Annual Notification of Uniform Complaint Procedures
For students, employees, parents or guardians of its students, school and district advisory committees, appropriate private school officials or representatives, and other interested parties.
The Oakland Unified School District has the primary responsibility to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations governing educational programs. The district has established Uniform Complaint Procedures to address allegations of unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying against any protected group and all programs and activities that are subject to the UCP.
The District encourages the early, informal resolution of complaints at the site level whenever possible. If possible, we ask that you first, please contact your Principal, Department Director or Network Superintendent, if you have a concern.
The Oakland Unified School District shall investigate all allegations of unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying) against any student, employee, or other person participating in district programs and activities, including, but not limited to, those programs and activities funded directly by or that receive or benefit from any state financial assistance, based on the person’s actual or perceived characteristics of race (hair texture and protective hairstyles-braids, locks, twists) or ethnicity, color, ancestry, nationality, national origin, immigration status, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital status, pregnancy, parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or genetic information, or any other characteristic identified in, Education Code 200, 212.1 and 220, Government Code 11135, 12926 or Penal Code section 422.55 or equity or compliance with Title IX, or based on his/her association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. School personnel shall take immediate steps to intervene, when it is safe to do so and when he or she witnesses an act of discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying.
TITLE IX - SEXUAL HARASSMENT
The Oakland Unified School District is committed to maintaining a safe learning and working environment that is free from harassment and discrimination. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendments of the Civil Rights Act of 1972 and is prohibited by both federal and state laws. Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other visual, verbal, or physical contact of a sexual nature that is made a condition of learning or that seriously interferes with a student’s ability to learn or creates an offensive, hostile or intimidating learning or work environment. Any student who engages in sexual harassment of anyone in or from the district may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. Any employee who permits, engages in, or fails to report sexual harassment shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Board Policy 5145.7 (Students) and Board Policy 4119.11 (Personnel). As per BP 5145.7. each school site shall identify a person (i.e. Site Title IX Liaison) responsible for addressing student sexual harassment complaints. This person may be the principal or their designee and shall receive training.
The District prohibits any form of retaliation against any complainant in the complaint process. Participation in the complaint process shall not in any way affect the status, grades, or work assignments of the complainant.
A complaint alleging retaliation or unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying) must be filed not later than six months from the date it occurred, or six months from the date the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the alleged unlawful discrimination. The time for filing may be extended for up to 90 days by the Superintendent or designee for good cause upon written request by the complainant setting forth reasons for the extension.
STATE & FEDERAL PROGRAMS
The UCP shall also be used to address complaints alleging failure to comply with state and/or federal laws in:
- Accommodations for Pregnant and Parenting Students
- Adult Education
- After School Education and Safety
- Agricultural Career Technical Education
- American Indian Education Centers and Early Childhood Education Program Assessments
- Bilingual Education
- California Peer Assistance and Review Program for Teachers
- Career Technical and Technical Education, Career Technical,Technical Training (state)
- Career Technical Education (federal)
- Child Care and Development
- Compensatory Education
- Consolidated Categorical Aid
- Course Periods Without Educational Content (grades 9-12)
- Economic Impact Aid
- Education of Pupils in Foster Care, Pupils who are Homeless or former Juvenile Court Pupils now enrolled in a school district and Children of Military Families
- Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
- English Learner Programs
- Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAP)
- Migrant Education
- Physical Education Instructional Minutes
- Pupil Fees
- Reasonable Accommodation to a Lactating Pupil
- Regional Occupational Centers and Programs
- School Plans for Student Achievement (SPSA)
- School Safety Plans
- School Site Councils
- State Preschool
- State Preschool Health and Safety Issues in LEAs Exempt from Licensing
- Tobacco-Use Prevention Education (TUPE)
STATE PRESCHOOL HEALTH AND SAFETY ISSUES
The district declares that in order to identify appropriate subjects of state preschool health and safety issues pursuant to HSC Section 1596.7925, a notice shall be posted in each California state preschool program classroom in each school in the LEA. The notice shall (1) state the health and safety requirements under 5 CCR that apply to California state preschool programs pursuant to HSC section 1596.7925, and (2) state the location at which to obtain a form to file a state preschool health and safety issues complaint pursuant to HSC Section 1596.7925.
