SDPBC Field Observation (and Practicum) Security Requirements
Palm Beach State College Field Observation & Practicum students placed in a School District of Palm Beach County *public classroom are required to complete a Level 2 Security Clearance to obtain a Student Teacher Badge. Level 2 Security Clearance requires fingerprinting and an FBI background check.
*Placement in other venues (charter schools, private schools and other locations selected by the student) may or may not require Level 2 Security Clearance. Go to Other Field Observation Opportunities for details. Your course instructor must approve alternate placement locations prior to beginning the observation/practicum.
Below are the steps to complete the security clearance for SDPBC public schools if you are enrolled in EDF2005-Introduction to the Teaching Profession, EDF2085-Introduction to Diversity for Educators and EPI0950-Teaching Methods Practicum. If possible, the student should start the process after registering for the course and before the first day of class since it is a detailed process.
All fingerprinting for public school placement MUST be done by the School District of Palm Beach County School Police. Fingerprints taken by other agencies, counties and or states will not be accepted (no exceptions). Students need to follow STEPS 1-6 below to obtain security clearance from the School District of Palm Beach County School Police.
Step 1 - Complete Field Observation Fingerprinting Checklist form (PBSD 1817)
Step 2 - Complete Background Information Check form (PBSD 1456)
Students must complete the Background Information Check form by typing in the required information and printing out the form. They can also can obtain the form by visiting SDPBC Fingerprinting and Badge Information webpage, scroll down to Interns, Practicum, and Field Observation section and click on the link for the Background Information Check form. The student must read the directions carefully. Failure to fully disclose information will result in problems processing the form or denial of placement. A social security number is required or School Police will not proceed with the clearance. Be sure to sign and date the form.
Step 3 - File Completed Forms with School District of Palm Beach County School Police
The SDPBC School Police Fingerprinting Office - Hours and Location is located in the Fulton Holland Educational Center at 3300 Forest Hill Blvd., B-101, W. Palm Beach., FL 33406. (Please be aware that this office has limited days and hours that it is open)
Students** must bring the following items:
1. A completed, signed, and dated Staff Development Experience/Internship Checklist (Fingerprint form PBSD 1871)
2. A completed, signed, and dated Background Information Check form (PBSD 1456)
3. A valid government-issued picture ID (such as a Driver's License, State of Florida ID or Passport)
4. Social Security card (original Social Security Card - NOT a copy; MUST HAVE VALID SS#)
5. Acceptable forms of payment: Money Order or Credit Card (VISA/MasterCard) accepted at the Fingerprinting Office or via *SDPBC School Cash Online. Personal checks & cash are not accepted.
*If you choose to pay with a debit/credit card (VISA/MC) via School Cash Online, you must pay 24 hours in advance and bring your receipt for proof of payment.
**Foreign students seeking placement should bring items #1, #2 along with a completed Applicant Security Check Form, a valid passport, visa and a money order or debit/credit card (VISA or MasterCard).
Step 4 - Fingerprinting at School District of Palm Beach County School Police
Upon arrival at the School District of Palm Beach County, students will enter through the front doors and sign-in on the computer (select fingerprinting as location) where they will receive a visitor's pass. The receptionist will give directions to School Police.
School Police will obtain fingerprints from the students. They will take the forms from the student and ask the student to fill in a return envelope. The return envelope will be used to mail** the security clearance report and ID badge issued to the student upon approval (It is important for the student to provide accurate contact information).
The School Police will stamp the money order or credit card receipt and the completed forms that the student will keep when the process is completed.
Step 5 - Obtain Security Clearance and Badge From School District of Palm Beach County School Police
The School Police will notify the student regarding the results of the fingerprint analysis. (It is important for the student to provide accurate contact information on the return envelope provided)
If fingerprint analysis reveals any problems, the student will be sent a letter from School District of Palm Beach County Employee Relations outlining the appeal process.
Upon security clearance of fingerprint analysis, students will receive their badge via the return envelope completed by the student at the time the fingerprinting was done. This notification takes approximately seven (7) to ten (10) business days. **To save time please ask if the office will phone you when your badge and security report arrive and you can pick them up in person.
