The Ketchikan School Board on Wednesday will hold three public hearings on proposed revisions to the Ketchikan School District's complaints policies.
None of the proposed revisions would change the intent or meaning of the policies.
First on the list of suggestions, the Policy Committee is recommending changes to Board Policy 1312, "Public comments concerning the schools."
The board's Policy Committee is recommending that the board rename the policy "Public complaints concerning schools," a closer reflection of what the policy covers, and that it adopt three other clarifications.
The policy as it stands states that "the School Board believes that the quality of the educational program can improve when the district listens to complaints, considers differences of opinion, and resolves disagreements through an established, objective process."
Instead of referencing the quality of "the educational program," the policy committee is recommending that the policy be changed to comment that the quality of "education provided through the district can improve when it listens" to those complaints.
The next paragraph of the policy states that "the School Board encourages persons to resolve problems early and as directly as possible with the person against whom there is a complaint whenever possible." The policy committee is recommending striking the last two words in that sentence.
Finally, the current policy indicates that "if a problem remains unresolved, the individual should submit a formal complaint as early as possible in accordance with appropriate district procedures."
The committee recommends adding four words to the middle of the sentence directing individuals to "submit a formal complaint to the appropriate administrator as early as possible."
The proposed changes to Board Policy 1312.1 are more mundane, changing an instance of the word "assure" to "ensure," clarifying that it will protect the rights of staff members and the district "through due process," and stipulating that that verbal complaints against an employee made to a board member or at a board meeting will be referred to the superintendent "in writing or via email."
Finally, the proposed revision to Board Policy 1312.3(a), "Public complaints concerning discrimination," would add nothing more than a cross-reference to the section of board policy outlining the district's discrimination policies.