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School District 25 Policy

Complaint Process -- Administrative Procedure

Policy 1620
Adopted: April 9, 1985

This Complaint Process, hereinafter referred to as "Process", stipulates the conditions under and the procedures by which complaints alleged by certain school employees as defined herein shall be processed. If any such complaints arise, there shall be no stoppage or suspension of work because of such complaints; but such complaints shall be submitted to the following Procedure.

  1. Definitions:

    As used in this Procedure:

    1. "Complaint" means, and shall be limited to, an alleged violation of an express article or section of written Administrative Procedure;
    2. "Superintendent" means the chief administrative officer of the School District, or any persons) designated by him/ her to act in his/ her behalf in dealing with school employees;
    3. "School employee(s)" means certified and classified employee(s,) who are not designated as managerial or supervisory personnel;
    4. "Complainant" means the full-time certified or classified school employee who claims to be directly affected by the alleged violation;
    5. 5. "Days" means calendar days.
  2. Structure:
    1. School employees shall retain the right to informally discuss matters of concern with their supervisor(s) without the necessity of resorting to use of the formal Process.
    2. The complainant may be represented by any person(s) of his/ her own choosing at all levels of the Process, limited, however, to a total of two (2) representatives.
    3. There shall be no additional evidence, material, allegation, or remedy submitted once a formal complaint has been filed at Formal Level One, provided, however, that the Superintendent may waive the restrictions on additional evidence or material stipulated herein upon request of the complainant, provided that the Superintendent determines said additional evidence or material was either not known or not available to the complainant at the time said complaint was filed at Formal Level One.
  3. Procedure:

    The number of days indicated at each level of the Process should be considered as maximum. The time limits specified may, however, be extended by mutual agreement of the complainant and the Superintendent.

    1. Informal Complaint

      Within seven (7) days of the time the complainant first knew or should have known of the act or condition upon which it is based, the complainant must present the complaint to his/ her Principal or immediate supervisor, or his/ her designee, by meeting with him/ her individually in an informal manner during non-duty hours. The complainant may be accompanied by a representative as provided herein, provided his/ her Principal or immediate supervisor is informed in advance of the complainant's desire to have a representative present. Failure to so meet and discuss said alleged complaint as provided herein shall prevent the complainant from filing said alleged complaint at any formal complaint level(s). Within seven (7) days after presentation of the complaint, the Principal or immediate supervisor, or his/ her designee, shall give his/ her answer orally to the complainant.

    2. Formal Complaint
      1. Level One
        1. Within ten (10) days of the oral answer, or within seventeen (17) days after presentation of the complaint at the Informal Level if no oral answer has been rendered, if the complaint is not resolved, it must be filed by the complainant with the Principal or immediate supervisor, or his/ her designee, in writing, signed by the complainant, on the appropriate complaint form. The written complaint shall (1) name the school employee involved, (2) state the facts giving rise to the complaint, (3) identify by specific reference all express articles or sections of Administrative Procedure alleged to be violated, (4) state the contention of the complainant with respect to the provision(s) of said articles or sections, and (5) indicate the specific relief requested.
        2. Within seven (7) days after receiving the written complaint the Principal or supervisor, or his/ her designee, shall communicate his/ her answer, in writing, to the complainant.
      2. Level Two
        1. In the event that the complaint is not resolved at Level One, or if no written decision has been rendered within the time limit provided, the complainant may appeal the decision to Level Two, provided said appeal is filed with the Superintendent within ten (10) days of the receipt of the written answer at Level One, or within seventeen (17) days after presentation of the complaint at Level One if no written answer has been rendered. The appeal shall include a copy of all materials and evidence previously submitted and a copy, at the same time, shall be given to the Principal or supervisor involved.
        2. The complainant shall submit the written claim, signed by him/ her, to the Superintendent. Within ten (10) days from the receipt of the complaint the Superintendent shall consider and finally rule on the disposition of the complaint. The Superintendent may hold a formal hearing(s) prior to the rendering of the written decision, and an additional fourteen (14) days beyond the ten (10) days shall be allowed if the Superintendent determines further investigation is necessary.
  4. Miscellaneous:
    1. Decisions rendered at Formal Level One and Level Two of this Process shall be in writing.
    2. All documents, communications and records dealing with the processing of a complaint shall be filed separate from the personnel files of the complainant.
    3. All necessary forms for complaint procedures set forth in this Process shall be provided by the Superintendent.
    4. Failure at any level of this Process to render the decision on a complaint within the specified time limits shall permit the complainant to proceed to the next level, unless said time limits be extended by mutual consent of both parties. However, the complaint must be appealed by the complainant to the next level within the specified time limit for that level or said complaint shall be deemed resolved by the answer rendered at the previous level and abandoned.
    5. Any hearing at the Informal Level and Formal Level One and Level Two shall be held during non-duty hours unless otherwise directed by the Superintendent.
    6. No school employee shall use this Process to appeal any decision by the administration for which there is another remedial procedure or forum established by law or by regulation having the force of law.
    7. No school employee shall use this Process to appeal any decision by the administration if such decision is applicable to a State or Federal Regulatory Commission or Agency.
    8. No school employee shall use this Process in any way or manner to appeal discharge or a decision by the administration not to renew his/ her contract.
    9. School employees shall follow all written and verbal directives of the administration, even if such directives are allegedly in conflict with Administrative Procedure. Compliance with such directives will not in any way prejudice the school employee's right to file a complaint within the time limits herein, nor shall compliance affect the ultimate resolution of the complaint.
    10. This Process supersedes all previous complaint processes or procedures, verbal or written or based on alleged past practices or procedures, and constitutes the entire process for the processing of complaints.