Step 6 - Submit Security Clearance Information & Placement Preference
Once students have obtained fingerprint security clearance and have their student badges, they should register their SDPBC placement preference with their instructor and Academic Services for processing. This is done by filling in an FO & Practicum Online Placement Request. Instructions for completing the online placement request. This should be completed in the first two weeks of the class.
Once submitted the request will be processed by Academic Services at Palm Beach State College and the SDPBC Department of Professional Development (Placement Office). Students are notified via their PBSC student email of their assigned public school and the process for securing a classroom for observation. The process generally takes two weeks for notification of placement.
Current SDPBC Employees/Vendors Who Participate in Field Observation
All Palm Beach State students currently employed by the School District of Palm Beach County (or holding an active vendor's security badge) must adhere to the SDPBC Security Clearance process and complete the required forms to obtain a "Student Teacher" Security Badge with the expiration date. (Employee/vendor records are not accessible to the School District Placement Office) If they have been continuously employed or still have a current vendor security badge, they will not have to pay the $99 fingerprinting fee. They need only pay the $6.00 renewal fee* and obtain a Student Teacher Badge with the expiration date (Student Teacher Badge Sample).
*For employees that have not had a background check in five years, the School District resubmits the fingerprints for an updated background check. In this case, the employee pays $19.25 plus $6.00 for a total of $25.25.
Employees/Teachers/Vendors who are employed by the SDPBC with no recent gap in employment or holding an active employee, teacher, substitute or vendor's badge will need to submit a SDPBC Badge Renewal form, pay a $6 renewal fee (or altered fee above if qualified) and show a current employee/vendor badge to the SDPBC Fingerprinting Office personnel to obtain their new Student Teacher badge. The Student Teacher Security Badge will be issued while the employee waits (in the fall term, the volume of requests for badges may warrant the replacement badge be mailed to the student). Once the Level 2 Student Teacher Badge is issued, the SDPBC employee/teacher/substitute/vendor should complete an FO Online Placement Request and attach a copy of their Student Teacher Badge (see instructions).
There is no exception to this process for current SDPBC Employees/Teachers/Substitutes/Vendors.
Dual Enrollment/Early Admit students enrolled in courses requiring field observation and teaching practicum MUST present a Level 2 Student Teacher Badge (self-photos will not be accepted) to be placed at a public school. They need to follow the School District Fingerprinting Procedures and then fill in an FO Online Placement Request. On the form under "Special Considerations" please indicate your DE or Early Admit status. When you receive your Level 2 Student Teacher Badge please upload with your FO Online Placement Request or if you have submitted your online request you can go back into the request by visiting www.PalmBeachState.edu/Student-Login and upload a copy of your badge (Online Placement Request Form Instructions). Please note only one attachment can be made to the request. If you have submitted an attachment with your online request, the student will need to send a copy via email to Cyndi C. Demitruk. A confirmation of the placement is sent by the SDPBC Pre-Service Office to Academic Services, who notifies the student by their Palm Beach State student email address.
Money orders can be purchased at the US Post Office, Publix, and Walmart, among other places. Generally, there is a small fee attached to the purchase.
The Student Teacher badge is good for one academic year. If the student is cleared for fall term they can also request a placement for spring term on the same badge. Students who place in spring term and also need to complete observation hours in the summer or the following fall term will need to renew their badge. (Badges may be renewed between April 1st and June 30th of the year that they expire). Students who do not renew at the designated time will need to go through the full clearance process again (fingerprinting and background check with $99 fee) for the fall term.
Previous fingerprinting is valid when student is continuously enrolled in current college/university without a break of more than 90 days.
The $99.00 fee is paid to the School District of Palm Beach County. Palm Beach State does not receive any proceeds from these fees.
Students wanting to complete the field observation at public schools must have a valid social security number to obtain fingerprints and security clearance at the School District of Palm Beach County. Foreign students must have a valid passport and visa.