Best practices for reporting concerns at school
During the school year, issues and/or concerns may develop for families, students or third parties relating to any number of issues, including their students’ schools or classrooms. It is best practice to attempt to resolve issues at the school level first, beginning with the classroom teacher. Below is the order in which issues may be escalated (including for special education). Our family engagement and special education family engagement liaisons can help support families through this process.
Steps to Resolution
- The classroom teacher
Portland Public Schools believes that the best and most effective method for resolving conflicts is by starting with the classroom teacher first.
- The Principal and/or School Administrator
If contacting your teacher doesn’t resolve the issue, it is recommended that families contact their principal or school administrator next.
- The Principal Supervisor (Area Senior Director)
These positions are called Area Senior Directors and are organized by high school catchment enrollment area. The list of Area Senior Directors and schools they manage can be found on the webpage for Office of School Performance.
- The Regional Superintendent
Three Regional Superintendents supervise Area Senior Directors and their teams are listed in the staff link provided above. If your issue is not resolved by working with the Area Senior Director you can contact the Regional Superintendent, listed on the webpage for Office of School Performance.
- The Chief of Schools
Regional Superintendents are supervised by the Chief of Schools. In circumstances when the steps listed above have not resolved a family issue, the Chief of Schools, Jon Franco, should be contacted.
- File a Complaint wih PPS
If the methods above do not result in a satisfactory resolution or if you believe it to be more appropriate to file a complaint directly with the District, you may use the Unified Complaint Form. More information below.
- The classroom teacher
Resources & Special Considerations
Family Engagement Liaisons
PPS makes available Family Engagement Liaisons in order to help with resolution of issues. Liaisons may assist families in the resolution of issues, including meeting with school staff, and addressing classroom concerns. For more information about Family Engagement Liaisons, please contact: Jeff Wiser.
Special Education concerns
Concerns about special education services may also be addressed first by contacting the student’s case manager and then to the Program Administrator. Family Engagement Liaison Noel Sisk can assist families through this process.
Any PPS employee, student, parent, community member, concerned citizen, or other individual may file a complaint of discrimination. Please see the options below for how to report a complaint of discrimination.
Unified Complaint Form
Portland Public Schools recommends the escalation of complaints as shown on this page under "Best practices for reporting concerns at school." The District also offers the use of the Unified Complaint Form in order for community members to submit complaints.
How are complaints handled by Portland Public Schools?
As part of the complaint process, the person assigned to investigate (which may be the School Compliance Officer, school or district administrator) will ask all involved parties questions about what happened in order to understand and, when possible, try to resolve the matter. Once the investigator has concluded their fact finding, having gathered all the relevant information about what occurred, the investigator will provide a written response of findings. Unless a particular process has a different timeline, a final decision will be provided no later than 60 days from the initial complaint.