Complaint Resolution Process for Programs Covered Under the Federal Every Student Succeeds Act
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) legislation requires Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) to adopt written procedures for "receiving and resolving any complaint alleging violations of the law in administration of programs." In accordance with this legislative requirement, the Souderton Area School District has adopted the following procedures.
A "complaint" is a written, signed statement filed by an individual or an organization. It must include:
- A statement that the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) or the Souderton Area School District has violated a requirement of federal statute or regulations which apply to programs under the Every Student Succeeds Act.
- The facts on which the statement is based.
- Information on any discussions, meetings or correspondence with PDE or the Souderton Area School District regarding the complaint.
Local Complaint Procedures
- Referral - Complaints against the Souderton Area School District will be sent in writing to the Coordinator of Federal Programs.
- Acknowledgment - The Coordinator of Federal Programs will acknowledge receipt of the complaint in writing.
- Investigation - The Coordinator of Federal Programs and other pertinent district administrators and staff will thoroughly investigate the complaint and attempt to resolve the complaint informally. If an informal resolution satisfactory to the complainant is reached no further investigation or action by the District is required. If the problem cannot be informally resolved, it will be referred to the Superintendent of the school district.
- Opportunity to Present Evidence - The Superintendent may, in his or her discretion, provide for the complainant and/or the complainant's representative to present evidence. Such a presentation may include the opportunity for each side to question parties to the dispute and any of their witnesses.
- Report and Recommended Resolution - Once the Superintendent has finished further investigation and taking of evidence, he or she will prepare a final report with a recommendation for resolving the complaint. The final report will give the name of the party bringing the complaint, the nature of the complaint, a summary of the investigation, the recommended resolution, and the reasons for the recommendation. The Superintendent will issue the report to the complainant, complainant's representative, and the Coordinator of Federal Programs.
- Right to Appeal - In appropriate cases, the complainant may appeal from the recommended resolution to the Secretary of the Education of the Commonwealth.
- Follow-Up - The Coordinator of Federal Programs will insure that the resolution of the complaint is implemented.
- Time Limit - The period between the Souderton Area School District's receipt of a complaint and its resolution shall not exceed sixty (60) calendar days.
Filing a Complaint
Complaints should be addressed as follows:
Supervisor of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Souderton Area School District
760 Lower Rd.
Souderton, PA 18964
Susan McCrane, Acting Chief
Division of Federal Programs
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market St.
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333