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SJCA Handbook » Uniform Complaint Procedures

Uniform Complaint Procedures

Uniform Complaint Policy and Procedure – 5 CCR 4622, EC 234.1, 32289, and 49013


The Governing School Board recognizes that the district has a primary responsibility for insuring that it
complies with federal and state laws and regulations and that the district shall investigate complaints
alleging failure to comply with applicable state and federal laws and regulations and/or alleging
discrimination, and seek to resolve those complaints in accordance with the procedures set out in sections
4600-4687 of the Title 5 Regulations and in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Governing
Board. The Governing School Board designates the following compliance officer to receive and investigate
complaints and ensure district compliance with law:

San Jose Charter Academy
Ms. Andrea Luna, Human Resources
2120 W. Alwood Street,
West Covina, CA 91790
(626) 856-1693 ext. 4004

The Board prohibits retaliation in any form for the filing of a complaint, the reporting of instances of
discrimination, or for participation in complaint procedures. Any discrimination complaints shall be
investigated in a manner that protects the confidentiality of the parties and the facts.

The Uniform Complaint Procedures apply to the filing, investigation and resolution of complaints
regarding alleged: 1) failure to comply with federal or state law or regulations governing adult education,
consolidated categorical aid programs, migrant education, vocational education, child care and
developmental programs, child nutrition programs and special education programs; 2) unlawful
discrimination against any protected group as identified under Education Code (EC) sections 200 and 220
and Government Code section 11135, including actual or perceived sex, sexual orientation, gender, ethnic
group identification, race, ancestry, national origin, religion, color, or mental or physical disability, or age,
or on the basis of a person's association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or
perceived characteristics, in any program or activity conducted by a local agency, which is funded directly
by, or that receives or benefits from any state financial assistance; 3) failure to comply with school safety
planning requirements as specified in Section 7114 of Title 20 of the United States Code; 4) unlawful
discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived characteristics set forth
in Section 422.55 of the Penal Code and EC 220, and disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression,
nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or association with a person or group with one or
more of these actual or perceived characteristics; 5) unlawful imposition of pupil fees for participation in
educational activities in 38 public schools; 6) failure to comply with the requirements established through
the Local Control Funding Formula related to the Local Control and Accountability Plan as described in
EC sections 52060 through 52076 or sections 47606.5 and 47607.3; 7) noncompliance with physical
education instructional minutes at specified grade levels; 8) inappropriate assignment of a pupil to courses
without educational content or previously completed and received a grade sufficient for satisfying the
requirements for high school graduation and admission into post-secondary education; 9) noncompliance
with education provisions for pupils in foster care, who are homeless, or who are former juvenile court
school students; and 10) failure to reasonably accommodate lactating pupils.


Step 1: Filing of Complaint


Any individual, public agency, or organization may file a written complaint of alleged noncompliance by
the District. Complaints may be made using the standard form available at the school site or the district
office. Complaints may be anonymous. If the complainant requests a response and provides contact
information, the district shall provide a response in writing to the mailing address of the complainant
indicated on the complaint. If a complainant is unable to put a complaint in writing due to conditions such
as illiteracy or other handicaps, district staff shall help him/her file the complaint.

Complaints alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying may be filed by a
person who alleges that he/she personally suffered unlawful act or by a person who believes that an
individual or any specific class of individuals has been subjected to the unlawful act. The complaint must
be initiated no later than six months from the date when the alleged discrimination, harassment,
intimidation, or bullying occurred or when the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the
alleged act. All complaints shall be investigated and resolved with 60 calendar days of the District’s receipt
of the complaint. However, upon written request by the complainant, the Superintendent or designee may
extend the filing period for up to 90 calendar days. Complaints should be filed with the appropriate
compliance officer depending on the nature and scope of the complaint. The complaint shall be presented to
the compliance officer who shall maintain a log of complaint received, providing each with a code number
and a date stamp.


Step 2: Mediation of Complaint


Within three business days of receiving the complaint, the compliance officer may informally discuss with
the complainant the possibility of using mediation. If the parties agree to mediation, the compliance officer
shall make all arrangements for this process.

