Melrose Public Schools is entrusted with the safety and well-being of the students and staff who attend our schools. We exercise due diligence whenever the district hires staff. In particular, the district is required to conduct a criminal background (CORI) check on current and prospective employees, volunteers, school transportation providers and others who may have direct and unmonitored contact with children, as required by Mass. General Laws c. 71, § 38R.
A CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) is a person’s criminal history. A CORI would reveal if an individual has ever been charged with a crime in a state or federal court in Massachusetts, whether the case ended with a conviction, a finding of not guilty, charges were dismissed, or another outcome.
The Criminal History Systems Board (CHSB) is the state agency in charge of the criminal justice information system, including CORI services, for Massachusetts.
CORI procedures for Melrose Public Schools
- Person being considered for employment or as a volunteer is asked to complete CORI request form.
- CORI request form is given to CORI authorized employee. (These are people listed as having agreements of non-disclosure with the criminal history systems board, CHSB.) When request form is given, the person for whom CORI will be requested is asked to show a government issued photo ID such as a license or passport. CORI authorized employee will check the ID to be certain the person for whom CORI will be requested is the person whose picture is on the ID. Photo copy of ID is attached to the CORI request form. Form is signed by CORI authorized employee.
- Data is sent electronically to CHSB by authorized Submitters. While awaiting findings CORI request forms are kept in locked spaces by the submitter.
- Results are returned electronically to the staff member who is identified as the schools’ CORI Administrator with the CHSB.
- The CORI Administrator prints results and distributes them to the person who submitted the request.
- All results that return with a finding of “No Record Found” are attached to the original request form and filed. Volunteer forms are kept in Bridge office. Employee forms are kept in the Personnel Office. All forms are kept separate from personnel files and are kept in locked cabinet/locked room.
- If a CORI is returned with a finding the following steps are as follows:
- All findings are shared with the individual, either in person or by mail.
- All individuals will receive a copy of the CHSB’s “Information Concerning the Process in Correcting a Criminal Record”.
- All individuals will receive a copy of “Information Concerning Establishing Yourself as the Victim of Identity Theft for Criminal Record Information (CORI) Purposes”.
- All individuals must confirm receipt of the above information.
- If a CORI has findings….Determination about a person’s suitability to volunteer is made by the submitter. If the submitter has a question he/she confers with the Superintendent. Employee CORI’s with findings are given to the Superintendent to determine suitability for employment.
- A copy of the CORI with findings is attached to the original request form and kept with the other CORI reports.
- The district requests new criminal history reports for all volunteers and employees every three years at a minimum.