Complaint Processes, Policies, & Procedures
Policies & Procedures
Non-Discrimination and Equality Statement
Under the Safe Schools Act, discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, intimidation, and bullying are all behaviors that interfere with a student’s ability to learn. These behaviors negatively impact student engagement, safety, and the ability to foster a positive school environment. Inspire School of Arts & Sciences prohibits all acts of discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, intimidation, and bullying. This policy includes all instances that occur anywhere on the school campus, all school-sponsored events and activities (regardless of location), and through school or personally-owned technology, or other electronic means.
As used in this policy, discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, intimidation, and bullying are described as intentional misconduct. This includes: verbal, physical, or written communication, and sexual amd nonsexual cyber-bullying. Any form of misconduct on any of the following grounds is violation of Title IX: actual or perceived characteristics of mental or physical disability, sex , sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, immigration status, nationality (including national origin, country of origin, and citizenship), race or ethnicity (including ancestry, color, ethnic group identification, ethnic background, or traits historically associated with race, such as hair texture and protective hairstyles like braids, locks, and twists), religion or religious affiliation (including agnosticism and atheism), medical conditions (including pregnancy and related conditions), genetic information, marital or parental status, or age. These apply to any individual associated with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics, or any other grounds protected by applicable law, ordinance, or regulation.
Any person seeking retaliation against an individual currently or formerly in violation of the Safe Schools Act will themselves be considered in violation of the Safe Schools Act. In addition, retaliation and bullying are encompassed by any form of misconduct described and prohibited by the definitions set forth in this Policy.
To every extent possible, Inspire will make consistent efforts to prevent students from facing discrimination, harassement, intimidation, and/or bullying. Inspire will take action to investigate, respond, address, and report on such behaviors in a timely manner. Any school staff or faculty member that witnesses an act of misconduct prohibited by this Policy will take immediate steps to intervene when safe to do so.
Inspire School of Arts & Sciences does not tolerate any misconduct stated in this Policy from any individual. This includes: employees, independent contractors, students, volunteers, or any other persons with whom Inspire does business. This Policy applies to all relationships including those of employees, students, and any individuals previously stated, in disregard to position or gender. Inspire will promptly and thoroughly investigate any complaint of such misconduct prohibited by this Policy and take appropriate corrective action.
Sex Equity in Education Act
Per the Sex Equity in Education Act, all students, staff, and faculty are entitled to the following list of rights.
If you feel any of your entitlements have been violated, please contact our Equity Coordinator, Evita North, at email@example.com or (530) 891-3090 x106.
Entitlements for members of the Inspire School of Arts & Sciences community are stated as:
- You have the right to fair and equitable treatment and you shall not be discriminated against based on your sex.
- You have the right to be provided with an equitable opportunity to participate in all academic extracurricular activities, including athletics.
- You have the right to inquire of the athletic director of your school as to the athletic opportunities offered by the school.
- You have the right to apply for athletic scholarships.
- You have the right to receive equitable treatment and benefits in the provision of all of the following:
- Equipment and supplies.
- Scheduling of games and practices.
- Transportation and daily allowances.
- Access to tutoring.
- Locker rooms.
- Practice and competitive facilities.
- Medical and training facilities and services.
- You have the right to have access to a gender equity coordinator to answer questions regarding gender equity laws.
- You have the right to contact the State Department of Education and the California Interscholastic Federation to access information on gender equity laws.
- You have the right to file a confidential discrimination complaint with the United States Office of Civil Rights or the State Department of Education if you believe you have been discriminated against or if you believe you have received unequal treatment on the basis of your sex.
- You have the right to pursue civil remedies if you have been discriminated against.
- You have the right to be protected against retaliation if you file a discrimination complaint.
If your student is thinking or talking about committing suicide or any other self harm, please click the image to access our suicide prevention plan.
Employee/Student Interaction Policy
Inspire School of Arts & Sciences recognizes its responsibility to make and enforce all rules and regulations around student and employee interactions. By enforcing ethics-related rules and regulations, staff members clearly understand the prohibitions and behavior boundaries in which their interactions must follow. Any Inspire employee accused of sexual misconduct, whether or not the accusation is true, becomes at risk for loss of their job, as well as for criminal and/or civil legal actions. All Inspire employees should seek guidance in their daily conduct from established policies, procedures, and directives as provided by the school administration. Although this policy gives specific, clear direction, it is each staff member’s obligation to avoid any situations that could prompt suspicion by parents, students, colleagues, or school leaders.
