Frequently Asked Questions


 ·        What provider ID should my employees use?

o   Use the 8-digit DESE organizational code, which can be found by looking up your school or district on the DESE School Profiles webpage (http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/). In multi-school districts, employees working at a single school can use the appropriate school code; employees working at multiple schools or in the central office can use the district code. For charter and regional vocational schools, use the district code (ending in 0000) rather than the school code. Employees working in multiple districts that are part of a superintendency union can use the code for the lead district.

o   Note that up to 10 provider codes may be entered at the time of registration, to accommodate employees who may be working for more than one district. 


·        Will there be more enrollment centers opening up?

o   Yes. MorphoTrust has just opened its eleventh center in Westport, serving the Fall River and New Bedford area. Additional enrollment centers are tentatively scheduled to open within the next 6-8 weeks in or near the following locations: Attleboro,  Braintree,  Chicopee,  Easthampton, Framingham,  Greenfield,  Haverhill,  Hyannis,  Lawrence,  Leominster,  Martha’s Vineyard,  Milford,  Nantucket,  Natick,  North Adams,  Plymouth,  Revere,  Roslindale,  Southbridge,  Taunton,  Watertown,  Wilmington,  and Yarmouth. As new sites are opened, they will be listed under locations on the MorphoTrust Massachusetts registration webpage.

·        What is the deadline for checking all employees?

o   Employees who were hired for the 2013-14 school year should be going through the process now and completed by the end of the school year. Because of the delay in opening all of the planned sites, schools that need to extend this process into the summer may do so, but no later than the end of August.

o   New employees being hired for the 2014-15 school year should be checked as part of their hiring process. You may choose to have new hires  go through the fingerprinting process after you have received a satisfactory CORI report, in order to spare them the cost of fingerprinting if they are disqualified by information in the CORI report.

o   Employees who were on board prior to the 2013-14 school year will be checked between September 2014 and June 2016. Later this summer we will provide guidance on how to stagger the fingerprinting for this group to avoid overloading the system.

·        Can I use my background check from another state or from another background check conducted in Massachusetts (e.g., firearms license)?

o   Under federal and state law, fingerprint-based criminal history records obtained for one purpose/under one authority (i.e., for a firearms license or for a record check in another state) cannot be disseminated outside the original receiving entity. This includes not only any criminal history information but also the actual fingerprints themselves. Everyone must undergo a new fingerprint-based background check for each agency that requires you to do so.

·        If an employee has been previously fingerprinted for another Massachusetts school or district, can we get a copy of the results sent to us?

o   You cannot get the detailed results from the previous background check, but you may be able to request a copy of the other school’s suitability determination and rely on that. See the regulations for more detailed information.

·        Do student teachers and interns need to be checked?

o   Yes, if the school or district determines that they “may have direct and unmonitored contact with children”. See the regulations for more detail on who is subject to the background checks.

·        Our school/district operates a summer camp program? Must employees hired for the camp be checked?

o   Although the law does not explicitly mention summer camp programs, it applies to all employees hired by the school or district. If the camp is operated by a third party and is simply leasing space from the school or district, employees hired by the third party would not be subject to the requirement.

·        What if a person is employed by or seeking employment with a preK-12 sector program and an early childhood program under EEC jurisdiction?

o   Because of federal rules prohibiting the sharing or disseminating of criminal history record information, an individual who works in both sectors will have to submit, and pay for, two separate fingerprint-based criminal record checks. If back-to-back appointments are unavailable, applicants should select a second appointment time that is as close to the first appointment as possible. Applicants will be fingerprinted for both submissions at the same time, and will not be made to wait for the later time.

 ·        What is the fee for teachers at private or charter schools who are not required to have an educator’s license?

o   If the individual holds a DESE educator’s license, the fee is $55, whether or not a license is required for employment. If the individual does not hold a DESE educator’s license, the fee is $35.

·        Can the fees for our employees be billed directly to the school?

o   Sorry, no. Individual payment must be made by the employee at the time of registration. If your school elects to cover the cost, you can reimburse your employees.

·        How long does it take to get results back?

o   Results of state and national fingerprint-based criminal record checks are normally available within 72 hours. However, there will be situations in which results will not be available for a longer period of time. Please do not contact DCJIS until at least 72 hours have passed since the fingerprints were taken.

·        Do you have any guidance on how to read and interpret the results?

o   A guidance document will be available shortly. We’ll post a link on the DESE Background Checks information page.

·        I’m the designated point of contact for my school or district, but I haven’t been receiving these Update emails. What should I do?

o   First check your junk mail folder to make sure your spam filter isn’t eating the messages. If that’s not the problem, contact DCJIS at safis@state.ma.us to verify that you are on their Point of Contact mailing list.

·        Who should we contact with questions or problems?

o   Employees with questions/problems relating to their fingerprinting appointment should call MorphoTrust’s customer service line (866-349-8130).

o   Points of contact with questions/problems relating to fingerprint results, point of contact designations, or MorphoTrust processing may contact DCJIS at safis@state.ma.us.

o   Points of contact with questions/problems relation to PreK-12 sector requirements may contact DESE at expandedbackgroundchecks@state.ma.us.