Complaint Process Overview
All LEAs and AEDY Programs shall implement a complaint process by which English Learners (ELs), students with disabilities and all students, their Parents/Guardians, and organizations can seek to resolve complaints and concerns regarding any aspect of AEDY related to EL services or ADA requirements, including placement and exiting decisions, the quality of relevant academic instruction, the provision or omission of language assistance services, and services to students with disabilities, including reasonable modifications.
There are two steps to the process. Step one is the filing of a complaint form at the local level,
LEA/AEDY Program, and step two is the filing of a complaint form with the State AEDY Office. All LEAs and AEDY Programs are required to provide information about the complaint process and forms to parents and guardians, students, and organizations before the student is placed in the AEDY program.
LEAs and AEDY Programs can develop their own forms but must incorporate components that provide information regarding the two-step process and filing with the State AEDY Office. AEDY Programs must inform LEAs of any complaint form they receive. PDE has developed a model form for LEAs and AEDY Program to adapt and use. The model forms can be found on the AEDY webpage of PDE’s website.
The process will include the following steps:
Local Level Resolution: Students, Parents, and others having complaints and concerns regarding AEDY will be required to seek resolution of complaints and concerns via the relevant AEDY Program and/or LEA rather than elevating concerns to PDE in the first instance. PDE will require LEAs and AEDY Programs to develop and implement local policies and procedures, which will be submitted to PDE when applying for AEDY Program approval, by which students, Parents, and others can submit complaints and concerns to LEAs and/or AEDY Programs related to AEDY Programs. This paragraph does not limit any other rights or remedies under federal and state law.
PDE Review: Students, parents, and others will be provided an opportunity to seek PDE review if a local EL, ADA, or other complaint or concern is not resolved at the local level and/or if students, Parents, or others wish to challenge the local level resolution.
At both the local level resolution and PDE review stages, the complaint process will include providing all interested persons with: the relevant policies for investigation of EL and ADA complaints, including policies regarding interviews and consideration of relevant evidence, as well as possible outcomes of an investigation; timely procedures for responding to the person making the complaint; information about potential means of responding to the complaint; reasonable time frames for response; and information regarding how to determine the status of a complaint.
PDE will notify AEDY stakeholders, including Parents, students, advocates, LEA Coordinators, and AEDY Program Coordinators, about the local level resolution and PDE review process by posting the process on PDE’s website in both English and Spanish, and include information that explains how persons who require oral or written translation into a different language can obtain that translation. In addition, PDE will require LEAs and AEDY Programs to notify students, Parents, and others, about the local level resolution and PDE review process in a manner that is accessible to LEP Parents, Parents with disabilities, ELs, and students with disabilities given their language needs and disabilities.