Corporal punishment shall not be used as a disciplinary measure against any student. Corporal punishment includes the willful infliction of, or willfully causing the infliction of, physical pain on a student.
Corporal punishment does not include an employee’s use of force that is reasonable and necessary to protect the employee, students, staff, or other persons or to prevent damage to property.
The following examples are offered as an outline to direction and guidance for school personnel:
Examples of prohibited actions; DEFINED as corporal punishment
- Hitting, shoving, pushing, or physically restraining a student as a means of control;
- Making students do push-ups, run laps, or perform other physical acts that cause pain or discomfort as a form of punishment;
- Paddling, swatting, slapping, grabbing, pinching, kicking, or otherwise causing physical pain.
Examples of acceptable actions; NOT defined as corporal punishment
- Stopping a student from fighting with another student;
- Defending yourself from physical injury or assault by a student;
- Forcing a pupil to give up a weapon or dangerous object;
- Requiring students involved in athletics to participate in strenuous physical training activities designed to improve their strength, condition, coordination, agility, and physical skills;
- Engaging in group calisthenics, team drills, or other physical education or voluntary recreational activities.
Acceptable vs. Unacceptable Behavior
Inspire School of Arts and Sciences prides itself on the high standards of behavior and professionalism required of its employees. Although there are specific situations outlined in this policy, it is each staff member’s obligation to discern and avoid any situation that could prompt suspicion by parents, students, colleagues, or school leaders.
Violating and trespassing the boundaries of a student/teacher relationship is deemed an abuse of power and a betrayal of public trust. Some activities listed below may seem innocent from a staff member’s perspective, but can be perceived as flirtation or sexual insinuation from other’s points of view. The lists of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors are not to discourage relationships between staff and students that are positive and rooted in good intent, but to prevent relationships that could lead to, or may be perceived as sexual misconduct.
Staff have a responsibility to ensure that they do not cross the boundaries defined in this policy. While sincere, competent, interaction with students fosters learning, student/staff interactions must have boundaries surrounding all potential activities, locations and situations, regardless of intent.
Violations of this Policy
Unacceptable Staff/Student Behaviors
- Gifting any items to an individual student that are, or could be perceived as, personal or intimate in nature.
- Kissing of ANY kind.
- Any type of unnecessary physical contact with a student in a private situation.
- Intentionally being alone with a student away from the school.
- Making or participating in sexually inappropriate comments.
- Listening to sexual jokes and/or comments with sexual double-entendre.
- Listening to or telling sexually-oriented stories.
- Seeking or offering emotional intimacy with a student beyond the normative care and concern required of an educator. (ie. Discussing personal troubles or intimate issues with a student especially in an attempt to gain their support and understanding; discussing employment issues or personal issues at work.)
- Becoming involved with a student to a level that a reasonable person may suspect inappropriate behavior.
- Remarks about the physical attributes or physiological development of a student–outside of an academic discussion that is part of a course curriculum.
- Directly contacting students if the content is not about school activities.
- Being alone in a room with a student at school and with the door closed, unless otherwise required as part of a state-mandated privileged conversation (ie. school counselors, psychologists, nurses etc).
- Using profanity with or at a student.
- Allowing students in your home without proper notification and notice to necessary parties.
- Giving students a ride to/from school or school activities without parent permission, or outside of a legally mandated purpose.
- Obtaining parents’ written consent for any after-school activities on or off-campus.
- Obtaining formal written approval (from school site and parents) to take students off of school property for activities such as field trips or competitions.
- Engaging in communication with students that is conventional, professional, and appropriate for school.
- Keeping the door open when alone with a student.
- Informing and correcting students when they cross your own personal boundaries.
- Refer students to the appropriate staff person, outside of yourself, that is trained to address their particular problems.
- Be aware of the legally protected confidentiality rights of students and parents.
- Keeping all necessary parties informed when a significant issue develops involving a student.
- Asking for advice or help if you find yourself in a difficult situation related to boundaries.
- Informing your supervisor if a conflict arises with a student, or a situation has the potential to become more severe.
- Documenting detailed notes about an incident that could evolve into a more serious situation later.
- Recognizing the inherent responsibility to stop unacceptable behavior of students and/or co-workers.
- Giving students praise and recognition in ways that do not involve physical touch.
- Keeping your professional conduct a high priority during all moments of student contact.
If you are unsure if an action is or isn’t acceptable, ask yourself, “Is following through with this action worth the potential to lose my job?”
