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Complaint Procedures and Forms

Designated Compliance Officer:

Steven Fong

Chief Academic Officer

Educational Services

2060 Challenger Drive

Alameda, CA 94501

 

 

Flowchart for Investigation and Resolution of Complaints

A copy of this flowchart can be downloaded along with the Uniform Complaint Policies and Procedures overview here.

 

Any complaints against one of AUSD's authorized charter schools should be filed directly with staff at the charter school in question.

 

STEP 1: Informal Resolution

Complainant attempts to resolve complaint at lowest level.  Complainant fills out form or contacts school principal directly to seek resolution of any problem.  If complaint is not resolved, proceed to next step.

 

STEP 2: Formal Complaint Procedure

All UCP-related complaints shall be investigated and resolved within 60 calendar days of the district's receipt of the complaint unless the complainant agrees in writing to an extension of the timeline. 

 

Uniform Complaint Allegations

Non-Uniform Complaints

Non-Williams Complaints

Williams Complaints

Complainant files written complaint with designated compliance officer:

 

 

Complaints should be filed in writing and signed by the complainant.  If a complainant is unable to put his/her complaint in writing, district staff shall assist in the filing of the complaint.

Complainant files Williams complaint form with principal or designee at the school in which the complaint arises.

 

 

Complainant files complaint form with designated complaint officer.

Complaints should be filed in writing and signed by the complainant.  If a complainant is unable to put his/her complaint in writing, district staff shall assist in the filing of the complaint.

Within 10 business days after receipt of the complaint, an investigation into the complaint shall begin.  The complainant shall be notified if the complaint investigation has been referred to a staff member other than the designated compliance officer.

 

In the case of a Williams complaint, the principal or designee shall forward a complaint about problems beyond their authority to the designated compliance officer within 10 business days after receipt of the complaint.

An investigation into the complaint shall be conducted and the complainant shall be notified if the investigation has been referred to a staff member other than the designated compliance officer.

Within 30 calendar days of receiving the complaint, the complainant shall be sent a written report summarizing the findings and disposition of the complaint, including any corrective actions, the rationale for such disposition, and notice of the complainant’s right to appeal such decision to the AUSD Board of Education.

The principal, designee, or designated compliance officer shall remedy a valid complaint and, if the complainant has indicated they would like a response, shall report the resolution to them within 30 business days of receiving the complaint.

The complainant shall be sent a written report summarizing the findings and disposition of the complaint, including any corrective actions, the rationale for such disposition, and notice of the complainant’s right to appeal such decision to the AUSD Board of Education.

The complainant has the right to appeal the decision and may do so within 5 business days of receiving the written report by submitting their appeal in writing with the Board of Education.

The Board of Education may consider the matter at its next regularly scheduled meeting or at a special meeting convened to meet the required timeline.  If the Board decides not to the complaint, the investigator’s decision shall be final.  If the Board hears the complaint, the Board’s decision is sent to the complainant within 60 calendar days of the initial receipt of the complaint unless the complainant agrees in writing to extend the sixty day deadline. 

The Board of Education may consider the matter at its next regularly scheduled meeting or at a special meeting convened to meet the required timeline.  If the Board decides not to the complaint, the investigator’s decision shall be final. 

 

Step 3: Appeal to California Department of Education (CDE)

The complainant has a right to appeal the district’s decision to the California Department of Education (CDE) by filing a written appeal within 15 calendar days of receiving the governing board’s decision.

 

The appeal to the CDE must include a copy of the complaint filed with the district and a copy of the district’s decision.  The complainant must specify reasons for appealing the District’s decision and must include a copy of the locally filed complaint and the District’s decision.

If the Alameda Board of Education decides to hear the complaint, their decision is final.

 

 

 

Williams Complaint Procedures

The Williams Complaint form can be downloaded here.

 

Under state law, parents, students, and teachers can submit complaints concerning deficiencies related to instructional materials, conditions of facilities that are not maintained in a clean or safe manner or in good repair, and teacher vacancy or misassignment. These are called "Williams Complaints." The complaint and response are public documents as provided by statute. The Williams Complaint form may be filed anonymously.  However, if you wish to receive a response to your complaint, you must provide contact information.

 

All Williams complaints should be filed with the principal at the school site to which the complaint pertains.

 

 

 

Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP)

The Complaint form for both Uniform and Non-Uniform complaints can be downloaded here.

A copy of these procedures, including the flowchart, can be downloaded here.

 

This page contains rules and instructions about the filing, investigation and resolution of a Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP) complaint regarding an alleged violation by the Alameda Unified School District of federal or state laws or regulations governing educational programs, including allegations of unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying and non-compliance with laws relating to pupil fees and our Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).

