Internal Review at DCPS Reveals Outdated Background Checks

A D.C. Public Schools internal review reveals that three in 10 of the system’s employees — including teachers and central office staff — have expired background checks.

Chancellor Lewis Ferebee shared the findings this week with a group of parents, as well as in a follow-up letter to DCPS families.

“I want to be clear that all DCPS employees pass a robust clearance process including fingerprinting and an FBI background check prior to receiving an offer letter and reporting to work,” Ferebee wrote. “DCPS employees are then required to renew their clearance every two years per DC Municipal Regulations. As a result of our district’s review, we determined that 31 percent of current DCPS staff members have a clearance that has expired. We have also determined that DCPS partners are not consistently in compliance with our clearance requirements.”

The internal review came on the heels of an incident in May at Capitol Hill Montessori in which an after-school program employee was charged for allegedly engaging in improper sexual contact with a 13-year-old student.

Ferebee, who was appointed in December, said that all DCPS faculty and staff will have active background checks by the end of October and that staff will receive more training on how to spot and respond to sexual misconduct cases.

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