Policies & Regulations
San José Unified is governed by policies and regulations established by the Board of Education and the California Education Code. Some of these policies can be found below.
To review our complete policies and regulations, please visit this online portal and enter the following public username and password.
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Notice of Non-Discrimination
San José Unified School District prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation or bullying on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, ethnic group identification, race, ancestry, national origin, religion, marital, parental or family status, color, mental or physical disability, or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics in its educational programs and activities or employment practices as required by Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Section 504 or the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vocational Education Act of 1976. The lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the District’s programs. Students, parents, employees, or others who wish further information about these regulations, or who wish to file a complaint, should contact the following persons:
For Title IX, discrimination or equity complaints involving students:
Director of Student Services/Student Title IX Coordinator, (408) 535-6000 ext. 13225,
For Title IX, discrimination or equity complaints involving staff:
For Section 504 Compliance complaints involving students:
For facilities or other ADA complaints:
Please refer to Board Policy 0410, revised December 13, 2018
Service Animals at School
As part of our efforts to remain fully inclusive for all individuals, SJUSD has recently updated its regulations and policies regarding service animals at schools.
BP 6163.2 Animals at School
For questions regarding service animals in the classroom, please contact:
Darbi O’Connell, Director, Student Services
For questions regarding facilities use and service animals, please contact:
Denny Pini, Director, Maintenance, Grounds and Operations
Title IX: Gender Equity
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law prohibiting gender discrimination in any school receiving federal funds. The text of the law states: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
Please refer to Board Policies 6145 and 6145.2, revised January 14, 2014
- List of Rights
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law prohibiting gender discrimination in any school receiving federal funds. The text of the law states: No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. The following list of rights are contained in ED CODE 221.8, which are based on the relevant provisions of the federal regulations implementing Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1681 et seq.):
ARTICLE 4. Sex Equity in Education Act [221.5 - 231.5]
(Article 4 heading added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 914, Sec. 18. )
- You have the right to fair and equitable treatment and you shall not be discriminated against based on your sex.
- You have the right to be provided with an equitable opportunity to participate in all academic extracurricular activities, including athletics.
- You have the right to inquire of the athletic director of your school as to the athletic opportunities offered by the school.
- You have the right to apply for athletic scholarships.
- You have the right to receive equitable treatment and benefits in the provision of all of the following:
1. Equipment and supplies.
2. Scheduling of games and practices.
3. Transportation and daily allowances.
4. Access to tutoring.
6. Locker rooms.
7. Practice and competitive facilities.
8. Medical and training facilities and services.
- You have the right to have access to a gender equity coordinator to answer questions regarding gender equity laws.
- You have the right to contact the State Department of Education and the California Interscholastic Federation to access information on gender equity laws.
- You have the right to file a confidential discrimination complaint with the United States Office of Civil Rights or the State Department of Education if you believe you have been discriminated against or if you believe you have received unequal treatment on the basis of your sex.
- You have the right to pursue civil remedies if you have been discriminated against.
- You have the right to be protected against retaliation if you file a discrimination complaint.
For Title IX, discrimination or equity complaints involving students:
For Title IX, discrimination or equity complaints involving staff:
Please refer to Board Policies 6145 and 6145.2, revised January 14, 2014
As stated above, the Board prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, gender identity and gender expression. Gender is defined as a person’s actual sex or perceived sex and includes a person’s perceived identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that identity, appearance, or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with a person’s sex at birth. Gender expression is defined as a person’s gender-related appearance and behavior, whether or not stereotypically associated with the person’s assigned sex at birth.
Please refer to Board Policy 5145.3, revised March 15, 2018
- Names and Pronouns
A student or his or her parents may request that the student be addressed by a name and pronoun corresponding to the student’s gender identity asserted at school. Students are not required to obtain a court ordered name and/or gender change or otherwise change their official records as a prerequisite to being addressed by the name and pronoun of their choice that corresponds to their gender identity.
