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Background Checks and Fingerprinting

General Provisions

An applicant offered employment with Albuquerque Public Schools, as a school volunteer, contractor or contractor’s employee, with unsupervised access to students, shall provide two fingerprint cards or the equivalent electronic fingerprints to the superintendent to obtain the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) record.  Albuquerque Public Schools shall pay for a background check for an applicant offered employment.

The applicant's employment offer is contingent upon their background check clearance. The applicant shall not be permitted to report for duty, receive compensation nor have access to Albuquerque Public Schools facilities until clearance has been issued by the Fingerprint and Background Department.  Supervisors are responsible for confirming employees have a background clearance based on the electronic notification to the applicant from the APS Police Department prior to allowing the employee to report for duty and receive compensation and facility access.

The Fingerprint and Background Department shall perform a fingerprint identified background check on all district contractors, subcontractors and contractor employees, agents and assignees, volunteers or field trip chaperones who may have unsupervised access to students.

For purposes of this procedural directive, “unsupervised access” occurs when an adult without a background check is in the presence of a student without an Albuquerque Public Schools employee (does not include APS Food and Nutrition employee).

Volunteer Background Check

APS shall conduct background checks of all prospective volunteers who have unsupervised or supervised access to students.  Volunteers and field trip chaperones are only allowed to have supervised access to students and shall obtain an online volunteer clearance.  Volunteers who have unsupervised access to students shall obtain an FBI Fingerprint background check and be issued an APS district volunteer badge. 

Volunteers are not to be on APS property conducting supervised volunteer work until an online volunteer clearance has been issued by the APS School Police Department. The school site shall not issue permanent badges to these volunteers; school sites shall check in volunteers with temporary badges.  These badges shall be surrendered at the end of each day.  Volunteers with supervised access to students shall not be given individual (with photo) identification badges. 

Volunteers and chaperones with unsupervised contact with students are not to be on APS property conducting volunteer work or attending a school-sponsored field trip until a clearance and badge are issued by the APS School Police Department. School sites shall not issue permanent badges to volunteers and shall confiscate any badges not made by the district. Volunteers with FBI background clearance shall be issued badges by APS Police; all other volunteers and chaperones will sign-in at school sites for temporary badges, as do visitors.

In compliance with federal and state statute and regulation, the Fingerprint and Background department requires all volunteers to register and apply online as a school volunteer. Background checks shall be conducted for all applicants upon online application submission. Volunteer applicants shall not be authorized to perform volunteer duties until the clearance has been issued by the APS Police Department and the applicant has been notified by email of such clearance. Volunteer background checks shall be conducted for any volunteer over the age of thirteen (13). Minor volunteer applicants must have parental consent prior to submitting a volunteer application.  For more information about volunteers, please refer to the “Volunteer Programs” procedural directive.

Contractor, Subcontractor and contractor’s employees, agents and assignees

Contractors, subcontractors and contractor's employees, agents and assignees are not to be on APS property conducting contract work until clearance has been issued by the APS Police Department and a badge has been issued by the APS department sponsoring the contract work.

Denial Based on a Background Check

In compliance with the federal and state statute and regulation, the Fingerprint and Background department in connection with the APS Police Department shall determine employment eligibility and may determine to deny employment, contract employment, or volunteerism based on any conviction of a crime of moral turpitude. Automatic denials shall result from convictions of child abuse, criminal sexual penetration, or drug trafficking/distribution regardless of rehabilitation. Other potential denials include patterns of arrests/convictions, failure to disclose, the existence of an open or pending case, convictions of charges that might impact the specific position, or failure to contact the department upon request for explanation and dispositions within a given timeframe. Applicants that have been denied shall have the opportunity to appeal, in writing, to the APS Police Department within ten (10) days of the denial. The APS Police Department shall respond in writing within ten (10) business days to respond. A second appeal may be made to the superintendent. The second appeal must also be made within ten (10) business days. The superintendent shall respond within ten (10) business days, at which time, the decision shall become final.

Volunteers, field trip chaperones, contractors, subcontractors and contractors’ employees, agents and assignees shall, as a condition of access to students, and at the expense of the volunteer, submit to and clear a background check.

Self-Reporting of Arrest, Charge or Conviction of a Criminal Offense

Employees, volunteers, contractors, subcontractors and contractor’s employees, agents and assignees shall be required to notify the APS Police Department within ten (10) business days if they are arrested, charged and/or convicted of a criminal offense. Failure by an employee to report such an arrest, charge or conviction may be grounds for disciplinary action. Supervisors who become aware of an arrest, charge or conviction of an employee for a criminal offense shall immediately notify the APS Police Department. Violation of this procedural directive may result in disciplinary action, up to and including discharge or termination. 

Administrative Position: 

  • Superintendent
  • Chief Operations Officer
  • Associate Superintendent of Equity, Instruction, Innovation and Support

Department Director:

  • APS Chief of Police
  • Executive Director of Student, Family and Community Supports


Legal Cross Ref.:

  • §28-2-1 et. seq NMSA 1978 Criminal Offender Employment Act

  • §22-10A-5 NMSA 1978

  • §22-14-32 NMSA 1978

  • §22-5-17 NMSA 1978

Board Policy Cross Ref.:

Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:

NSBA/NEPN Classification: GCF

Approved: December 4, 1997
January 2005
September 13, 2010
September 15, 2010
Reviewed: July 12, 2011
Revised: July 20, 2011
Introduced: February 9, 2016
Reviewed: March 9, 2016
Adopted: March 18, 2016
Revised: October 8, 2019
Reviewed: October 18, 2019