Parent Appeal Process
This is an informational pamphlet produced by S.P.E.A.C. (Sooke Parents’ Education Advisory Council). S.P.E.A.C. would like to thank the Sooke Teachers’ Association, C.U.P.E. Local 459 and the school district administration for their help and co-operation in producing this brochure.
STEPS TO FOLLOW WHEN YOU HAVE A CONCERN:
Q: Where do I start if I have a concern or problem?
A: Always start with the teacher. A face to face meeting between teacher, parent and student may be the best approach. Most problems will be successfully solved at this level.
Q: Where do I go next?
A: The Vice-Principal or Principal will make every attempt to solve the problem at the school level and can help you contact appropriate people as necessary.
Q: What if my problem cannot be solved at the school level?
A: You may wish to call a Director of Instruction at the School Board Office. If you are unable to achieve satisfaction, referral to the Superintendent may be necessary.
Q: Where would I go from here?
A: You have the option of writing a letter to the School Board or asking to make a formal presentation at a Board meeting.
Q: Could I contact the Ombudsman?
A: Yes, however, the Ombudsman can only look at whether the appeal process was followed by all parties, and if not, their action is restricted to recommendations only.
Q: Would it be appropriate for me to ask the P.A.C. to intervene on my behalf?
A: No. It is important to be fair to yourself and to the parties involved. Acting on your own behalf allows you to take ownership of your problem and follow it through – the problem cannot be dealt with legally or ethically if it is presented anonymously. You can ask your P.A.C. for information on the appeal process or on school regulations, etc.
BRINGING A MATTER TO THE BOARD
Send letters to the Board of School Trustees:
School District #62 (Sooke)
3143 Jacklin Road
Victoria, BC V9B 5R1
Obtain a form from the Board Office to request a presentation time at a School Board Meeting. Make sure submissions are in by the deadline set for each meeting.
HOW CAN I MAKE MY APPEAL FAIR AND EFFECTIVE?
- Act on your own behalf.
- Don’t skip steps in the process – you will only be referred back and will have created a confrontational atmosphere.
- Don’t let emotion cloud your judgment – get both sides of the issue and concentrate on the facts. If you find yourself becoming upset you have the right to ask for time to restore perspective.
- Wherever possible, include the student to prevent any misunderstandings.
WHAT IF I FIND IT NECESSARY TO PUT MY CONCERNS IN WRITING?
- Write a calm, thoughtful letter and be conscious of who your reader(s) will be.
- Make sure your concerns are documented. Don’t let opinion overshadow facts.
- Although it is important to send copies of your letter to those people affected by your concerns, be aware of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and how it may apply to you.
HOW CAN I BECOME MORE INVOLVED?
Every school has a Parent Advisory Council (P.A.C.) which meets regularly in each school. All parents are automatically members of their school’s P.A.C. and are encouraged to attend. P.A.C.s meet to advise and help the schools in a variety of ways and to inform and support parents.
The Sooke Parents’ Education Advisory Council (S.P.E.A.C.) meets the first Wednesday of every month at the School Board Office (7:00 p.m.). S.P.E.A.C. serves as a monthly forum for elected delegates and interested parents from each school in the district to meet and discuss district-wide issues, and to promote education. S.P.E.A.C. provides parent representation on various School Board committees and is represented at regular Board meetings, as well as providing a district liaison to the provincial parent organization British Columbia Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (B.C.C.P.A.C.).