KL-R: Public Complaints (Section 11 Appeals)

Classification: 
K: School-Community Relations
Code: 
KL-R
  • Procedure for Appealing a Decision (or Failure to a Make Decision) By a Board Employee

Preamble

Where a decision (or the failure to make a decision) of an employee* of a board significantly affects the education, health, or safety of a student, the parent/guardian of the student or the student may, within a reasonable time from the date that the parent/guardian or student was informed of the decision, appeal that decision to the Board of School Trustees (the “Board”).

Definitions

Significant - full of import or special meaning

In the context of an appeal, an occurrence will be deemed to be significant if it results in some kind of loss or jeopardy to a student .

Reasonable - just, fair-minded

In terms of the time period within which an appeal must be made, a reasonable time for the appeal to be started is deemed to be within one month of the appellant being informed of the decision.

The employee whose decision is being appealed has the right to attend any meeting with the appellant that relates to the appeal. The employee whose decision is being appealed is accorded rights as indicated in  his/her collective agreement.

The Section 11 Appeals procedures refers to all decisions under appeal.  Board and district policies are not appealable under this procedure. Appeals of Board policies or procedures shall be made to the Board through one of the Standing Committees.

PROCEDURE

The procedures relating to Section 11 Appeals are divided into four stages. Appeals continue through the stages only until an appeal is resolved. Most appeals are resolved at Stage 1 or Stage 2.

Stage 1:  A meeting takes place directly between the employee who made the decision (or failed to make a decision) and the appellant.

Stage 2:  A meeting takes place between the decision-maker’s supervisor and the appellant.

Stage 3:  A District Appeals Committee is struck in that either the Employee Decision Review Committee or the Student Discipline Review Committee meets to consider the appeal, and makes a report with recommendation to the Board.

Stage 4:  The Board considers the report from the District Appeals Committee and makes the final decision.

STAGE 1

Within a reasonable time of the decision being made, the parent/guardian or student making the appeal (the appellant) shall inform the employee whose decision is being appealed that the appeal is based on Section 11 of the School Act. The appellant shall complete the Section 11 Appeal form and submit it to the employee. Copies of this form are available at all schools and area offices.

  • A meeting is arranged by the employee, at which time the student or parent/guardian presents his/her appeal. After the meeting, the employee whose decision is being appealed shall prepare a written report of the facts of the situation and shall discuss it with his/her supervisor prior to responding to the appeal.
  • One week from the date of the meeting shall be allowed for the decision to be reconsidered.  The employee whose decision is being appealed will then send a written response to the appellant, with a copy to the supervisor.

STAGE 2:

If the appellant is not satisfied with the Stage 1 decision, he/she may then appeal to the decision-maker’s supervisor.

Stage 2 appeals involving a school-based employee other than the principal shall be referred to the principal and will follow certain procedures.

  • The appellant shall inform the principal that a Stage 1 review of this Section 11 appeal has occurred of this Section 11 appeal and submit documents completed in Stage 1.
  • The principal shall arrange a meeting with the appellant, at which the employee whose decision is being appealed has the right to be present.  The principal may prepare a brief report on the meeting and review it with the appropriate Associate Superintendent - Area prior to responding to the appellant.
  • One week from the date of the meeting shall be allowed for the decision to be reconsidered.  The principal will then send a written response to the appellant, with a copy to the appropriate Associate Superintendent - Area.
  • If the appellant is not satisfied with the principal’s decision, he/she may meet with the Associate Superintendent - Area to discuss appeal. The associate Superintendent - Area will review the appeal prior to proceeding to Stage 3.

Stage 2 appeals involving the principal shall be referred to the Associate Superintendent - Area.

  • The appellant shall inform the associate Superintendent - Area that a Stage 1 review of this Section 11 appeal has occurred and submit documents completed in Stage 1.
  • The Associate Superintendent - Area will arrange a meeting with the appellant, at which the employee whose decision is being appealed has the right to be present.  The Associate Superintendent - Area may prepare a brief report on the meeting.
  • One week from the date of the meeting shall be allowed for the decision to be reconsidered.  The Associate Superintendent - Area will then send a written response to the appellant.

Stage 2 appeals involving a district-based employee shall be referred to the director/manager who supervises that employee.

  • The appellant shall inform the supervisor that a Stage 1 review of this Section 11 appeal has occurred and submit documents completed in Stage 1.
  • The supervisor shall arrange a meeting with the appellant, at which the employee whose decision is being appealed has the right to be present. The supervisor may prepare a brief report on the meeting.
  • One week from the date of the meeting shall be allowed for the decision to be reconsidered. The supervisor will then send a written response to the appellant.

