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General Complaints Policy

Connecting Waters Charter Schools (“CWCS”) (collectively “the Charter Schools”) have adopted this General Complaint Policy to address concerns about the Charter Schools generally or regarding specific employees. For complaints regarding harassment or perceived violations of state or federal laws, please refer to the Charter Schools Title IX, Harassment, Discrimination, Intimidation, and Bullying Policy Harassment and/or the Charter Schools Uniform Complaint Procedures. For all other complaints, the General Complaint form and accompanying procedures will be appropriate.

Internal Complaints

(Complaints by Employees against Employees)

This section of the policy is for use when a Charter Schools employee raises a complaint or concern about a co-worker.

If reasonably possible, internal complaints should be resolved at the lowest possible level, including attempts to discuss/resolve concerns with the immediate supervisor. However, in the event an informal resolution may not be achieved or is not appropriate, the following steps will be followed by the Executive Director or designee: 

 

  1. The complainant will bring the matter to the attention of the Executive Director as soon as possible after attempts to resolve the complaint with the immediate supervisor have failed or if not appropriate; and
  2. The complainant will reduce his or her complaint to writing, indicating all known and relevant facts. The Executive Director or designee will then investigate the facts and provide a solution or explanation;
  3. If the complaint is about the Executive Director, the complainant may file his or her complaint in a signed writing to the Chair of the Board of Directors, who will then confer with the Board of Directors and may conduct a fact-finding or authorize a third-party investigator on behalf of the Board of Directors. The Chair or investigator will report his or her findings to the Board of Directors for review and action, if necessary.

 

This policy cannot guarantee that every problem will be resolved to the employee’s satisfaction. However, the Charter Schools values each employee’s ability to express concerns and the need for resolution without fear of adverse consequence to employment.

 

Policy for Complaints Generally

(General Complaints and Complaints by Third Parties against Employees)

 

This section of the policy is for use when either a complaint does not fall under other complaint procedures or a third party (non-employee) raises a complaint or concern about the Charter Schools generally, or a Charter Schools employee.

 

LEVEL ONE

The Charter Schools urge complainants to present their concerns to the Charter Schools employee to resolve matters at the ground level. If the complainant elects to file a complaint against the Charter Schools generally or a Charter Schools employee, the complainant will be directed to complete the Level One Complaint Form within fifteen (15) days of the incident and to submit this form to the ES Advisor or the Department Chair.

 

LEVEL TWO

If complaints cannot be resolved informally, complainants may appeal the Level One decision and file a Level Two Complaint Form with the office of the Executive Director or Chair of the Board of Directors (only if the complaint concerns the Executive Director) within fifteen (15) days of the date of the decision or action from the ES Advisor or the Department Chair. The written complaint should set forth in detail the factual basis for the complaint.

 

In processing the complaint, the Executive Director (or designee) shall abide by the following process:

  1. The Executive Director or designee shall use his or her best efforts to ascertain the facts relating to the complaint. Where applicable, the Executive Director or designee shall talk with the parties identified in the complaint or persons with knowledge of the particulars of the complaint to ascertain said facts.
  2. In the event that the Executive Director (or designee) finds that a complaint is valid, the Executive Director (or designee) may take appropriate action to resolve the problem. Where the complaint is against an employee of the Charter Schools, the Executive Director may take disciplinary action against the employee. As appropriate, the Executive Director (or designee) may also simply counsel/reprimand employees as to their conduct without initiating formal disciplinary measures.
  3. The Executive Director’s (or designee’s) decision relating to the complaint shall be final unless it is appealed to the Board of Directors through a Level Three Complaint.

 

LEVEL THREE

If complaints cannot be resolved by the Executive Director or if the complaint concerns the Executive Director, complainants may appeal the Level Two decision and file a Level Three Complaint Form with the Chair of the Board of Directors within fifteen (15) days of the date of the decision or action from the Executive Director. The written complaint should set forth in detail the factual basis for the complaint. The decision of the Board shall be final.

 

General Requirements

1.Confidentiality:  All complainants will be notified that information obtained from the complainants and thereafter gathered will be maintained in a manner as confidential as possible, but in some circumstances absolute confidentiality cannot be assured.

2.Non-Retaliation: All complainants will be advised that they will be protected against retaliation as a result of the filing of any complaints or participation in any complaint process.

3.Resolution: The Board of Directors (if a complaint is about the Executive Director) or the Executive Director or designee will investigate complaints appropriately under the circumstances and pursuant to the applicable procedures, and if necessary, take appropriate remedial measures to ensure effective resolution of any complaint.

Please use level one, two, or three forms that are posted on the website under parent general information.