Administration of Policy and Legislation AP 170
The Superintendent demonstrates the belief that open, direct communication between school staff, parents and students is fundamental in resolving conflict or settling disputes.
When differences of opinion or approach exist between school and home, the education of the student and the life of the family may become disrupted. The Superintendent acknowledges that disputes can be resolved in a timely manner if properly approached. It is in the best interest of everyone, especially the student, to try to resolve disputes as quickly and fairly as possible. This procedure establishes the Division’s process for dispute resolution.
1. The process for dispute resolution shall always begin with a meeting of the parties most directly involved and/or impacted by the dispute; specifically:
1.1. Dispute resolution regarding classroom matters, whether or not the matters impact the education of a student, shall begin with the student’s teacher;
1.1.1. Matters shall be discussed directly with the teacher whose action or decision is being questioned; and
1.1.2. If the matter is unresolved, the resolution process may be elevated to school administration (Principal or Assistant Principal);
1.2. Dispute resolution regarding school matters, whether or not the matters impact the education of a student, shall begin with school administration (Principal or Assistant Principal);
1.2.1. Matters shall be discussed directly with the Principal or Assistant Principal; and
1.2.2. If the Principal is not the final authority on the matter at hand, then the resolution of the dispute may be escalated to the Office of the Superintendent.
2. Resolution processes shall not be escalated to a higher level unless both parties have met, in person, to attempt to resolve the issue and the issue remains unresolved after thorough, documented attempts to do so.
3. Ideally, the school teachers and administrators (principal and assistant principal) are in the best capacity to resolve disputes or concerns; the Office of the Superintendent may review the process and, if necessary, ask the parties involved to continue to resolve the matter at the school level.
4. The Office of the Superintendent may involve individuals to assist in dispute resolution at the school level, including but not limited to:
4.1. An educational facilitator,
4.2. The Director, Transportation Services or designate,
4.3. The Director, Early Learning Services,
4.4. The Director, Student Services,
4.5. The Director, School and Community Services,
4.6. The Director, Instructional Services,
4.7. An Associate Superintendent, or
4.8. The Deputy Superintendent.
5. The Superintendent maintains the authority for final review appeals on all matters except those matters that may be appealed to the Board as per the Education Act (section 43(1)), and in alignment with Board Policy 13.
6. Active social media often complicates or exacerbates the dispute resolution process. Given that It is in the best interest of all parties involved to settle disputes in a fair and calm manner, an individual identified in section 4 (above) may request that any active social media posting is withdrawn during the dispute resolution process.
With respect to the Process for Appeal:
7. Board Policy 13 – Appeals and Hearings Regarding Student Matters outlines the Board’s Process for Appeals for the following matters:
7.1. A dispute regarding matters that significantly affect the education of the student;
7.2. A dispute regarding the provision of specialized services;
7.3. A dispute regarding matters involving religion, as per the Education Act s. 58.2; or
7.4. A dispute regarding matters involving human sexuality, as per the Education Act s. 58.2.