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Complaints Policy: What should I do if there is an issue?

as noted in the Student Handbook

  1. All children can learn
  2. Focus on results, with meaningful assessment
  3. Aim for mastery: focus on teaching students to use their minds well
  4. Depth of understanding vs. quantity of coverage
  5. Student as active learner
  6. Relationships built on trust, decency, and fairness


Considering our District’s Guiding Instructional Principles and what we know about best practices and how children learn, the high school faculty created a vision of classroom instruction. This vision sets the stage for our ongoing program review and staff development efforts.

We believe that our instructional program should provide for:

  • Relevant connections to real world
  • Active participation/ownership/initiative by students
  • Different learning styles
  • Varied instruction/assessment with appropriate levels of challenge
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Opportunities to utilize technology
  • Opportunities to engage in research
  • Students learning from each other
  • Opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning in diverse ways
  • Opportunities for creativity, individual achievement, and success
  • Interdisciplinary connections based on thematic/essential questions
  • Experimentation, reflection, and evaluation
  • An emotionally safe environment that encourages intellectual and academic risk-taking
  • Assessment and remediation of basic skills


In our classrooms, we believe that students will participate actively in their learning by

  • Taking different approaches toward a common goal
  • Listening actively and teaching each other
  • Working in small groups, large groups, and individually
  • Using technology adeptly and responsibly
  • Setting goals and taking responsibility for their own learning
  • Doing research
  • Participating in experiential, hands-on learning
  • Critiquing their own and each other’s work against a standard or criteria
  • Questioning, exploring, and evaluating ideas
  • Treating others respectfully
  • Initiating questions

In our classrooms, we believe that teachers will be:

  • Varying their roles as appropriate by modeling, facilitating, lecturing, demonstrating, coaching, observing, participating, encouraging, nurturing, guiding, listening and mentoring
  • Working with individuals, small groups, or large groups
  • Encouraging critical thinking
  • Differentiating instruction and assessment
  • Setting clear academic and behavioral expectations

At Somers High School, we strive to follow these principles to ensure the fair and equitable treatment for all. Sometimes, however, an occasion arises when an individual or group believes it has not received fair treatment. We have, therefore, established the following COMPLAINTS PROCEDURES.



The following list is intended to direct students to the person or place where assistance may be found to resolve some frequently encountered problems. Students should always feel free to seek assistance form their guidance counselors or any other staff member who might be able to help. A “Ready Reference Guide” with similar information is mailed home.

Accident Forms

School Nurse

Attendance, Absence, or Lateness

Attendance Office

College, Career Information

College and Career Center

Daily Announcements

Main Office


Dean of Students or Assistant Principals

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Questions

Student Assistance Counselor or Counselor

Honor Roll Questions




Leaving School Early

Nurse or Attendance Office

Locker problems

Main Office

Lost and Found

Main Office or Cafeteria/Commons

Parking Permits

Dean of Students

Personal Problems

Teacher, Counselor, Student Assistance Counselor, Psychologist, Administration, Coordinator of Student Life

Problem with another Student

Teacher, Counselor, Dean of Students, Assistant Principal, Student Life Coordinator

Problem with a Teacher

Counselor, Administration

Report Cards or Grades

Counseling Center, Administration

Question about or Problem with IB Diploma Programme

  • Enquiry Upon Results (EUR) Requests
  • Predicated Grades
  • Programme Participation or Scheduling
  • Score Reports to Colleges/Universities
  • A D-1 Request for an immediate, unexpected, urgent need to reschedule or miss an IB examination (which normally cannot be rescheduled for any reason and is at the sole discretion of the IB, whom the coordinator will notify)

IB DP Coordinator

914-248-8585 X4620 OR email


Safety Issues

Assistant Principal

Schedule Changes or Questions


Scholarships or Financial Aid

Counselor or College and Career Center

Student Council

Faculty Advisors

Study Hall

Assistant Principal


Attendance Office

Theft of Personal Property

Report immediately to teacher in charge and Assistant Principal, School Resource Officer

Transcripts of Record

Counseling Center

Working Papers

Main Office


If an issue or problem arises, we request that you please begin by addressing your concerns with the party most directly involved, before escalation. Many times, complaints result from confusion or miscommunication, and a simple clarification or conversation is all that is needed to resolve conflict.

