Mequon-Thiensville School District
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Public Requests

If individuals have a request or concern, they are encouraged to direct those concerns to the persons most closely involved to the situation. The board believes that complaints and grievances are best handled and resolved as close to their origin as possible and that the staff should be given every opportunity to consider issues and attempt to resolve problems prior to board involvement. However, when initial contacts fail to provide resolution, a parent may file a formal complaint and seek review at a higher administrative level.

Please review Board Policy 9130: Public Requests, Suggestions or Complaints for further information.

Board Policy 9130: Public Requests, Suggestions, or Complaints

Any individual(s), having an interest in the staff, programs and operations of this District shall have the right to present a request, suggestion, or complaint to the District. At the same time, the District has a duty to protect its staff from harassment.

This policy shall not be construed to create an independent right to a hearing before the Board.

Policy:

Requests or Suggestions

Requests or suggestions reaching the Board or Board members shall be referred to the Superintendent for consideration.

Requests or suggestions are best submitted directly to the staff or administrator responsible for the program or operation. Responses should be provided within ten business days.

Complaints

The official record of all formal complaints shall be maintained by the District for a minimum of 365 days.

Guidelines for Complaints Regarding a Staff Member

The Board believes that complaints and grievances are best handled and resolved as close to their origin as possible and that the staff should be given every opportunity to consider issues and attempt to resolve problems prior to Board involvement. Therefore, the proper channeling of complaints will be at the following levels:

  1. Appropriate teacher or staff member (First Level),
  2. School Administrator and/or Supervisor (Second Level),
  3. District Administrator (Third Level),
  4. Superintendent of Schools/his or her designee (Fourth Level).

A school administrator should be approached directly with a serious allegation (i.e. suspected child abuse or substance abuse) that may require investigation or inquiry. A teacher or staff member approached with such an allegation shall refer the complainant to an administrator and then document and report the matter to his or her supervisor.

For all other matters, the District will only act on complaints that have already been explored at the appropriate level. All formal complaints made to the aforementioned second through fourth levels or to the Board shall bear the name/signature of the complainant and can be submitted electronically or in writing.

If the matter has not been satisfactorily addressed, the complainant may submit a formal written request for a conference with the District Administrator and/or Superintendent. This request should include:

  1. the specific nature of the request, suggestion or complaint and a brief statement of the facts giving rise to it;
  2. the manner in which it is alleged that the complainant (or child of a complainant) has been affected adversely;
  3. the action that the complainant recommends and the reasons why it is felt that such action should be taken.

The request must be submitted promptly after discussion with the staff member’s supervisor. The Superintendent shall respond in writing to the individual(s) within ten business days and shall inform the Board as appropriate.

Guideline for Complaints Regarding the Superintendent

Should the matter involve a concern regarding the Superintendent, which has not been resolved through discussion with the Superintendent, the complainant may submit a written request to the Board President to address the matter. This request should include a description of:

  1. the specific nature of the matter and a brief statement of the facts giving rise to it;
  2. the manner in which the complainant has been, or will be affected;
  3. the reason that matter was not able to be resolved with the Superintendent;
  4. the action that the complainant recommends and the reasons why it is felt that such action should be taken.

The Board, after reviewing the request, may grant a hearing before the Board, refer the matter to a closed session, take formal action on the matter, or take other appropriate action to deal with the matter.

The Board will confirm to the complainant that the issue has been addressed within ten business days of board discussion.

Guidelines for Complaints Regarding District Services or Operations

If the matter relates to a District procedure or operation, it should be addressed, initially, to the appropriate supervisor and then in subsequently higher levels as prescribed in "Guidelines for Complaints Regarding a Staff Member".

Guidelines for Complaints Regarding the Educational Program

If the matter relates to a District program, it should be addressed, initially, to the principal and then in subsequently higher levels as prescribed in "Guidelines for Complaints Regarding a Staff Member".

Guidelines for Complaints Regarding Instructional Materials

The Superintendent shall prepare administrative guidelines to ensure that students and parents are adequately informed each year regarding their right to inspect instructional materials used as part of the educational curriculum and the procedure for completing such an inspection.

Challenged Materials

Occasional objections to the selection of material may occur, despite the care taken to select valuable materials for student and teacher use. No materials shall be removed from library collection or an individual classroom collection until a final decision on the request for reconsideration has been reached. While under reconsideration, access to questioned materials can be denied only to the child or children of those making the complaint.

If a complaint is made, the following procedure will be followed:

  1. The principal or building Research and Digital Learning Specialist will meet with the complainant and attempt to solve the problem informally through discussion of the philosophy, aims and objectives of the school's library collection.
  2. If this meeting does not serve to resolve the problem, the complainant will be given a packet of materials which will include the District's selection/reconsideration policy; goals and objectives, and a standard form which must be completed and returned before the complaint will be considered.
  3. The completed form will be given to the Research and Digital Learning Specialist who will inform the building principal and the Assistant Superintendent.
  4. A committee for reconsideration will be formed by the principal.
    1. The committee will consist of:
      1. Three (3) parents; one of whom will represent the PTO or PTSO of the school
      2. The building principal
      3. A building level Research and Digital Learning Specialist
      4. The Assistant Superintendent
      5. A teacher from each grade level and/or subject area specialists in the building
      6. As appropriate, a student/students from the building
    2. The committee will be chaired by the Assistant Superintendent.
  5. The material in question, along with the complaint, will be circulated among the committee members who will read/see the material in its entirety.
  6. The reconsideration committee will meet within one (1) month of the receipt of a written reconsideration form to decide whether the challenged material will remain in the library or classroom collection.
  7. The Assistant Superintendent will inform the complainant of the committee's decision and send a report to the Superintendent.
  8. If the complainant is still dissatisfied, s/he may ask the Superintendent to present an appeal to the Board for a final decision. The Board will hear an appeal within ten business days or nearest opportunity to that time frame when a quorum can be achieved.

No challenged material may be removed from the curriculum or from a collection of resource materials except by action of the Board, and no challenged material may be removed solely because it presents ideas that may be unpopular or offensive to some. Any Board action to remove material will be accompanied by the Board's statement of its reasons for the removal.

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