Types of Complaints
The Mendocino County Office of Education shall use the following procedures to investigate and resolve complaints when the complainant alleges that any of the following has occurred: (Education Code 35186)
- Textbooks and instructional materials:
- A student, including an English learner, does not have standards-aligned textbooks or instructional materials or state-adopted or district-adopted textbooks or other required instructional materials to use in class.
- A student does not have access to textbooks or instructional materials to use at home or after school. This does not require two sets of textbooks or instructional materials for each pupil.
- Textbooks or instructional materials are in poor or unusable condition, have missing pages, or are unreadable due to damage.
- A student was provided photocopies sheets from a portion of a textbooks or instructional materials to address a shortage of textbooks or instructional materials.
- Teacher vacancy or misassignment:
- A semester begins and a certificated teacher is not assigned to teach the class.
Vacancy means a position to which an individual designated certificated employee has not been assigned at the beginning of the year for an entire year or, if the position is for a one-semester course, a position to which a single designated certificated employee has not been assigned at the beginning of a semester for an entire semester. (Education Code 33126)
- 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.
- A teacher is assigned to teach a class for which the teacher lacks subject matter competency.
A teacher vacancy is a position to which a single designated certificated employee has not been assigned at the beginning of the year for an entire year or, if the position is for a one-semester course, a position to which a single designated certificated employee has not been assigned at the beginning of a semester for an entire semester.
Beginning of the year or semester means the first day classes necessary to serve all students enrolled are established with a single designated certificated employee assigned for the duration of the class, but not later than 20 working days after the first day students attend classes for that semester. (5 CCR 4600)
Misassignment means the placement of s certificated employee in a teaching or services position for which the employee does not hold a legally recognized certificate or credential; or the placement of a certificated employee in a teaching or services position that the employee is not otherwise authorized by statute to hold. (Education Code 35186; 5 CCR 4600)
A condition exists that poses an emergency or urgent threat to the health or safety of students or staff as defined in Mendocino County Board of Education Policy.
Emergency or urgent threat means structures or systems that are in a condition that poses a threat to the health and safety of students or staff while at school, including but not limited to gas leaks; nonfunctioning heating, ventilation, fire sprinklers, or air-conditioning systems; electrical power failure; major sewer stoppage; major pest or vermin infestation; broken windows or exterior doors or gates that will not lock and that pose a security risk; abatement of hazardous materials previously undiscovered that pose an immediate threat to students or staff; or structural damage creating a hazardous or uninhabitable condition. (Education Code 17592.72)
A school restroom has not been cleaned, maintained, or kept open in accordance with Education Code 35292.5.
Cleaned or maintained school restroom means a school restroom has been cleaned and maintained regularly, is fully operational, and has been stocked at all times with toilet paper, soap, and paper towels or functional hand dryers. (Education Code 35292.5)
Open restroom means except as necessary for student safety or to make repairs, the school has kept all restrooms open during school hours when students are not in classes and has kept a sufficient number of restrooms open during school hours when students are in classes. (Education Code 35292.5)
- California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) intensive instruction and services:
A student, including an English learner, who has not passed the high school exit exam by the end of grade 12 was not provided the opportunity to receive intensive instruction and services pursuant to Education Code 37254(d)(4) and (5) after completion of grade 12 for two consecutive academic years or until the student has passed both parts of the CAHSEE, whichever comes first. (Education Code 35186)
Filing of Complaint
A complaint alleging any condition(s) specified in items #1-#3 above shall be filed with the principal or designee at the school in which the complaint arises. The principal or designee shall forward a complaint about problems beyond his/her authority to the Superintendent or designee in a timely manner, but not to exceed ten (10) working days. (Education Code 35186; 5 CCR 4680)
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. (Education Code 35186)
The complainant need not use Complaint Forms provided to file a complaint.
Investigation and Response
The principal or designee shall make all reasonable efforts to investigate any problem within his/her authority. He/she shall remedy a valid complaint within a reasonable time period not to exceed thirty (30) working days from the date the complaint was received. (Education Code 35186; 5 CCR 4685)
Complaints may be filed anonymously. If the complainant has indicated on the complaint form that he/she would like a response to his/her complaint, the principal or designee shall report the resolution of the complaint to him/her within forty-five (45) working days of the initial filing of the complaint. At the same time, the principal or designee shall report the same information to the Superintendent or designee. (Education Code 35186; 5 CCR 4680, 4685)
When Education Code 48985 is applicable and the complainant has requested a response, the response shall be written in English and in the primary language in which the complaint was filed. (Education Code 35186)
If a complainant is not satisfied with the resolution of the complaint, he/she may describe the complaint to the Board of Education at a regularly scheduled hearing. (Education Code 35186; 5 CCR 4686)
For complaints concerning a facilities condition that poses an emergency or urgent threat to the health or safety of students or staff as described in item #3 above, a complainant who is not satisfied with the resolution proffered by the principal or Superintendent or designee may file an appeal to the Superintendent of Public Instruction within fifteen (15) days of receiving the response. The complainant shall comply with the appeal requirements specified in 5 CCR 4632. (Education Code 35186; 5 CCR 4687)
All complaints and written responses shall be public records. (Education Code 35186; 5 CCR 4686)
The Superintendent or designee shall report summarized data on the nature and resolution of all complaints. The report shall include the number of complaints by general subject area with the number of resolved and unresolved complaints. These summaries shall be publicly reported on a quarterly basis at a regularly scheduled Board meeting. (Education Code 35186; 5 CCR 4686)
Forms and Notices
The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that the Office of Education'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. (Education Code 35186)
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. (Education Code 35186)
MENDOCINO COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION