Guidelines for 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 working 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).
1. 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.
2. “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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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 Enrichment and Student Support (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
● 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 Enrichment and Student Support 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 Enrichment and Student Support (DESS) or the Governing Council President immediately. Ideally, the concern should be put in writing and given to the school representative upon that contact.
MPCS GRIEVANCE POLICY
GUIDELINES FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines and directions for the resolution of grievances. The steps to filing a grievance begin at the amicable resolution level. There are six steps to the process, the first five of which are at the school level. If no resolution has been achieved in this manner, the person should then turn to JEFFCO’s Grievance Policy posted on their website.
The objective of this policy is to perpetuate a climate of collegiality, mutual trust, and respect by resolving differences in a timely, objective and equitable manner.
This procedure deals with grievances which are not covered by other established school policies. Such conflicts are often interpersonal in nature and usually fall into one of the
● Parent conflicts with another parent, a teacher, a student, or a staff member
● Teacher conflicts with: another teacher, a parent, a student, or a staff member
● Staff member conflicts with: another staff member, a parent, or a teacher
Each level of resolution is to be followed in the order listed below. A school director may elect to be present during any level of the resolution process after Level 1 as appropriate.
If the conflict is with the one of the directors and remains unresolved after the Direct Resolution process, a request for Formal Resolution may be filed with the Governing Council
in writing (Level 3).
Levels of Resolution
Level 1: Direct Resolution
The Direct Resolution process consists of a meeting or meetings between the parties involved without others in attendance. This step encompasses steps 1-6 of the MPCS Co-Worker Communication Guidelines and steps 1-5 of the Community Communication Guidelines for Parent Questions, Concerns, and Conflicts. Unless there is a bona fide safety concern, an attempt at direct resolution is to be made prior to requesting Administrative Resolution.
Level 2: Administrative Resolution
The Administrative Resolution process consists of a meeting between the parties involved with one of the school directors in attendance. This is an attempt at a mediated process
and encompasses step 7 of the MPCS Co-Worker Communication Guidelines and step 6 of the Community Communication Guidelines for Parent Questions, Concerns, and Conflicts.
Level 3: Formal Resolution Process
The Formal Resolution process consists of the submission of the particulars of the matter to the Governing Council. The submission consists of a written narrative by all the parties,
including one of the directors. The Governing Council will review the written submissions and may request interviews with any or all of the parties. Based on this information, the Governing Council, the Council President or a selected Council Representative shall:
1. Determine if the appropriate conflict resolution process has been followed ( see Parent Communication Policy, Employee Communication Policy, Employee Handbook, or Parent
Handbook). The Governing Council shall only address a conflict that has been addressed under the appropriate conflict resolution policy.
2. Review the particular conflict(s) as requested and as permitted by law, and address the conflict appropriately, which may include one or all of the following:
● Remand the conflict back to the Directors, with a directive to find a reasonable and quick resolution.
● Remand the conflict back to the two parties, with the Directors mediating the conflict.
● Determine whether a Conflict Resolution Committee shall be formed to mediate the conflict and render a decision to resolve the conflict. Ideally, one or more Committee members will either be experienced in conflict resolution training or encouraged to participate in conflict resolution training. If any party feels a member of the Committee cannot serve due to a conflict of interest, their concern may be submitted to the Governing Council and an alternate will be appointed if determined by the Council to be beneficial or necessary.
The decision of the Conflict Resolution Committee is final unless it is determined that a resolution may be possible through a professional mediator.
Level 4: Formal Mediated Resolution (In cases where Professional Mediator is requested by Conflict Resolution Committee).
The mediated resolution process consists of a meeting or meetings between the parties involved with a disinterested third party in attendance. In most cases, the mediator is a
trained professional. As an alternative to such a professional, a member of the school community may serve as mediator with the approval of all parties involved.
Level 5: An unsatisfied party may have the right to seek help using JEFFCO grievance process found on their website.
Revised July 14, 2019 to change “Director of Operations” to “Director of Enrichment and Student Support” and “DO” to “DESS.”