Before initiating the mediation of a complaint alleging discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or
bullying, the compliance officer shall ensure that all parties agree to make the mediator a party to related
confidential information.

If the mediation process does not resolve the problem within the parameters of law, the compliance officer
shall precede with his/her investigation of the complaint.

The use of mediation shall not extend the District’s timelines for investigation and resolving the complaint
unless the complainant agrees in writing to such an extension of time.


Step 3: Investigation of Complaint


Within 10 calendar days of receiving the complaint, the compliance officer shall provide the complainant
and/or his/her representative an opportunity to present the complaint and any evidence, or information
leading to evidence, to support the allegations in the complaint. The compliance officer also shall collect all
documents and interview all witnesses with information pertinent to the complaint.

A complainant’s refusal to provide the District’s investigator with documents or other evidence related to
the allegations in the complaint, failure or refusal to cooperate in the investigation, or engagement in any
other obstruction of the investigation may result in the dismissal of the complaint because of lack of
evidence to support the allegation.

In accordance with law, the District shall provide the investigator with access to records and information
related to the allegation in the complaint and shall not in any way obstruct the investigation. Failure/refusal
of the District to cooperate in the investigation may result in a finding based on evidence collected that a
violation has occurred and a remedy in favor of the complainant.


Step 4: Response


Unless extended by written agreement with the complainant, the compliance officer shall prepare and send
to the complainant a written report of the District’s investigation and decision, as described in Step #5
below, within 60 calendar days of the District’s receipt of the complaint.


Step 5: Final Written Decision


The District’s decision shall be in writing and sent to the complainant. The District’s decision shall be
written in English and in the language of the complainant whenever feasible or as required by law.

The decision shall include:
1. The findings of fact based on the evidence gathered;
2. The conclusion(s) of law;
3. The disposition of the complaint;
4. The rationale for such disposition;
5. Corrective actions, if any are warranted;
6. Notice of the complainant’s right to appeal the decision to the California Department of Education
(CDE) within 15 calendar days, and procedures to be followed for initiating such an appeal;

In addition, any decision concerning a discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying complaint
based on state law shall include a notice that the complainant must wait until 60 calendar days have elapsed
from the filing of an appeal with the CDE before pursuing civil law remedies.

If an employee or student is disciplined as a result of the complaint, the report shall simply state that
effective action was taken and that the employee or student was informed of district expectations. The
report shall not give any further information as to the nature of the discipline.

If a complaint alleging noncompliance with laws regarding student fees, deposits, and other charges is
found to have merit, the District shall provide a remedy to all affected students and parents/guardians,
which, where applicable, shall include reasonable efforts to ensure full reimbursement to them.


Appeals to the California Department of Education


If the complainant is dissatisfied with the district’s decision, the complainant may appeal in writing to the
CDE within 15 calendar days of receiving the district’s decision. When appealing to the CDE, the
complainant must specify the basis for the appeal of the decision and whether the facts are incorrect and/or
the law has been misapplied. The appeal shall be accompanied by a copy of the locally filed complaint and
a copy of the district’s decision.

Upon notification by the CDE that the complainant has appealed the district’s decision, the Superintendent
or designee shall forward the following to the CDE:

(1) A copy of the original complaint;
(2) A copy of the District’s decision;
(3) A summary of the nature and extent of the investigation conducted by the district, if not covered in the
District’s decision;
(4) A copy of the investigation file including, but not limited to, all notes, interviews, and documents
submitted by the parties and gathered by the investigator;
(5) A report of any action taken to resolve the complaint;
(6) A copy of the District’s complaint procedures; and
(7) Such other relevant information as requested by the CDE

The CDE may directly intervene in the complaint without waiting for action by the district when one of the
conditions listed in 5 CCR 4650 exists. In addition, the CDE may also intervene in those cases where the
district has not taken action within 60 calendar days of the date the complaint was filed with the district.


