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Criminal Background Checks for Teacher Certification Students
As a teacher certification student at Fontbonne you will have many opportunities to observe and work with students and teachers in area schools. Missouri law requires that all school district employees have an FBI fingerprint check on file. Many area school districts are interpreting this to include student teachers and practicum students who work with their P-12 students. Even though you are not an "employee" you will be in contact with students, and school districts have become very vigilant to insure security.
Background checks can include an FBI fingerprint check, a Missouri Highway Patrol criminal record check, and a screening for child abuse/neglect findings by the Missouri Department of Social Services. Background check requirements vary by school district.
Fontbonne courses requiring background checks include (but are not limited to):
EDU 200/201 Introduction to Classroom Teaching
EDU 206 Education of Students with Special Needs
EDU 310/360 Reading Methods Practicum
EDU 314 Practicum in Teaching Students with Disabilities
EDU 401 Classroom Behavior Management (middle/secondary school)
EDU 447 Planning for Instruction and Assessment-Middle and Secondary
EDU 531 The Contemporary Classroom
MTH 360 Teaching Mathematics in Middle/Secondary Schools
If a background check is received with adverse findings, you may not be able to participate in the course(s). The few negative reports that we receive are usually of the DUI variety and are eventually cleared by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). No matter what the offense, Fontbonne is willing to assist you in understanding the procedures for clearing these offenses for the purposes of teacher certification. It is the student's responsibility, however, to clear any criminal record findings through DESE. For further information or assistance, contact Rick Gwydir, Teacher Certification Coordinator (East 235; 314-889-4515; firstname.lastname@example.org).
It is also important to know that Missouri law states that "the certificate of license to teach shall be revoked or, in the case of an applicant, a certificate shall not be issued, if the certificate holder or applicant has pleaded guilty to or been found guilty of certain offenses under Missouri law or laws of any other state or the United States". A detailed list of offenses can be found on page 22 of the Policy and Procedures Manual.