The requested name and pronoun will be included in the district’s database in addition to the student’s legal name, in order to inform staff of the name and pronoun to be used when addressing the student. Information regarding the student’s preferred name should also be cross-referenced in his or her cumulative file and registration card, and may be included on the student’s identification card.
- Official Records
The district maintains mandatory permanent pupil records which includes the legal name of the pupil, as well as the pupil’s gender. The district will change a student’s official records to reflect a change in legal name or gender upon receipt of documentation that the pupil’s legal name and/or gender have been changed pursuant to California legal requirements.
- Restroom Accessibility
Schools may maintain separate restroom facilities for male and female students. A student will be permitted to use restroom facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender identity listed on the student’s official records. A student or his or her parents may also request that the student be permitted to use a single stall bathroom where one is available.
The use of either the restroom that corresponds to the student’s gender identity or a single stall bathroom will be a matter of choice for the student, and no student will be compelled to use either of these options.
- Locker Room Accessibility
Schools may maintain separate locker room facilities for male and female students. A student will be permitted to use locker room facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender identity listed on the student’s official records.
A student or his or her parents may also request that other accommodations be made to afford the student additional privacy while changing clothes, including, for example, use of a restroom, office, or screened-off area or implementation of a separate schedule for changing. These accommodations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The use of a locker room corresponding to the student’s gender identity asserted at school will not be compelled, nor will it be denied.
- Dress Codes
Students are permitted to dress in accordance with their gender identity asserted at school, within the constraints of the dress codes adopted by the district and/or their school site.
- Sports and Physical Education Classes
Transgender and gender non-conforming students will be provided the same opportunity to participate in sports and physical education as other students. A student will be permitted to participate in sex-segregated physical education activities, athletic teams, and competitions, consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender identity listed on the student’s official records.
All students participating in extra-curricular sports and activities will comply with all requirements for such participation, including supplying all required forms and releases.
- Gender Segregation in Other Areas
In any other circumstances where students are separated by gender in school activities (e.g., class discussions), students will be permitted to participate in accordance with their gender identity asserted at school. Parents may request that other accommodations be made for their student when participating in overnight field trips and/or sex education instruction.
- Filing a Complaint
Any student who feels that he/she is being harassed should immediately contact either the nondiscrimination coordinator or the principal or designee. If a situation involving harassment is not promptly remedied by the nondiscrimination coordinator, principal or designee, a complaint may be filed with the Superintendent or designee who will determine which complaint procedure is appropriate.
The Governing Board is committed to maintaining a school environment that is free from harassment and discrimination. The Board prohibits sexual harassment of any student by another student, an employee or other person, at school or at a school-sponsored or school-related activity. The Board also prohibits retaliatory behavior or action against any person who complains, testifies, assists or otherwise participates in the complaint process established in accordance with this policy.
- What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, unwanted requests for sexual favors, and other unwanted verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature made against another person of the same or opposite sex in the educational setting, when made on the basis of sex: (Education Code 212.5; 5 CCR 4916) included, but not limited to:
- Unwelcome leering, sexual flirtations or propositions
- Unwelcome Sexual slurs, leering, epithets, threats, verbal abuse, derogatory comments or sexually degrading descriptions
- Graphic verbal comments about an individual’s body, or overly personal conversation
- Sexual jokes, derogatory posters, notes, stories, cartoons, drawings, pictures, obscene gestures or computer-generated images of a sexual nature
- Spreading sexual rumors
- Teasing or sexual remarks about students enrolled in a predominantly single-sex class
- Massaging, grabbing, fondling, stroking, or brushing the body
- Touching an individual’s body or clothes in a sexual way
- Purposefully cornering or blocking normal movements or any physical interference with school activities when directed at an individual on the basis of sex
- Displaying sexually suggestive objects
- Sexual assault, sexual battery, or sexual coercion
And/or under the following conditions:
- Submission to the conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual’s academic status or progress.