If you have a problem with or question about

Please contact

Via this method

Classroom performance

In this order:

Your child’s teacher

Your child’s counselor

The Appropriate Assistant Principal

The Building Principal


OR email (first name initial and last name)


Overall academic performance



OR email (first name initial and last name)


Discipline in school, on a bus, or at a school-sponsored activity

Assistant Principals

Grades 10, 12

Grades 9, 11


X 4204

X 4203

Or email

Transportation—bus routes/times

Director of Transportation


Bus—stops, assignments

Director of Transportation


Transportation—out of district

Director of Transportation


Health Concerns

School Nurse



Athletic Office

914-248-8585, press 5

Another Student

Counselor or Assistant Principal or Dean of Students


OR email (first name initial and last name)



Student Complaints

The Board of Education believes it necessary that students be made aware of the behavior that is expected of them, as outlined in school district policies on school conduct and discipline.

Building Principals are responsible for ensuring that appeal procedures are incorporated into discipline codes, explained to all students, and provided to all parents on an annual basis.

The Board encourages students to be active participants in the educational process. The Board strives to provide students with a sound educational environment, ensure that all students are treated fairly, and afford students the due process protections they are entitled to under the law. The Board understands that there may be times when students do not agree with school practices or feel as though they have been treated unfairly.

Many concerns about school practices can and should be addressed through the student government. Student handbooks may also provide valuable information. For other issues, the district has different channels for resolution of complaints, depending on the nature of the complaint. Understanding the Board policy on an issue is the first step towards resolving any complaints. Students are urged to follow the established Board policy, but should always feel free to discuss concerns with any school staff member or the Building Principal. School staff and administrators are expected to work with students toward an amicable resolution of the issue.

The chart below, published in The 5030 Student Complaints and Grievances Document on the SCSD website, lists the issues students are likely to address, and the corresponding applicable policy. All policies come from the List of Board of Education Policies on the SCSD website.


Policy (policy number)

Civil rights; discrimination

Equal Opportunity (0100)

Disciplinary matters

Code of Conduct (5300)

District policies and practices

Parent-School Communication (1400)

Due process

Code of Conduct (5300)

Free speech

Student Communication Channels (5220)

Harassment, hazing, bullying

Student Harassment and Bullying Prevention and Intervention (0115)

Privacy (lockers, searches)

Code of Conduct (5300)

School practices and environment

Parent-School Communication (1400)

Sexual harassment

Sexual Harassment (0110)

Student educational records

Student Records (5500)

Student rights and responsibilities

Code of Conduct (5300)


Parent-School Communication (1400)

Ref:  Education Law, §3214

         Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972, 20 USC 1681

         Rehabilitation Act of 1973, §504. 29 USC §794

Adoption date: November 22, 1993

Revised: February 15, 2022


To remain an IB Certificate Student or Diploma Candidate in good standing, students must satisfy the requirements outlined in the Academic Honesty Policy, as well as certain Language B requirements. Students who disagree with an outcome or decision regarding Diploma Programme participation, Academic Honesty penalties as outlined in our Academic Honesty Policy, Enquiry Upon Results request, Predicted Grades, or any other IB-related complaint should feel comfortable to be heard. Whenever possible, we hope that a resolution can be found in an informal and amicable way through discussion. When this is not possible, students should please follow these levels of escalation:

  1. Contact the IB Teacher
  2. Contact the IB DP Coordinator
  3. Contact the Counselor or IB Counseling Liaison
  4. Contact the Assistant Principal in charge of IB
  5. Contact the Building Principal
  6. Contact the Assistant Superintendent
  7. Contact the District Superintendent

Whenever possible, students are entitled to confidentiality. Somers High School will not take any retaliatory actions against any student who makes a reasonable and earnest complaint.

Students are asked to:

  • Speak directly with the person responsible for the decision, involving the DP coordinator if necessary.
  • Make a statement in writing (email is typical) outlining the nature of the complaint.
  • Meet to discuss a possible resolution.

