Grievance FAQ & Forms
It is the goal of the Sunray ISD faculty, staff, and administration to handle all concerns at the lowest possible level. Most concerns can be handled at the teacher or principal level. However, there are times that campus level administrators will not be able to satisfy concerns. What are the processes at this point that someone should go through to attempt to resolve them? Hopefully, the following frequently asked questions will answer some of your questions and make the process more understood by all.
Question: Why can’t I take my concerns about personnel or other items directly to the board?
Answer: The board can only act while in session in a duly called meeting controlled by an agenda. It protects your right to a fair and impartial hearing. When contacted the board may listen, but will not comment and will refer you back to the appropriate chain of command, starting at the lowest level possible. The board has developed policies to protect your rights; straying from them could hurt more than help your cause.
Question: What is the lowest level possible?
Answer: In most cases the lowest level possible is the teacher when dealing with classroom issues and the principal when dealing with disciplinary issues.
Question: What is the difference between patron concerns and a grievance?
Answer: A concern is an informal process whereby the administration attempts to work through a problem. These complaints usually terminate at the campus level, but at times may even be heard by the superintendent of schools. Complaints or concerns of this type terminate at that point.A grievance is the formal complaint process set out by the board of trustees of the Sunray Independent School District. This process is explained in policy FNG (Legal) and FNG (Local). Timelines outlined in this policy are strictly adhered to for the legal protection of all concerned. This process was developed to protect your rights as well as the rights of the other individuals involved. Attached is a copy of our board policy FNG (Legal) and FNG (Local).
Answer: Grievances must be filed in a timely manner as set forth in policy. Normally, policy gives the grieved party 15 days once the student or the parent knew or should have known of the decision causing the complaint.
Question: What is my next step if I decide to file a grievance?
Answer: Grievance must be in written format. They may either be faxed, mailed, or hand delivered. A copy of the level one grievance form is provided in this packet.
Question: Then what happens?
Answer: Within 10 days after receipt of the complaint form the appropriate administrator will conduct a meeting with the parents. Within 10 days after the meeting the administrator will notify in writing the decision of the level one grievance. If you are not satisfied with the decision you may appeal.
Question: Who do I appeal to and what happens then?
Answer: The next level is called level two and is held at the district level, normally with the superintendent or his designee. The process is very similar to level one, but at this point the process will be either video or audio taped. The same rules apply as to the decision and appeal if you are dissatisfied with the decision.
Question: Why can this take so long?
Answer: The reason for the length of time is to give everyone an opportunity to try and resolve the problem, and also to protect your rights along the way. Many times if given time it allows emotions to calm for all concerned parties which help to lead to resolution of the problem.
Question: What if I still am not satisfied?
Answer: Your final step in the process is a level three appeal to the board of trustees. The timelines for this hearing are the same as with the earlier two hearings. This hearing may or may not be held in open session dependent upon the reason for the hearing. No new evidence is allowed at this point that is not brought up at the earlier hearings and the decision of the board is final. Board members who have been involved in the case before this would have to recuse themselves from consideration of the problem and would not be able to vote.
Hopefully this short FAQ about concerns and grievances will help to explain the process and help to alleviate any questions or concerns you may have. The process is there to protect your rights as a citizen and patron of Sunray ISD