Reporting, Investigating, and Consequences
Duty to Report Suspected Misconduct
When any employee becomes aware of boundaries outlined in this policy being crossed, they are required to take action. They may speak to this staff member if the violation appears minor, but under no circumstances is it permitted to not report the matter to school administrators.
If the observed behavior appears to be significant, it is the obligation of every staff member to immediately report the suspicion to an administrator. All reports must remain confidential. It is under the role of the administrator and/or HR to investigate the situation thoroughly, and report to necessary outside authorities. As well, it is vital that employees also report to the administration any awareness or concern of any behaviors that cross boundaries, or if a student appears to be at risk for sexual abuse.
The designated representative of the event will promptly investigate and document the investigation of the sexual misconduct allegations. The representative may call on support staff or outside means of support when it is necessary and deemed appropriate. The investigating administrator or representative, and all others privy to the investigation, are required to protect the privacy of any affected student(s) and/or staff member(s), including potential witnesses. The representative shall promptly notify the California Charter Schools Association Joint Powers Authority that an investigation is in progress; the administration shall notify the Governing Board in a closed session of the alleged event, and any investigations. Upon completion of any investigations, the administration will report to the Governing Board any conclusions reached. The designated representative shall consult with their legal counsel, prior to, during, and after conducting any investigations.
Staff members who violate this policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, such as immediate termination of employment and, where appropriate, will be reported to authorities for potential legal action. In appropriate instances, Inspire School of Arts and Sciences will collaborate with the Human Resources department, as well as with the California Charter Schools Association.
This document shall be discussed with and acknowledged by all Inspire employees as part of their initial employment. It will be reviewed on an annual basis, as part of the on-going expectations for all Inspire employees. The school administration and/or Board of Directors may require additional or alternative training as they see fit.
Math Placement Policy
Per SB 359, Mitchell. (California Mathematics Placement Act of 2015, CMPA), California schools must have a fair, objective, transparent, and consistent mathematics placement policy. This policy applies to all students entering 9th grade. The CMPA aims to erase the far-reaching impact on students’ relationship with and understanding of mathematics by ensuring they are placed in the appropriate mathematics course. As well, findings to support the CMPA noted that students who are most often examples of mathematics misplacements are students of color. With this understanding Inspire works to maintain a placement policy with our nondiscrimination policy in mind.
When incoming 9th graders are granted access to begin selecting their course schedule for the upcoming school year, they are informed of the varying math classes available, and what would best align with their abilities. We offer the standard Common Core classes for the years required for our students.
Student’s select their math classes based on what math they are currently enrolled in for their 8th grade year. Math C is the common course name in Chico and surrounding areas for the 8th grade math course. Students are recommended to check in with their teachers during their 8th grade school year to determine if they will pass their current class. If the teacher expresses a hesitancy to confirm passing with a grade of C or higher, the student will be expected to sign up for Math C at Inspire. If the teacher is confident that the student will earn a grade of C or higher then the student will start the grade level sequence of math classes, starting at 9th grade, by signing up for Integrated Math 1-P.
In the event that a student has been accelerated in math during middle school and is currently taking Integrated Math 1 in their 8th grade year, the student will be allowed to sign up for Integrated Math 2-P, commonly the 10th grade math course.
Once class schedules are submitted for approval, Inspire will compile a list of incoming 9th grade students, their previous schools, their most recent math class, and their teacher. Each teacher at each school will be contacted and given a list of their former students to give the final confirmation they have signed up for the appropriate class, given their abilities and comprehension. Schedules will be accepted and finalized after this confirmation is received.
During the first 2-3 weeks of school, math teachers provide new 9th grade students with either a set of tasks to complete or a diagnostics test to determine the student’s math comprehension, insight, and abilities. Having a clear understanding in these areas, teachers can then more accurately assess if the student has been placed in the appropriate level class. If a student is identified as being inappropriately placed in regard to their abilities, the teacher will meet with necessary parties (parents, school counselors, special education, etc.) to determine what the best placement for the student would be.
TITLE IX Coordinator Information
This Uniform Complaint Procedures Policy (“UCP”) contains rules and instructions about the filing, investigation and resolution of UCP complaints regarding any alleged violation by Inspire School of Arts & Sciences (INSPIRE) of federal or state laws or regulations governing educational programs. Inspire shall have primary responsibility to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations.
