PUBLIC CONCERNS AND COMPLAINTS
The Advance R-IV School District is interested in resolving concerns and hearing complaints from the public regarding district programs and services so that they may be improved and better meet the needs of the students and the community.
The district encourages parents/guardians, students and other members of the public to first discuss concerns with the appropriate district staff prior to bringing the issue to the Board so that the issue may be thoroughly investigated and addressed in a timely fashion. The Board will not act on an issue without input from the appropriate district staff and may require a parent/guardian, patron or student to meet with or discuss an issue with district staff prior to making a decision in the matter.
The Board strictly prohibits discrimination or retaliation against any person for bringing a concern to the attention of the district or participating in the complaint process. This prohibition extends to relatives and others associated with the person who brought the concern or complaint. The Board directs all district employees to cooperate in investigations of complaints.
Complaints regarding district compliance with nondiscrimination laws will be processed according to policy AC. Employee grievances will be processed in accordance with the established employee grievance procedure or as otherwise required by law. Other grievances or complaints for which there is a specific policy or procedure will be addressed pursuant to that policy or procedure.
All district employees are expected to answer questions, receive input and professionally address concerns and complaints of parents/guardians, students and other members of the public. If an employee is unable to answer a question or resolve an issue, the employee must direct the person or the question to the appropriate district employee.
In addition to general concerns and complaints, the Board is interested in resolving concerns regarding federal programs including, but not limited to, allegations that the district has violated a federal statute or regulation that applies to particular federal programs administered by the district or the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) in accordance with Title I, Parts A, B, C, D; Title II; Title III, Part A.2; Title IV, Part A; Title VI; and Title VII, Part C of the No Child Left Behind Act.
The superintendent or designee is authorized to contact the district's private attorney for assistance in determining whether a violation has occurred. The superintendent or designee is authorized to immediately make changes to bring the district into compliance with federal law if the investigation determines that the law has been violated.
The district will notify all parents/guardians of the process for filing a complaint with the district, including the process outlined in this policy. In addition, the district will provide all parents/guardians a copy of DESE's No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 Complaint Procedures. If a person files a complaint regarding one of the listed federal programs, the person will be provided another copy of DESE's No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 Complaint Procedures if the issue is not resolved at the district level.
Process for Resolving a Concern or Complaint
The following steps are to be followed by parents/guardians, students or the public when concerns or complaints arise regarding the operation of the school district that cannot be addressed through other established procedures.
1. Concerns or complaints should first be addressed to the teacher or employee directly involved.
2. Unsettled matters from (1) above or concerns or complaints regarding individual schools should be presented in writing to the principal of the school. If the complaint is regarding a federal program listed above, the complaint must specify the federal law or regulation alleged to have been violated and the facts supporting the allegation. The principal will provide a written response to the individual raising the concern within five business days of receiving the complaint or concern unless additional time is necessary to investigate or extenuating circumstances exist.
3. Unsettled matters from (2) above or concerns or complaints regarding the school district in general should be presented to the superintendent or designee in writing. The superintendent or designee will provide a written response to the individual voicing the concern within five business days of receiving the concern or complaint, unless additional time is necessary to investigate or extenuating circumstances exist.
4. If the matter cannot be settled satisfactorily by the superintendent or designee, a member of the public may request that the issue be put on the Board agenda, using the process outlined in Board policy. In addition, written comments submitted to the superintendent or the secretary of the Board that are directed to the Board will be provided to the entire Board.
5. For most complaints, the Board's decision is final. However, if the complaint involves one of the federal programs listed above, the individual may appeal the issue to DESE.
Documentation and Release of Information
The district will maintain a copy of the complaint and documentation of any written resolution, when applicable, in accordance with law. If the complaint involves a federal program listed above, the superintendent or designee will complete a written summary of the investigation and, if a violation has occurred, a description as to how the matter was resolved. The written summary must be completed within 45 calendar days of the complaint being filed with DESE if the complaint is first filed with DESE.
Records will be released upon request when required by law. In situations where a violation of law has been alleged or determined or documents include legal advice or work product, the superintendent or designee will have the district's attorney review the documents before they are released to DESE, the person complaining or any other person.
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Note: The reader is encouraged to check the index located at the beginning of this section for other pertinent policies and to review administrative procedures and/or forms for related information.
Cross Refs: AC, Prohibition against Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation
BDDH, Public Participation at Board Meetings
GBM, Staff Grievances
IGBC, Parent/Family Involvement in Instructional and Other Programs
IGBCA, Programs for Homeless Students
Legal Refs: No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, 20 U.S.C. '' 6301 - 7941
Advance R-IV School District, Advance, Missouri