How to Communicate Questions or Concerns

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How to Communicate Questions or Concerns

Before coming to the School Board with a specific question, concern, or issue, we encourage you to begin with the staff member closest to the concern. Most complaints can be resolved by informal discussions with the staff member.

At each "step," the person with the concern should request the person at the level to assist them in the process of moving an unresolved question or concern to the next level.

  1. Discuss the issue first with the teacher, guidance counselor, or staff member closest to the concern.
  2. If the issue is not resolved, visit with the principal (this may be the first step if it is a school-wide concern).
  3. If the issue is not satisfactorily resolved at the building level, contact the district office at (360) 273-5536.
  4. If still not satisfied, file a written complaint with the Superintendent's office, describing the problem, the steps taken to resolve the issue and a suggested solution. The Superintendent will send copies to the principals and any staff member involved in the complaint. The Superintendent will then attempt to resolve the matter through a conference with the citizen, staff member(s), and principal.

If still unresolved and after all other avenues have been exhausted, the Superintendent will present the issue to the Board. The Board will attempt to make a final resolution of the matter. Complaints against a staff member must be submitted in writing. The Board may call an executive session to discuss the matter. Any formal actions by the Board will take place at an open meeting.

Public Comment Protocol

The purpose of a school board meeting is to complete the board’s work in public.  There are two opportunities for “Public Comment” built into each business meeting agenda.  Visitors are allowed to address the board only during these designated times.  The first “Public Comment” time is specifically to take comment on agenda items.  If you would like to speak about a topic not on the agenda, you can do this during the final “Public Comment” time.  The following guidelines are stated to assist you in following the board approved operating agreement:

  • Sign in on the Public Comment clip board and include your topic.
  • Limit your comments to 3 minutes or less.
  • The Board assumes that you have shared your concerns at the appropriate level (teacher, principal, superintendent) prior to presenting them to the Board.
  • Do NOT use the names of staff members during public comment.
  • The Chairperson may limit the number of comments per subject.
  • The Board will listen to comments but will not discuss the item unless the topic is on the board agenda.
  • Remember that the Board generally needs to gather additional information about concerns prior to taking action.
  • If visitors make comments outside of their designated “Public Comment” time, he/she will be asked to stop. If the visitor continues, the chairperson will ask the visitor to leave the board meeting.
  • If a visitor wishes to give the board written comments, he/she is asked to please sign and date all correspondence.

State Level Advocacy

Social distancing requirements for public schools are established at the state level. If you wish to advocate for changes in those requirements that would allow the school district to return to full-time in-person learning, please direct your related communications to Governor Jay Inslee and to the Secretary of Washington State Department of Health Dr. Shah. Following is contact information:

The Honorable Jay Inslee Governor, State of Washington 

Mailing Address:

Governor Jay Inslee

Office of the Governor

PO Box 40002

Olympia, WA 98504-0002

E-message to Gov. Inslee:

https://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/send-gov-inslee-e-message

Call:

360-902-4111

TTY/TDD users should contact the Washington Relay Service at 711 or 1-800-833-6388.

Fax:

360-753-4110

Dr. Umair Shah Secretary, Washington State Department of Health

Mailing Address:

Secretary of Health

Dr. Umair Shah

111 Israel Rd SE

Tumwater, WA 98501

Email Address:

secretary@doh.wa.gov

Call:

360-236-4030

Research supporting the reduction of social distancing requirements, includes the following:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics - “Schools should weigh the benefits of strict adherence to a six-foot spacing rule between students with the potential downside if remote learning is the only alternative.”
  • Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Joseph Allen and Sara Bleich wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post. In it, Allen and Bleich wrote, “Six feet should be the default minimum for adults, but it’s past time we recognize that kids are different, and the importance of schools is different, especially for the youngest learners. Three-feet should be the default distance for schools.” 
  •  Massachusetts researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center conclude  “Lowering social-distancing policies in school settings from the longstanding six-feet guidance can be done without negatively impacting student or staff safety if masks are mandated.” Responding to this new study, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, on Sunday said that three feet of social distancing may "indeed" be enough to safely reopen schools and said new guidance on the issue should be coming "soon" from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Forbes Mar. 14, 2021


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