INSPIRE developed this UCP pursuant to Title 5, California Code of Regulations, §§ 4600-4687 and consistent with policies and procedures adopted by our governing board. This UCP shall apply only to those complaints that fall within the scope of the UCP and are applicable to charter schools. It does not apply to complaints arising from the employment relationship, which are separately addressed by INSPIRE’S employment policies.
Complaints Under the UCP
A UCP complaint is a written and signed statement by a complainant, including a person’s duly authorized representative or an interested third party, public agency, or organization, alleging a violation of federal or state laws or regulations, which may include an allegation of unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying or charging pupil fees for participation in an educational activity or non-compliance with the requirements of INSPIRE’S Local Control and Accountability Plans (“LCAP”). A UCP complaint must be filed according to the procedures set forth herein.
INSPIRE shall investigate and seek to resolve, in accordance with this UCP, complaints alleging failure to comply with applicable state and federal laws and regulations including, but not limited to, allegations of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying or noncompliance with laws relating to all programs and activities implemented by INSPIRE that are subject to this UCP.
All parties involved in allegations shall be notified by the Responsible Employee when a complaint is filed, when a complaint meeting or hearing is scheduled, and when a decision or ruling is made.
Step 1: Filing a Complaint
Any individual, public agency, or organization may file a written complaint of alleged noncompliance by INSPIRE. A complaint alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying may be filed by a person who alleges that he or she personally suffered unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, or by a person who believes that an individual or any specific class of individuals has been subjected to unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying, or by a parent or guardian. A complaint form is included with these policies, but complaints do not need to be filed with this form.
If a complainant is unable to prepare a written complaint due to conditions such as disability or illiteracy, the complainant can receive assistance from INSPIRE staff.
Complaints shall be filed with the Responsible Employee at the address provided herein. The Responsible Employee will maintain a log of complaints and subsequent related actions, in compliance with Title 5, California Code of Regulations, §§ 4631 and 4633. The Responsible Employee will evaluate the complaint to determine whether it is subject to this UCP and will notify the complainant within five (5) workdays if the complaint is outside the jurisdiction of this UCP.
- Timing of Complaints – A complaint alleging unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying shall be initiated no later than six (6) months from the date when the alleged unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying occurred, or six (6) months from the date the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the alleged unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying. If the complaint is not timely filed, the complainant will be notified of his or her right to appeal to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction for an extension of time in which to file the complaint. Pupil fee complaints shall be filed no later than one (1) year from the date the alleged violation occurred with the Responsible Employee or designee.
- Anonymous Complaints – Complaints related to pupil fees for participation in educational activities may be filed anonymously if the complaint provides evidence or information leading to evidence to support an allegation of noncompliance with the requirements of Education Code § 49010 et seq. (pupil fees). Complaints related to LCAP compliance may also be filed anonymously if the complaint provides evidence or information leading to evidence to support an allegation of noncompliance with the requirements of Education Code § 52075.
Step 2: Mediation (Optional)
Within ten (10) workdays of receiving the complaint, the Responsible Employee and complainant may mutually agree to mediation. The Responsible Employee shall make arrangements for any mutually agreed upon mediation that will allow both the complainant and INSPIRE to present relevant evidence. The Responsible Employee shall inform the complainant that the mediation process may be terminated at any time and proceed directly to an investigation. In the mediation of an unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying complaint, the mediator must agree to keep confidential any information obtained through mediation. If mediation resolves the complaint to the satisfaction of both parties, INSPIRE will implement any remedial measures and the complainant may choose to withdraw the complaint. If mediation does not resolve the complaint to the satisfaction of both parties or within the parameters of law, the Responsible Employee shall proceed with his/her investigation of the complaint.
The use of mediation shall not extend INSPIRE’ timelines for investigating and resolving the complaint unless the complainant agrees in writing to such an extension of time.
Step 3: Investigation of Complaint
In order to investigate the complaint, the Responsible Employee shall have access to applicable INSPIRE records and/or information related to the complaint allegations. As part of his or her investigation, the Responsible Employee shall do all of the following, in no specific order:
- Provide an opportunity for the complainant and/or complainant’s representative and INSPIRE’S representative to present information relevant to the complaint or investigative process.
- Obtain statements from individuals/witnesses who can provide relevant information concerning the alleged violation.
- Review documents that may provide information relevant to the allegation.
- When necessary, seek clarification on specific complaint issues.