UNLAWFUL STUDENT FEES
A student enrolled in a public school shall be not required to pay a pupil fee for participation in an educational activity that constitutes an integral fundamental part of the district’s educational program, including curricular and extracurricular activities
A pupil fee includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:
- A fee charged to a pupil as a condition of registering for school or classes, or as a condition for participation in a class or an extracurricular activity, regardless of whether the class or activity is elective or compulsory, or is for credit.
- A security deposit, or other payment, that a pupil is required to make to obtain a lock, locker, book, class apparatus, musical instrument, clothes, or other materials or equipment.
- A purchase that a pupil is required to make to obtain materials, supplies, equipment, or clothes associated with an educational activity.
A pupil fee complaint shall be filed no later than one (1) year from the date the alleged violation occurred. *Complaints of noncompliance with laws relating to pupil fees should first be filed with the school principal. A pupil fee complaint may be filed anonymously, if the complainant provides evidence or information leading to evidence to support the complaint.
LOCAL CONTROL AND ACCOUNTABILITY PLAN (LCAP)
The Governing Board is required to adopt and annually update the LCAP, in a manner that includes meaningful engagement of parents/guardians, students and other stakeholders in the development and/or review of the LCAP. An LCAP complaint may be filed anonymously, if the complainant provides evidence or information leading to evidence to support the complaint.
FOSTER YOUTH, HOMELESS STUDENT OR FORMER JUVENILE COURT SCHOOL STUDENT OR A CHILD OF A MILITARY FAMILY
The district shall post a standardized notice of the educational rights of pupils in foster care, pupils who are homeless, former juvenile court pupils now enrolled in a school district , and pupils in military families, as specified in EC sections 48853, 48853.5, 49069.5, 51225.1 and 51225.2, The notice shall include complaint process information as applicable.
A foster youth shall receive information about educational rights related to his/her educational placement, enrollment in and checkout from school, as well as the responsibilities of the district liaison for foster youth to ensure and facilitate these requirements and to assist the student in ensuring proper transfer of his/her credits, records, and grades when he/she transfers between schools or between the district and another district.
A foster youth, homeless student or a former Juvenile Court school student or a child of a military family as defined in EC 49701, who transfers into a district high school or between district high schools as applicable shall be notified of the district's responsibility to:
- Accept any coursework or part of the coursework that the student has satisfactorily completed in another public school, juvenile court school, or a nonpublic, nonsectarian school or agency, and to issue full or partial credit for the coursework completed
- Not require the student to retake any course or a portion of a course which he/she has satisfactorily completed in another public school, juvenile court school, or a nonpublic, nonsectarian school or agency
- If the student has completed his/her second year of high school before the transfer, provide the student information about district-adopted coursework and Board-imposed graduation requirements from which he/she may be exempted pursuant to Education Code 51225.1
The UCP complaint review shall be completed within 60 calendar days from the date of the receipt of the complaint unless the complainant agrees in writing to an extension of the timeline.
APPEALS & CIVIL LAW REMEDIES
The complainant has a right to appeal the District’s decision to the California Department of Education (CDE) by filing a written appeal within 15 calendar days of receiving the District’s Decision. The appeal must include a copy of the complaint filed with the District and a copy of the District’s Decision.
Civil law remedies may be available under state or federal antidiscrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying laws, if applicable. In appropriate cases, an appeal may be filed pursuant to Education Code section 262.3. A complainant may pursue available civil law remedies outside of the District’s complaint procedures, including, but not limited to, injunctions, restraining orders, or other remedies or orders that may be available under state or federal discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying laws, if applicable. Complainants have the right to take a complaint directly to the California Department of Education (CDE) or to pursue remedies before civil courts or other public agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in cases involving unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying).
