Complaint Procedures – Communication

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BIFS prides itself on being a community. An important hallmark of a quality community is the ability for community members to collaboratively dialogue about concerns so as to reach a mutually beneficial outcome. In order to facilitate this dialogue, there must be open and clear communication between all members of the community – students, parents, teachers and administration. It is also important for everyone to enter into these sometimes difficult conversations assuming the best intentions from all parties and to remind ourselves that we are all working together for the benefit of our students.

Sometimes, it is helpful to have some suggestions and a road map to help all members of the community seek out and embrace these critical conversations. Below please find a suggested three stage protocol for sharing and addressing concerns or complaints.

Stage One: Informal Resolution
It is our hope that most concerns and conversations would be resolved quickly and effectively through an informal process.
If a community member has a complaint or concern, they should first contact the person with which they have the grievance.
If this is a student, please approach the teacher
If this is a parent, please approach the teacher
If this is a teacher, please approach the administrator

In most instances, the concern will be will be addressed at this level. If the person with the concern cannot address it at this level alone, it may be necessary to invite another person to accompany them (such as a counselor, administrator or the Head of School)
Please note that any concern made directly to the divisional Principal will normally be referred to the relevant teacher or individual unless the division Principal deems it appropriate to deal with the matter personally.
Teachers and Principals will keep anecdotal records of concerns or complaints on the date when they were received and reviewed. The Principal/Teacher will document the outcomes in an email to the individual raising the concern.
Most concerns will be resolved informally. However, in the cases when a resolution does not occur, complainants will be advised that they may follow a formal procedure.

Stage Two: Formal Resolution
If the concern cannot be resolved on an informal basis, then the complainant should bring their concern in writing to the Head of School to submit a formal complaint. The Head of School will decide, after considering the concern, the appropriate action to take.
In most cases, the Head of School will meet with the complainant to discuss the matter, If possible, resolution will be reached at this stage.
The Head of School reserves the right to carry out further investigations,
The Head of School will keep written records of all meetings and interviews held in relation to the concern.
Once the Head of School is satisfied that, so far as is practicable, all of the relevant facts have been established, a decision will be made and the complainant will be informed of this decision in writing. The Head of School will also provide a rationale for the decision that has been made.
If the complainants are still not satisfied due to a lack of adherence to school policy, they should proceed to address the issue by requesting a formal Panel Hearing.

Stage Three: Panel Hearing
If the complainant believes that school policy has been compromised in the resolution of a specific concern, then they may request a Panel Hearing. A Panel Hearing is a group of board members that will be assembled on a need basis for this purpose.
Once requested, the matter will be referred to the panel hearing for consideration.
All matters with the panel hearing shall be submitted in writing
The panel hearing shall consist of three board members that are appointed by the chairman of the Board of Governors.
Only issues of policy compliance may be brought before a Panel Hearing.
If the Panel believes that further investigation is needed to render a decision, they may direct the particulars of the investigation.
Once an appeal is made to the Panel Hearing, the Panel will render its decision within five days of the hearing meeting. The Panel will communicate its decision and its rationale to all parties in writing. The decision of the Panel will be final.

Our community members can be assured that any concerns or complaints will be treated seriously and confidentially as applicable.