Minors Policy / Background Checks

Minors Policy

Since mid-2017, MIT has outlined a minors policy, which provides requirements for all programs at MIT that minors (under age 18) participate in, with the intent of improving safety and protection of minors. For Spark 2022, the concrete requirements are as follows:

  1. Every class must have at least 2 adults present. All MIT students count as adults regardless of age.
  2. MIT background checks are required for all teachers who are not current MIT students, staff, or faculty. This includes MIT alumni and all non-MIT personnel. Non-MIT background checks do not fulfill this requirement.

These requirements are important—teachers who do not satisfy this requirement may not be allowed to teach for future ESP programs.

Two adults per virtual classroom

Because of the first requirement, we recommend that classes be taught by small groups (2+) of people. If you want to teach alone, you can get a friend to register as a coteacher and simply be present in the room. ESP gives you the freedom to plan out your classes however you want—there’s no requirement that the teachers registered for a class do equal amounts of work.

If you are unwilling or unable to teach with others, there exists an alternative arrangement. If you agree to observe (sit in) for a different teacher’s Spark class at a different time during Spark 2022, we can try to have another teacher observe your class. However, we cannot guarantee we will be able to match all class sections up for observing each other.

Background checks

To satisfy the background check requirement, you must either be an MIT affiliate (current student, staff, or faculty), have a prior MIT background check within the past year, or complete a new MIT background check.

Prior background checks

  • If you are a current MIT undergrad or grad student, staff member, or faculty member, you do not need a background check!
  • If you are not an MIT undergrad or grad student, staff member, or faculty member, but have been background checked by MIT in the 12 months prior to Spark 2022, you already satisfy the background check requirement with a prior background check!

If you need a background check but do not have a valid prior background check, please see below for instructions on obtaining a background check.

Background checks

To start this process, you should sign up to teach at least one Spark class, and then wait until ESP contacts you with information regarding a background check. Please register your classes before getting a background check. Email us at spark@mit.edu if you have any questions about this process.

Background checks can take up to 3 weeks to go through, so please make sure to start the process as soon as you recieve instructions. We might have to cancel your classes if the background check process isn’t started in time.

This background check is valid for any MIT program involving minors for four years if you are a current MIT undergrad, grad student, staff member, or faculty member. It is valid for one year for teachers who are not affiliated with MIT. After that period, you will need to do another background check for future programs.

Please start this process by Febraury 20th or else we will have to cancel your class.



Last modified on Feb. 06, 2022 at 11:10 p.m.