About Pineywoods Community Academy

Pineywoods Community Academy Charter School

003801

STUDENT/PARENT AND EMPLOYEE GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES



DATE ISSUED: 5/2011 Updated 9/2015


PURPOSE

The complaint process allows the public as well as staff members to have a productive process to formally address concerns when an informal process has not been successful. The school encourages the public and staff members to discuss concerns and complaints through informal conferences with the appropriate administrator. Concerns should be expressed as soon as possible to allow early resolution at the lowest possible administrative level. Evidence should exist that complaints have been attempted to be resolved in an informal manner prior to the formal process. This process is not intended for use as a punitive or retaliatory tool against staff members who are performing their regular job duties.


UNDERSTANDING THE GRIEVANCE PROCESS

Before initiating the grievance process as an employee or student or as a parent on behalf of a student, it is strongly urged that you become familiar with the grievance policies for students and staff. These polices can be found on the About PCA tab on the school website. You may also request a printed copy of these policies in your native language from the PCA Director's office.


OVERSIGHT OF THE GRIEVANCE PROCESS

The superintendent shall be responsible for ensuring that the complaint process is handled fairly and within the requirements of the policy. The superintendent shall assign administrators to hear the complaints at Level One and Two. Administrators assigned are considered to be unbiased, good listeners, and work diligently to attempt to resolve the complaint. Evidence supporting or refuting the complaint can be presented by the complainee or the administrator as an outcome of their research.


LEVEL ONE ADMINISTRATORS AVAILABLE FOR ASSIGNMENT

Elementary Principal
ECHS Principal
Assistant Principal, Elementary
Assistant Principal, Secondary
Other administrator as designated by the Superintendent


LEVEL TWO ADMINISTRATORS AVAILABLE FOR ASSIGNMENT

Secondary Principal
Dean of Instruction
Chief Financial Officer
Superintendent or designee


LEVEL THREE

Board of Directors


LEVEL ONE COMPLAINT

Complaint forms must be filed:
Within 15 days of the date the parent or employee first knew, or with reasonable diligence should have known, of the decision or action giving rise to the complaint or grievance; and with the lowest level administrator who has the authority to remedy the alleged problem.

In most circumstances, parents or employees on a school campus shall file Level One complaints with the campus principal; other District employees shall file Level One complaints with their immediate supervisor. Parents should file complaints with the next supervising administrator.

If the complaint is not filed with the appropriate administrator, the receiving administrator must note the date and time the complaint form was received and immediately forward the complaint form to the appropriate administrator.

The appropriate administrator shall investigate as necessary and schedule a conference with the parent or employee within ten days after receipt of the written complaint. The administrator may set reasonable time limits for the conference.

Absent extenuating circumstances, the administrator shall provide the parent or employee a written response within ten days following the conference. In reaching a decision, the administrator may consider information provided at the Level One conference and any other relevant documents or information the administrator believes will help resolve the complaint.


LEVEL TWO COMPLAINT

If the employee or parent did not receive the relief requested at Level One or if the time for a response has expired, the employee or parent may request a conference with the Superintendent or designee to appeal the Level One decision.

The appeal notice must be filed in writing, on a form provided by the District, within ten days of the date of the written Level One response or, if no response was received, within ten days of the Level One response deadline.

After receiving notice of the appeal, the Level One administrator shall prepare and forward a record of the Level One complaint to the Level Two administrator. The employee may request a copy of the Level One record.
The Level One record shall include:

1. The original complaint form and any attachments.
2. All other documents submitted at Level One.
3. The written response issued at Level One and any attachments.
4. All other documents relied upon by the Level One administrator in reaching the Level One decision.

The Superintendent or designee shall schedule a conference within ten days after the appeal notice is filed. The conference shall be limited to the issues and documents considered at Level One. At the conference, the employee or parent may provide information concerning any documents or information relied upon by the administration for the Level One decision. The Superintendent or designee may set reasonable time limits for the conference.

The Superintendent or designee shall provide the employee or parent a written response within ten days following the conference. In reaching a decision, the Superintendent or designee may consider the Level One record, information provided at the Level Two conference, and any other relevant documents or information the Superintendent or designee believes will help resolve the complaint.

Recordings of the Level One and Level Two conferences, if any, shall be maintained with the Level One and Level Two records.


LEVEL THREE COMPLAINT

If the individual did not receive the relief requested at Level Two or if the time for a response has expired, he or she may schedule a hearing in executive session with the Board of Directors during a regularly scheduled board meeting to appeal the Level Two decision.

If the employee or parent did not receive the relief requested at Level Two or if the time for a response has expired, the employee or parent may appeal the decision to the Board.

The appeal notice must be filed in writing, on a form provided by the District, within ten days of the date of the written Level Two response or, if no response was received, within ten days of the Level Two response deadline.

The Superintendent or designee shall inform the employee or parent of the date, time, and place of the Board meeting at which the complaint will be on the agenda for presentation to the Board.

The Superintendent or designee shall provide the Board the record of the Level Two appeal. The employee or parent may request a copy of the Level Two record.

The Level Two record shall include:
1. The Level One record.
2. The notice of appeal from Level One to Level Two.
3. The written response issued at Level Two and any attachments.
4. All other documents relied upon by the administration in reaching the Level Two decision.

The appeal shall be limited to the issues and documents considered at Level Two, except that if at the Level Three hearing the administration intends to rely on evidence not included in the Level Two record, the administration shall provide the employee or parent notice of the nature of the evidence at least three days before the hearing.

The District shall determine whether the complaint will be presented in open or closed meeting in accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Act and other applicable law.

The presiding officer may set reasonable time limits and guidelines for the presentation, including an opportunity for the employee or parent and administration to each make a presentation and provide rebuttal and an opportunity for questioning by the Board. The Board shall hear the complaint and may request that the administration provide an explanation for the decisions at the preceding levels.

In addition to any other record of the Board meeting required by law, the Board shall prepare a separate record of the Level Three presentation. The Level Three presentation, including the presentation by the employee or parent or the parent or employee's representative, any presentation from the administration, and questions from the Board with responses, shall be recorded by audio recording, video/audio recording, or court reporter.

The Board shall then consider the complaint. It may give notice of its decision orally or in writing at any time up to and including the next regularly scheduled Board meeting. If the Board does not make a decision regarding the complaint by the end of the next regularly scheduled meeting, the lack of a response by the Board upholds the administrative decision at Level Two.


Complaint Form Level One



Complaint Form Level Two