Policies and Procedures » Uniform Complaint Policy and Procedure

Uniform Complaint Policy and Procedure

Uniform COMPLAINT POLICY and Procedures

Scope

The School of Arts and Enterprise (the “Charter School”) policy is to comply with applicable federal and state laws and regulations. The Charter School is the local agency primarily responsible for compliance with federal and state laws and regulations governing educational programs. Pursuant to this policy, persons responsible for conducting investigations shall be knowledgeable about the laws and programs which they are assigned to investigate. This complaint procedure is adopted to provide a uniform system of complaint processing for the following types of complaints:
Complaints of discrimination against any protected group, including actual or perceived discrimination, on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, ethnic group identification, race, ancestry, national origin, religion, color, or mental or physical disability, or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics in any Charter School program or activity; and
Complaints of violations of state or federal law and regulations governing the following programs including but not limited to: special education, Title II, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, consolidated categorical aid, No Child Left Behind, migrant education, career technical and technical education training programs, child care and development programs, child nutrition program.
A complaint may also be filed alleging that a pupil enrolled in a public school was required to pay a pupil fee for participation in an educational activity as those terms are defined below.
“Educational activity” means an activity offered by a school, school district, charter school or county office of education that constitutes an integral fundamental part of elementary and secondary education, including, but not limited to, curricular and extracurricular activities.

“Pupil fee” means a fee, deposit or other charge imposed on pupils, or a pupil’s parents or guardians, in violation of Section 49011 and Section 5 of Article IX of the California Constitution, which require educational activities to be provided free of charge to all pupils without regard to their families’ ability or willingness to pay fees or request special waivers, as provided for in Hartzell v. Connell (1984) 35 Cal.3d 899. A pupil fee includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:

A fee charged to a pupil as a condition for registering for school or classes, or as a condition for participation in a class or an extracurricular activity, regardless of whether the class or activity is elective or compulsory, or is for credit.

A security deposit, or other payment, that a pupil is required to make to obtain a lock, locker, book, class apparatus, musical instrument, uniform or other materials or equipment.

A purchase that a pupil is required to make to obtain materials, supplies, equipment or uniforms associated with an educational activity.

Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to prohibit solicitation of voluntary donations of funds or property, voluntary participation in fundraising activities, or school districts, school, and other entities from providing pupils prizes or other recognition for voluntarily participating in fundraising activities.

Complaints of noncompliance with the requirements governing the Local Control Funding Formula or Sections 47606.5 and 47607.3 of the Education Code, as applicable.
The Charter School acknowledges and respects every individual’s rights to privacy. Discrimination complaints shall be investigated in a manner that protects [to the greatest extent reasonably possible] the confidentiality of the parties and the integrity of the process. The Charter School cannot guarantee anonymity of the complainant. This includes keeping the identity of the complainant confidential. However, the Charter School will attempt to do so as appropriate. The Charter School may find it necessary to disclose information regarding the complaint/complainant to the extent necessary to carry out the investigation or proceedings, as determined by the Principal or designee on a case-by-case basis.

The Charter School prohibits any form of retaliation against any complainant in the complaint process, including but not limited to a complainant’s filing of a complaint or the reporting of instances of discrimination. Such participation shall not in any way affect the status, grades or work assignments of the complainant.

Compliance Officers

The Governing Board designates the following compliance officer(s) to receive and investigate complaints and to ensure the Charter School’s compliance with law:

Lucille Berger
295 N. Garey Ave. Pomona CA 91767
909-622-0699

The Principal or designee shall ensure that employees designated to investigate complaints are knowledgeable about the laws and programs for which they are responsible. Designated employees may have access to legal counsel as determined by the Principal or designee.

Notifications

The Principal or designee shall annually provide written notification of the Charter School’s uniform complaint procedures to students, employees, parents/guardians, the Governing Board, appropriate private officials or representatives, and other interested parties.

The Principal or designee shall make available copies of the Charter School’s uniform complaint procedures free of charge.

The notice shall:

Identify the person(s), position(s), or unit(s) responsible for receiving complaints.

Advise the complainant of any civil law remedies that may be available to him/her under state or federal discrimination laws, if applicable.

Advise the complainant of the appeal process pursuant to Education Code Section 262.3, including the complainant’s right to take the complaint directly to the California Department of Education (“CDE”) or to pursue remedies before civil courts or other public agencies.

Include statements that:

The Charter School is primarily responsible for compliance with state and federal laws and regulations;

The complaint review shall be completed within sixty (60) calendar days from the date of receipt of the complaint unless the complainant agrees in writing to an extension of the timeline;

An unlawful discrimination complaint must be filed not later than six (6) months from the date the alleged discrimination occurs, or six (6) months from the date the complainant first obtains knowledge of the facts of the alleged discrimination;

The complainant has a right to appeal the Charter School’s decision to the CDE by filing a written appeal within fifteen (15) days of receiving the Charter School’s decision; and

The appeal to the CDE must include a copy of the complaint filed with the Charter School and a copy of the Charter School’s decision.

Complaint Procedure

 

The School of Arts and Enterprise employees are committed to parental, family, and

community involvement in the educational process. Parents, families, and community members are active partners in educating children and assume a vital role in ensuring success in school. There will be times when a parent, guardian, or custodian may need to make an inquiry of school system employees to address a concern. This document outlines the steps for responding to parental school-based concerns so that inquiries or problems are resolved as quickly and as satisfactorily as possible. We encourage parents to resolve problems collaboratively. Teamwork and resolving conflicts in a timely manner are very important to your child's education. When issues arise, we encourage parents to informally direct their concerns to the persons most closely involved. However, when the informal process fails to provide resolution, a parent may file a formal complaint and seek review at a higher administrative level. In both processes, the intent is to protect the confidentiality and preserve the dignity of everyone involved. The SAE has both informal and formal processes for responding to parental inquiries, concerns and complaints. Exceptions to these procedures are noted for issues where an alternative process is specifically provided by statute or other regulations. The procedures outlined here are not to be used for resolving complaints that are specifically governed by other existing state or local regulations, such as student suspensions, expulsions, or  special education appeals.

