King Philip Examines Hiring Process
District studied hiring process after job offer to accused felon.
The King Philip School Committee spoke Monday night about changes to the district's hiring policy.
The conversation was spurred earlier this year after the district offered a coaching position to someone accused of a felony in Florida.
District Superintendent Elizabeth Zielinski said parents consulted about the matter emphasized the importance of more extensive background checks. She said the school's current checks are for in-state records.
"CORI in Massachusetts still only gives Massachusetts backgrounds," she said. "The question is: how much further do you want to go?"
Zielinski asked the committee whether it would want extended background checks on the teaching staff, the coaching staff or all the district's volunteers.
"We have a lot of different volunteers," she said. "Do we make the selection that we don't need to do the extended background check on people who have lived in Massachusetts their entire life?"
Committee Chairman Patrick Francomano said even people who had lived entirely in Massachusetts could commit crimes elsewhere.
Zielinski suggested having the possibility of extended checks on the discretion of the hiring authority.
"I don't know if it makes sense to do a blanket statement that we'll do a background check on everyone," she said. "I think, if there's a sense we need to dig deeper... we can."
Zielinski also said the district would start using SchoolSpring.com in hiring personnel.
"It's a huge clearinghouse," she said. "The state of Vermont only does applications on the site."
She said the site would also save the district a sizable amount of money, and offers a wider variety of candidates from which to choose.