Friday, March 7, 2014

Proper Chain of Command for Public Complaints per Board Policies and More!

So what is the proper chain of command for Public Complaints to the Fox C-6 Board of Education?

There's actually a policy that directly addresses Public Complaints in Fox C-6's School Board Policies and Regulations. A member of the community DOES NOT have to follow the same chain of command when addressing a complaint or a grievance directly to the Fox C-6 Board of Education that the public does when making a complaint involving instruction, discipline, or learning materials.

I've posted several of Fox's Policies and Regulations that should be of great interest to the Fox C-6 community below to make it easy for you to review. I've also included Policies and Regulations for the Role of the Superintendent of Schools.

Fox's Policies and Regulations can be downloaded in it's various forms from the district website or from one of the district attorney's Missouri Consultants for Education (MCE) website. MCE has the latest revision of the Policies and Regulations posted on it for the community and staff to review. The community is part of the development process of our school district's Policies and Regulations.

The copy posted on MCE's website is the copy that Superintendent Critchlow told the community and staff to review at the February school board meeting. Superintendent Critchlow is asking for feedback and comments on the updated Policies and Regulations before the school board votes to approve them. She said they would be posted online for review for the next 30 days.

Did Superintendent Critchlow inform the public very well about the updated Policies, Regulations and Forms that were posted for review?

Below are some links for where you can download Fox's School Board Policies and Regulations:

Find link on this page to - Policies/Regulations/Forms Manuals 2-2014 – For Review

Fox's Draft of new Board Policies and Regulations from 2012 on Fox's Website

Fox's Current Board Policies and Regulations on Fox's Website

Below are some of Fox C-6's Policies and Regulations for you to review. I have emphasized some of the text in the Policies and Regulations to bring them to your attention. After reading them, you may discover that Superintendent Critchlow and the Board of Education don't always follow our Policies and Regulations. Superintendent Critchlow will most likely disagree with my conclusions, but there is plenty of documentation to prove otherwise.

It's up to you, the patrons and taxpayers of the Fox C-6 community to express your concerns or Public Complaints directly to our elected Board of Education. That is THE ONLY WAY to make our school board members aware of the problems in our school district and show that the community really does care about how our school district operates. Be forewarned that you may receive an email from the district informing you that you have to follow the "proper chain of command" similar to the email I received last month.

See my article from last month titled: Why Does Fox C-6 Have a School Board?

Policy 1480
School/Community Relations
Public Complaints

Although no member of the community shall be denied the right to petition the Board of Education for redress of a grievance, the complaints will be referred through the proper administrative channels for solution before investigation or action by the Board. Exceptions are complaints that concern Board actions or Board operations only.

The Board advises the public that the proper channeling of complaints involving instruction, discipline, or learning materials is as follows:

1. Teacher
2. Principal
3. Appropriate Central Office Administrator
4. Superintendent
5. Board of Education

Any complaint about school personnel will be investigated by the Administration before consideration and action by the Board.

Policy 1460
School/Community Relations
Community Involvement in Decision Making

The Board of Education recognizes that many residents of the District may be especially qualified to take an active part in school affairs because of their training, experience, or personal characteristics and encourages them to take an active part in school affairs.

The Board shall give substantial weight to the advice it receives from individuals and community groups interested in the District's schools, but shall use its own judgment in arriving at decisions.

Regulation 1460
School/Community Relations
Community Involvement in Decision Making

As elected officials, members of the Board of Education will be open to input from members of the community. While accountable to the Electorate of the District, Board members will act in what they believe is in the best interest of District students given existing finances and circumstances of the District.

As required by State or Federal Law or Regulations the Superintendent or designated representative shall:

1. Solicit parents' suggestions in the planning, development, and operation of programs.

2. Consult with parents about how the school can work with parents to achieve the program's objectives.

3. Provide to parents timely information concerning program evaluations.

4. Facilitate willing participation by parents in program activities.

5. Provide timely responses to parents' recommendations.

6. Establish parent advisory councils as needed.

7. Inform parents concerning the selection of students for programs, objectives for the child, the child's progress, advice on ways parents may help the child, and provide when possible materials to help parents assist their children in special programs.

