Updated DCPS Policy for Field Trip Chaperones

DCPS has updated its rules regarding field trip chaperones. Because field trip chaperones often have to have unsupervised contact with students, all chaperones are required to complete DCPS volunteer background checks. Previously, the background checks were only for volunteers who work with students on a regular basis, but now it is required for one time field trip chaperones as well.

We hope that some family members have time to go through this process. Your presence is so helpful on our trips into the community! Once obtained, your clearance will be valid for two years.

Here are the steps (this is also available on our shutterfly site in the “Files” section which is on the righthand side of the home page near the bottom):

  1. Complete and save this application. You must complete the Volunteer Clearance Application in one sitting. This application can also be found on the DCPS website at dcps.dc.gov (About DCPS > Human Resources > Fingerprinting & ID Badges). Please allow yourself at least 15 minutes and have all school and program contact information available. In the dropdown menu for the item “Application Type” of the Volunteer Clearance Application, please indicate “Volunteer” whether or not you are a DCPS employee.
  2. Submit a negative Tuberculosis (TB) test taken within the last 12 months. We are able to accept negative results from a skin test, chest x-ray or blood test. You must complete your TB test, and have a copy of the results prior to being fingerprinted. Those who fail to bring these results to the Fingerprinting Office will not be permitted to be fingerprinted, and no exceptions can be made. You only need to submit a valid TB test results once.
  3. Bring a state issued photo identification when reporting for fingerprinting. The following forms of identification are accepted: driver’s license, non-drivers ID, passport, and military ID. Other forms of identification will not be accepted.
    • Potential volunteers with an active secret or top secret federal security clearance should complete the federal security clearance verification letter in lieu of being fingerprinted with DCPS. The original signed verification form, copy of a state issued photo ID and TB test taken within the last 12 months can be dropped off or mailed to: HR Answers Office—10th floor at 1200 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002.
    • You will need to physically report to the Fingerprinting Office to get fingerprinted and you will need to bring your valid TB test results when you come in to avoid any delays.
    • The Fingerprinting Office is located on the 10th floor at 1200 First Street, NE. Operating hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 am to 5pm, and Fridays from 8am to 3pm.
    • If you are not certain of when you were last fingerprinted, email dcps.clearance@dc.gov for your status.
  4. Submit a signed Chaperone Agreement Form. If you are a DCPS employee, you can find the Chaperone Agreement Form on Canvas at https://dcps.instructure.com/ (Courses > DCPS Portal > Student Support > Field Trips and Student Travels > “Phase Two Approval” tab) or in the Appendix VIII of the DCPS Field Trips and Travel Directive 310.7. If you are not a DCPS employee, the trip sponsor will email you the form. Please complete the form and submit a signed copy to the trip sponsor 10 days prior to departure at the latest.

A few additional notes for consideration:

  • The above steps apply to both DCPS employees and non-DCPS employees who are volunteering for any DCPS-sponsored field trips.
  • You will receive a verification email 5-10 business days after being fingerprinted and valid TB results have been submitted. This email will contain your Volunteer Clearance Letter, which is valid for 2 years. Please submit this letter to your trip sponsor as proof of clearance and keep a copy for your records. You are not permitted to volunteer at a school without the Volunteer Clearance Letter from DCPS.
  • We recommend starting this volunteer clearance process at least 2-3 weeks in advance of the date when you need the Volunteer Clearance Letter.
  • In cases where background checks require follow up, you will receive additional information by mail from the Office of Compliance, usually via postal mail.
  • If you need additional assistance, please email dcps.clearance@dc.gov.