Student, Family, and Community Process for Raising Concerns, Complaints, and Requesting Conversations

Document ID
Complaint
Title
Student, Family, and Community Process for Raising Concerns, Complaints, and Requesting Conversations
Print Date
September 14, 2022
Revision
1.0
Prepared By
Sean Anderson – School Leadership Liaison
Date Prepared
September 2, 2022
Effective Date
September 14, 2022
Reviewed By 
EC Leadership Circle
Date Reviewed
September 14, 2022
Approved By
EC Leadersion Circle
Date Approved
September 14, 2022

The Complaint Officer at Milestone Democratic School is Sean Anderson. You can reach him at:

Milestone Democratic School does not have a Principal, Superintendent, or District Administrator. Instead, our membership elects a School Leadership Liaison every year to help connect our members and the wider community to the Leadership Circle of our school. The Leadership Circle acts collectively as Principal, Superintendent, and District Administrator. The School Leadership Liaison serves as Complaint Officer, responsible for receiving formal and informal complaints, and responding on behalf of the Leadership Circle.

Milestone is committed transformative justice 

Our School Plan commits us to a vision of justice rooted in a strong sense of community, belonging, safety, and unconditional human worth as the primary response to harm, conflict or other social problems. Any and all concerns or complaints that arise from our members, whether students, caregivers/parents/guardians, staff, or community stakeholders, will be addressed through this lens. You may directly request a transformative justice process using the form on our website: Current Families – Transformative Justice Request

Milestone is a participatory democracy

Remember – as a student, a caregiver/parent/guardian, or a community stakeholder, you are a member of our school and have the right (and responsibility!) to help govern it. Any and all agreements about how we run our school (these are technically called our “Operational Procedures and Administrative Regulations”) can be created, modified, and/or rescinded at our monthly membership meetings. If you notice that something isn’t working at Milestone, or could be working better – check to see if there is already an agreement in place (they’re all posted to our Knowledge Base ). If there is – bring a proposal to make it better! If there isn’t – bring a discussion to create one! Reach out to the Leader or Facilitator of the Membership Meetings (called “Community Engagement”) to get your ideas on the agenda. 

Milestone’s EC is a sociocracy

You can always bring your concerns and complaints directly to the School Leadership Liaison. They may connect you with the Leader of one of our EC Circles that has the authority to make a decision regarding your concern or complaint. You can also reach out directly to the Leader of any Circle, or attend their meetings yourself:

I have a question, concern, or complaint about…I can contact…
The Worldview & Values of the school, Student Services & Care, and JusticeThe Culture & Climate Circle
Governance, Facilities, Food, Staffing, Calendar & Schedules, and the BudgetThe Operations & Governance Circle
Learning Experiences, Learning Goals, and Assessments of LearningThe Learning & Teaching Circle
Raising funds for the school, raising the profile of the school, or general oversight of the schoolThe Governance Board
The overall design of the schoolThe Design Team

All concerns, complaints, and questions that are received by Circle Leaders will be handled in the following way:

  1. The Circle Leader who receives the concern, complaint, or question will immediately enter it into their circle’s backlog, and highlight it as time sensitive to ensure that it is addressed at the following Circle meeting.
  2. If the Leader who received the concern, complaint, or question believes that they satisfactorily resolved it, it will be placed on the next meeting agenda as a report and open to clarifying questions from the rest of the Circle.
  3. If the Leader who received the concern, complaint, or question does not believe they can satisfactorily address it, it will be placed on the next meeting agenda as either a discussion to gather feedback, or a decision to take action on.
  4. Records of all concerns, complaints, and questions raised in Circle meetings will be kept in a clear and transparent manner in the Circle’s confidential notes. Published minutes of the Circle meeting may contain an anonymized description of the question, concern, or complaint as well as the Circle’s discussion or action based on it, but will not include any individual’s name or personally identifiable information.
  5. If the Circle meeting provides feedback or takes action, the Circle Leader will promptly follow up with the person who raised the concern, complaints, or question. 
  6. All concerns and complaints brought to the EC will be considered for TJ circle support and processes.

Complaints about discrimination

If you believe you have been discriminated against at Milestone on the basis of sex, race, religion, national origin (including a student whose primary language is not English), ancestry. creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, and, or physical, mental, emotional or learning disability, please follow this procedure:

  1. FIle a written complaint (by email, mail, or text message) as soon as possible with the Complaint Officer. Include as much detail as possible, but at minimum:
    1. The reason for the complaint,
    2. The facts of the complaint, and
    3. The relief you are requesting.
  2. If you wish to remain anonymous you may either:
    1. File the complaint anonymously by mail, or
    2. File the complaint by email or text message, making a clear request to the Complaint Officer that your name and identifying information be removed  before presenting the complaint to the EC Leadership Circle.
  3. If you want a written response to your complaint, please indicate that clearly in your complaint.
  4. When receiving a complaint that is not anonymous, the Complaint Officer will respond in writing (by email, mail, or text message) to acknowledge your complaint within 5 days.
  5. The Complaint Officer will bring your complaint, as written, to the EC Leadership Circle to take action on. Reports of complaints, discussions of complaints, and action taken (including investigations, findings, and corrective actions) will be included in the Leadership Circle’s publicly-posted meeting minutes, but only in such a way as to ensure the privacy of all parties involved. 
  6. The Complaint Officer will forward your complaint to the school’s Governance Board, the Authorizer’s office at the University of Wisconsin, and the Department of Public Instruction’s Charter Schools office of the Parental Education Options Team for their information.
  7. A written response to your complaint will be delivered to you by the Complaint Officer within 30 days. Responses will include:
    1. Details of investigations conducted (with names and identifying information redacted,
    2. Notes from discussions held by the EC Leadership Circle, and
    3. Final decisions adopted by consent of the EC Leadership Circle.
  8. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you may request an appeal to the Governance Board, following this procedure:
    1. Request, in writing, an appeal of the EC Leadership’s decision on your complaint, by email at board@milestonedemocratic.org or mail at 2758 Dairy Dr, Madison, WI 53718.
    2. Include in your request the original complaint sent to the Complaint Officer, the written response you received, and your reason for requesting the appeal.
    3. The Board President will respond to acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 15 days.
    4. The Board President will provide a written response to your appeal within 30 days.

You have protection under Wisconsin law against discrimination, including the right to appeal directly to the Department of Public Instruction. You can find more information at this webpage: Pupil Nondiscrimination Guidelines for Filing a Complaint under Wisconsin’s Pupil Nondiscrimination Law.

Last updated bySean Anderson on September 14, 2022
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