PROCEDURAL GUIDELINES
Irvine Unified School District
1312.1

GENERAL COMPLAINT POLICY
FOR PARENTS AND GUARDIANS

The following procedures shall be used to address all complaints appropriately brought pursuant to the District's General Complaint Policy (BP 1312.1).  The General Complaint Policy and Administrative Regulation is applicable to any parent or guardian issue or complaint that falls outside the parameters of the District's Uniform Complaint Policy (Board Policy 1312.2) or Alternative Uniform Complaint Policy (Board Policy 1312.3).   These procedures are designed in accordance with the Board of Education's philosophy that the majority of parent/guardian general complaints are most successfully addressed by site-level school staff members and administrators.


Step 1: Filing of General Complaint

Who:

Only a parent or guardian (or his/her representative) of a currently enrolled student may utilize the General Complaint procedures.

How:

Complaints pursuant to the District's General Complaint Policy may not be anonymous, must be put in writing on Form 1312.1, and must be signed by the complainant. If a complainant requests to submit a formal complaint to any District administrator or teacher, that administrator or teacher can inquire whether the complainant wishes to utilize the formal procedures herein, or whether they simply desire informal resolution at the site level.  In the event the complainant wishes to utilize these formal procedures, such administrator or teacher shall refer the complainant to Board Policy, Administrative Regulation and Form 1312.1 and specifically inform them of their responsibility to put the complaint in writing. Complainants who make verbal complaints to any other District staff members shall be directed to discuss their concerns with the site principal or another appropriate administrator. 

Complainants must utilize Form 1312.1 for their complaint to be regarded as a General Complaint under Board Policy 1312.1.  If a complainant states to District staff that he or she is unable to put his/her complaint in writing due to conditions including but not limited to disability or illiteracy, District staff shall assist him/her in putting his/her verbal complaint in writing.  However, if the complainant is capable of, but refuses to or neglects to put his/her complaint in writing by utilizing Form 1312.1, the District is not obligated to proceed with the General Complaint procedures.

It shall be the responsibility of the principal or designee of each school to receive and process all General Complaints.   Therefore, the completed Form 1312.1 must be delivered to the principal or his/her designee of the school site the student attends OR the school site to which the complaint pertains.

When:

Any general complaint brought pursuant to Board Policy 1312.1 must be brought within fifteen (15) business days of the action or inaction giving rise to the complaint OR within fifteen (15) business days of the date such action or inaction was discovered by the complainant.
 

Step 2: Meeting with Staff Member and Written Response

The principal or designee will arrange a mutually agreeable date and time (not to exceed ten (10) business days from the date of receipt of the complaint) for the complainant and pertinent District staff member(s) to meet to discuss the complaint and attempt to resolve it. For the purposes of our General Complaint Policy, a business day shall be defined as a day that the school is open.    


The principal or designee would not typically be present at this meeting, unless the principal or designee determines their involvement would be appropriate.

If the complainant refuses to attend such a meeting, the District is not obligated to proceed with the General Complaint procedures.

If the complaint is resolved, the complainant shall acknowledge the resolution on Form 1312.1(a).

If the complaint is not resolved, the pertinent District staff member(s) is responsible for putting his/her response to the complaint in writing and delivering such response to the principal or designee and the complainant within ten (10) business days of the meeting.  

Step 3:  Meeting with Site Level Administrator and Written Response

In the event the complaint is not resolved by the pertinent staff member at the initial meeting, the principal or designee shall, within two (2) business days of receipt of response, forward the complaint and the staff member's written response to the appropriate site level administrator.

At the elementary level, the appropriate site level administrator will likely be the principal him or herself.  However, at the middle school and high school level, the site level administrator may be, for example, the athletic director, curriculum chairperson, etc.

The site level administrator will arrange a mutually agreeable date and time (not to exceed ten business (10) days from the date of the staff member's written response) to meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and attempt to resolve it.  At his or her discretion, the site level administrator may choose to meet with the complainant jointly with the pertinent staff member(s).    

If the complainant refuses to attend such a meeting, the District is not obligated to proceed with the General Complaint procedures.

If the complaint is resolved, the complainant shall acknowledge the resolution on Form 1312.1(a).

If the complaint is not resolved, the site level administrator will conduct an investigation and will deliver a written response to the principal or designee and the complainant within ten (10) business days of the meeting.

Step 4: Meeting with School Site Principal and Written Response

NOTE:  This step shall be omitted in the event the appropriate site level administrator in Step 3, above, was the school site principal.

In the event the complaint is not resolved by the site level administrator, the school site principal will arrange a mutually agreeable date and time (not to exceed ten (10) business days from the date of the site level administrator's written response and decision) to meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and attempt to resolve it.  At his or her discretion, the school site principal may choose to meet with the complainant jointly with the pertinent staff member(s) and/or the site level administrator.   

If the complainant refuses to attend such a meeting, the District is not obligated to proceed with the General Complaint procedures.

If the complaint is resolved, the complainant shall acknowledge the resolution on Form 1312.1(a).

If the complaint is not resolved, the school site principal shall conduct an additional investigation and deliver a written response and decision to the complainant within fifteen (15) business days of the meeting.  

Step 5: Final Appeal to Superintendent's Office

In the event the complaint is not resolved by utilization of Steps 1-4, the complainant may appeal the decision of the school site principal by filling out Form 1312.1(b) and delivering it to the principal or designee within fifteen (15) business days of receipt of the school site principal's decision.

The principal shall then, within two (2) business days of receipt of appeal (Form 1312.1(b)), forward the complaint, the staff member's written response, the site level administrator's written response and decision and, if applicable, the school site principal's written response and decision to the Superintendent's office.

The Superintendent, may, in his discretion, delegate his responsibilities under this section to another District administrator, including but not limited to the Assistant Superintendent of Education Services, the Director of Elementary Education, the Director of Secondary Education, the Director of Alternative Education, or any of the District's Coordinators.

The Superintendent or his designee will arrange a mutually agreeable date and time (not to exceed fifteen (15) business days from the date the appeal is received) to meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and attempt to resolve it.  At his or her discretion, the Superintendent or his designee may choose to meet with the complainant jointly with the pertinent staff member(s), the site level administrator, and/or the school site principal.  

If the complainant refuses to attend in such a meeting, the District is not obligated to proceed with the General Complaint procedures.

If the complaint is resolved, the complainant shall acknowledge the resolution on Form 1312.1(a).

If the complaint is not resolved, the Superintendent or his designee will conduct an additional investigation and deliver the District's final written response and decision to the school site principal or designee and the complainant within thirty (30) business days of the meeting.  

The decision of the Superintendent or his designee shall be final and is not appealable to the Board of Education.

December 6, 2011

Board Policy: 1312.1

General Complaint Policy Checklist