IFA Student Appeals
Adopted: January 21, 1992
Where a decision of an employee of a Board significantly affects the education of a student,
1. The parent of the student, and
2. In the case of a student who is 16 years of age or older, the student, or either of them may, within a reasonable time for the date that the parent or student was informed of the decision, appeal that decision to the Board.
1. The appeal process should be expedient.
2. Failure of a person to make a decision is deemed to be a decision that may be appealed.
3. The first appeal should be to the person in the organization who made the original decision.
4. Subject to a determination by administration of extenuating circumstances where this policy is deemed to be inappropriate, administration can modify the procedures as outlined and notify parents or the student or both of the modifications to the procedures, and the reasons for the changes.
5. Any employee making a decision that significantly affects the education of a student shall provide written confirmation of that decision to the parent or student or both, as the case may be, and include with that written confirmation a copy of the appeals policy and procedures.
1. The first appeal of an employee decision shall be made, in writing, to the employee who made the decision. This appeal should be made within ten (10) school days of the appellant being advised of the decision, and the employee to whom the appeal is directed shall, within two (2) school days of receiving the appeal, confirm, amend, or withdraw the decision and advise the appellant, in writing, of the decision, the right to appeal, and to whom the appeal should be made.
2. The second appeal of an employee decision shall be made, in writing, to that employee's immediate superior in the organization within five (5) school days of the date that the appellant was informed of the first appeal decision (e.g. a decision of a teacher would next be appealed to the principal of the school). The person to whom the appeal is made shall, after consulting (where possible) with the original decision-maker and the appellant, support the decision, amend the decision, or overturn the decision. The person in the organization who receives the appeal must provide the appellant and the original decision-maker with the decision, in writing, within five (5) school days of receiving the appeal, and must notify the appellant of the right to appeal, and to whom the appeal should be made.
3. If after the second appeal, the decision remains unacceptable to the appellant, the appellant may appeal to the next level in the organization. The appeal must be made, in writing, within five (5) school days of receiving the results of the last appeal. The person receiving the appeal will follow the procedures outlined in “2” above. This process is repeated until the appeal reaches the Superintendent. Appeals to the Superintendent must be in writing and the last decision-maker must present in writing to the Superintendent the history of the appeal to date including documentation, and his/her reasons for the decision taken.
4. The final appeal beyond the Superintendent is to the Board. Such appeals shall be lodged in writing. They would normally be considered at the next regular Board meeting after receipt of the appeal. At this stage advocates and/or expert witnesses may make representation on behalf of the appellant or the District administration. The matter will normally be discussed in the committee of the whole before being acted upon by the Board. The Superintendent will supply to the Board, in writing, the material provided under “3” above, and any other material deemed pertinent. The Board may request the parent and/or the student, and any employees who have made decisions on the matter under appeal, to appear before it to present their positions. All supporting information that will be offered to the Board by administration in support of its position shall be shared with the appellant within a reasonable time in advance of the matter coming to the Board. The appellant shall likewise provide to administration any information that he/she intends to provide to the Board, so that administration will be able to prepare its position appropriately. If any expert witnesses are to be called to make representations, the opposing side shall be told in advance, in summary form, what that expert is going to say. In addition, part of the documents to be shared with the other side shall include, at least in part, expert reports or testing. The Board shall discuss the matter alone in the absence of both parties. The decision shall be made in open meeting of the Board with reference to a student number in order to preserve confidentiality. After the Board has made its decision, the appellant and each person to whom an appeal has been made must be informed of the decision, in writing, forthwith.
5. The decision of the Board is final, except in regard to those matters listed in Section 104 (1) of the School Act (1988), which include the placement of a student in a special education program, home education program, the expulsion of a student, access to and the accuracy or completeness of the student record, the amount and payment of fees and costs, and any matter referred to in Section 5 of the School Act (language of instruction). With respect to these matters a person may request, in writing, that the Minister review decisions of the Board.