Policy EDH - Special Programs: Student Internships
Issue Date: September 16, 2020
1. “Intern” means a student enrolled in a school-sponsored work experience and career exploration program involving both classroom instruction and work experience with a cooperating employer, for which the student receives no compensation.
2. “Cooperating employer” means a public or private entity which, as part of a work experience and career exploration program offered through a school, provides interns with training and work experience in activities related to the entity’s ongoing business activities.
3. “Internship” means the work experience segment of an intern’s school-sponsored work experience and career exploration program, performed under the direct supervision of a cooperating employer.
4. “Internship safety agreement” means the agreement between a public or private school and a cooperating employer in accordance which satisfies the requirements set forth below.
The District may offer internships in connection with work experience and career exploration programs operated in accordance with rules of the State Board of Education.
To be approved, an internship program must meet each of the following requirements:
1. It must provide for training for interns, intern supervisors, and cooperating employers regarding health hazards and safety procedures in the workplace;
2. It must specify standards and procedures for approval of any off-campus work sites;
3. It must address transportation options for interns to and from the work site;
4. It must provide for appropriate supervision by employers at the work site;
5. It must provide for appropriate supervision and assessment of interns by the school;
6. It must address and identify insurance coverage and adequate insurance coverage must be provided either by the intern, the program, or the District;
7. It must provide for appropriate involvement in and approval by the intern’s parents regarding the program;
8. It must provide for the risk or liability inherent in the program developed in consultation with State Risk Management or the District’s insurance provider; and
9. It must demonstrate that any credit awarded for participation in the internship maintains the integrity and rigor expected for high school graduation as determined by the State Board of Education.
Recognition of Cooperating Employers
A sponsoring or participating school may give appropriate recognition to a cooperating employer which is participating in an approved internship, including the posting of the employer’s name and a short description of the employer’s business in an appropriate location on school property, or publication of that information in official publications of the school or of the District.
Workers’ Compensation Coverage
An intern participating in an internship under this policy is considered to be a volunteer government worker of the District, solely for purposes of receiving workers’ compensation medical benefits.
Receipt of such medical benefits shall be the exclusive remedy against the District and the cooperating employer for all injuries and occupational diseases arising from participation in the internship.
Internship Safety Agreement
The District shall attempt to establish an internship safety agreement with each cooperating employer. Such an internship safety agreement must include, at a minimum, the cooperating employer’s agreement to meet the following requirements:
1. To ensure that an adult officer or employee of the cooperating employer is not intentionally alone with an intern for any significant amount of time during the intern’s activities;
2. To maintain compliance with all applicable state and federal laws relating to workplace and student safety, privacy, and welfare; and
3. To provide a safe, educational, courteous, and welcoming professional environment that is free of harassment or discriminatory conduct that may result in a hostile, intimidating, abusive, offensive, or oppressive learning environment.
Criminal Background Checks of Staff of Cooperating Employer
If an internship safety agreement is in place with a cooperating employer, then the officers and employees of the cooperating employer are exempt from the criminal background check requirements set out in Policy DAC.
If the District does not have an internship safety agreement with a cooperating employer, then prior to any intern participating in an internship with that employer, each officer and employee of the cooperating employer who will be given significant unsupervised access to a student in connection with the student’s activities as an intern shall submit to criminal background checks under Policy DAC.
If a required background check of an officer or employee of a cooperating employer discloses any information that calls into question the propriety of that individual having access to an intern, the District shall modify the conditions of the internship or discontinue its participation with the cooperating employer as may be warranted to ensure the safety and well-being of its students.