Civil Law Remedies


A complainant may pursue available civil law remedies outside of the district’s complaint procedures.
Complainants may seek assistance from mediation centers or public/private interest attorneys. Civil law
remedies that may be imposed by a court include, but are not limited to, injunctions and restraining orders.
For complaints alleging discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying based on state law, a
complainant shall wait until 60 calendar days have elapsed from the filing of an appeal with the CDE
before pursuing civil law remedies, provided the district has appropriately and in a timely manner apprised
the complainant of his/her right to file a complaint in accordance with 5 CCR 4622. The moratorium does
not apply to injunctive relief or to discrimination complaints based on federal law.


Williams/Valenzuela Complaint Procedure – EC 35186


The Governing Board designates the following compliance officers to receive and investigate complaints
and ensures district compliance with law in accordance with Williams and/or Valenzuela v. The State of
California: Initial complaints and complaints involving the following:

1) Instructional materials

a) A student does not have standards-aligned textbooks or instructional materials
or state- or district-adopted textbooks or other required instructional materials to use in class.
b) A student does not have access to instructional materials to use at home or after school. (AB
831 and Education Code 35186)
c) Textbooks or instructional materials are in poor or unusable condition, have missing pages, or
are unreadable due to damage.

2) Teacher vacancy or misassignment (AB 831 and Education Code 35186)

a) A semester begins and a teacher vacancy exists. (AB 831 and Education Code 35186)
b) A teacher who lacks credentials or training to teach English learners is assigned to teach a class
with more than 20 percent English learner students in the class
c) A teacher is assigned to teach a class for which the teacher lacks subject matter competency.

3) Facilities

a) A condition poses an emergency or urgent threat to the health and safety of students or staff.
(Education Code 17592.72)
b) School restroom has not been cleaned, maintained, or kept open in accordance with Education
Code 35292.5.

A complaint about problems beyond the authority of the school principal shall be forwarded in a timely
manner, but not to exceed 10 working days, to the appropriate school district official for resolution. A
complaint alleging any deficiency specified in item #4 above shall be filed with a district official
designated by the Superintendent. Such complaints may be filed at the district office or at the school site
and shall be immediately forwarded to the Superintendent or designee. Complaints of non-satisfactory
response to aforementioned issues or previous complaints, complaints regarding site principals, and
complaints involving non-school site issues should be directed to the following individual(s):

San Jose Charter Academy
Ms. Andrea Luna, Chief Business Officer
2021 W. Alwood Street, West Covina, CA 91790
(626) 856-1693, ext. 4004


Notifications


Complaints pursuant to Williams and/or Valenzuela vs. The State of California shall be either remedied or
forwarded to the district office for remedy within 10 days of the filing of the complaint. All such
complaints shall be resolved within 30 days from the filing of the complaint.
The Superintendent or designee shall meet the notification requirements of the Code of Regulations, Title
5, Section 4622, including the annual dissemination of district complaint procedures and information about
available appeals, civil law remedies, and conditions under which a complaint may be taken directly to the
California Department of Education. This policy shall be distributed annually to students, employees,
parents/guardians, district/school advisory committees, appropriate private school officials or
representatives, and other interested parties. The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that complainants
understand that they may pursue other remedies, including actions before civil courts or other public
agencies. Remedies may include court orders, preliminary injunctions and/or restraining orders.
 

Reporting of Data and Records


The District shall report summarized data on the nature and resolution of all complaints, pursuant to
Williams and/or Valenzuela vs. The State of California, on a quarterly basis to the County Superintendent
of Schools and the Governing Board of the school district. The summaries shall be publicly reported on a
quarterly basis at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Governing Board of the school district. The report
shall include the number of complaints by general subject area with the number of resolved and unresolved
complaints. Complaints and responses shall be available as public record.

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that the district’s complaint form contains a space to indicate
whether the complainant desires a response to his/her complaint and specifies the location for filing a
complaint. A complainant may add as much text to explain the complaint as he/she wishes. However,
complainants need not use the district’s Williams complaint form in order to file a complaint.

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that a notice is posted in each classroom in each school containing the components specified in Education Code 35186.