Guidelines for Parent Questions, Concerns, and Conflicts
At MPCS it is our desire to foster a healthy, effective communication process that supports the learning environment for the students at school and fosters a collaborative relationship between home and school.
Community Communication Guidelines
The following communication guidelines are intended to support the direct resolution of questions, concerns, and conflicts that arise. (These guidelines support Direct Resolution, Level 1 of the MPCS Grievance Policy).
- If you have a question or concern about the school or your child’s class, FIRST bring your question or concern to the adult most directly involved with the situation. Set up the time and space for a thoughtful dialogue; avoid discussing sensitive topics in public, in front of students, or by e-mail.
- “Say what you mean, but don’t be mean.” The method of respectful inquiry supports a healthy dialogue: bring your concern as a question rather than an accusation or judgment. Assume positive intent; there are always other perspectives to a situation. Make time for all involved to speak.
- Avoid gossip. Be mindful when speaking about or for people who aren’t present in the conversation. When encountering gossip, encourage participants to pursue positive communication for resolution of the concern.
- Bring sensitive questions or issues in a face-to-face conversation. Body language and voice intonation are very important for the accurate understanding of another. If a face-to-face meeting is not possible, a phone call would be the next choice for a conversation. However, if a phone conversation is attempted and is not progressing positively, one participant should request that the conversation be postponed until a face-to-face meeting can be scheduled in a timely manner.
- In most cases, email should be used for the dispersal or clarifying of information or to set-up a time to talk. E-mails can be easily misunderstood, resulting in further miscommunication. In the same manner, phone messages left on a voicemail are best for setting a time to talk, not relaying sensitive information that is left in a message.
- In most cases, these steps will result in resolution of any miscommunications or concerns. In the rare situation, if you feel that the above steps have not addressed your concern, please bring your concern to the Director of Education (for educational topics) or the Director of Operations (for operational topics) and ask him/her to support resolution of the concern (MPCS Grievance Policy – Level 2 Administrative Resolution). This may include a meeting to hear the outstanding issues and/or facilitated meeting with all parties in attendance.
By working together we can create a healthy communication process that promotes understanding, trust, and successful problem solving. If you have any questions about this communication protocol, please speak to one of the directors.
For Issues Concerning the Classroom
- Speak first to your child’s teacher and try to find resolution at this level using the guidelines above.
- If you are unable to find resolution in speaking with your child’s teacher, schedule a time to speak to the Director of Education for assistance and guidance.
- In the rare event that resolution is not reached after meeting with the Director of Education and creating a plan, you may seek Formal Resolution by contacting the Governing Council President who will consider approaches to resolving concerns and conflicts including mediation, if needed. (Please see MPCS Grievance Policy Level 3 Formal Resolution.)
For Issues Concerning School Operations and Policies
- Contact the School’s Director of Operations for operational matters and the Director of Education for educational topics.
- In the rare event that resolution is not reached after meeting with the appropriate director, you may seek Formal Resolution by contacting the Governing Council President who will consider approaches to resolving concerns and conflicts including mediation, if needed. (Please see MPCS Grievance Policy Level 3 Formal Resolution.) For Concerns of a Legal Nature Contact the Director of Operations or the Governing Council President immediately. Ideally, the concern should be put in writing and given to the school representative upon that contact