Refusal to provide the Responsible Employee with documents or other evidence related to the allegations in the complaint, or failure or refusal to cooperate or obstruction of the investigation by the complainant or his or her representatives may result in dismissal of complaint because of a lack of evidence to support the allegation. Refusal to provide the Responsible Employee with documents or other evidence related to the allegations in the complaint, or failure or refusal to cooperate or obstruction of the investigation by INSPIRE or its staff may result in a finding, based on evidence collected, that a violation has occurred and may result in the imposition of a remedy in favor of the complainant.
Step 4: Board Review
INSPIRE’ Board may consider the complaint at its next regular meeting or at a special meeting convened in order to meet the 60 calendar day total time limit within which the complaint must be answered. Based on all the evidence obtained during the investigation, the Board may approve, modify or reject the Responsible Employee’s proposed decision and issue a final decision that meets the requirements set forth herein. The Board may also decide not to hear the complaint, in which case the Responsible Employee’s decision shall be final.
Step 5: Final Written Decision
The Responsible Employee shall prepare and send to the complainant a written report of the investigation and final decision within sixty (60) days of INSPIRE’S receipt of the complaint, unless extended by written agreement with the complainant. INSPIRE’S decision shall be written in English and, when required by law, in the complainant’s primary language. The decision shall include:
- The finding(s) of fact based on the evidence gathered;
- The conclusion(s) of law;
- Disposition of the complaint;
- Rationale for such disposition;
- Corrective action, if any are warranted, including, with respect to a pupil fee complaint, a remedy that comports with Education Code § 49013(d) and Title 5, California Code of Regulations, § 4600(u);
- Notice of the complainant’s right to appeal INSPIRE’ decision to the CDE; and
- Procedures to be followed for initiating an appeal to the CDE.
In addition, any decision on a complaint of discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying 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.
In no event shall a decision under this section include identifying information of a student or any private employee personnel information, including but not limited to the nature of the disciplinary action taken against the student or employee. If a student or employee is disciplined as a result of the complaint, the decision shall simply state that effective action was taken and that the student or employee was informed of INSPIRE’S expectations.
If INSPIRE finds merit in a complaint regarding Pupil Fees, Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAP), Education of Pupils in Foster Care, Pupils who are Homeless, and former Juvenile Court Pupils now enrolled in our school district, Reasonable Accommodations to a Lactating Pupil, Course Periods without Educational Content (grades nine through twelve), and Physical Education Instructional Minutes (grades one through eight), we shall provide a remedy. If INSPIRE finds merit in a complaint regarding Course Periods without Educational Content, Reasonable Accommodations to a Lactating Pupil, and Education of Pupils in Foster Care, Pupils who are Homeless, and former Juvenile Court Pupils now enrolled in INSPIRE, the remedy shall go to the affected pupil. If INSPIRE finds merit in a complaint regarding Pupil Fees, Physical Education Instructional Minutes and LCAP, the remedy shall to go all affected pupils and parents/guardians. INSPIRE, in good faith will engage in reasonable efforts to identify and fully reimburse all pupils, parents and guardians who paid an unlawful pupil fee within one year prior to the filing of the complaint.
Please file this complaint form and any additional documents in person or by mail with the following individual:
Jen Josephson firstname.lastname@example.org | 335 W. Sacramento Ave. Chico, CA 95926 | (530) 891-3090 ext. 213
In a shared commitment with Inspire educators, the Board of Directors of Inspire School of Arts and Sciences (“Inspire” or the “Charter School”) resolves to responsibly support students’ freedom of speech and expression. We protect their right to inquiry and exchange of ideas, and we support them in guarding against attempts to curtail those freedoms. We respect students’ rights to express ideas and opinions, take stands, and support causes, whether controversial or not. We support open communication as fundamental to a free democratic society, and we
encourage students to engage in civil dialogue, understanding that the ability to navigate ambiguity, listen to a plurality of perspectives, and articulate clear positions are essential traits for its citizens.
Student free speech rights include, but are not limited to, the use of bulletin boards, the distribution of printed materials or petitions, the wearing of buttons, badges, and other insignia, and the right of expression in official publications, whether or not the publications or other means of expression are supported financially by the school or by use of school facilities. Student expression on the Charter School website and online media shall generally be afforded the same protections as print media within the Policy.
Student freedom of expression shall be limited only as allowed by state and federal law in order to maintain an orderly school environment and to protect the rights, health, and safety of all members of the school community. Unprotected Expression includes the following: obscenity; defamation; discriminatory material; harassment (including sexual harassment), intimidation and/or bullying; fighting words; vulgarity and/or profanity; or violating privacy as defined above.