FILING A COMPLAINT
A copy of Board Policy 1312.3: Uniform Complaint Procedures is available free of charge.
All complaints shall be filed in writing and signed by the complainant. If a complainant is unable to put the complaint in writing due to conditions such as a disability or illiteracy, district staff shall assist him/her in the filing of the complaint. (5CCR 4600)
If a complaint is not filed in writing but the district receives notice of any allegation that is subject to the UCP, the district shall take affirmative steps to investigate and address the allegations, in a manner appropriate to the particular circumstances.
If the allegation involves retaliation or unlawful discrimination (such as discriminatory harassment, intimidation, or bullying) and the investigation confirms that discrimination has occurred, the district will take steps to prevent recurrence of discrimination and correct its discriminatory effects on the complainant, and on others, if appropriate.
The District’s Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP) policy and administrative regulation shall be posted on the district’s website and may be provided through the district supported social media, if available. The UCP shall also be posted in all district schools and offices, including staff lounges and student government meeting rooms.
The Annual Notice shall be in English, and when necessary, in the primary language, pursuant to Education Code Section 48985 or mode of communication of the recipient of the notice. If fifteen (15) percent or more of students enrolled in a particular district school speak a single primary language other than English, the district’s policy, regulation, forms and notices concerning UCP shall be translated into that language (Education Code 234.1, 48985). In all other instances, the district shall ensure meaningful access to all relevant UCP information for parents/guardians with limited English proficiency.
Complaint forms are available at the Office of the Ombudsperson, (1000 Broadway, Suite 150 , Oakland, CA 94607). The Uniform Complaint Procedures are also available on the District’s website at: www.ousd.org – under District Services, then under Ombudsperson.
With the exception of unlawful student fee complaints, which may be filed within one (1) year of the alleged violation; all other uniform complaints must be filed no later than six (6) months after the alleged occurrence.
Complaints, other than complaints relating to student fees, must be filed in writing with the following compliance officer:
Mr. Gabriel Valenzuela, Ombudsperson/Title IX Coordinator, is responsible for the intake and monitoring of all formal District complaints. The Ombudsperson (1000 Broadway, 1st Floor, Suite 150 , Oakland, CA 94607) is also responsible for investigating parent/student complaints regarding discrimination, and complaints regarding student suspensions where students were not provided with restorative justice or another alternative approach that is not available at a school site as an alternative to suspension. He also investigates complaints concerning the program for English Language Learners (ELL) and retaliation for, or interference with, ELL Program advocacy. The Ombudsperson also coordinates Williams Uniform Complaints. Mr. Valenzuela may be contacted at (510) 879-4281, FAX (510) 879-3678 or via email at Gabriel.Valenzuela@ousd.org
The Ombudsperson has independent authority to: visit any school or office; speak to any student, staff person or parent/guardian; review any documents to conduct impartial investigations; and attend any meeting without the prior permission from the principal or manager. The Ombudsperson is also available to explain his role and responsibilities to students, staff, parents/guardians and members of the public. Please contact the Ombudsperson, if you have any questions regarding the District’s Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP).
Ms. Tara Gard, Deputy Chief, Talent Management, (1000 Broadway, 1st Floor, Suite 150 , Oakland, CA 94607) is responsible for investigating complaints alleging discrimination in employment. Ms. Gard may be contacted at (510) 879-0159, FAX: 879-0228 or via email at Tara.Gard@ousd.org
Justin Anderson, Director, Health Services and Section 504 Program Services , Special Education Department (Former Santa Fe Campus, 915-54th Street, Oakland, CA 94608) is responsible for coordinating program modifications for students with disabilities covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. She also investigates complaints concerning Section 504. Mr.Anderson may be contacted at (510) 879-5003; or via email at email@example.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org