906.  PUBLIC COMPLAINTS - Pg.

906.  PUBLIC COMPLAINTS

1.        Purpose

The Board welcomes inquiries, suggestions, and constructive criticism regarding the District’s programs, personnel, operations and facilities. Any parent/guardian, student, resident or community group shall have the right to present a request, suggestion or complaint. The Board intends to provide a fair and impartial method for seeking appropriate resolution.

2.        Authority

Attempts to resolve public concerns and complaints of District residents shall begin with informal, direct discussions among the affected parties, following the established guidelines and District organizational structure. Only when informal meetings fail to resolve the issue shall more formal procedures be utilized.

        20 U.S.C.

        Sec. 7844

In accordance with law, the Board shall adopt a written procedure that provides parents/guardians, public agencies, other individuals, and organizations a means to submit and resolve complaints alleging violations in the administration of educational programs under the No Child Left Behind Act. The complaint procedure shall be available to the public, a copy maintained in each school, and be distributed annually to parents/guardians and staff.

Any requests, suggestions or complaints directed to individual Board members and/or the Board shall be referred to the Superintendent for consideration and action. If further action is warranted, based on the initial investigation, such action shall proceed in accordance with the established guidelines.

3.        Guidelines

General Complaint Procedure

General complaints about Board policy and District procedures, programs, operations, facilities and personnel shall be processed in accordance with the following procedure.

First Level - Complaints and requests shall be addressed initially to the concerned employee, who shall discuss it with the complainant and attempt to provide a reasonable explanation or take appropriate action within the employee's authority.

As appropriate, the staff member shall report the matter and the resolution to the building principal or immediate supervisor.

Second Level - If the issue cannot be resolved satisfactorily at the first level, it shall be discussed by the complainant with the building principal or the employee's immediate supervisor.

Third Level - If a satisfactory solution is not achieved by discussion with the building principal or immediate supervisor, a conference shall be scheduled with the Superintendent or designee. The principal or supervisor shall provide to the Superintendent or designee a report that includes the specific nature of the complaint, brief statement of relevant facts, how the complainant has been affected adversely, the action requested, and the reasons why such action should be taken or not taken.

Fourth Level - Should the matter not be resolved by the Superintendent or designee or is beyond his/her authority and requires Board action, the Superintendent or designee shall provide the Board with a complete report.

Final Level - After reviewing all information relative to the complaint, the Board shall provide the complainant with its written decision and may grant a hearing before the Board or a committee of the Board.

The complainant shall be advised of the Board's decision, in writing, no more than ten (10) days following the hearing.

NCLB Complaint Procedure

        20 U.S.C.

        Sec. 7844

Complaints alleging violations of law in the District’s administration of NCLB education programs shall be processed in accordance with the following procedure.

The complaint must be filed with the District as a written, signed statement that identifies:

  1. Alleged NCLB violation.

  1. Facts supporting the alleged violation.

  1. Supporting documentation, such as information on discussions, correspondence or meetings with the District regarding the complaint.

Complaints shall be referred to the Federal Programs Coordinator, who will notify the Superintendent or designee.

The Federal Programs Coordinator will conduct an independent investigation, which could include but not be limited to:

  1. On-site visit to the building that is the subject of the complaint.

  1. Opportunity to present evidence by all individuals and/or organizations involved.

  1. Opportunity for each side to question parties of other side and witnesses.

When the investigation is completed, the Federal Programs Coordinator will prepare a report with a recommendation for resolving the complaint. The report will include:

  1. Name of the individual or organization filing the complaint.

  1. Nature of the complaint.

  1. Summary of the investigation.

  1. Recommended resolution.

  1. Reasons for the recommended resolution.

The Federal Programs Coordinator will submit the report to the Superintendent or designee, who will determine whether further investigation is required and/or the District’s final response.

All parties involved in the complaint will be notified of the resolution of the complaint by the Superintendent or designee.

The Federal Programs Coordinator will ensure that the resolution of the complaint is implemented.

The time period between receipt and resolution of a complaint will not exceed sixty (60) calendar days, unless circumstances require additional time.

Either party may appeal the final resolution to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Division of Federal Programs

PA Department of Education

333 Market Street

Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333

References:

No Child Left Behind Act – 20 U.S.C. Sec. 7844

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