I've gotten several phone calls and e-mails in my short tenure on the school board about magnet school admissions. It's clear that many parents are not happpy. I received this in my e-mail box this morning. I've received permission to post it here.
Subject: Formal Complaint Against the Magnet School Office [child's name]
Dear Sirs and Madams:
We are respectfully requesting your assistance. Please review the attached Formal Complaint Against the Magnet School Office, Director Kaye Schneider, Its Employees and the Administration of the Metropolitan Nashville Public School System. We have filed this Complaint today, Monday, August 7th, at the Magnet School Office.
We are attempting to follow procedures as outlined in Complaint Policy, CAP Number 0110; but as you you all are aware, school begins Monday, August 14th. Any assistance you can provide to expedite this process would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.
Michael D. Duncan
[phone number excised]
[phone number excised]
FORMAL COMPLAINT AGAINST THE MAGNET SCHOOL OFFICE,
DIRECTOR KAYE SCHNEIDER, ITS EMPLOYEES AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE METROPOLITAN NASHVILLE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTE
Pursuant to MNPS Complaint Policy #0110, Michael and Beth Duncan submit the following information in support of a Complaint filed for and on behalf of their son, [child's name]:
Statement of Facts
1. [child], a legal resident of Davidson County,
Tennessee, applied to Martin Luther King Magnet School prior to the fall 2005 deadline for admission in 9th grade entry level.
2. [child] was deemed qualified for admission and
placed on the waiting list following the lottery drawing in January 2006.
3. As of May, [child]'s parents were informed that he was
number three (3) on the waiting list.
4. On July 20, [child]'s parents were informed during a phone
call placed to the Magnet School Office that [child] had been accepted. During the phone call, [child]'s father, Michael Duncan was told that a letter would be mailed soon. The Magnet Office employee failed to inform Michael Duncan of the content or import of the letter. He was specifically told that the letter had not been sent as of July 20, 2006.
5. Neither [child's name], or his parents, Michael and Beth
Duncan, received any further communication from the Magnet School Office.
6. On August 4, 2006, [child]'s parents called Martin Luther
King Magnet School to find out about registration procedures. They were informed by school personnel, guidance counselor, that [child] was not
on their approved list and that they would need a letter from the Magnet Office.
7. Michael and Beth Duncan called and attempted to speak to
the Director, Kaye Schneider. They learned she was not in the office, but that Karen Callis would return their call. Ms. Callis never returned the calls.
8. On August 4, 2006, the Mr. and Mrs. Duncan made several
calls in an attempt to resolve the problem. Each time a different employee answered the call and provided information. Some of the employees stated that [child]'s letter had been mailed July 17, 2006. One other stated the letter was mailed July 19, 2006. Supervisor, Vern Denny, told Mrs. Duncan that the system would not tell him when the letter had been mailed.
9. Recall on July 20, 2006, Mr. Duncan was told that no
letter had been sent and he did not know when to expect a letter.
10. No letter from the Magnet School Office or any other
department of the MNPS arrived to [child]'s mailing address: [contact info excised]. [child], Michael and Beth Duncan have maintained
this address as their permanent residence since December 1993 and have never
experienced problems receiving properly addressed mail.
Request for Information
1. Complete and current copy of the Board of Education
Operating Policy regarding Magnet School Admission, including but not limited to all policy established by letter, directive, written or verbal memorandum, custom or tradition.
2. Complete and current copy of the Administrative/Director's
Procedures used to implement the Magnet School Admission Policy, including but not limited to all procedures established by letter, directive, written or verbal memorandum, custom or tradition.
3. Complete and current copy of the Magnet School Office's
policies and procedures pertaining to communications with parents and students regarding admission, including but not limited to, such procedures established by letter, directive, written or verbal memorandum, office custom/tradition or internal operating methods. Please include all instructions or training given to Magnet School Office employees regarding content of communications with applicants.
4. State with specificity the date on which and method for
informing applicants of the process for confirmation of acceptance.
5. State with specificity the date on which [child]'s slot first became open or the date upon which [child] moved from the waiting list to the accepted for admission list. Your response should include the earliest date that the Magnet School Office had any knowledge or notice of the availability for admission for [child].
6. State with specificity the date on which the person who
held the slot immediately preceding [child] was accepted.
7. State with specificity the date on which the person who
held the slot immediately behind [child] was accepted.
8. State the number of students from the waiting list between
May 2006 and August 4, 2006 who were accepted into Martin Luther King Magnet
9. List the name, title and duties of each employee,
permanent or contract, who worked in the Magnet School Office between January 2006 and August 2006.
10. State the name and title of the employee who generated and
addressed the letter of acceptance to [child].
11. State the name and title of the employee or contractor who
applied the postage to the letter sent to [child].
12. State the name and title of the employee or contractor who
delivered the letter to the United States Post Office.
13. State the date and location the acceptance letter enclosing
the request for confirmation was mailed.
14. Provide a copy, written or recorded, of the telephone
conversation dated July 20, 2006 occurring between approximately 9:45 and 10:10 a.m. between Michael Duncan and your employee.
15. Provide a list of all applicants who have informed the Magnet
School Office that they failed to receive the letter of acceptance and request for confirmation of acceptance since the lottery drawing January 2006.
16. State the number of complaints filed about nonreceipt of the
letter of acceptance since the beginning of the lottery process for admission.
Upon information and belief, Michael and Beth Duncan, parents of [child] allege the following:
1. The MNPS, Magnet School Office, its directors,
supervisors, and employees, denied [child] due process by failing to properly communicate with or inform the parents of [child] of the policies and procedures for admission to Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet High School.
2. The MNPS, Magnet School Office, its directors,
supervisors, and employees denied [child] his right to due process by failing to communicate or inform him of his acceptance on or near the actual date the vacancy for his slot occurred.
3. The MNPS, Magnet School Office, its directors,
supervisors, and employees denied [child] his right to due process by failing to insure proper policy and operating procedures for informing applicants during phone calls of the necessity of submitting a signed acceptance letter prior to a deadline for admission. Current policy dictates that parents call the Magnet School Office for information on an applicant's status.
4. The MNPS, Magnet School Office, its directors,
supervisors, and employees denied [child] his right to due process by failing to devise or implement fail safe procedures for generating and mailing letters of acceptance. The Magnet School Office has failed to implement procedures for verifying the posting of official mail.
5. The MNPS, Magnet School Office, its directors,
supervisors, and employees have denied [child] his right to due process by failing to provide an expedited review process or by failing to promptly communicate or inform him of the procedure for appealing the decision to revoke his acceptance into Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet School.
6. [child] and his parents relied upon the
communication of acceptance dated July 20, 2006 between Michael Duncan and the Magnet School Office to their detriment.
7. [child] will be irreparably harmed by the denial
of his due process. Based upon [child]'s position on the waiting list for Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet High School, he relinquished his hold on a position at a private school. Based upon notification of acceptance to the magnet school, [child] was precluded from pursuing a timely special transfer from Maplewood High School to an acceptable alternative.
8. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet School and its students
will be harmed by the failure to admit [child], a well-qualified student who has many positive attributes and abilities to offer the school.
[child], by and through his parents, Michael and Beth Duncan, requests immediate and unconditional acceptance and admission into Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet High School prior to the first day of classes, August 14, 2006.
[child], by and through Michael and Beth Duncan
[contact info excised]