Annually Required Notifications to Families
Your Right to Know
Sunnyside School District receives funds for Title I programs that are part of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Throughout the school year we will continue to provide you with important information about this law and your child’s education.
You have the right to request information regarding the professional qualifications of your child’s classroom teacher(s). If you request this information, the district or school will provide you with the following as soon as possible:
A: If the teacher has met state licensing requirements for the grade level and subjects in which the teacher is providing instruction;
B: If the teacher is teaching under an emergency status for which state licensing requirements have been waived;
C: The type of college degree major of the teacher and the field of discipline for any graduate degree or certificate;
D: If your child is receiving Title I services from paraprofessionals and, if so, his/her qualifications.
If you would like this information please contact your child’s school.
Your FERPA Rights
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years of age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s education records. These rights are:
1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the School receives a request for access. Parents or eligible students should submit to the School principal [or appropriate school official] a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The School official will make arrangements for access and notify the parent or eligible student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Parents or eligible students may ask the School to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the School principal [or appropriate official], clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the School decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the School will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of the right to a hearing.
3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the School as an administrator, supervisor, instructor, or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person serving on the School Board; a person or company with whom the School has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant, or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the School discloses education records without consent to officials of another school district in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the School to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA are:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901
If you wish for the school district to not release directory information about your student, you may fill out a non-release form at the district office (1110 S. 6th St.).
Sunnyside School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. Inquiries regarding compliance and/or grievance procedures may be directed to the district’s Title IX Officer Debbie Holwegner, and/or Section 504/ADA Coordinator Cody Gardiner, Sunnyside School District, 1110 S. 6th Street, Sunnyside, WA 98944. Telephone: (509) 837-5851.
Discrimination Complaint Procedure
Discrimination is the unfair or unequal treatment of a person or a group because they are part of a defined group, known as a protected class. Discrimination can occur when a person is treated differently, or denied access to programs, services or activities because they are part of a protected class. Discrimination can also occur when a school or school district fails to accommodate a student or employee’s disability. Harassment (based on protected class) and sexual harassment can be forms of discrimination when it creates a hostile environment.
What is a Protected Class?
A protected class is a group of people who share common characteristics and are protected from discrimination and harassment by federal and state laws. Protected classes defined by Washington State Law include:
- National origin
- Disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal
- Sexual orientation
- Gender expression or identity
- Honorably discharged veteran or military status
What should I do if I believe my child is being discriminated against?
You should report your concerns to your child’s teacher or principal immediately! This will allow the school to respond to the situation as soon as possible.
If you cannot meet with the teacher or principal, you can always contact your school district’s main office. Each school district will have someone who is responsible for responding to complaints about discrimination. Sometimes this person is called the Title IX Coordinator or for issues related to disability, the Section 504 Coordinator.
What if I can’t resolve the problem with the school?
If you cannot resolve your concern, you may wish to file a complaint with the school district. Anyone can file a complaint with the school district. You can file a formal complaint by writing a letter to your Superintendent that describes what happened and why you think it is discrimination. It is helpful to include what you want the district to do. Your letter must be signed.
The employee designated by the district to receive complaints will investigate your allegations and provide the superintendent with a written report of the complaint, and the results of the investigation. You and the district may also agree to resolve your complaint in lieu of an investigation.
The superintendent will send you a written letter within 30 calendar days which will either deny your allegations or describe the reasonable actions the district will take. The letter will include how to file an appeal with your school board if you do not agree with the Superintendent’s decision.
Corrective measures must occur no later than 30 calendar days of the superintendent’s letter.
What if I don’t agree with the superintendent’s decision or no one responds to my letter?
Your next step is to appeal to the school board. You can file an appeal by writing a letter to your school board. The letter must include the part of the superintendent’s written decision that you would like to appeal and what you want the district to do. Your letter must be filed with the Secretary of your School Board by the 10th calendar day after you received the superintendent’s response letter.
The school board will schedule a hearing within 20 calendar days after they receive your appeal letter. You may also all agree on a different date.
What will happen at the hearing?
You will explain why you disagree with the superintendent's decision. You may bring witnesses or other information that is related to your appeal.
The board will send you a copy of their decision within 10 calendar days after the hearing. The decision will include how to appeal to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction if you disagree.
