criminal record will not automatically disqualify an applicant. Rather, determinations of suitability based on CORI checks will be made consistent with this policy and any applicable law or regulations.
IV. If a criminal record is received from CHSB, the authorized individual will closely compare the record provided by CHSB with the information on the CORI request form and any other identifying information provided by the applicant, to ensure the record relates to the applicant.
V. If the School District is inclined to make an adverse decision based on the results of the CORI check, the applicant will be notified immediately. The applicant shall be provided with a copy of the criminal record and the organization’s CORI policy, advised of the part(s) of the record that make the individual unsuitable for the position, and given an opportunity to dispute the accuracy and relevance of the CORI record.
VI. Applicants challenging the accuracy of the policy shall be provided a copy of the CHSB’s Information Concerning the Process in Correcting a Criminal Record. If the CORI record provided does not exactly match the identification information provided by the applicant, the School District will make a determination based on a comparison of the CORI record and documents provided by the applicant. The School District may contact CHSB and request a detailed search consistent with CHSB policy.
VII. If the School District reasonably believes the record belongs to the applicant and is accurate, based on the information as provided in Section IV on this policy, then the determination of suitability for the position or license will be made. Unless otherwise provided by law, factors considered in determining suitability may include, but not be limited to the following:
a. Relevance of the crime to the position sought;
b. The nature of the work to be performed;
c. Time since the conviction;
d. Age of the candidate at the time of the offense;
e. Seriousness and specific circumstances of the offense;
f. The number of offenses;
g. Whether the applicant has pending charges;
h. Any relevant evidence of rehabilitation or lack thereof;
i. Any other relevant information, including information submitted by the candidate or requested by the district.

VIII. The School District will notify the applicant of the decision and the basis of the decision in a timely manner.

LEGAL REF:

MGL 71:38R , 151B, 276, 100A, St 2002, c. 385
Massachusetts Criminal History Systems Board Procedures (January 2008)

Region Voted to Approve: 9/27/05 - Voted to Amend 4/8/08
Amherst Voted to Approve: 1/18/05 û Voted to Amend 4/15/08
Pelham Voted to Approve: 9/7/06 û Voted to Amend 6/17/08
Effective Date: 9/27/05 û amended 4/8/08
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