The ISM Board of Trustees has adopted the following policies and processes for resolving complaints and disputes.
The objective of the ISM Dispute Resolution Process is to have school community members resolve issues in-house in an amicable and fair manner whenever possible. School community members include the Head of School, administrators, students, teachers, parents, volunteers, advisers, community members, partners, and collaborators.
One should first attempt to discuss one's conflict with the people directly involved even if difficult and try to resolve it before proceeding any further.
If there is a direct conflict between students and direct discussion cannot resolve the situation, students should use peers to help resolve the conflict.
In the event that peer mediation does not resolve the conflict, students should use a teacher or administrator to resolve the conflict as a mediator.
If a conflict arises involving a teacher, a party should contact either an administrator or another mutually agreeable teacher to listen to the facts and resolve the conflict.
If the conflict involves the Head of School or other administrator, a party should contact either a mutually agreeable teacher or administrator to help resolve the conflict.
In the event that the dispute involving the Head of School or other administrator is not resolved, a party should contact the Chair of the Board of Trustees for further action. The Head of School or other involved individual should know in advance of this action.
If a dispute involves a parent, similar procedures should be used. If unsuccessful, the parent should contact the Head of School for further action.
School community members will avoid contacting the School District and its governing board regarding a conflict at ISM until they have exhausted and documented all of the relevant procedures listed above. In the event the District receives a complaint about ISM, it will promptly forward the complaint to the Charter School for investigation and resolution.
The governing board of the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District agrees to refer all complaints regarding the school's operations to the ISM Director for resolution in accordance with the Charter School's adopted policies. Parents, students, board members, volunteers, and staff at the Charter School will be provided with a copy of ISM’s policies and dispute resolution process and will agree to work within it. In the event that ISM’s adopted policies and processes fail to resolve the dispute, the District governing board agrees not to intervene in the dispute without the consent of the Charter School’s governing board unless the matter directly relates to one of the reasons specified in law for which a charter may be revoked.
The ISM Board of Trustees has adopted a Uniform Complaint Procedures Policy that complies with Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 4600 et. seq. and other applicable state and federal laws and regulations. This policy provides a uniform system of complaint processing for complaints of discrimination and failure to comply with state or federal laws and regulations.
Any individual, public agency, or organization may file a written complaint of alleged noncompliance by ISM. ISM provides a Uniform Complaint Form for the filing of complaints, and all complainants must use that form. The ISM staff will assist any complainant unable to put a complaint in writing or complete the form due to conditions such as disability or illiteracy.
California Education Code (EC) § 47605(d)(4)) states the following:
A charter school shall not discourage a pupil from enrolling or seeking to enroll in a charter school for any reason, including, but not limited to, academic performance of the pupil or because the pupil exhibits any of the following characteristics:
Economically disadvantaged (determined by eligibility for any free or reduced price meal program)
Neglected or delinquent
Pupils with disabilities
A charter school shall not request a pupil's records or require the parent, guardian, or pupil to submit the pupil's records to the charter school before enrollment.
A charter school shall not encourage a pupil currently attending the charter school to disenroll from the charter school or transfer to another school for any reason (except for suspension or expulsion).
This notice shall be posted on a charter school's Internet website and a charter school will provide copies of this notice (1) when a parent, guardian, or pupil inquires about enrollment; (2) before conducting an enrollment lottery, and (3) before disenrollment of a pupil.
In order to submit a complaint, complete the Charter School Complaint Form and submit the form to the charter school authorizer, electronically or in hard copy, to the following location:
Monterey Peninsula Unified School District
7 Pacific Street
Monterey, CA 93940-2815
Federal Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, implemented at 34 C.F.R. § 106.31, subd. (a), provides that no person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, or other education program or activity operated by a recipient which receives federal financial assistance. Because ISM does receive federal support, Title IX requires the school to take immediate and appropriate action to investigate when it knows or reasonably should know of a possible Title IX violation.
In the event of a complaint regarding gender equity or sexual harassment, or discrimination, including harassment, intimidation, and bullying because of actual or perceived disability, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race, ethnicity, color, ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital or parental status, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics, contact the following Title IX and nondiscrimination coordinator:
Head of Operations and Human Resources
1720 Yosemite Street
Seaside, CA 93955
Lisa Wichael-Loomis, Head of Operations and Human Resources, (Primary) or Scott Hirschfield, Head of Development, Finance, and Compliance, (Secondary) may act as the Title IX Investigator. This person will collect all applicable information and evidence, speaking directly with all parties involved.
Jessica Allen, Head of School, (Primary) or Scott Hirschfield, Head of Development, Finance, and Compliance, (Secondary) may act as the Title IX Decision Maker. This person will review all collected applicable information and evidence, including but not limited to emails, text messages, documented first hand conversations, and/or interviews with other involved parties.
Finally, Jessica Allen, Head of School, (Primary) or Scott Hirschfield, Head of Development, Finance, and Compliance, (Secondary) or Kevin Brookhouser, the ISM Board Chair, (Tertiary) may act as the Title IX Appeals Officer. In the case of an appeal being filed, the Appeals Officer will evaluate the appeal based on the Decision-Makers final decision.
All parties involved in the determination of an individual claim will complete Title IX Training.