Policy 1720  (Regulation 1720)
Administrative Organization and Roles
Superintendent of Schools

The Superintendent is the chief administrative officer of the School District. The Superintendent, under the direction of the Board, is responsible for the general supervision of the schools and all District personnel. The Superintendent is the chief executive officer of the Board and shall be responsible to the Board for the execution of the policies, rules and regulations and directives given by the Board, and for the functions listed in Regulation 1720.

The Superintendent is the authorized representative and signatory for all official matters pertaining to the School District.

Qualifications of the Superintendent of Schools
The Superintendent shall hold Missouri Teacher's and Superintendent's Certificates and have prior teaching experience. Prior experience as a school administrator is desirable.

Terms of Employment
The Superintendent’s contract will be based on a twelve-month year, with salary and work year to be established by the Board.

The Superintendent of Schools may be employed by the Board of Education for a term of from one (1) to three (3) years. The terms of the Superintendent's employment will be contained in a written contract signed by the Superintendent, the Board President and the Board Secretary. During the term of the Superintendent's contract, the amount of compensation and benefits provided in the contract may not be changed.

Evaluation of the Superintendent
The Board of Education will evaluate the performance of the Superintendent in or by February in each contract year. The Superintendent's evaluation will be based, in part, upon the Superintendent's annual goals provided to the Board of Education.

The employment of the Superintendent terminates upon expiration of the Superintendent’s contract. The decision to extend the Superintendent’s contract or to deny such extension lies in the total discretion of the Board.

In addition, and as provided in the Superintendent’s employment contract, the Superintendent’s contract may be terminated by mutual consent, termination for cause, or death or incapacity.

Regulation 1720
Administrative Organization and Roles
Superintendent of Schools

1. Attend and participate in all meetings of the Board, except when his/her own employment status is being considered.

2. Formulate and present for Board action policies, plans, programs and proposals for curriculum revision with full information which will assist the Board in making fully informed decisions. Short and long term educational goals shall be presented along with regular population studies.

3. Enforce all provisions of applicable municipal, state and federal laws, policies and regulations of the Board of Education, make recommendations for any changes of policy or regulation which may be needed.

4. Make recommendations for the employment, promotion, assignment, transfer, or dismissal, of any school employee in accordance with school policy.

5. Prepare, or direct the preparation of, the annual School District budget for the Board's consideration and action.

6. Administer the budget as approved by the Board and interpret it to the community.

7. Conduct a program of public relations which will keep the community fully informed of the activities, successes and needs of the School District. The Superintendent shall maintain a cooperative working relationship between the School District and the community by regularly attending community and school activities.

8. Initiate citizen committees which includes professional consultants to act in an advisory capacity in areas such as curriculum, government programs, school projects, research, school finance and evaluations subject to the Board's approval.

9. Respond to situations requiring discretion because they are not covered by Board existing policies, reporting the action to the Board as soon as possible thereafter.

10. Assist the Board in fulfilling its legislative function for the schools in an efficient and just manner.

11. Assume direct operational responsibility for all duties and responsibilities not specifically assigned to an assistant Superintendent, director, or others.

12. Maintain accurate up-to-date records and reports as required by law, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and/or the Board.

13. Provide an orientation program for new Board members and inform Board members of conferences, workshops and other meetings that will assist them in their duties and responsibilities.

14. Provide an agenda to Board President prior to all regular Board meetings, with appropriate background information.

15. Provide leadership for all School District personnel which encourages team effort to provide quality education and services.

16. Supervise and evaluate central office administrative personnel and all principals, making annual recommendations to the Board for administrative employment and compensation.

17. Resolve student disciplinary problems resulting from principals' referrals.

18. Serve as spokesperson for the Board team in discussions with the representative teacher organization.

19. Perform other duties as may be assigned by the Board of Education or as may be required to implement the policies and regulations of the Board of Education.

