PUBLIC CONCERNS AND COMPLAINTS
Constructive feedback of the schools is welcomed by the Smithfield School Committee whenever it is motivated by a sincere desire to improve the quality of the educational program. The Committee has, however, confidence in its professional staff and desires to support their actions in order that they be free from unnecessary, unproductive, or negative criticism and complaint. Therefore, whenever a complaint is made directly to the Committee as a whole or to a Committee member as an individual, it will be referred to the Superintendent for review and possible solution.
Persons wishing to submit official complaints or concerns relating to the School District, its policies, personnel, programs, or instructional materials should begin at the level closest to the source of the complaint. If a complaint or concern is not resolved initially, it may be referred to the next level of leadership. If applicable, appeals to the Superintendent must be presented in writing within ten (10) calendar days of the lower level decision. After receiving an appeal, the Superintendent will investigate the matter and respond in writing to the complainant within fourteen (14) calendar days.
Complaints relating to special education issues shall be resolved through the Special Education due process system and shall not be forwarded to the School Committee.
If the Superintendent is unable to satisfy the complainant, the case may be appealed to the School Committee. Any appeal of the Superintendent’s ruling must be presented in writing to the Superintendent within seven (7) calendar days of his/her decision and should be specific in terms of the action desired. The Superintendent will present the appeal to the Committee who may choose to consider the appeal at the next regular School Committee meeting, provided the written appeal is received by noon three working days prior to the meeting. The Committee will resolve the matter according to its best judgment. The Committee shall not consider or act on complaints that have not been explored at the appropriate administrative level.
It shall further be the responsibility of the principal of the school and Superintendent to document any and all meetings pertaining to the complaint resolution or the findings. These documents shall be made available to the School Committee members in the event these matters reach the Committee.
Persons airing complaints during the open forum of School Committee meeting should know that, due to open meeting laws, the Committee is unable to respond to such complaints at that meeting and will redirect individuals to the appropriate process/policy.
The Committee shall require the Superintendent and staff to maintain and disseminate information to parents, legal guardians, and the general public on the proper process and contact information to be used when making complaints.
Adopted: November 18, 2019