STAGE 3:     

If the person making the appeal is not satisfied with the review of the decision, he/she may appeal the matter to the Board, by writing a brief letter to the Superintendent of Schools and attaching to the letter the Section 11 Appeal Form and any relevant documents.

The Superintendent shall refer the matter to the Associate Superintendent - Area named to chair the Employee Decision Review Committee or Student Discipline Review Committee. The Associate Superintendent - Area shall confirm the committee membership.

  • In keeping with Board policy, the committee shall be comprised of:
    • a Vancouver Teachers’ Federation (VTF) representative,
    • a school administrator representative,
    • a district parent representative,
    • the associate superintendent - area who will chair the committee
  • A recorder will also be assigned to the committee.
  • Once named, the chairperson should be the sole source of communications to the appellant concerning the appeal.  Communications from the appellant concerning the appeal should be directed to the chairperson for reply.
  • A date, time, and place of the meeting of the District Appeals Committee will be arranged by the chairperson or his/her designate, taking into account the needs of the appellant and of the committee members. Once the meeting has been scheduled, a letter with this information will be couriered (with signature required) to the appellant. The chairperson will also attempt to notify the appellant of thisinformation by telephone or in person. The committee members, the employee whose decision is being appealed and the supervisor who heard Stage 2, will also be notified of this information.
  • All documents exchanged at Stages 1 and 2 will be provided to the appellant, to the employee whose decision is being appealed, to the supervisor who heard Stage 2, and to the committee members prior to the meeting.
  • The appellant and the employee whose decision is being appealed will have the right to supply any other documents he or she believes should be considered by the committee before the meeting.

The protocol for the District Appeals Committee meeting

  • The chairperson will introduce the committee members, the appellant, the Board employee whose decision is being appealed, the supervisor who heard Stage 2, and any support/resource personnel accompanying the appellant or the employee.
  • The chairperson will ascertain that the parties have the relevant documents.  Although documents should be supplied to the committee in advance of the meeting, the appellant and the employee whose decision is being appealed will be asked whether they have any additional documents to be considered by the committee.  If there are additional relevant documents, they will be received.  The chairperson will determine if any additional time is required when such are received.
  • The chairperson will indicate that the recorder will prepare a brief summary of the presentation of the appellant, of the response of the Board employee(s), and of questions asked and responses received.
  • The following people will have the right to make a statement regarding the decision of the employee, and the appeal of that decision:
    • the appellant,
    • the employee who made the decision being appealed,
    • the supervisor who heard Stage 2.
  • The Chairperson will invite committee members to ask questions of those who made the decision that is being appealed, of the supervisor who heard Stage 2, and/or of the appellant to provide clarification of the statements made.
  • The chairperson should ensure that answers given are pertinent to the point of the question raised.
  •  If the chairperson deems it appropriate, the other party should be given an opportunity to respond.
  • After all questions have been asked and answered, all persons except the committee members and the recorder will leave the meeting, and the District Appeals Committee will deliberate in private session.
  • Once deliberations are completed, a course of action will be agreed upon by the committee with respect to the appeal, and a recommendation to the Board will be prepared.  Only the recommendation and its rationale will be recorded from the private session.
  • The appellant will be informed by the chairperson, in writing in a couriered letter (signature required), of the recommendation of the District Appeals Committee, of the date, time, and place when the Board will consider that recommendation, and of his/her right to appear before the Board prior to the  Board making a final decision on the appeal.  The employee whose decision is being appealed, and the supervisor who heard Stage 2, will also be provided with the same information in writing.
  • Notes of the Stage 3 hearing will include the brief summary described  above, and the committee’s recommendation and its rationale.  These notes will be provided to the Board, to the employee whose decision is being appealed, to the supervisor who heard Stage 2, and to the appellant.
  • The Board will also receive all documentation provided for the District Appeals Committee of the Section 11 Appeal Process.

STAGE 4:

  • To appeal the District Appeals Committee recommendation, the appellant will request, in writing, to appear before the Board.
  • During Stage 4 of the Appeals Process, the Board will consider in private session the report and recommendations from the District Appeals Committee.
  •  As specified in Section 11 of the School Act , the decision of the Board is final.

DMT Responsibility: SUPT.

 

 

Adopted Date: 
Tuesday January 28, 1997
Revision Date: 
Jan 1999