Policy 1520 (Regulation 1520)
Office Methods and Data Management
School District Annual Report

School District officials will submit to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education all data and reports as required by law and/or by regulations of the Missouri State Board of Education. The Annual Report will be completed and submitted in accordance with department regulations.

The Annual Report will be available on the District’s website which is linked to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education website.

Regulation 1520
Office Methods and Data Management
School District Annual Report

The Board of Education will annually issue a report to each household with a student enrolled in the District. Copies of the School Accountability Report Card shall be available at all school or administrative buildings and shall also be distributed to all media outlets serving the District. The School Accountability Report Card for each school building will include the following information:

1. Enrollment.

2. Rates of pupil attendance.

3. High school dropout rate.

4. Staffing ratios, including the District ratio of students to all teachers, to administrators, and to classroom teachers.

5. Average years of experience of professional staff and advanced degrees earned.

6. Student achievement as determined through the assessment system developed pursuant to section 160.518.

7. Student scores on the SAT or ACT, as appropriate, along with the percentage of students taking each test.

8. Average teachers' and administrators' salaries compared to the state averages.

9. Average salaries of non-certificated personnel compared to state averages.

10. Average per pupil expenditures for the District as a whole and for each attendance center in the District.

11. Voted and adjusted tax rates levied.

12. Assessed valuation.

13. Percent of the District operating budget received from state, federal, and local sources. 

14. Number of students eligible for free or reduced lunch.

15. School calendar information, including days of student attendance.

16. Parent-teacher conferences and rates of participation.

17. Staff development or in-service training. 

18. Data on course offerings.

19. Special education programs.

20. Early childhood special education programs.

21. Parents as teachers programs.

22. Vocational education programs.

23. Gifted or enrichment programs.

24. Advanced placement programs.

25. Data on the number of students continuing their education in post secondary programs.

26. Information about job placement for students who complete District vocational education programs.

27. District's most recent accreditation by the state Board of Education, including measures for school improvement.

28. Rates, duration of, and reasons for suspensions of ten (10) days or longer and expulsions of students.

Policy 4732 (Regulation 4732)
Termination of Employment: Administrators

The terms and conditions of the Superintendent's employment are governed by the employment contract between the Board of Education and the Superintendent. Provision for employment and termination of the Superintendent are provided for in Policy 1720. The employment of all other certificated teachers who are employed as administrators and who are not eligible for permanent status as a teacher are provided for in this policy.

Such district administrators are not eligible for permanent status in their administrative position. However, as provided by law, administrators may be entitled to permanent status as a teacher should their administrative employment be voluntarily or involuntarily terminated. All such administrators may be assigned to other administrative positions or teaching positions as provided in the regulations enacted under this policy.

Regulation 4732
Termination of Employment:Administrators

Contracts for administrators under this policy and regulation may be non-renewed for any lawful reason. Administrators will be notified on or by April 15 of the Board's intention to reemploy them in their present positions, another position or to non-renew their employment. On or by May 15, the Board will provide each returning administrator with a written contract. Administrators will have ten (10) calendar days from receipt of the offered contract to accept or reject the contract. Failure to respond in a timely manner will be considered a rejection of the Board's offer.

Non-Renewal Process
Administrators who have been reemployed by the Board as a District administrator five (5) times or more are entitled to certain due process procedures. Within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of notification of non-renewal or reassignment, eligible administrators have ten (10) calendar days within which to request in writing a statement of reasons for the Board's action. The Board will respond in writing within ten (10) days of receipt of the administrator's request. The administrator will then have ten (10) calendar days to submit a written request for a Board hearing. The hearing will then be held within ten (10) calendar days of the receipt of the request for a hearing. The purpose of the hearing is to provide the administrator with the opportunity to convince the Board to reconsider their decision.
Administrators who have been reemployed as a District administrator less than five times are entitled only to notice of non-renewal or reassignment by April 15.

Reduction in Force
Administrators are subject to reduction in their administrative positions at any time. The procedures for such reductions are the same as for probationary teachers. (Refer to Regulation 4740 - Reduction in Force: Certificated Staff.)