Complaints and grievances about the school district are best handled and resolved as close to their origin as possible. Staff should be given an opportunity to resolve problems informally or by administrative review prior to board involvement. Board members are encouraged to refer persons making complaints to staff members in accordance with this policy and the Niskayuna Contact Guide.

Complaints about Policies

Questions about policies may first be directed to the principal of each school.  Complaints about policies should be directed to the Superintendent or the Board President. The Superintendent shall review all signed complaints and apprise the Board about them. The Superintendent shall notify the complainant of the Board’s determination.

Complaints about Library Books, Textbooks, or Instructional Materials

Questions about library books, textbooks and other instructional materials should be directed to the appropriate party: teacher or librarian at the elementary school and /or district director at the secondary level.  Further concerns should be directed to the Building Principal before going to the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction.  If unresolved through informal discussion, the Superintendent is authorized to appoint a review committee to address the complaint. The Superintendent may accept or reject the advice of the committee, but may not authorize the removal of library books or textbooks without the approval of the Board.

Complaints about School Personnel

If a concern cannot be resolved adequately with the staff member involved, it may be pursued as far as deemed necessary up the administrative ladder: first to the Building Principal, and/or District Director, then to the appropriate administrative supervisor before being brought  to the superintendent, and finally to the board. The complainant should allow time at each level for an appropriate and satisfactory resolution prior to redirecting a concern.

Complaints about Other Matters

Complaints about other matters should be referred to the appropriate teacher, Building Principal, or other staff member. The Niskayuna Contact Guide was developed to assist in directing concerns and complaints to the appropriate party and is updated annually to aid in the process of clarifying and addressing concerns and complaints.

Nothing in this policy is intended to prohibit any person from contacting the Superintendent or members of the Board of Education when appropriate.

NOTE:  Refer also to Policies #3420 — Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District District Code of Conduct

Adopted February 6, 2018