- Submission to or rejection of the conduct by a student is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting a student.
- The conduct has the purpose or effect of having a negative impact on the student’s academic performance, or of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment.
- Submission to or rejection of the conduct by the student is used as the basis for any decision affecting the student regarding benefits and services, honors, programs, or activities available at or through the school.
- Complaint Process
- Any student who feels that he/she is being or has been subjected to sexual harassment on school grounds or at a school-sponsored or school-related activity (e.g., by a visiting athlete or coach) shall immediately contact a school employee. A school employee to whom a complaint is made shall, within 24 hours of his/her getting the complaint, report it to the principal.
- Any school employee who observes any incident of sexual harassment on any student shall similarly report his/her observation to the principal, whether or not the victim makes a complaint. If the alleged harasser is the principal, the employee may report the complaint or his/her observation of the incident to the Superintendent or designee who shall investigate the complaint.
- The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that any complaints regarding sexual harassment are immediately investigated in accordance with administrative regulation.
- When the Superintendent or designee has determined that harassment has occurred, he/she shall take prompt, appropriate action to end the harassment and to address its effects on the victim.
- The principal or designee to whom a complaint of sexual harassment is reported shall immediately investigate the complaint.
- Where the principal or designee finds that sexual harassment occurred, he/she shall take prompt, appropriate action to end the harassment and address its effects on the victim.
- The principal or designee shall also advise the victim of any other remedies that may be available.
- The principal or designee shall file a report with the Superintendent or designee and refer the matter to law enforcement authorities, where necessary.
- In addition, the student may file a formal complaint with the Superintendent or designee in accordance with the district’s uniform complaint procedures. Information gathered in the course of investigating a sexual harassment complaint shall be kept confidential to the extent possible.
Section 504 Accommodation Plan
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a nondiscrimination statute that helps a student with a physical or mental disability receive a free, appropriate public education and equal opportunity. Students who qualify for a 504 Plan are entitled to regular or special education and related aids and services that are designed to meet individual educational needs of handicapped persons as adequately as the needs of nonhandicapped persons are met. Though 504 Plans are individualized and vary greatly from student to student, some examples of 504 accommodations may include:
- Preferential seating in the classroom
- Breaking longer assignments into shorter segments
- Permission to type assignments instead of write them by hand
- Permission to visit the health office as needed
The 504 Plan is developed to ensure that a student with a disability receives accommodations that will allow the student to access the learning environment and general education curriculum.
Uniform Complaint Procedure
San José Unified is responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations and has established Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP) to address allegations of unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying, and complaints alleging violation of state or federal laws governing educational programs and the charging of unlawful student fees.
Complaints may be based on actual or perceived age, ancestry, color, ethnic group identification, gender expression, gender identity, gender, disability, nationality, national origin, race or ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or on a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics, in any program or activity that receives or benefits from state financial assistance.
The UCP shall also be used when addressing complaints alleging failure to comply with state and/or federal laws in:
- Career Technical and Technical Education and Training Programs
- Migrant Education
- Consolidated Categorical Aid Programs
- Child Nutrition Programs
- Child Care and Developmental Programs
- Special Education Programs
- Safety Planning Requirements
- Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)
Please refer to Board Policy 1312.3, revised February 13, 2020
- Filing a Complaint
Any individual, public agency or organization may file a written complaint of alleged noncompliance with federal or state laws or regulations governing educational programs by the district.
A complaint concerning unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying may be filed only by a person who alleges that he/she personally suffered unlawful discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying or by a person who believes that an individual or any specific class of individuals has been subjected to it.
Complaints alleging discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, must be filed within six (6) months from the date the alleged discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying occurred, or the date the complainant first obtained knowledge of the facts of the alleged discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, unless the time for filing is extended by the superintendent or his or her designee.
Within three days of receiving the complaint, the compliance officer may informally discuss with the complainant the possibility of using mediation. If the complainant agrees to mediation, the compliance officer shall make all arrangements for this process.
