1606 Brady St.
Davenport, IA
563-336-5000

Administrative Regulation 103.02A

COMMUNITY RELATIONS

Complaints Against School Personnel

Whenever a citizen is aggrieved at the action of an employee of the school district, the citizen may communicate this to the employee’s immediate supervisor. Every effort should be made to encourage the complainant to put his or her complaint or concern in writing. School district forms are available for this purpose to aid the complainant in providing necessary information such as what happened and what was wrong, from his or her perspective.

After receiving the complaint or concern, the supervisor should interview the employee and report the resolution to both the employee and complainant. If the complainant is unsatisfied with the resolution arrived at by the supervisor, he or she may appeal it to the next supervisor. This appeal process may continue with subsequent supervisors, up to the respective Associate Superintendent.

At each step:

* The complaint or concern should be re-considered.
* The employee’s and supervisor’s/supervisors’ statements should be re-considered.
* The supervisor’s resolution reported back to the complainant and employee.
* The complainant’s right to further appeal explained.

If the complainant is still unsatisfied after having his or her concerns or complaints heard by all line supervisors and the Associate Superintendent, he or she may appeal to the Superintendent. If unsatisfied with the Superintendent’s resolution, the complainant may make a final appeal to the Board of Directors. Such an appeal will be made in closed session, unless the employee involved requests a public hearing.

Below is a chart, depicting the course of an appeal:

Employee’s Immediate Supervisor –> Next Supervisor –> Next Supervisor –> Etc. –> Associate Superintendent –> Superintendent –> Board of Directors

Steps for Enforcing Policy

Annually , preferably at the beginning of the school year, each administrator should review with his or her staff Board Policy 103.2 entitled “Complaints Against School Personnel.” This review also should include an update of the following steps for enforcing the policy and ensuring that aggrieved citizens and district employees are both provided due process:

1. Listen to the complainant to determine if the matter is one that can be handled “on the spot” or it is one which requires more information and further consideration.

2. If the complaint requires further review, ask the complainant to put his or her complaint or concerns in writing, preferably on the school district form that has been designed to obtain the necessary information for reviewing complaints. If this is impossible, interview the complainant and record his or her answers to questions on the form.

3. When listening to and interviewing the complainant, consider the complainant’s answers to the following questions:

a. What exactly is the problem? — Is it focusing on a person? Or is it focusing on an action by a person? (Try to focus on the action.)

b.  What is the history of the problem? — How long has the individual felt aggrieved? Has the action occurred once or many times? Has the action come from more than one person? Has the person against whom the complaint is lodged been approached about solving this problem?

c. What change or remedy is the complainant looking for? — What is the most that he or she wants to see happen? What is the least he or she wants to see happen?

4. Explain to the complainant what you expect to do with this complaint.

a. Will you be discussing it with the employee against whom the complaint is lodged?

b. Will there be another meeting involving the complainant? If so, who else will be involved in that meeting?

c. When will you get back to the complainant? Will you do so by telephone or in writing?

5. While conducting your review of the complaint or concern, interview the employee against whom the complaint is lodged. Consider, again, the answers to the following questions, this time from the employee’s perspective:

a. What exactly is the problem? — Is it focusing on a person? Or is it focusing on an action by a person? (Try to focus on the action.)

b. What is the history of the problem? — How long has the individual felt aggrieved? Has the action occurred once or many times? Has the action come from more than one person? Has the complainant approached the person against whom the complaint is lodged about solving this problem?

c. What change or remedy, if any, would the employee suggest? — What is the most that he or she thinks should happen? What is the least he or she thinks should happen?

6. Explain to the employee what you expect to do with this complaint.

a. Will you be discussing it with others?

b. Will there be another meeting involving the employee? If so, who else will be involved in that meeting?

c. When will you get back to the employee? Will you do so by telephone or in writing?

7. Determine if there is a Board Policy or Administrative Regulation that can guide your response to this particular concern.

a. Look in the Policy/Administrative Procedures Handbook.

b. Ask a colleague if he or she has handled this kind of concern before.

8. Communicate your response or resolution to the employee and complainant, verbally or in writing, as you have indicated you would. If your communication is verbal, follow it up with a written communication of the resolution, to both avoid misunderstanding and provide documentation if the matter is appealed further.

9. Explain to the complainant that, if they are unsatisfied with the resolution, they may appeal it to the next supervisor. Provide the complainant with the name and building location of that supervisor. If the complainant requests, assist him or her in appealing to the next level.

10. Maintain for a least a year the complaint file, with the complainant’s and employee’s written statements and other documentation of steps taken in the review process. If the complaint is appealed, you will be asked to share the information in this file with the subsequent supervisor, Associate Superintendent, Superintendent or Board of Directors.

11. Refer any procedural questions to the Office of the Associate Superintendent of Instruction and Pupil Services.

 

  • Adopted 9/20/76
  • Reviewed 12/13/82, 9/17/90, 10/91, 5/92, 11/97
  • Updated 7/99