Grievances, Complaints, Appeals
Office of the Education Ombuds (New for 2023!)
Grievance and Complaints Policy
Anyone may file a complaint against the district. This complaint procedure is designed to assure that the resolution of real or alleged violations are directed toward a just solution that is satisfactory to the complainant, the administration and the board of directors. This grievance procedure will apply to the general conditions of the nondiscrimination policy (Policy 3210) and more particularly to policies dealing with guidance and counseling (Policy 2140), co-curricular program (Policy 2150), service animals in schools (Policy 2030) and curriculum development and instructional materials (Policy 2020). As used in this procedure:
“Grievance” will mean a complaint which has been filed by a complainant relating to alleged violations of any state or federal anti-discrimination laws;
“Complaint” will mean a charge alleging specific acts, conditions or circumstances, which are in violation of the anti-discrimination laws. The time period for filing a complaint is one year from the date of the occurrence that is the subject matter of the complaint. However, a complaint filing deadline may not be imposed if the complainant was prevented from filing due to: 1) Specific misrepresentations by the district that it had resolved the problem forming the basis of the complaint; or 2) Withholding of information that the district was required to provide under WAD 392-190-065 or WAC 392-190-005. Complaints may be submitted by mail, fax, e-mail, or hand delivery to any district, school, or to the district compliance officer responsible for investigating discrimination complaints. Any district employee who receives a complaint that meets these criteria will promptly notify the compliance officer.
Respondent means the person alleged to be responsible or who may be responsible for the violation alleged in the complaint.
The primary purpose of this procedure is to secure an equitable solution to a justifiable complaint. To this end, specific steps will be taken. The district is prohibited by law from intimidating, threatening, coercing or discriminating against any individual for the purpose of interfering with their right to file a grievance under this policy and procedure and from retaliating against an individual for filing such a grievance.
a) Informal Process for Resolution
Anyone with an allegation of discrimination may request an informal meeting with the compliance officer or designated employee to resolve their concerns. Such a meeting will be at the option of the complainant. If unable to resolve the issue at this meeting, the complainant may submit a written complaint to the compliance officer. During the course of the informal process, the district must notify the complainant of their right to file a formal complaint.
b) Formal Process for Resolution
Level One - Complaint to District
The complaint must set forth the specific acts, conditions or circumstances alleged to be in violation. Upon receipt of a complaint, the compliance officer will provide the complainant a copy of this procedure. The compliance officer will investigate the allegations set forth within 30 calendar days. The school district and complainant may agree to resolve the complaint in lieu of an investigation. The officer shall provide the superintendent with a full written report of the complaint and the results of the investigation.
The superintendent or designee will respond to the complainant with a written decision as expeditiously as possible, but in no event later than 30 calendar days following receipt of the written complaint, unless otherwise agreed to by the complainant or if exceptional circumstances related to the complaint require an extension of the time limit. In the event an extension is needed, the district will notify the complainant in writing of the reason for the extension and the anticipated response date. At the time the district responds to the complainant, the district must send a copy of the response to the office of the superintendent of public instruction.
The decision of the superintendent or designee will include:
1) A summary of the results of the investigation;
2) Whether the district has failed to comply with anti-discrimination laws;
3) If non-compliance is found, corrective measures the district deems necessary to correct it; and
4) Notice of the complainant’s right to appeal to the school board and the necessary filing information.
The superintendent’s or designee’s response will be provided in a language the complainant can understand and may require language assistance for complainants with limited English proficiency in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.