Policies and Procedures Handbook

Last Updated: 8/20/98
Garrett County Public Schools
40 South Second Street
Oakland, MD 21550

Special Education Parent Complaint Procedure

Administrative Procedure


     The Garrett County Public Schools is providing these complaint procedures as a mechanism for accepting, reviewing, investigating, and resolving any written complaint regarding handicapped children. The complaint should address issues which indicate that the Garrett County Public Schools is violating a state or federal statute or regulation or a Garrett County Public Schools policy.

     The complaint procedures do not replace the due process hearing procedures in Education Article 8.415 and By-law 13.04.01.

     The complaint procedures are as follows:

  1. A complaint, written or verbal, must be shared with the school principal and/or ARD chairperson by the complainant. If a response by the principal and/or ARD chairperson is deemed unacceptable by the complainant, the complainant may forward, in writing, a description of the complaint to the Department of Pupil Services.

  2. The Director of Pupil Services or a designee will acknowledge by letter to the complainant the receipt of the complaint. A copy of the acknowledgment letter will be placed in an individual parent complaint file.

  3. The Director of Pupil Services or a designee will schedule a meeting involving the complainant, the principal, and the ARD chairperson within five school days of the receipt of the complaint. This meeting will be summarized (in writing) by the Director or a designee within five school days of the meeting with copies of the summary being forwarded to the complainant, principal, ARD chairperson, and the Superintendent of Schools. The principal has five school days from the receipt of the summary to formally reply with his/her decision to the complainant. One copy will be placed in the individual parent complaint file which will be maintained in the Department of Pupil Services office.

  4. If the response to the complaint is deemed unacceptable by the complainant the complainant may file his/her complaint with the Superintendent of Schools within five school days of the principal's formal reply. The Superintendent shall submit his written recommendation in the case to the principal, the ARD chairperson, and the complainant within ten school days or receipt of the complaint.

  5. In such cases whereby there has not been a satisfactory resolution to the decision, the complainant has thirty school days to file a written petition with the Public Schools in seeking a redress of the grievance. Every effort will be made to render a decision within twenty school days from the time of receipt of the written petition.


Complaint – An allegation (written concern) that a public agency has violated a requirement of federal or state laws, regulations or policies, in the provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to handicapped children or those children suspected of being handicapped.

Complainant – The individual(s) who files a complaint (written concern) with the appropriate public agency. This individual may be the parent(s) child, or surrogate parent.

Due Process Hearing – A formal mechanism for settling disputes between parties involving: identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child or the provision of a free appropriate public education for the handicapped child. The procedures governing the "Due Process Hearing" are established in "Hearing Procedures", Maryland Education Article, Section 8-415, and By-law and final regulations for P.L. 94-142, Section 121a506, "Impartial Due Process Hearing."

Handicapped Child – A child evaluated in accordance with the provision of By-law 13.04.01 who is determined to be deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing, mentally retarded, multi-handicapped, orthopedically handicapped, or other health impaired, seriously emotionally disturbed, specific learning disabled, speech impaired or visually handicapped.

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Section 300
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Pupil Services 345.22 AAC
Adopted 9/9/82