 

Informal Process

 

1. The first level in resolving concerns and issues is to address them with the school-

based staff member who is most closely and directly involved. Through a process of cooperative agreement, the affected individuals can usually meet a mutually effective resolution. No form or formal documentation is required at this level of the process. If the issue cannot be resolved at this level, the parent should be referred to the school administrative team.

 

2. The second level in resolving the concerns is to contact a member of the school's administrative team (the Counselor or Director) The administrator will take into consideration the needs of all parties as well as all applicable SAE policies and procedures.

 

a. The administrator will confirm that the parent has attempted to resolve the issue or concern with the classroom teacher or other school-based staff member, when appropriate.

 

b. If the concern has not been resolved through the informal process, the parent may submit a written request for a formal meeting with the Director.

 

Formal Process

 

A. Level 1

 

1. The first level in the formal process is to request a meeting with the school administration in writing, outlining specific concerns and desired solutions on Part1 of the Parent Concern Form.

 

a. The Director or designee will contact the parent within three (3) school days to arrange a mutually agreed upon meeting date and time. The Director or designee will furnish the parent with a copy of this document that explains the formal process.

 

b. The Director will formally document any agreements that are made at the meeting. The Director will follow up the meeting by completing Part II of the Parent Concern form, summarizing the outcome of the meeting, identifying areas of agreement, and laying out steps to address any issues still unresolved. This response will be sent within 10 school days from the date of the meeting, if a concern cannot be reasonably resolved within the 10 school days, the Director may extend the time for not more than 10 additional school days. The parent will be informed of the extension in writing. The parent will sign and return the Parent Concern Form.

 

c. If the issue is not resolved satisfactorily, or the concern directly involves the

Director, the parent will be referred to The Governing Board of The SAE. The Director will forward copies of all applicable documentation to The Board including the Parent Concern Form. Parents may also submit applicable documentation.

 

B. Level 2

 

2. The second level in the formal process is a review by The Board President or designee.  Upon receipt of the referral. The Board President or designee will:

 

a. Contact the parent.

 

b. Confer with the parent, Director, and other appropriate staff members regarding the concern.

 

c. Complete the Parent Concern Form, documenting any decisions or agreements made and forward copies of the final response to the Director and parent within 10 school days of receipt of the request.

 

Uniform Complaint Policy (“UCP”) Annual Notice

 

The SAE has the primary responsibility to insure compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations and has established procedures to address allegations of unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying, and complaints alleging violation of state or federal laws governing educational programs and the charging of unlawful pupil fees. The School shall investigate and seek to resolve complaints using policies and procedures known as the UCP adopted by our local board. Unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying complaints may be based on actual or perceived age, ancestry, color, ethnic group identification, gender expression, gender identity, gender, genetic information, disability, nationality, national origin, race or ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or on a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics, in any program or activity that receives or benefits from state financial assistance.

 

The UCP shall also be used when addressing complaints alleging failure to comply with state and/or federal laws in:

 

• Consolidated Categorical Aid Programs

 

• Child Nutrition Programs

 

• Special Education Programs

 

• Safety Planning Requirements

 

A complaint of noncompliance with laws relating to pupil fees may be filed pursuant to the local UCP. A pupil enrolled in a public school shall not be required to pay a pupil fee for participation in an educational activity. A pupil fee includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:

 

• A fee charged to a pupil as a condition for registering for school or classes, or as a condition for participation in a class or an extracurricular activity, regardless of whether the class or activity is elective or compulsory, or is for credit.

 

• A security deposit, or other payment, that a pupil is required to make to obtain a lock, locker, book, class apparatus, musical instrument, clothes, or other materials or equipment.

 

• A purchase that a pupil is required to make to obtain materials, supplies, equipment, or clothes associated with an educational activity.

 

• A pupil fee complaint shall not be filed later than one year from the date the alleged violation occurred.

 

Complaints of noncompliance with laws relating to pupil fees are filed with a

Executive Director of a school. A complaint regarding pupil fees may be filed anonymously if the complaint provides evidence or information to support an allegation of noncompliance with laws relating to pupil fees. Complaints other than complaints relating to pupil fees must be filed in writing with the following compliance officer:

 

Lucille Berger

295 N. Garey Ave. Pomona CA 91767

909-622-0699

 

Complaints alleging discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, must be filed within six (6) months from the date the alleged discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, occurred or the date the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the alleged discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, unless the time for filing is extended by the superintendent or his or her designee.

 

Complaints will be investigated and a written Decision or report will be sent to the complainant within sixty (60) days from the receipt of the complaint. This sixty (60) day time period may be extended by written agreement of the complainant.

The School person responsible for investigating the complaint shall conduct and complete the investigation in accordance with California regulations and in accordance with the School’s procedures. The complainant has a right to appeal the School’s Decision to the California Department of Education (CDE) by filing a written appeal within 15 days of receiving the Decision. The appeal must include a copy of the complaint filed with the School and a copy of the School’s Decision. Civil law remedies may be available under state or federal discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying laws, if applicable. In appropriate cases, an appeal may be filed pursuant to Education Code Section 262.3. A complainant may pursue available civil law remedies outside of The SAE’s complaint procedures.

 

Complainants may seek assistance from mediation centers or public/private interest attorneys. Civil law remedies that may be imposed by a court include, but are not limited to, injunctions and restraining orders. A copy of the UCP policy and complaint procedures shall be available free of charge in the Main Office and on the school website.