The Maquoketa Schools Board Policy 502.4 provides a process for dealing with complaints. The step-by step procedure is as follows:
- Talk with the teacher, bus driver, or person directly involved in the situation.
- Talk with the principal or immediate supervisor.
- Talk with the superintendent.
- Take matters to the School Board.
In most cases, we find that complaints are best resolved at step 1.
Complaints concerning individual employees will not be accepted by the Board without specific documentation. Hearsay or anonymous accusations will not be accepted as documentation. The Board will address complaints only after they have been explored by the appropriate administrative level according to this sequence. (See Policy 502.4)
If the complaint involves an allegation of physical or sex abuse or harassment against an employee of the district, specific legal procedures require that a formal complaint be filed with the building principal.
CUSTODIAL AND NON-CUSTODIAL PARENT RIGHTS
Both natural parents have the right to:
- View a child’s school records;
- Receive school progress reports (report cards);
- Visit the child briefly at school;
- Participate in parent-teacher conferences (separately, if necessary).
We must have on file a legal document which contains specific denial of these rights before we can deny a request from a non-custodial parent.
FAMILY RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT
The Family rights and Privacy Act of 1974 requires annual notification to parent of children enrolled in special education instruction programs operated by the Maquoketa Community School district of their right to review the special education records of their children.
This federal law allows a parent or guardian the following:
- A review of the child’s special education records.
- To obtain copies at nominal fee.
- To write a response to materials in the record.
- To challenge the content of the records on grounds of inappropriateness or inaccuracy.
Parents also have the right to have such records explained by a professional staff member if so desired.
If you wish further information about this, contact the Superintendent of Schools, 612 S. Vermont, Maquoketa, Iowa.
INSPECTION OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS (605.2)
Parents and other members of the school district community may review instructional materials used by the students.
Arrangements to review materials must be made through the appropriate building level administrator. Copies of material may be obtained according to Board policy, “Examination of School District Public Records.”
PARENT RIGHT TO EXAMINE SCHOOL RECORDS
Federal law permits a parent to:
- Inspect and review educational records.
- Request an amendment of the educational records.
- Consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information in educational records.
- File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education re: alleged noncompliance with the law,
- Obtain copies of the records policy.
- Withdraw students’ directory information from general release.
Maquoketa’s policies on student records comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and Iowa statutes. (See Board Policy 506.1)
SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES
Provision of Special Education – parents who suspect their child has a disability requiring accommodation or special education are urged to contact their child’s school or the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency (1-800-947-2329) for additional information and a copy of the booklet entitled Parental Rights in Special Education.
RELEASE OF DIRECTORY INFORMATION
The student handbook or similar publications given to each student, which contains general information about the school, will contain the following statement, which is published at least annually in a prominent place or in a newspaper of general circulation in the school district:
The following information may be released to the public in regard to any individual student of the school district as needed. Any student over the age of eighteen or parent not wanting the information released to the public must make objections in writing by September 1st to the principal. The objection needs to be renewed annually.
Name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of the athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most recent previous school or institution attended by the student, photograph and likeness and other similar information.
The main goal in school is EDUCATION. No individual has the right to deprive another individual of their opportunity to learn and make the most of their instructional time.
Most problems in a classroom center around people disturbing others. All school personnel will endeavor to protect each pupil’s right to an education without interference or intimidation.
- Early or first offenses by a student will necessitate the student having a conference with his/her teacher.
- A serious offense will result in the student’s parents being contacted by the teacher concerning the infraction of school regulations
- If necessary because of repeated infractions, the student will be held out of class with office approval or sent home for parental guidance and consultation.
Generally, corporal punishment may not be used to discipline students as the Board believes it does not deter disruptive behavior. However, reasonable physical force may be used upon a student with or without advance notice when the use of such force is deemed essential by a reasonable person for the purposes of self-defense, the preservation of order, to quell a disturbance threatening others, to protect school district property, or for the protection of others located on the school district property.