Criminal Records and Background Checks

  • In an attempt to help protect our school children from abuse and exploitation, Vermont law (16 V.S.A. sections 251-260) requires/authorizes criminal background investigations (including a fingerprint supported FBI check and a check with the Vermont Criminal Information Center) and registry checks with the Agency of Human Services (AHS), the Adult Protective Services, and the Child Abuse registry Unit, on the following individuals:

    • All school employees (including substitutes, temporary and as-needed employees) being recommended for employment;
    • Student teachers;
    • Contractors and employees of contractors who have unsupervised contact with school children; and,
    • School volunteers (if required by the district). 

    Said individuals will be required to provide fingerprints, releases and other information necessary to conduct background investigations. 

    The cost of the procedures shall be the responsibility of the individual for whom the background check is being requested. 

    The process outlined below must be completed prior to the commencement of services within our district.  All offers of employment (or service agreements) shall be conditioned upon an acceptable background check. Although employment/service with the district may commence prior to the completion of the background check process, continued employment/services with the district shall be contingent upon a satisfactory background check. Below is the process that must be completed:

    1.  Meet with Human Resources:

    Contact EWSD Human Resources at 857-7038 to schedule an appointment to complete the required background check paperwork. Please bring the following with you when you meet with Human Resources:

    • Payment to Essex Westford School District (EWSD) for $12.00, to cover the cost of the Criminal Record Check processing. Credit and/or debit cards are not accepted.
    • Acceptable identification (e.g. PHOTO Driver’s license, Passport, etc.) to enable us to verify your identity and signature.

    2.  Obtain Fingerprints:

    After you meet with EWSD Human Resources to complete the required paperwork, make an appointment to have your fingerprints taken at a designated Identification Center. There is a $25.00 charge (cash only) for the fingerprints, which is paid directly to the Identification Center when fingerprinted. You must bring two forms of identification with you in order to be fingerprinted. You will also need to bring your completed Fingerprint Authorization Certificate, which is provided to you when you meet with Human Resources. Fingerprints will not be taken without the certificate.

    For a list of Identification Centers, acceptable forms of identification and other information about the fingerprinting process (e.g. expectations at the Identification Centers, acceptable forms of ID, acceptable prints, tips for good prints, etc.), please visit the Vermont Criminal Information Center (VCIC) website at

    3.  Return Fingerprint Receipt:

    While at the Identification Center, the fingerprinting officer will give you a Fingerprint Receipt. Please drop off or mail that receipt to Human Resources at the following address: Essex Westford School District at 51 Park Street, Essex Jct., VT 05452.

    Criminal Records Check Previously Completed

    If you have recently completed a fingerprint supported FBI Criminal Records Check process with another Vermont School District within the past year, you may not have to repeat the fingerprint supported criminal record check process above if:

    • the record still exists;
    • you agree to sign a release, and;
    • the original holder agrees to release a copy of the record to us.

    The above rule only applies to the fingerprint supported FBI criminal records check.  The VCIC check and all registry checks shall be redone prior to service within our district.


Driving-specific Positions

  • Vermont DMV check

    For any position where transporting students or driving a district vehicle is a condition of employment, any future employee will be subjected to a VT Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) check (leaves EWSD website.)

    The DMV check will be paid for by the district.

    Such checks will be completed on a periodic basis during the course of employment (no less than once per year) at the discretion of the supervisor. 

    DMV Release Form (opens file in a new window) must be completed prior to performing the check.

    Selection Criteria:

    • No individual shall be eligible for hire into a position that requires transporting students or driving a district vehicle if s/he has been convicted within the last ten years of any of the following:
      • Driving Under the Influence (DUI);
      • Reckless/negligent driving;
      • Driving while license has been suspended or revoked;
      • Hit and run driving;
      • Driving to endanger.
    • No individual shall be eligible for hire into a position that requires transporting students or driving a district vehicle if s/he has lost his/her license within the past five years for any other traffic violation(s) not listed above as defined under 23 V.S.A. §2302 (i.e. speeding, running a red light, failure to stop/yield, etc.).

    Drug Testing

    For any position where driving a school bus is a condition of employment, the prospective employee shall be required to undergo a drug screening after a conditional offer of employment has been made. All offers of employment shall be conditioned upon acceptable results of the screening. Consistent with federal law, individuals who drive a school bus shall also be subject to random drug testing throughout an individuals' employment with the district.


Licensing Checks

Disciplinary Actions Check

  • Prior to recommending a candidate for hire, the hiring supervisor shall check the Disciplinary Actions Against Licensed Vermont Educators website as maintained by the Vermont Department of Education.

    Any person whose name appears on this list shall NOT be eligible for hire within our school district.