Complaint Procedure - Frequently Asked Questions
North Clackamas School District is committed to working with students, families, staff, and community members to address concerns and complaints. This FAQ is designed to provide information about the process, describe the supports that are available, and explain where individuals can go for additional information.
What is a complaint? How does this differ from a concern?
As used in this context, a concern is an issue or problem about something or someone at the district. When voicing a concern there is not a formal response process requiring that some action be taken. Concerns can often be addressed through informal resolution by speaking with the involved individuals. A complaint is a method to formalize a concern. There are steps involved in the formal process and timelines for the District’s response. Supports are available throughout the complaint process.
How do I file a complaint?
If you have a concern about something or someone at the district, you are strongly encouraged to talk with the individual involved to try to address your concern informally. If informal talking does not resolve your concerns, or you don’t feel safe or comfortable talking to the individual involved, you can file a formal complaint on this form attached to policy KL-AR [provide link to KL-AR complaint form] and send it to the principal or the superintendent’s office.
Are there options to the formal complaint process?
Yes! In some cases, the district can help resolve complaints by offering a facilitated conversation between you and the person you have a complaint against, or trying mediation. Often times, these informal resolution processes work well and help support strong relationships while also addressing the concern. If you are interested in informal resolution, please contact your building administrator or the superintendent’s office for more information.
I have a concern or complaint and need a translator and interpreter. Can someone help?
Yes! Translators and interpreters are available. Please contact your building administrator or the superintendent’s office for more information.
I feel nervous when I have to meet with an administrator or an investigator. What can I do?
You are welcome to bring a support person of your choosing to any meeting regarding your complaint, including meetings with administrators or interviews with an investigator. Your support person could be a student or parent advocate or someone else from the District, if you would like the District to suggest an available support person please contact your building administrator or the superintendent’s office for more information. A support person cannot speak for you, but can offer you support and comfort during these meeting
This whole situation, including what I am complaining about and the complaint process, is stressful. Is there support available?
Yes! If you are a student, please check in with your school counselor or other supportive staff. If you are an employee, EAP is available to you or check with HR.
There are also supports available within the community, including the following:
I’m scared of the person who I have a complaint against. What can I do? Do they have to know that I filed the complaint?
You deserve to feel safe and supported at school. Please talk to your building administrator, your supervisor, HR, or the superintendent’s office if you feel unsafe. In some cases, the district may be limited in our ability to follow up on anonymous complaints, but there are other options that are available. Also, retaliation against anyone who files a complaint or participates in the complaint process is strictly prohibited. If you are concerned about retaliation, please contact your building administrator, HR, or the superintendent’s office immediately.
I’m an employee involved in a complaint. What resources are there to help me?
Human Resources can provide information about the complaint process and other supports. If you are represented, you can contact your union representative. EAP is also available to you.
The complaint process seems very complicated, and I don’t understand it. Why is it complicated and who can help me understand the process?
We understand your concern. Complaint processes can sometimes seem complicated or formal. That is because everyone involved – both you as the complainant, and the person you are filing a complaint about – have rights during the process. The district wants to make sure the process is fair and equitable for everyone involved. Sometimes, that can mean that the complaint resolution process, including the investigation of a complaint, can take a long time or involve multiple steps. We want to make the process as accessible as possible. If you have questions about the process, please contact your building administrator or the superintendent’s office for more information.
What happens after I file a formal complaint?
The principal or someone at the district office will review your complaint and decide what is the right process for addressing your concern. Policy KL and KL-AR [provide links] describe the general complaint process. In some cases, like with concerns about sexual harassment or discrimination, a more specific process might apply. Someone will contact you to let you know the next steps for responding to your complaint.
I have questions that are not on this list. Who can help?
We want this process to be as supportive as possible for you. Please contact your building administrator or HR with other questions.