ODE Background Check FAQs (FYI-Information below was copied from ODE website)
Ohio law requires that all individuals must have a baseline Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and FBI criminal background check at the time they apply for their first Ohio educator license, certificate or permit, and those BCI and FBI background checks must be no older than one year (365 days) at the time they are used for initial licensure.
If an individual then resides continuously in Ohio, he or she does not need to update the BCI background check, but must obtain an updated FBI check once every five years.
If an individual lives outside Ohio at any time during the five years after obtaining a BCI check, then both background checks will need to be updated.
This applies to all individuals holding a state of Ohio educator license, certificate or permit, including a non-tax certificate (no expiration date), a permanent certificate (no expiration date) and an eight-year professional certificate.
It is the responsibility of educators holding ODE licenses, certificates or permits, as well as their employers, to ensure that the law is followed with regard to obtaining required updated background checks within the five year timeframe prescribed by law, even if the expiration of a background check does not always coincide with the expiration of the license.If you need initial or updated background checks (BCI and/or FBI Reports), please contact the Pickaway County Educational Service Center at (740) 474-7529 to schedule a WebCheck fingerprinting appointment. The cost is as follows: BCI Report @ $30; FBI Report @ $35; or both BCI and FBI as one transaction @ $60. The WebCheck Fingerprinting is cash or money order at the time of the appointment.
If you have any questions about licensure and/or fingerprinting, please contact Lydia Rittinger at the ESC.
If you have an LPDC question, please contact your local LPDC chairperson.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Role of the LPDC
Q. Why should I have to wait on my district committee to approve my credentials when I know that everything is in order?
A. Because that is the law. Effective with certificates that expired in 1998, all certificate and license renewals must be reviewed and approved by the district LPDC. The Ohio Department of Education will not approve any application for renewal without the required form and signature of the Chairperson of the district LPDC, which would only come after an official vote of the district committee.
The Old and the New Law
Q. When do I follow the old law and when do I follow the new licensure rules?
A. Educators holding a certificate issued before September 2, 1998, who plan to renew or upgrade it as a certificate under the “grace renewal” provision follow the “old” 1987 standards. It can NOT be renewed again. On the very day that an educator receives his/her last certificate, he/she begins working under the new licensure rules listed below:
The educator must immediately develop an Individual Professional Development Plan and gain approval from the district’s LPDC.
The IPDP must indicate goals for the educator that demonstrate how the educator’s professional growth will impact upon student, building and district success. (Align with the building CIP)
The educator must accumulate 6 semester hours (9 quarter hours) or 18 CEU’s or a combination before the expiration of that last certificate. [Remember, no reduction will be made for years of experience as it was for renewing a certificate.]
All university hours and all CEU’s must be approved by the district’s LPDC.
At the expiration of that last certificate—if the educator gains the above in accordance with procedures of the district’s LPDC – the educator will transition to the five-year professional license.
Q. Who does not need an IPDP?
A. These individuals are does not required by law to develop an IPDP:
Those who hold a permanent certificate. If they also hold other types of certificates, those will require an IPDP.
Those who hold a certificate who still have a grace renewal as a certificate available to them and will renew with university hours.
Those who hold a certificate who still have a grace renewal as a certificate available and will renew with workshop CEU’s approved by the district LPDC.
Those who hold a license and are not employed by a school district. When applying for renewal of license, an official transcript showing required hours to renew will have to be provided along with license application.
These individuals are required by law to develop an IPDP.
Those who hold a certificate and seek LPDC approval for non-workshop CEU credits to renew it as a certificate.
Those who have received their last certificate (other than a permanent) and are working toward a license.
All individuals who hold a license.
Q. Can an LPDC award retroactive credit to an educator who has not completed an IPDP prior to engaging in professional development activities?
A. NO! Licensure Standards 3301-24-08(A)(c) state … “Each educator wishing to fulfill the license renewal requirements is responsible for the design of an individual professional development plan, subject to approval of the LPDC.” LPDC’s cannot and will not grant retroactive approval.
Continuing Education Units
As of July 1, 1998, it is your school's LPDC that issues CEU credits to you for approved activities that will help you maintain your credentials. Because there is no longer a master for maintaining CEU records at the ODE, it is imperative that each educator understand that he/she must maintain all records of CEU approval so those records can be supplied to the district LPDC at renewal time. The committee will confirm whether or not CEU's and/or university hours meet the standards.
The basic rule of conversion: one clock hour of activity equals one-tenth (0.1) CEU; ten clock hours of activity is equal to one (1.0) CEU. To convert to semester hours, 3 CEU’s equal 1 semester hour.
Warning! Don’t allow external organizations to confuse you. There are professional development providers who are continuing to use the term “CEU” as something that they grant you. Not so! They can verify that you have completed hours of activity or contact, but it is ONLY YOUR LPDC who can grant you the CEU’s.
What Should Local School LPDC Members Be Doing?
Prepare your communications with staff as they return for the new school year.
Know which individuals will have expiring certificates/licenses.
You should communicate your yearly meeting schedule to all district staff members. Announce the dates, times, and locations in district publications, to your Board of Education, and post them on bulletin boards. This generalized approach should take care of any question about “open LPDC meetings.”
Communicate with your staff members clearly what your expectations are, and what the responsibilities of each educator are. Make it clear to all of your colleagues that you are not responsible for their credentials.
You should be approving all requests from educators for CEU’s. Remember that you are now the only authority in law to grant CEU’s.
If you are following the Pickaway County Consortium plan, workshop CEU’s only require the workshop request form in your handbook and a document of completion from the workshop provider.
You should be taking an official vote on all action to approve or deny CEU’s, IPDP’s, and certificate renewals. A recording secretary should have developed an efficient “official minutes” routine.
You should be communicating your business to educators efficiently following your meetings.
Remember and advise your educators that once they receive their last certificate, they are working toward a license, AND THERE IS NO RETROACTIVE APPROVAL FOR ACTIVITIES!!
3 quarter hours = 2 semester hours
3 CEU's = 1 semester hour
2 CEU's = 1 quarter hour
To change quarter hours to semester hours, use this formula:
2/3 (quarter hours) = semester hours