School Committee Approves Updated Haverhill Parental Complaint Policy

Haverhill School Committee member Gail M. Sullivan. (WHAV News file photograph)

The Haverhill School Committee recently approved an update to the district’s parental complaints policy, covering instructional materials and library books.

School Committee member Gail M. Sullivan told her colleagues the update came about after a Policy Subcommittee review of procedures for the selection of materials by teachers. Sullivan said the subcommittee determined, that while the current policy is clear and adequate, there was no identified procedure for handling parental complaints about those materials.

“Usually, school districts have a policy about public complaints about the curriculum or instructional materials so that people know what to do. We don’t have that, and we thought that we could modify that,” said Sullivan.

Modifications call for the person making an objection to sign a formal complaint form with the superintendent, who will then present it to a review committee for evaluation. Following the review, the superintendent will render a decision. Should the complainant be dissatisfied with the decision, he or she may appeal to the School Committee.

The policy update passed unanimously.

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