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 (CORI) for school personnel, including volunteers and student teachers, who may have direct and unsupervised contact with children. Certain convictions may prevent an individual from completing a teaching practicum in a Massachusetts school district. Further, it should be noted that the Massachusetts Department of Education may conduct CORI checks “as part of the general screening process for educator licensure.
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, requires fingerprint-based state and national criminal record information check (CHRI). Though districts are responsible for assuring that school personnel are fingerprinted, UMass Lowell and other education preparation programs support districts in satisfying this law.
The Commonwealth contracted Morpho Trust USA to establish and operate fingerprinting locations across the state. Online registration, appointment, and cost information are available through the IdentoGo by MorphoTrust USA registration system. When you register you will be required to list up to 10 school district provider ID's.
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 school district(s) (not to UMass Lowell).
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 being able to complete the approved teacher preparation degree program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Prior to working with children as part of your coursework, the school district and/or the university will require you to submit paperwork for a CORI check and a UMass Lowell Code of Conduct report. School districts may refuse to allow a student to complete field and clinical experiences if certain offenses are revealed. These circumstances may result in the student being unable to complete a teacher preparation degree program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.