CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK
For each UTeach course that involves students teaching in middle or high school, students must undergo and pass criminal background checks for each K-12 school district in which they will be student teaching. UTeach instructors will guide students through the criminal background check and fingerprinting processes prior to assigning students.
Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) - Certain convictions may prevent an individual from completing student teaching in a Massachusetts school district. Further, it should be noted that the Massachusetts Department of Education may conduct Criminal Offender Record Information(CORI) background checks as part of the general screening process for educator licensure,including volunteers and student teachers who may have direct and unsupervised contact with children. Please note that Massachusetts General Law (M.G.L. c. 71, § 38R) requires that school districts conduct background checks through a Criminal Offender Record Investigation for school personnel.
Fingerprinting (by MorphoTrust USA) - In September 2013, Governor Patrick signed into law Chapter 77 of the Acts of 2013, "An Act Relative to Background Checks. This new law expands the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) and, in addition to the CORI, requires fingerprint-based state and national criminal record information check (CHRI). Though K-12 school districts are responsible for assuring that school personnel are fingerprinted, UMass Lowell and other education preparation programs support the districts in satisfying this law.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has contracted MorphoTrust USA to establish and operate fingerprinting locations across the state. Fingerprints are captured and submitted electronically for processing by the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and reports are returned to the designated K-12 school districts (not to UMass Lowell). Online registration, appointment, and cost information are available through IdentoGo MorphoTrust USA registration system. When registering you will be required to list up to 10 school district provider ID's from the Provider ID Listing (pdf).
Based on CHRI reports or non-compliance with the law, a school district may disallow an individual from engaging in pre-practicum or practicum work in the district. These circumstances may result in the teacher preparation student not being able to complete the approved teacher preparation degree program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
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