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Student Ombudsman

COMPLAINT PROCESS AND THE OFFICE OF THE STUDENT OMBUDSMAN

 

As per By-Law #14 (Procedure to Examine Complaints), should you have any concerns or complaints regarding one of the Board's services, schools or centres and its representatives, please follow the steps below. They lay out a logical and systematic path to resolving issues, first engaging the individuals most directly involved.

 

In accordance with Riverside School Board's Code of Conduct, it is understood that all individuals involved in this process will interact calmly and respectfully. Confidentiality must be preserved throughout the process.

Click here to see the brochure.

Click here to see By-Law #14, Procedure to Examine Complaints.

 

Step 1

At the School Level

 

Talk to the Person(s) Concerned

 

Many problematic situations resolve naturally if the parties simply have a chance to talk them out.  Sometimes this just means writing a note or placing a phone call to the staff member concerned. Other situations may require a face-to-face meeting, which can be arranged by calling the person's workplace.

 

Step 2

 

Contact the School Administration

 

If talking to the staff member concerned does not settle the matter, contact the Principal or Vice-Principal of the school. A simple phone call may resolve the issue or lead to a face-to-face meeting.

 

Step 3

 

At the Board Level

 

Contact the School Board Administration

 

If the school administration does not resolve the matter, contact the appropriate Director of Elementary or Secondary Schools. Please telephone first. You will asked for a written copy of your complaint.

 

Click here to download the Complaint Form.

 

Step 4

 

Refer the file to the Assistant Director General or Director General

 

 

After exhausting the procedures outlined above, you may need to contact the School Board's Assistant Director General or Director General to help resolve the issue. Please call for an appointment.

 

Step 5

 

Refer the file to the Student Ombudsman

 

The Office of the Student Ombudsman functions as an independent, confidential, neutral and informal resource.

Independence: the Student Ombudsman is not an employee of the school board.

Confidentiality: information communicated to the Ombudsman is the property of the visitor.

Neutrality: the Student Ombudsman favors neither side in a conflict.

Informality: the Student Ombudsman operates ''off the record'', outside formal organizational processes.

 

The role of the Student Ombudsman is to advocate fair process by examining the complaint impartially. After first listening to the student and/or parents concerning the issue, he may dismiss or re-direct the complaint as approriate.  Complaints may be dismissed if they are judged to be frivolous, vexatious, made in bad faith or if too much time has elapsed since the event. Alternatlvely, he may invite the complainant to meet with the other interested parties and follow the regular "Procedure to Examine Complaints" in an effort to resolve the issue.  If this will not resolve the issue, the Student Ombudsman may review the complaint further.

If the Student Ombudsman finds merit in the complaint he must so inform the complainant and the Council of Commissioners. The report to the Council of Commissioners must include his opinion on the merits of the complaint and any recommended actions. The Council of Commissioners then reviews the Student Ombudsman's report and may choose to approve its recommendations. 

 

At any point in the Complaint Process, you may consult with the Student Ombudsman directly.

Mr. Peter Woodruff is the Student Ombudsman.

  

-By phone: 450 672-4010 ext. 6500

-By email: pwoodruff@rsb.qc.ca. Please note that communicating by email does not assure confidentiality.
-By mail:

 

Student Ombudsman

c/o Riverside School Board

7525 Chemin Chambly

Saint-Hubert, QC J3Y 0N7

Due to the confidential, neutral, independent and informal nature of the Office of the Student Ombudsman, communications with the Ombudsman does not constitute notice to the Board. Mail addressed to the Student Ombudsman will not be opened and will be directed immediately to the Student Ombudsman.  

 

 

 

Please note:

  • The Student Ombudsman reports directly to the Council of Commissioners .
  • The Student Ombudsman is not an employee of Riverside School Board.
  • The Student Ombudsman is impartial.
  • The Student Ombudsman will keep all matters in strict confidence.
  • The Student Ombudsman may require the cooperation of any staff member of the school board whose expertise is considered necessary.
  • The Student Ombudsman cannot revise, reverse or modify existing Riverside School Board by-laws or policies.
  • The Student Ombudsman may, upon summary examination, dismiss a complaint if, in his opinion, it is frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith. The Student Ombudsman may also refuse or cease to examine a complaint if he has reasonable cause to believe that intervening would clearly serve no purpose or that the length of time having elapsed between the events that gave rise to the dissatisfaction of the user and the filing of the complaint makes it impossible to examine the complaint.
  • The Student Ombudsman may make recommendations based on his findings, and they must be presented to the Council of Commissioners within 30 days of receipt of the complaint.
  • The Council of Commissioners will decide and have final say regarding the proposed recommendations.
  • The Student Ombudsman will advise the complainant in writing as to the outcome.
  • The Student Ombudsman will only share his recommendations with the complainant after the Council of Commissioners has been informed.

 

 

RIGHTS OF THE COMPLAINANT

 

  1. The complainant has the right to be accompanied by the person of his choice at any stage of the complaint process; however, interventions may only be made by the student and/or parent/guardian.
  2. The complainant has the right to confidentiality and to freedom from any form of retaliation. 

 


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