GUSD Uniform Complaint Procedure (UCP)
For employees, pupils, parents and/or guardians, advisory committees, private school officials, and other interested parties.
What is a UCP Complaint?
A complaint under the Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP) is a written and signed statement by an individual, public agency, or organization alleging a violation of federal or state laws governing certain educational programs. The GUSD Board of Education encourages the early, informal resolution of complaints whenever possible and appropriate. To resolve complaints that cannot be resolved through such informal process, the Board has adopted the following UCP.
What agencies are subject to the UCP?
The UCP covers alleged violations by local educational agencies (LEAs) (school districts and county offices of education) and local public or private agencies which receive direct or indirect funding from the State to provide any school programs, activities, or related services. Charter schools which receive federal funds are also subject to the UCP or where specified in statute.
What educational programs and services are covered by the UCP?
- Adult Education
- After School Education and Safety
- Agricultural Vocational Education
- American Indian Education Centers and Childhood Education Program Assessments
- Career Technical Education
- Child Care and Development (including State and Preschool)
- Child Nutrition
- Discrimination, harassment, intimidation, bullying, student lactation accommodations, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) resources
- Foster and Homeless Students
- Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAP)
- No Child Left Behind (2001) programs (Title I-VII), including improving academic achievement, compensatory education, English learner programs, and migrant education (to be replaced by the Every Student Succeeds Act [ESSA] beginning in 2016-17)
- Physical Education: Instructional Minutes
- Pupil Instruction: Course Periods Without Educational Content or Previously Completed Courses
- Regional Occupational Centers and Programs
- Special Education
- Tobacco-Use Prevention Education
- Unlawful Pupil Fees
What issues are not covered by the UCP?
Not all complaints fall under the scope of the UCP. Many concerns are the responsibility of the District, including classroom assignments, common core, grades, graduation requirements, hiring and evaluation of staff, homework policies and practices, provision of core curricula subjects, public meeting laws (such as the Brown Act), student advancement and retention, student discipline, student records, and other general education requirements. The District, however, may use its local complaint procedures to address complaints not covered by the UCP.
In addition, the following complaints are referred to other agencies for resolution and not subject to the UCP:
- Allegations of child abuse are referred to County Departments of Social Services, Protective Services Divisions, or appropriate law enforcement agency.
- Health and safety complaints regarding a Child Development Program are referred to the Department of Social Services for licensed facilities, and to the appropriate Child Development regional administrator for licensing-exempt facilities.
- Employment complaints are sent to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
- Allegations of fraud are referred to the responsible Division Director at the California Department of Education (CDE).
How do I file a UCP complaint and how is it processed?
The District UCP complaint policies and procedures provide the information needed to file a local complaint. The District ensures annual notification to its students, employees, parent/guardians, school and district advisory committees, appropriate private school officials and other interested parties of the District's UCP complaint policies and procedures, and the opportunity to appeal the decision to the CDE. The District must provide the complaint policies and procedures free of charge.
What are the responsibilities of the complainant?
- Receives and reviews the UCP complaint policies and procedures from the District.
- Files a written complaint by following the steps described in the District's UCP complaint procedures.
- Cooperates in the investigation and provides the District Superintendent or designee with information and other evidence related to the allegations in the complaint.
- May file a written appeal to the CDE within 15 calendar days of receiving the District's decision if he/she believes the District decision is incorrect.
- Must specify the basis for the appeal and whether the District's facts are incorrect and/or the law is misapplied. The appeal packet must contain a copy of the original complaint to the District and a copy of the District's decision.
- Where applicable, within 35 calendar days of receiving the CDE's decision, may submit a request for reconsideration by the Superintendent of Public Schools at CDE. The CDE's decision or report will notify the complainant if there is a right to request reconsideration. The request for reconsideration must designate the finding(s), conclusion(s), or corrective action(s) in the CDE's decision for which reconsideration is requested, and the specific basis for requesting reconsideration. The request must also state whether the findings of fact are incorrect and/or the law is misapplied.
What are the responsibilities of the district?
- Ensures compliance with applicable federal and state laws and regulations.
- Adopts UCP complaint policies and procedures consistent with the California Code of Regulations, Title 5 Sections 4600-4687.
- District Superintendent or designee is responsible for receiving, investigating and resolving complaints and makes sure the staff member is knowledgeable about the laws/programs he or she is assigned.
- Must give the filing party an opportunity to present information and/or evidence relevant to the complaint.
- Protects complainants from retaliation.
- Resolves the complaint and completes a written report within 60 calendar days of receipt of the complaint unless extended by written agreement of the complainant.
- Must advise the complainant of the right to appeal the District's decision to the CDE within 15 calendar days of receiving the decision.
What are the responsibilities of the CDE?
The UCP authorizes the CDE to process appeals of the District's decision on UCP complaints; or in certain specified situations, to intervene directly and investigate the allegations in the complaint. The CDE:
- Reviews, monitors and provides technical assistance to all Districts regarding the adoption of UCP complaint policies and procedures by the local governing board.
- Refers a complaint to the District for resolution when appropriate.
- Considers a variety of alternatives to resolve a complaint or appeal when:
- The complainant alleges and the CDE verifies that, through no fault of the complainant, the District fails to act within 60 calendar days of receiving the complaint.
- The complainant appeals a District decision if he/she believes the decision is factually and/or legally incorrect.
- When requested by the complainant, the CDE determines when direct intervention is applicable.
- Requires corrective action by the District if noncompliance issues are identified during the investigation.
- Provides monitoring and technical assistance to District to ensure resolution of findings of noncompliance.
- Where applicable, notifies the parties of the right to request reconsideration of the CDE’s decision by the Superintendent of Public Instruction at the CDE within 35 calendar days of the receipt of the decision.
- For those program governed by part 76 of title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulation, notifies the parties of the right to appeal to the United States Secretary of Education.
A Williams complaint concerns instructional materials, emergency or urgent facilities conditions that pose a threat to the health and safety of pupils, and teacher vacancy or misassignment, and may be filled anonymously. The District must have a complaint form available for these types of complaints, but will not reject a complaint if the form is not used as long as the complaint is submitted in writing. Under applicable regulations, a notice must be posted in each classroom in each school notifying parents and guardians of the matters subject to a Williams complaint and where to obtain a form to file a complaint.
A Williams complaint must be resolved by the school principal, District Superintendent or designee. A complainant who is not satisfied with the resolution has the right to describe the complaint to the local governing board at a regularly scheduled meeting of the board. Except for complaints involving a condition of a facility that poses an emergency or urgent threat, there is no right to appeal to CDE.
In the case of complaints concerning a condition of a facility that poses an emergency or urgent threat, a complainant who is not satisfied with the resolution has the right to file an appeal to the Superintendent of Public Instruction at CDE within 15 calendar days of receiving the District decision.
GUSD Board of Education
Nayiri Nahabedian, President | Greg Krikorian, Vice President
Jennifer Freemon, Clerk | Dr. Armina Gharpetian, Member | Shant Sahakian, Member
Winfred B. Roberson, Jr., Superintendent of Schools