 

This document presents information about how we process UCP complaints concerning particular programs or activities in which we receive state or federal funding. A UCP complaint is a written and signed statement by a complainant alleging a violation of federal or state laws or regulations, which may include an allegation of unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying or charging pupil fees for participation in an educational activity or non-compliance with the requirements of our LCAP. A complainant is any individual, including a person's duly authorized representative or an interested third party, public agency, or organization who files a written complaint alleging violation of federal or state laws or regulations, including allegations of unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying and non-compliance with laws relating to pupil fees or non-compliance with the requirements of our LCAP. If the complainant is unable to put the complaint in writing, due to a disability or illiteracy, we shall assist the complainant in the filing of the complaint.

Programs and activities that are implemented by our district and subject to the UCP in which we receive state or federal funding are:

  • Adult Education
  • After School Education and Safety
  • Career Technical Education
  • Child Care and Development
  • Child Nutrition
  • Compensatory Education and Consolidated Categorical Aid
  • Course Periods Without Educational Content
  • Education of Pupils in Foster Care and Pupils who are Homeless
  • Every Student Succeeds Act / No Child Left Behind
  • Local Control Accountability Plans
  • Physical Education Instructional Minutes
  • Pupil Fees
  • Reasonable Accommodations to a Lactating Pupil
  • School Safety Plans
  • Special Education
  • Tobacco - Use Prevention Education

 

The following complaints shall be referred to other agencies for appropriate resolution and are not subject to our UCP process set forth in this document unless these procedures are made applicable by separate interagency agreements:

 

1.   Allegations of child abuse shall be referred to County Dept of Social Services (DSS), Protective Services Division or appropriate law enforcement agency.

2.   Health and safety complaints regarding a Child Development Program shall be referred to Dept of Social Services for licensed facilities, and to the appropriate Child Development regional administrator for licensing-exempt facilities.

3.   Employment discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying complaints shall be sent to the State Dept of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

4.   Allegations of fraud shall be referred to the Legal, Audits and Compliance Branch in the California Department of Education (CDE).

 

A pupil fee is a fee, deposit, or other charge imposed on pupils, or a pupil's parents or guardians, in violation of state codes and constitutional provisions which require educational activities to be provided free of charge to all pupils without regard to their families' ability or willingness to pay fees or request special waivers. Educational activities are those offered by a school, school district, charter school, or county office of education that constitute a fundamental part of education, including, but not limited to, curricular and extracurricular activities.

 

A pupil fee includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:

  1. A fee charged to a pupil as a condition for registering for school or classes, or as a condition for participation in a class or an extracurricular activity, regardless of whether the class or activity is elective or compulsory, or is for credit.
  2. A security deposit, or other payment, that a pupil is required to make to obtain a lock, locker, book, class apparatus, musical instrument, clothes, or other materials or equipment.
  3. A purchase that a pupil is required to make to obtain materials, supplies, equipment, or clothes associated with an educational activity.

 

The LCAP is an important component of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), the revised school finance system that overhauled how California funds its K-12 schools. Under the LCFF we are required to prepare an LCAP, which describes how we intend to meet annual goals for our pupils, with specific activities to address state and local priorities identified pursuant to Education Code Section 52060(d).

 

 

The responsibilities of the Alameda Unified School District

                                                                                   

We have the primary responsibility to insure compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations. We shall investigate complaints alleging failure to comply with applicable state and federal laws and regulations including, including, but not limited to, allegations of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying or noncompliance with laws relating to all programs and activities implemented by the district that are subject to the UCP.

 

We shall ensure annual dissemination of the written notice of our complaint procedures to students, employees, parents or guardians of its students, school and district advisory committees member, appropriate private school officials or representatives, and other interested parties that includes information regarding allegations about discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying.

 

An appeal is a request made in writing to a level higher than the original reviewing level by an aggrieved party requesting reconsideration or a reinvestigation of the lower adjudicating body's decision.
 

Our UCP Annual Notice shall also include information regarding the requirements of Education Code sections 49010 through 49013 relating to pupil fees and information regarding the requirements of Education Code section 52075 relating to the LCAP.

 

Our UCP Annual Notice shall be in English and in the primary language, pursuant to section 48985 of the Education Code, or mode of communication of the recipient of the notice.

 

The following is responsible for receiving, investigating and/or referring complaints to the appropriate personnel, and ensuring our compliance:

 

Steven Fong

Chief Academic Officer

Educational Services

2060 Challenger Drive

Alameda, CA 94501

P: 510.337.7063

F: 510.749.9532

 

The above, responsible for compliance and investigations, is knowledgeable about the laws and programs assigned to investigate.

 

We will investigate all allegations of unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying against any protected group as identified in Education Code section 200 and 220 and Government Code section 11135, including any actual or perceived characteristics as set forth in Penal Code section 422.55 or on the basis or a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics in any program or activity conducted by the agency, which is funded directly by, or that receives or benefits from any state financial assistance.

 

An unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation and bullying complaint shall be filed no later than six months from the date the alleged discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying occurred, or six months from the date the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the alleged discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying.

 

The time for filing a discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying complaint may be extended in writing by our district superintendent or his or her designee, upon written request by the complainant setting forth the reasons for the extension. The period for filing a discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying complaint may be extended by our superintendent or his or her designee for good cause for a period not to exceed 90 calendar days following the expiration of the six month time period. Our superintendent shall respond immediately upon a receipt of a request for extension.

