Grievances Against Institute Charter Schools
The Colorado Charter School Institute (“Institute”) functions as the state authorizer for high-quality charter schools in Colorado. For charter schools authorized by the Institute, the Institute is responsible for ensuring the charter school performs within the guidelines, standards, and laws imposed by the charter contract and state and federal laws and regulations.
Institute charter schools in Colorado are publicly funded and open to all students. Each Institute charter school has an independent governing board that is responsible for the financial, organizational, and academic viability of the school. Institute charter schools have the freedom to establish their own policies, design their own educational program, and manage their own human and financial resources. The Institute is not involved in operational decision-making such as attendance, grading, staff hiring, and school curriculum so long as they are consistent with any applicable laws, rules, and policies.
CSI Grievance Policy
The Institute adheres to the CSI Grievance Policy, and each Institute charter school utilizes a tiered approach for grievances. Generally, the following steps for addressing a grievance should be followed.
- Address Issue with Those Directly Involved. The grievant must first bring the concern to the attention of the individual(s) directly involved.
- Address Issue with School Leader. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached at the lowest possible level, or where the complaint directly involves the school leader, the concern may then be brought to the attention of the school leader.
- Prepare a Written Grievance for the Charter School Governing Board. In cases when the concern has not been addressed at Steps 1 and 2 to the satisfaction of the grievant, the grievant may file a formal written grievance to the school’s governing board.
- Submit a Written Grievance to the Colorado Charter School Institute Executive Director. If the grievant is not satisfied with the school board’s determination not to review the written grievance or the written resolution reached by the governing board after reviewing the grievance, the grievant may submit the concerns in written format to the Institute within five business days from receiving the written decision of governing board. After review, the Institute’s Executive Director will publish his/her conclusions in writing within 15 calendar days from receipt of the written concern. The decision of the charter school governing board will not be overturned unless there are compelling grounds that the school violated an applicable law, regulation, policy, or contract provision. The Institute can be contacted at (303) 866-3299 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parents should refer to the school’s grievance policy in the Parent/Student Handbook to determine the appropriate steps to take to file a complaint. The school’s grievance policy must be followed in its entirety. Should the Institute receive a parent complaint, the Institute will notify the school (respecting anonymity if requested) and direct the individual to the school’s grievance policy.
School Employee Grievances
Institute charter school employees are employees of the school, not the Institute. Institute schools should adopt and implement personnel policies in accordance with state and federal law to address, among other topics, hiring and termination of personnel, terms of employment and compensation. While the Institute is responsible for ensuring that Institute charter schools comply with all applicable employment laws, Institute schools are primarily responsible for compliance with those laws.
Employees (current or past) should refer to the school’s grievance policy in the school’s Employee and/or Parent/Student Handbook to determine the appropriate steps to take to file a complaint. The school’s grievance policy must be followed in its entirety. Should the Institute receive an employee complaint, the Institute will notify the school (respecting anonymity if requested) and direct the individual to the school’s grievance policy. Individuals should seek the advice of an attorney if they have questions about their employment rights.