May Parent & Community Letter (5/3/19)
Dear CCSD Families and Community Members:
On April 18 CCSD hosted a Parent Focus Group meeting. During this meeting, parents were asked to provide feedback to the district about three key questions:
• What is the perception of CCSD communication with our stakeholder groups, and how might CCSD do a better job disseminating information?
• What are some areas of concern that parents might have about CCSD programs, operations, and/or policies and what might be some ways CCSD might consider addressing these concerns?
• What are some areas of improvement that parents are noticing within CCSD?
The Parent Focus Group provided a ton of good information for the district’s consideration and the level of dialogue was excellent. One recommendation the Parent Focus Group made was for the district to share with our families the process a parent or community member should follow if there is a concern or potential complaint about a district program, policy, or staff member. Typically these concerns or complaints revolve around student access to programs or how a student might have been treated by a district staff member.
The first step for resolving concerns or complaints is to attempt to work through the issue informally. If one of our parents or community members has a concern regarding student access to a district program or about how a student might have been treated by a district staff member please immediately reach out to that staff member and request a meeting to discuss the issue. Many times these matters are due to miscommunication and can usually be resolved by providing each person an opportunity to share their side of the story.
If for some reason this first step does not adequately resolve the matter, please contact the staff member’s principal or immediate supervisor as a second step and request a meeting to discuss the problem and help us collaboratively determine appropriate steps.
Lastly, if this second step doesn’t adequately address the concern, please let the superintendent know so that we can sit down, visit, and determine what next steps might help rectify the issue.
My experience is that the majority of problems school districts’ encounter with our parents and community members revolve around communication, or more specifically miscommunication. It’s important for all of us to recognize that our students, parents, and community members are the district’s customers, and the district needs your help to ensure we are all communicating in an open, honest, and trustworthy manner.
I’ve attached the district’s Administrative Regulations (ARs) regarding Complaints about Certificated/Classified Personnel for your reference. As always, if there is any additional information I might provide that would be helpful regarding the information contained in this letter please don’t hesitate to touch base with me at the phone number above or email address below.
Thank you for your support, and more importantly thank you for sharing your child(ren) with CCSD.
Chris Reitan, CCSD Superintendent
AR 4144/4244/4344 COMPLAINTS - Certificated/Classified Personnel
The following guidelines shall prescribe the manner in which complaints are handled:
1. A "complaint" shall be defined as an alleged misapplication of the district's policies, regulations, rules or procedures. Procedures for the resolution of employee complaints provide a route of appeal through administrative channels and to the Board, if necessary. If the complaint is related to discrimination or harassment, the district's procedure for complaints concerning discrimination should be used.
(cf. 1312.3 - Complaints Concerning Discrimination)
2. So as not to interfere with school schedules, meetings related to a complaint shall be held before or after the complainant's regular working hours.
3. Where a complaint implicates any person's privacy or reputational interests, information affecting those interests shall be kept confidential to the extent permitted by law, consistent with the District's operational needs and the needs of the affected parties.
4. All documents, communications and records dealing with the complaint shall be placed in a district complaint file. No such material shall be placed in an employee's personnel file.
5. No reprisals shall be taken against any person who participated in good faith in a complaint procedure on account of that participation.
6. Time limits specified in these procedures may be reduced or extended in any specific instance by written mutual agreement of the parties involved. If specified or adjusted time limits expire, the complaint may proceed to the next step.
7. Any complaint not taken to the next step within prescribed time limits shall be considered settled on the basis of the answer given at the preceding step.
Employees are encouraged to resolve complaints informally. Formal complaint procedures shall not be initiated unless informal efforts to resolve the complaint have been exhausted and the complainant has provided a written description of such efforts.
Formal Complaint Procedure - Step 1
If a complaint has not been satisfactorily resolved by informal procedures, the complainant may file a written complaint with the immediate supervisor or principal within 60 days of the act or event which is the subject of the complaint.
Within five working days of receiving the complaint, the immediate supervisor or principal shall conduct any necessary investigation and meet with the complainant in an effort to resolve the complaint.
The immediate supervisor or principal shall present all concerned parties with a written answer to the complaint within ten working days after the meeting.
Formal Complaint Procedure - Step 2
If a complaint has not been satisfactorily resolved at Step 1, the complainant may file the written complaint with the Superintendent or designee within five working days of receiving the answer at Step 1. All information presented at Step 1 shall be included
with the complaint, and the immediate supervisor or principal shall submit to the Superintendent or designee a report describing attempts to resolve the complaint at Step 1.
Within five working days of receiving the complaint, the Superintendent or designee shall conduct any necessary investigation and meet with the complainant in an effort to resolve the complaint.
The Superintendent or designee shall present all concerned parties with a written answer to the complaint within ten working days after the meeting.