Unfairness, misunderstanding, hurt feelings, and conflict are experiences that concern us all. When children experience these problems at school it may cause difficulty not only for the children, but for parents and school staff. We sincerely hope that the information provided here regarding how to successfully solve problems at school will be useful to parents in the Plainfield Community School Corporation.
- Take your concern to the person closest to the problem.
No matter where the problem is, take your concern there first. Whether in the classroom, on the bus, on the practice field, in the gym, or the auditorium, the quickest and easiest solution is usually found with the staff member most directly involved. It’s best if you make time to talk with school personnel regularly, before problems are encountered. Know who your children’s teachers, bus drivers, and coaches are and how they may be contacted. Share when things are going well in addition to any concerns you have quickly and openly. The problem you and your child faces may be the result of an oversight or misunderstanding that can be easily corrected once it is brought to the attention of the staff member most directly involved. Give them a chance to tackle the problem first.
- Present your concern to the next level.
The principal is responsible for supervision of staff within the building. The athletic director supervises all school coaches. Bus drivers report to the transportation director. Each one is an example of the next level of school personnel you should contact if the staff member closest to the problem hasn’t been able to satisfactorily resolve the difficulty.
Their ability to help will be improved if you share the steps you’ve already taken with the staff member closet to the problem, or if you will take time to openly share with them the reasons why you feel uncomfortable dealing with the person who is closest to the situation.
Supervisory personnel rarely have ready access to the information they need to be of immediate assistance and working through them will often require additional time.
- Talk with the superintendent of schools.
Sometimes the best intentions can’t solve a problem. When you believe you’ve worked hard with those closest to the problem, and you’ve taken the problem to the next levels, but still haven’t achieved a satisfactory outcome, the superintendent of schools is the next place to go.
Please understand that the superintendent may not be available immediately, but will try to arrange a meeting as soon as possible.
- Contact the School Board
The School Board has two primary responsibilities: making policies that guide the school district’s operations and approving the district budget. Board members rely on the administrative team to handle day-to-day school operations. While you should always feel free to share your concerns with Board members, please understand that they will generally refer issues back to the administrative team.
- So, when should a Board member be contacted and what can they do?
Contact a Board member…
- After other means to solve a problem have been tried,
- When a policy is being enforced that you believe results in bad consequences,
- When you believe a necessary policy isn’t being enforced.
A Board member may take one or all the following actions:
- Informally discuss the issue with the Superintendent or other administrator to consider whether policies or rules should be changed,
- Request that the Board review the specific policies that relate to the situation,
- Propose new policies for the Board’s consideration.