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Sweetwater Un HSD |  BP  1312.3  Community Relations

Uniform Complaint Procedures   

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The Board of Trustees recognizes that the district has the primary responsibility to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations governing educational programs. The Board encourages early resolution of complaints whenever possible. To resolve complaints which may require a more formal process, the Board adopts the uniform system of complaint processes specified in 5 CCR 4600-4670 and the accompanying administrative regulation.

The district's uniform complaint procedures (UCP) shall be used to investigate and resolve the following complaints:

1. Any complaint alleging district violation of applicable state or federal law or regulations governing the use of categorical funds, such as Adult Education, After School Education and Safety, Agricultural Vocational Education, American Indian education centers, bilingual education, California Peer Assistance and Review Programs for Teachers, Career Technical Education and Training, Child Care and Development, Child Nutrition, Compensatory Education, Consolidated Categorical Aid, Economic Impact Aid, Every Student Succeeds Act / No Child Left Behind, Local Control Funding Formula and Local Control Accountability Plans, Migrant Education, Physical Education Instructional Minutes, Regional Occupational Centers and Programs, School Safety Plans, Special Education, Tobacco-Use Prevention Education, and any other district-implemented program which is listed in Education Code 64000(a) (5 CCR 4610).

2. Any complaint alleging the occurrence of unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying) against any student, employee, or other person participating in district programs and activities, including, but not limited to, those programs or activities funded directly by or that receive or benefit from any state financial assistance, based on the person's actual or perceived characteristics of race or ethnicity, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identification, immigration status, age, religion, marital, pregnancy, family, or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or genetic information, or any other characteristic identified in Education Code 200 or 220, Government Code 11135, or Penal Code 422.55, or based on his/her association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics (5 CCR 4610). Employment discrimination complaints are excluded from the UCP complaint process.

3. Any complaint alleging district noncompliance with the requirement to provide reasonable accommodation to a lactating student on school campus to express breast milk, breastfeed an infant child, or address other breastfeeding-related needs of the student (Education Code 222).

4. Any complaint alleging district noncompliance with the prohibition against requiring students to pay fees, deposits, or other charges for participation in educational activities (5 CCR 4610).

5. Any complaint alleging district noncompliance with legal requirements related to the implementation of the local control and accountability plan (Education Code 52075).

6. Any complaint, by or on behalf of any student who is a foster youth, alleging district noncompliance with any legal requirement applicable to the student regarding placement decisions, the responsibilities of the district's educational liaison to the student, the award of credit for coursework satisfactorily completed in another school or district, school transfer, or the grant of an exemption from Board-imposed graduation requirements (Education Code 48853, 48853.5, 49069.5, 51225.1, 51225.2).

7. Any complaint, by or on behalf of a homeless student as defined in 42 USC 11434a, alleging district noncompliance with any requirement applicable to the student regarding the award of credit for coursework satisfactorily completed in another school or district or the grant of an exemption from Board-imposed graduation requirements (Education Code 51225.1, 51225.2).

8. Any complaint alleging district noncompliance with the requirements of Education Code 51228.1 and 51228.2 that prohibit the assignment of a student to a course without educational content for more than one week in any semester or to a course the student has previously satisfactorily completed, without meeting specified conditions (Education Code 51228.3).

9. Any complaint alleging retaliation against a complainant or other participant in the complaint process or anyone who has acted to uncover or report a violation subject to this policy.

The Board recognizes that alternative dispute resolution (ADR) can, depending on the nature of the allegations, offer a process to reach a resolution to the complaint that is acceptable to all parties. ADR, such as mediation, may be offered to resolve complaints that involve more than one student and no adult. However, mediation shall not be offered or used to resolve any complaint involving sexual assault or where there is a reasonable risk that a party to the mediation would feel compelled to participate. The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that the use of ADR is consistent with state and federal laws and regulations.

The district shall protect all complainants from retaliation. In investigating complaints, the confidentiality of the parties involved shall be protected as required by law. As appropriate for any complaint alleging retaliation or unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying), the Superintendent or designee shall keep confidential the identity of the complainant and/or the subject of the complaint if he/she is different from the complainant, as long as the integrity of the complaint process is maintained.

The Superintendent or designee shall provide training to district staff to ensure awareness and knowledge of current law and related requirements, including the steps and timelines specified in this policy and the accompanying administrative regulation.

The Superintendent or designee shall maintain records of all UCP complaints and the investigations of those complaints in accordance with applicable law and district policy.

Non-UCP Complaints

When an allegation that is not subject to the UCP is included in a UCP complaint, the district shall refer the non-UCP allegation to the appropriate staff or agency and shall investigate and, if appropriate, resolve the UCP-related allegation(s) through the district's UCP.

The following complaints are not subject to our UCP process set forth in this document and shall be reviewed by the District and either processed under relevant district policies or referred to other agencies for appropriate resolution:

1. Allegations of child abuse shall be referred to County Department of Social Services (DSS), Protective Services Division and/or appropriate law enforcement agency.

2. Health and safety complaints regarding a Child Development Program shall be referred to Department of Social Services for licensed facilities, and to the appropriate Child Development regional administrator for licensing-exempt facilities.

3. Employment discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying complaints shall be sent to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

4. Allegations of fraud shall be referred to the Legal, Audits and Compliance Branch in the California Department of Education (CDE).

In addition, the district's Williams Uniform Complaint Procedures, AR 1312.4, shall be used to investigate and resolve any complaint related to the sufficiency of textbooks or instructional materials, emergency or urgent facilities conditions that pose a threat to the health or safety of students or staff, or teacher vacancies and misassignments.

Federal and State Laws cited:

1. 34 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 300.510-511

2. California Code of Regulations [CCR] Title 5 4600-4687

3. California Code of Regulations [CCR] Title 5 4610(b)

4. California Code of Regulations [CCR] Title 5 4622

5. California Code of Regulations [CCR] Title 5 4630?4631

6. California Education Code [EC] 200, 220, 262.3

7. California Education Code [EC] 234 - 234.5

8. California Education Code [EC] 35186

9. California Education Code [EC] 48985

10. California Education Code [EC] 49010 - 49013

11. California Education Code [EC] 52075

12. California Government Code [GC] 11135, 11138

13. California Penal Code (PC) 422.55

Policy SWEETWATER UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT

adopted: June 17, 2013 Chula Vista, California

revised: October 2, 2014

revised: November 20, 2014

revised: March 29, 2016

revised: March 13, 2017

revised: December 10, 2018