What if I don’t agree with the School Board’s decision?
You may appeal the school Board’s decision to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).
You can file an appeal by writing a letter to the Superintendent of Public Instruction. The letter must include the part of the school board’s decision that you would like to appeal and what you want the district to do.
Your signed letter must be received by OSPI by the 20th calendar day of receiving the school board’s decision. It can be hand-delivered or mailed to:
Administrative Resource Services
P.O. Box 47200
Olympia, WA 98504-7200
Phone (360) 725-6133
OSPI will schedule a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge through the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). During this process you will be provided information about the hearing.
At the hearing you will explain why you disagree with the school board’s decision. You may bring witnesses or other information that is related to your appeal. After the hearing, you will receive a copy of the judge’s decision.
Homeless Assistance - McKinney/Vento Homeless Assistance Act
Sunnyside School District welcomes all of our families. Assistance is available to students who qualify under the Federal McKinney/Vento Homeless Assistance Act. If you are homeless, living in temporary or transitional housing, or are an unaccompanied youth, please let our staff know so we can help you through the enrollment process. If you are affiliated with an agency or case worker, please feel free to have them contact us on your behalf. You may contact us as at: Sunnyside School District, 1110 S. 6th Street, Sunnyside, WA 98944. Telephone: (509) 837-5851.
Gun Free Zone
The Sunnyside School District has a gun-free schools policy (Policy 4219) that includes one- year mandatory expulsion for firearms, mandatory notification of student violations to parents/guardians and law enforcement, and allows the expulsion to be modified by the chief school district officer or designee on a case-by-case basis. Sec 4141(b)(1) and Sec 4141(h)(1).
Students and staff are protected against sexual harassment by anyone in any school program or activity, including on the school campus, on the school bus, or off-campus, such as a school-sponsored field trip.
Sexual harassment is unwelcome behavior or communication that is sexual in nature when:
- A student or employee is led to believe that he or she must submit to unwelcome sexual conduct or communications in order to gain something in return, such as a grade, a promotion, a place on a sports team, or any educational or employment decision, or|
- The conduct substantially interferes with a student's educational performance, or creates an intimidating or hostile educational or employment environment.
Examples of Sexual Harassment:
- Pressuring a person for sexual favors.
- Unwelcome touching of a sexual nature.
- Writing graffiti of a sexual nature.
- Distributing sexually explicit texts, e-mails, or pictures.
- Making sexual jokes, rumors, or suggestive remarks.
- Physical violence, including rape and sexual assault.
How Do I Report Sexual Harassment?
You can report sexual harassment to any school staff member or to the district's Title IX Officer: Debbie Holwegner, 1110 S. 6th St., Sunnyside, WA 98944 or 509-837-5851.
For a copy of your district’s Sexual Harassment policy and procedure, contact your school or district office. Sunnyside School District, 1110 S. 6th St., Sunnyside, WA 98944 or 509-837-5851.
Citizen Complaints Concerning Staff or Programs
Most complaints can be resolved by informal discussions between the citizen and the staff member. Should the matter not be resolved, the principal shall attempt to resolve the issue through a conference with the citizen and the staff member.
The following procedures apply to the processing of a complaint that cannot be resolved in the manner described above:
- If the problem is not satisfactorily resolved at the building level, the citizen should file a written complaint with the superintendent that describes the problem, and a suggested solution. The superintendent should send copies to the principal and staff member. Complaint forms can be obtained at the Superintendent’s Office (1110 S. 6th St., Sunnyside, WA).
- The principal and staff member shall respond to the superintendent in writing or in person.
- The superintendent may conduct a hearing on the matter.
The superintendent will consider the legal merit, board policy, the results of a hearing if conducted, and administrative procedure before rendering a final decision.
Parent and Family Engagement
The Sunnyside School District recognizes that family and parental engagement has a positive effect on student achievement. Therefore, it is our goal that 100 percent of families and parents are engaged. The basis for assessing the degree of family and/or parental engagement will be all six standards of the National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. Policy 4129 can be accessed on the SSD website’s policy section (www.sunnysideschools.org) or the Superintendent’s Office (1110 S. 6th St., Sunnyside, WA).