Before initiating the mediation of a discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, complaint, the compliance officer shall ensure that all parties agree to make the mediator a party to related confidential information.
If the mediation process does not resolve the problem within the parameters of law, the compliance officer shall proceed with his/her investigation of the complaint.
The use of mediation shall not extend the district’s timelines for investigating and resolving the complaint unless the complainant agrees in writing to such an extension of time.
- Investigations & Reports
Complaints will be investigated and a written decision or report will be sent to the complainant within thirty (30) days from the receipt of the complaint. The person responsible for investigating the complaint shall conduct and complete the investigation in accordance with all state and local laws. If the complainant is dissatisfied with the compliance officer’s decision, he/she may, within five (5) days, file his/her complaint in writing with the Governing Board.
The Board may consider the matter at its next regular meeting or at a special meeting convened in order to meet the 60-day time limit within which the complaint must be answered. The Board may decide not to hear the complaint, in which case the compliance officer’s decision shall be final.
If the Board hears the complaint, the compliance officer shall send the Board’s decision to the complainant within sixty (60) days from the receipt of the complaint or within the time period that has been specified in a written agreement with the complainant.
The complainant has a right to appeal San José Unified complaint decisions to the California Department of Education (CDE) by filing a written appeal within 15 days of receiving San José Unified’s decision. The appeal must include a copy of the complaint filed with San José Unified and a copy of the district’s decision.
When appealing to the California Department of Education, the complainant must specify the basis for the appealing of the district’s decision and whether the facts are incorrect and/or the law has been misapplied.
- Fee Complaints
A student enrolled in a public school shall not be required to pay a fee for participation in an educational activity. A fee includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:
- A fee charged as a condition for registering for school or classes, or as a condition for participation in a class or an extracurricular activity, regardless of whether the class or activity is elective or compulsory, or is for credit.
- A security deposit, or other payment, that a student is required to make to obtain a lock, locker, book, class apparatus, musical instrument, clothes, or other materials or equipment.
- A purchase that a student is required to make to obtain materials, supplies, equipment, or clothes associated with an educational activity.
Complaints of noncompliance with laws relating to pupil fees are filed with a principal of a school. A complaint regarding pupil fees may be filed anonymously if the complaint provides evidence or information to support an allegation of noncompliance with laws relating to pupil fees. A pupil fee complaint shall be filed no later than one year from the date the alleged violation occurred.
- Williams Complaints
Education Code Section 35186 (Williams Settlement) Complaint Procedures
To file a complaint regarding any of the above matters, complaint forms may be obtained at the Principal’s Office, District Office, or downloaded here.
Complete the complaint form and submit it to the principal or school secretary at the school where the identified concern exists. The completed form will be copied by the principal or designee and sent to the Director of Student Services.
- Civil Rights Complaints
School district programs and activities are to be free from discrimination based on age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, ethnic group identification, race, ancestry, national origin, religion, color or mental or physical disability.
If such discrimination occurs, parents have the right to submit a written complaint subject to civil law remedies. Complainants may seek assistance from mediation centers or public/private interest attorneys. Civil law remedies that may be imposed by a court include, but are not limited to, injunctions and restraining orders.
For discrimination complaints, however, a complainant must wait until 60 days have elapsed from the filing of an appeal with the California Department of Education before pursuing civil law remedies. The moratorium does not apply to injunctive relief and is applicable only if the district has appropriately, and in a timely manner, apprised the complainant of their right to file a complaint in accordance with state law.
- Expulsion Appeals
For appeals regarding expulsions, please visit the Santa Clara County Office of Education website for additional information on filing an appeal, policy, and regulations at: https://www.sccoe.org/supoffice/student-appeals/Pages/Expulsion-Appeals.aspx
- Learn more
For a complete copy of San José Unified’s Uniform Complaint Procedures, please refer to the Student Handbook and Board Policy and Administrative Regulations 1312.3. Click here to review all district policies.