If a resolution is not reached, you should:

  • Contact the person next in the numbered list above and share your statement with that person.
  • Involve your parents or guardians, if you have not already done so.

If a resolution is still not reached, you should:

  • Request a hearing before a panel or the District Superintendent, including at least three people who were not directly involved in the matters detailed in the written complaint


No Place for Hate and The Dignity Act

A primary goal of Somers High School is that ALL students feel safe and welcome. We are a NO PLACE FOR HATE School and enthusiastically support The Dignity Act.

A student who feels bullied or harassed is encouraged to report this to a teacher, a counselor, the Dean of Students, a member of the Administrative Team, or other trusted adult.

Students who have tried other channels or who fear retaliation should feel comfortable knowing that there is a way to anonymously report bullying or harassment of any kind by filling out this form.


Statement of Policy

The Somers Central School District Board of Education recognizes that sexual harassment of students and staff is abusive and illegal behavior that harms victims and negatively impacts the school culture by creating an environment of fear, distrust, intimidation, and intolerance. The Board further recognizes that preventing and remedying sexual harassment in schools is essential to ensure a healthy, nondiscriminatory environment in which students can learn and employees can work productively. The Board is committed to providing an educational and working environment that promotes respect, dignity, and equality and that is free from all forms of sexual harassment. To this end, the Board condemns and strictly prohibits all forms of sexual harassment on school grounds, school buses, and all school sponsored activities, programs and events including those that take place at locations outside the district.

Because sexual harassment can occur staff to student, student to staff, staff to staff, student to student (regardless of gender or gender identity), it shall be a violation of this policy for any student, employee, or third party (school visitor, vendor, etc.) to sexually harass any student, employee, or any other individual associated with the school.

In order for the Board to effectively enforce this policy and to take prompt corrective measures, it is essential for all victims of sexual harassment and persons with knowledge of sexual harassment to report the harassment immediately. The district will promptly investigate all complaints of sexual harassment, either formal or informal, verbal or written. To the extent possible, all complaints will be treated in a confidential manner. Limited disclosure may be necessary to complete a thorough investigation.

If, after appropriate investigation, the district finds that a student or an employee has violated this policy, prompt corrective action will be taken in accordance with the applicable collective bargaining agreement, district policy, and state law.

All complaints and those who participate in the investigation of a complaint of sexual harassment have the right to be free from retaliation of any kind.

Sexual Harassment Regulation

This regulation is intended to create and preserve an educational and working environment free from unlawful sexual harassment in furtherance of the district’s commitment to provide a healthy and productive environment for all students and employees that promotes respect, dignity, and equality.

Sexual Harassment Defined

“Sexual Harassment means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical conduct or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:

  1. submission to that conduct or communication is made a term or condition, either explicitly or implicitly, of an employee’s employment or a student’s education (including any aspect f the student’s participation in school-sponsored activities, or any other aspect of the student’s education); or
  2. submission to or rejection of that conduct or communication by an individual is used as a factor in decisions affecting an employee’s employment or a student’s education; or
  3. the conduct or communication has the purpose or effect of substantially or unreasonably interfering with an employee’s work performance or a student’s academic performance or participation in school-sponsored activities, or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working or educational environment” (“29 CFR § 1604.11 - Sexual Harassment.”).

For purposes of this regulation, action or conduct shall be considered “unwelcome” if the student did not request or invite it and regarded the conduct as undesirable or offensive.

The reporting form for complaints alleging harassment or discrimination based upon sex are available for all students and employees here.

Faculty and Staff Complaint Procedures
as outlined in this Board of Education Policy

  1. Except in cases of Sexual Harassment or other crimes, Consult the Collective Bargaining Agreement
  2. Follow the appropriate levels of grievance:
    • Stage I = Supervisor
    • Stage II = Superintendent of Schools
    • Stage III = Board of Education

Information about the Reporting of Hazards can be found here.


Works Cited

“29 CFR § 1604.11 - Sexual Harassment.” LII / Legal Information Institute, Cornell Law School, Accessed 4 Mar. 2022.