 

The complaint shall be filed by one who alleges that he or she has personally suffered unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying or by one who believes an individual or any specific class of individuals has been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying prohibited by this part.

 

We ensure that complainants are protected from retaliation.

 

An investigation of a discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying complaint shall be conducted in a manner that protects confidentiality of the parties and maintains the integrity of the process.

 

Complainants are advised of the right to pursue civil law remedies under state or federal discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying laws. Civil law remedies, including, injunctions, restraining orders, or other remedies or orders may also be available at any time.

 

If we find merit in a pupil fees, LCAP, and/or a Course Period without Educational Content complaint, we shall provide a remedy. Specifically, in Course Period without Educational Content complaints the remedy shall go to the affected pupil. In LCAP and pupil fee complaints, the remedy shall go to all affected pupils, parents and guardians, which in the case of pupil fees, also includes reasonable efforts by us to ensure full reimbursement to all affected pupils, parents and guardians subject to procedures established through regulations adopted by the state board.

We submitted our UCP policies and procedures to our local governing board or authorized designee for approval and adoption on November 15, 2016.

 

 

 

Filing a complaint with the Alameda Unified School District

 

Except for Williams complaints regarding instructional materials, emergency or urgent facilities conditions that pose a threat to the health or safety of pupils or staff, and teacher vacancies or misassignments, and complaints that allege discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying, any individual, public agency or organization may file a written complaint with our district superintendent or his or her designee alleging a matter which, if true, would constitute a violation by our agency of federal or state law or regulation governing a program. A pupil fees complaint may be filed with the principal of a school or the agency superintendent or his or her designee.

 

A pupil fees complaint and/or an LCAP complaint may be filed anonymously if the complaint provides evidence or information leading to evidence to support an allegation of noncompliance.

 

A pupil fee complaint shall be filed no later than one year from the date the alleged violation occurred.

 

We will attempt in good faith by engaging in reasonable efforts to identify and fully reimburse all pupils, parents and guardians who paid a pupil fee within one year prior to the filing of the complaint.

 

The investigation shall provide an opportunity for the complainant, or the complainant's representative, or both, to present evidence or information.

 

Refusal by the complainant to provide the investigator with documents or other evidence related to the allegations in the complaint, or to otherwise fail or refuse to cooperate in the investigation or engage in any other obstruction of the investigation, may result in the dismissal of the complaint because of a lack of evidence to support the allegations.

 

Refusal by the Alameda Unified School District to provide the investigator with access to records and/or other information related to the allegation in the complaint, or to otherwise fail or refuse to cooperate in the investigation or engage in any other obstruction of the investigation, may result in a finding based on evidence collected that a violation has occurred and may result in the imposition of a remedy in favor of the complainant.

 

Except for Williams complaints and pupil fees complaints, a UCP complaint will be investigated and a written report (also known as the Decision) issued to the complainant within 60 days from the date of the receipt of the complaint, unless the complainant agrees in writing to an extension of time.

 

When an allegation that is not subject to the UCP is included in a UCP complaint, the district shall refer the non-UCP allegation to the appropriate staff or agency and shall investigate and, if appropriate, resolve the UCP-related allegation(s) through the district’s UCP.

 

We shall issue a Decision based on the evidence and will contain the following elements:

(i)      the findings of fact based on the evidence gathered,

(ii)      conclusion of law,

(iii)     disposition of the complaint,

(iv)     the rationale for such disposition,

(v)     corrective actions, if any are warranted,

(vi)     notice of the complainant's right to appeal our agency Decision to the CDE,

  • We shall inform the complainant of his or her right to appeal the agency Decision to CDE and
  • The complainant may appeal our Decision of a UCP complaint regarding all specified federal and state educational programs subject to the UCP.

(vii)    procedures to be followed for initiating an appeal to the CDE.

  • To appeal our UCP Complaint Decision the complainant must file a written appeal within 15 days of receiving the Decision to the California Department of Education (CDE). This appeal to the CDE must fully explain the basis for the appeal, stating how the facts of the agency’s Decision are incorrect and/or the law is misapplied.
  • The appeal shall be sent with (1) a copy of the locally filed complaint and (2) a copy of the Decision.

 

The district shall protect all complainants from retaliation. In investigating complaints, the confidentiality of the parties involved shall be protected as required by law. As appropriate for any complaint alleging retaliation or unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying), the Superintendent or designee shall keep confidential the identity of the complainant and/or the subject of the complaint if he/she is different from the complainant, as long as the integrity of the complaint process is maintained.

 

Nothing in this document shall prohibit anyone involved in the complaint from utilizing alternative methods to resolve the allegations, such as mediation. Nor are we prohibited from resolving complaints prior to the formal filing of a written complaint. Mediation is a problem solving activity whereby a third party assists the parties to the dispute in resolving the complaint.

 

Copies of these Uniform Complaint Procedures shall be available free of charge.