How Do I Get My Clearances?
    To become approved for the District Volunteer Program, you must submit current Act 34 and Act 151 clearances and the FBI Clearance or a 10-Year Affidavit Form, dependent upon period of time as resident in PA.
    Michele Bloch, Highlands Administrative Center
    Please wait until you have all three required documents before submitting them to the school district. 
    Questions? 724-226-2400, ext. 4513
    Changes to the state’s Child Protective Law Services that passed at the end of 2014 require parents and community members who are willing to volunteer in our schools to apply for and submit official clearances from the state of Pennsylvania with the school district. Previously, background check software that checked the same records but was made available through the district at no cost to the volunteer was required to participate in classroom activities, field trips and booster groups. Parents or volunteers who had undergone this background check process will be required to provide the state clearances before volunteering again after July 1, 2015.
    The clearances that will be required under Act 153 for all volunteers are the PA State Criminal Record Check and the PA Child Abuse History Clearance. If a volunteer has resided in the state of Pennsylvania for the past ten (10) years, they may sign a 10-Year Affidavit Form, signing off that they have not been convicted of any of several listed crimes. A Federal Criminal History Report is required through the FBI as well if a volunteer has not lived in the state for the past ten (10) years.
    Costs of the clearances from the state are waived for volunteers. If the federal clearance is required, the cost is $22.60. (Cost of the FBI clearance is the responsibility of the volunteer.) As of 2015, clearances will need to be updated and resubmitted every 5 years.
    Parents will still be permitted to attend award assemblies, after-school family functions and events on school property and performances without submitting clearances. Volunteers who wish to donate time in other capacities, such as classroom parent, party helper, field trip chaperone, backstage assistants for performances, volunteer team coaches or any other volunteer position that includes direct contact with children must submit clearances.
    As always, any visitors into a school building will still be required to check in through the Raptor system with a valid state-issued photo ID or Driver’s License. The Raptor system is a visitor log that also instantly alerts the school administrators of anyone who is a registered sex offender and custody or security issues. More than 12,000 schools nationwide utilize the Raptor System in their school security procedures. Highlands was the first district in the state to implement the procedure in 2008.

    PA STATE CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK: Go to: https://epatch.state.pa.us/

    - Click on the New Record Check (Volunteers Only!) yellow button
    - Read & Accept conditions & terms.
    - Complete Personal Information form.
    - Verify Information, select Proceed.
    - Complete required info fields.
    - Verify information, select Submit
    - There is no fee / cost for volunteers.
    - Please make note of the number that begins with R (the control number) in case there are any issues.
    - Print the certificate form.

    PA CHILD ABUSE HISTORY CLEARANCE: Go to https://www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis/public/home

    - You will need choose “Create Individual Account” and “Individual Login” only. Once you create a User ID and Password, go into your email and confirm the password. Log in to the site.
    - Follow the instructions for completing the forms for the clearance. NOTE: You will need to enter your parents' names first (Deceased or Alive), and then any other family members that resided with you.
    - You will need to enter former addresses. If you do not know the house number, enter the street, city, state information (as much as you recall)
    - Select either electronic, paper or both forms. Suggested is BOTH.
    - There is no fee / cost for volunteers.
    - You will receive an email about your application being accepted and reviewed. You will need to log in again to Access Clearances, click on the link to your clearance and see if it is available to print.
    - Print the clearance. 


    The UNPAID VOLUNTEER AFFIDAVIT FORM also is required. This form can be downloaded HEREPlease get your signature witnessed by a relative, friend, neighbor or etc. This form self-certifies that prospective or current employees, substitutes, student teachers and volunteers have not been convicted of a list of serious crimes or of several other misdeamor crimes within a certain period of time. It also certifies that the employee, substitute, student teacher or volunteer will notify their supervisor within 72 hours of being arrested. 

    IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN A RESIDENT FOR THE PAST 10 YEARS: FBI Federal Criminal Record Check is required.
    IMPORTANT: Please be advised that effective at close of business December 22, 2017, Cogent will no longer be providing online APS services for PA. All services will be transferred to the new Commonwealth supplier, MorphoTrust, on December 22, 2017. Applicants may visit the new supplier website at https://www.identogo.com/locations/pennsylvania or https://uenroll.identogo.com/. The cost for this is $22.60. You must contact Michele Bloch in the Administrative Center for the Service Code. You must pay at the Indentogo Center and may walk in or make an appointment.


    Athletic Department Volunteer Coaches must submit required clearances and forms, as well as a Concussion Course Certification. Go to http://www.nfhslearn.com/electiveDetail.aspx?courseID=38000 and complete concussion awareness training. Print the completion certificate and submit to Human Resources. There is no cost for the test. Once the required clearances and forms are submitted and a recommendation with a specific team and position is made by the Athletic Director, coaches will be recommended for School Board approval. Once approved by the Highlands School Board, the coach will be issued an Approved Coach ID Badge with name and photo that must be worn at all times when serving in a coach capacity for Highlands. Please remember to review the additional information on the Volunteer section and note the Board policies and school regulations pertaining to district volunteers.