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San Ramon Valley USD |  AR  1312.1  Community Relations

Complaints Concerning School Personnel   

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In order to promote fair and constructive communication, the following administrative procedures shall govern the resolution of complaints. Every effort should be made to resolve a complaint informally at the earliest possible stage. Actions at each sequential step shall be accomplished in a timely manner. All complaints regarding district personnel other than administrators shall be initially filed with the principal or immediate supervisor. If the complaint regards a principal or district office administrator, the complaint shall be initially filed with the administrator's immediate supervisor. If the complaint concerns the Superintendent, it shall initially be filed with the Board.

The Board prohibits retaliation against complainants or any party involved in the complaint process. Any employee shown to have retaliated against any party involved in a complaint will be subject to appropriate progressive discipline. The Superintendent or designee at his/her discretion may keep a complainant's identity confidential, except to the extent necessary to investigate the complaint.

Every effort will be made to maintain confidentiality in all matters pertaining to complaints and their resolutions.

The district does not intend to discourage any individual from filing a complaint. After the complainant has an initial meeting with site, program or district staff, a complainant may not add new or different complaints to expand the scope of the investigation. Any new or different complaints will be treated as a new complaint and investigated separately from the original complaint.

Informal Steps

1. A concern relative to a district employee's performance or behavior should initially be presented orally by the complainant to the employee. It is expected that any concern expressed will be communicated in an appropriate manner, and at no time should the employee endure insults or abusive treatment from any person. Such persons will be subject to misdemeanor penalties as prescribed by law.

2. If a complaint is received by the employee's supervisor, the employee will be notified as soon as possible, unless the nature of the complaint requires otherwise. The principal or immediate supervisor shall schedule a conference with the employee and, if appropriate, the complainant. The complaint will be resolved informally, if possible, on this basis and at the local level. Consultation between the complainant and the employee will occur under the following conditions and assumptions:

a. Each party is interested in arriving at an amicable solution.

b. Each party will endeavor to maintain an objective attitude throughout the conference, focusing on the educational implications and avoiding emotional declarations or outbursts.

c. Learning opportunities for students have priority over individual and personal motivation.

3. If a concern is not resolved at the informal level, or if the complainant refuses the informal process, the complainant may file a formal complaint regarding the district employee with the employee's immediate supervisor utilizing the Level 1 Complaint Process and the district's Level 1 Complaint Form (E 1312.1). If needed the complainant may request assistance from district staff in the completion of the form

Formal Steps

Level 1 - Formal Complaint Process

1. When a Level 1 complaint is received at the principal's or immediate supervisor's level, the employee will be immediately notified, unless the nature of a complaint dictates otherwise, and a conference scheduled to discuss the matter. The principal or supervisor will exercise judgment regarding the timing and nature of additional conferences which might be appropriate for a resolution of the concern. The principal or immediate supervisor will arrange and facilitate, if appropriate, a conference between the complainant and the district employee at which the principal or supervisor may be present.

2. Staff will attempt to resolve the complaint within 30 days of the receipt of the Level 1 complaint by the principal or immediate supervisor

3. A copy of the complaint will not be held in the employee's district personnel file without the employee's knowledge and without the opportunity to include a personal statement of the matter

4. The complainant shall receive a written response, including any disposition of the complaint, at Level 1. The individuals named in the complaint will also receive a copy of the written response to the complaint, and the disposition of the complaint at Level 1, to the extent appropriate and permitted by law

Level 2 - Formal Complaint Appeal Process

Disposition of a Level 1 complaint may be appealed, at which time it becomes a Level 2 complaint appeal. A Level 2 complaint appeal should clearly state and describe the reasons for the appeal.

1. The complainant may appeal the disposition of the complaint utilizing the Level 2 Complaint Appeal Form (E 1312.1). If needed, the complainant may request assistance from district staff in the completion of the form.

2. The principal or immediate supervisor shall refer the Level 2 complaint appeal, together with a report and analysis of the situation, to the Superintendent or designee. Staff will attempt to resolve the Level 2 complaint appeal within 30 days of the receipt.

3. The complainant shall receive a written response, including any disposition of the complaint, at Level 2. The individuals named in the complaint will also receive a copy of the written response to the appeal, and the disposition of the appeal at Level 2, to the extent appropriate and permitted by law.

Level 3 - Formal Complaint Review by the Board of Education

1. The complainant, the employee, or the Superintendent or designee may ask to address the Board regarding the complaint. To do so, the complainant shall provide a copy of the Level 3 Complaint Form (E 1312.1) to the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent. The Board of Education will engage in the review of the complaint under the following conditions:

a. The Board of Education will require the Level 1 complaint and Level 2 complaint appeal, including responses provided to the complainant

b. The Board of Education will also require the Superintendent or designee's written report concerning the complaint. The Superintendent or designee's report shall contain, but not be limited to: the name of each individual involved; a brief but specific summary of the complaint and the facts surrounding it, sufficient to inform the Board and the employee as to the precise nature of the complaint and to allow the employee to seek representation if so desired and prepare a defense. This report shall also include a summary of the action taken by the Superintendent or designee with specific findings that resolution of the case at the Superintendent's level has not been possible.

2. The Board, upon examination of the Superintendent's or designee's report, reserves the right to deny a hearing or to limit the hearing to such issues as may be defined by the Board. The decision of the Board following the hearing shall be final.

3. Complaints concerning an employee shall be addressed in a closed session meeting of the Board, unless the employee requests that the issue be addressed in open session.

Anonymous Complaints

When an anonymous complaint against an employee is filed, the district will make reasonable efforts to identify the complainant and encourage the complainant to come forward and follow the process described above. In the event that the complainant wishes to remain anonymous or the district is unable to identify the complainant, the district will consider the complaint under the following anonymous complaint process.

1. The complainant, as an anonymous complainant, is not entitled to any additional information regarding the disposition of the complaint.

2. Parties subject to the anonymous complaints will be notified of the complaint as soon as possible, unless the nature of the complaint requires otherwise.

3. If the complaint is substantiated, it will be processed according to related district policies and procedures and to the extent allowable by law.

4. Unsubstantiated complaints will be immediately dismissed.

Regulation SAN RAMON VALLEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

approved: January 17, 1995 Danville, California

revised: June 25, 2013

revised: March 10, 2015

revised: March 22, 2016