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Volunteer Information

Background Checks for School Volunteers & Parents/Guardians


Safeguarding the well-being of our community remains paramount at P-H-M. In alignment with our commitment to safety, all visitors and volunteers are kindly requested to undergo a routine limited criminal background check before engaging in any events or volunteer activities within the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation. This process is conducted annually to ensure continuous adherence to safety protocols. To facilitate clarity regarding the necessity of a background check, we've outlined examples ranging from the least to the most restrictive scenarios: 


After school or Weekend Events: Attending a large-scale event such as a school performance, PTO-sponsored activity, or community events that will be open to all parents, guardians, and the public outside of the school day will not require a background check. School visitors follow a different procedure before gaining permission to enter the school. Please click here for more information.


School Day Events: Attending an event during the school day such as a performance, recognition, or academic presentation may require background checks for visitors. The school principal will make this decision based on the size and location of these events. 


Volunteering and/or Visitor: Assisting in the school, working directly with students at any time, eating lunch with your child, or chaperoning a field trip will require a background check. In addition, all volunteers will be required to complete bullying and harassment training before visiting. The links for each school’s training are listed below.


Two options are available to complete a background check: 

  1. The quickest and most convenient way to have your background check completed is to click here and register online with Safe Visitor Solutions. This online service costs $12.95 per person and is good for three (3) school years. Please allow for up to two (2) weeks for processing and status determination. Any volunteer who will be working unsupervised with students, including volunteer coaches, is required to have an expanded background check completed with Safe Hiring Solutions. 
  2. As another option, you can click here for a limited criminal background check. This is to be completed and returned to the school’s office staff to use the State of Indiana Police Criminal Records and the Sex Offender Database. In addition, the Indiana State Police may require fingerprinting at the cost of $22.95. If selecting this option, please allow up to six (6) weeks for processing and status determination.


After the completion of background checks, the results will undergo a thorough review by our office staff, principal, and safety team. In the event of any flagged incidents, a comprehensive assessment will be conducted to ascertain whether a parent/guardian will be granted authorization to volunteer or visit the school for activities not accessible to the general public. Volunteers and visitors are held to similar standards as employee candidates.


A list of major offenses that immediately disqualify a candidate can be found in Indiana Code 20-26-5-11.2 (click to view).


As a general rule, the following conviction or pending offenses appearing on a background check will likely disqualify a volunteer candidate:


  • Felony
  • Misdemeanor within the last 5 years
  • Multiple misdemeanors during the last 10 years (even if 5 years have elapsed since the most recent)
  • Battery
  • Sexual Offense
  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Any charge or conviction not mentioned above, but determined to be a risk to the students
  • Any open warrants or arrests with pending adjudication


Participatory Status:

  • Full Participatory Status: This level indicates that no restrictions or precautions need to be in place for the volunteer.
  • Denied Participatory Status: Criminal or misdemeanor convictions are present on the legal report, and they are deemed serious or recent enough that it is necessary to restrict the applicant from assisting the school with any student activities.


Volunteer limited criminal background checks are evaluated and will be valid for the current school year. At the start of any given school year, volunteers will need to complete or repeat the limited background check process (if not using the online Safe Visitor Solution).


If a volunteer is initially denied the opportunity to volunteer in our schools due to pending criminal charges, they may request a re-evaluation of their volunteer status once those charges are resolved. Denied candidates have the option to file a written appeal with the P-H-M Safety and Security Department. The appeals committee will thoroughly review the appeal, the candidate's criminal history report, and the initial determination to reach a final recommendation regarding the candidate’s volunteer status. Following the review process, appeal candidates will be notified of the decision via both mail and email. It's important to note that the appeals decision is considered final.


School visitors follow a different procedure before gaining permission to enter the school. Please click here for more information.

Required Volunteer Training


Our schools value, appreciate and welcome volunteers. Donating a few precious hours of your time can make all the difference.


Thank you for your interest in volunteering in our schools. Along with the background checks, Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation also requires all volunteers to watch an 8-minute video on anti-bullying before working with students and then fill out the form below for their child’s school. The link to the anti-bullying video is embedded with the form for each school listed below. Click and fill out a form for each school you will be volunteering in.