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    Why do we require fingerprint record checks for K-12 education employment?

    Fingerprint-based background checks help to safeguard our children and strengthen public confidence in the integrity of public and private education. Fingerprint record checks are just one part of the rigorous process by which we select teaching, administrative, support and technical staff.

    Who do we fingerprint?

    Any individual who will have regular, unsupervised access to children:

    Anyone seeking certificated or classified employment at Seattle Public Schools or anyone working as a contractual employee for Seattle Public Schools.

    What is "regular, unsupervised access to children?"

    Each employer must define this term independently. Most organizations define "regular, unsupervised access to children" with the help of legal counsel.

    What is digital fingerprinting?

    Digital fingerprints look like a picture of all ten fingers, palm down. The technology we use is called live scan; these machines take high-quality prints by scanning the applicant’s fingers electronically to create a digital image. Once scanned, the live scan system submits fingerprint image automatically to the Washington State Patrol (WSP). The electronic scanner is clean, easy to use, and eliminates the need to ink-and-roll fingerprints manually onto a special card.

    What does a fingerprint record check cost?

    Here are the basic fees:

    • Human Resources only accepts Checks or Money Orders. No Cash or Debit/Credit Cards.
    • The processing fee is $45.25 for all fingerprint background checks conducted electronically through the Washington State Patrol (WSP) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This includes school district employees and contractual employees.    
    • You may have your fingerprints processed manually by the WSP Criminal Records Division located at 3000 Pacific Avenue, Olympia, WA 98504; but you must first pay the background check processing fee to OSPI and obtain an Electronic Applicant Submission form. Having your fingerprints processed manually ensures the WSP will not reject your fingerprints due to poor print quality.
    How long are my fingerprint records valid?

    Two years from the clearance date received from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

    My fingerprints did not scan well and were rejected because of poor print quality. What do I do now?

    If your live scan or inked card fingerprints are rejected because of poor quality, there are two alternative solutions.

    Alternative solution #1: get a second live scan

    1. Have the school district or law enforcement agency rescan your fingerprints.
    2. Ask for a hard copy print out of the new scan.
    3. Attach the rejected fingerprint card to the new scanned and printed fingerprint card.
    4. Mail the completed fingerprint cards to WSP at: Washington State Patrol Identification and Criminal History Section PO Box 42633 Olympia, WA 98504-2633

    Alternative solution #2: get a second inked fingerprint card

    1. Request a fingerprint card from OSPI or our school district.
    2. Return to the agency that inked your first set of fingerprints onto the card and have your fingerprints ink-and-rolled a second time.
    3. Attach the rejected fingerprint card to the new (completed) fingerprint card.
    4. Mail the completed fingerprint cards to WSP at: Washington State Patrol Identification and Criminal History Section PO Box 42633 Olympia, WA 98504-2633

    Will I have to get new fingerprints every two years?

    By law, if you have completed a fingerprint record check through WSP and the FBI within the previous two years, Seattle Public Schools may waive the requirement. If you change school district employers, and if your previous record check is more than two years old, you must provide a new fingerprint record check.

    Can I provide fingerprint record check results I had done for another government agency, the military, or for a gun permit, (or other) as a substitute for OSPI’s fingerprint check?

    No. Washington State law does not allow substitute versions of any fingerprint record checks. The law is detailed here, WAC 392.300 and RCW 28A.400.

    Who receives my fingerprint results?

    WSP/FBI sends the results of fingerprint record checks to OSPI. The results reside in a secure database that designated staff from Seattle Public Schools can access online.

    What happens if my fingerprint record check results show a Record of Arrest/Prosecution (RAP)?

    Upon written request, a copy of your Record of Arrest Prosecution (RAP) sheet from the Washington State Patrol/FBI will be sent to you. OSPI also sends a letter to the superintendent of the school district that contains only information about any convictions on the RAP. School districts and the ESDs share fingerprint record check results with contract employers.

    I lost my rejected fingerprint card. What do I do now?

    Contact the OSPI Fingerprint Records Office at 360-725-6135 for instructions.