Parent Grievance Procedure
The Innovation Montessori, Inc. (“IMO”) values its students and their families, and a high standard is in place for meeting student needs and communicating with families. IMO believes that all students and parents have the right to voice their concerns, complaints and grievances about matters pertaining to the school. In addition, IMO recognizes the importance of the full discussion and resolution of issues to maintain positive, productive relationships between each of the stakeholders of the school.
This policy does not govern Individualized Education Program disagreements or appeals of academic decisions. Grade determinations made by a teacher or the principal, absent an allegation of mistake, fraud, bad faith, or incompetence, shall be final and not reviewed by the Board of Directors. This policy also does not govern policy decisions made by the Governing Board. Concerned members of the public may give public comments in writing to the Governing Board or come to a Governing Board meeting and give public comments.
IMO has set forth the following procedures for students and parents who have a complaint or grievance pertaining to school policies or implementation of those policies:
1. Informal Grievance
Most grievances can be resolved at the school level through informal conferences with your child’s school team members. Parents first discuss issues and concerns with their son or daughter’s classroom teacher. If the grievance is against any other member of the staff or Administration, the parent should have a meeting with the staff member or Administrator involved to attempt to resolve the matter. If efforts to informally resolve the grievance are not successful, grievances may be directed to the school administration, or in the case of a grievance against the principal, with the Executive Director then the Governing Board. A formal grievance may not be filed unless a meeting or series of meetings has first occurred between the complainant and staff, or administration involved.
2. Formal Grievance
If a concern cannot be addressed through the informal grievance process, and all steps described in the Informal Grievance process have been met, the complainant may file a formal grievance in accordance with this section. Formal grievances should be submitted in writing to IMO administration (Assistant Principal, Principal and/or Executive Director) within seven (7) school days of the final informal meeting. Complainants shall utilize the IMO Parent Complaint and Grievance Form. The written complaint shall identify the nature of the complaint, the person(s) involved in the matter, the date(s) of the occurrence, the location of the occurrence, and any other relevant information.
The Administration shall acknowledge receipt of the complaint within two (2) school days, indicating the anticipated amount of time to investigate the matter, which shall be no more than fifteen (15) school days, unless a third-party investigator (including legal counsel) is involved, in which case the investigation may take longer. The Administration shall initiate or cause to be initiated an adequate, reliable, and impartial investigation and grant a conference with the Complainant unless the parties mutually agree that the matter can be handled adequately through email communication or by telephone.
The Administration shall respond in writing to the complainant (the “Response), in most cases, within fifteen (15) school days after investigating the complaint. The response shall outline the results of the investigation and any corrective or remedial action that will be taken as a result.
Upon receipt of the administration’s response and if the parties are still not in agreement in Step 2, they may appeal the result in writing to the Board Chair.
The Board Chair shall attempt to resolve the grievance and shall respond to the family within fifteen (15) school days of the Administration’s Response. If the complainant does not feel the resolution of Board Chair’s response was adequate, s/he may request to be heard by the IMO Board of Directors within ten (10) school days of receiving the Board Chair’s response. At its next regularly scheduled meeting, the Board of Directors may include the grievance on its agenda. The grievant is invited to attend the meeting and the IMO Board of Directors may render a resolution as to the grievance.
The Florida Sunshine Law (F.S. 286.011) is a statue that requires that all meetings of public agencies at which official acts are to be taken are declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times, and no resolution, rule or formal action shall be considered binding except as taken or made at such meeting.