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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.

Click here to access the main index and use the search tool in the right sidebar to find policies by keyword(s).

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Issues and Complaints

Issue Resolution

San José Unified believes that the quality of the educational program can improve when the district listens to feedback, considers differences of opinion, and resolves disagreements through an established, objective process.  We encourage students, parents and guardians, staff, and community members to resolve issues early and informally whenever possible.  specifies how issues should be raised and escalated, if needed, to ensure we follow a consistent process. 

STEP 1 Contact your child’s teacher

Maintaining open communication with your student’s teacher is essential.  If you have a concern, please contact your child’s teacher to discuss your concern.  The teacher knows your student the best and can most appropriately respond to your concerns.  We recommend contacting the teacher as soon as you have a concern so they can assist with resolution.

STEP 2 Contact the principal

If you have been unable to resolve your concern by talking to the teacher, let the teacher know you are going to contact the principal.  Contact the school principal to make an appointment to discuss your concern.  As the school leader, the principal is responsible for providing guidance and leadership to students and staff and can provide resources, support, and perspective to create common understanding.

STEP 3 File a formal complaint

If you have been unable to resolve your concern by talking to your child’s teacher and the principal, let the principal know you will be filing a formal complaint following San José Unified’s complaint procedures.

Full Issue Resolution Procedures

Formal Complaints

If an issue remains unresolved after following the Issue Resolution Procedure, a formal complaint may be submitted using the district’s complaint policies, regulations, and procedures.  Complaints will be reviewed within the timeframe specified in the applicable policy and procedures.

San José Unified has established procedures for handling different types of complaints in accordance with the California Education Code.  These complaint procedures are governed by the Board of Education policies and regulations. 

Complaint forms should be submitted to:

Director of Student Services
San José Unified
855 Lenzen Ave
San José, CA 95126

Types of Complaints

Uniform Complaint Procedures (UCP)

School districts have a primary responsibility to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and regulations governing educational programs.  This complaint procedure governs formal complaints of discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying on the basis of a person’s actual or perceived protected class: age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, ethnicity or ethnic group identification, race, ancestry, national origin, religion, color, or mental or physical disability, actual or potential marital, family, or parental status; or on a person’s association with one or more of these characteristics in any program or activity that receives or benefits from state financial assistance. The UCP may also be used when addressing complaints alleging failure to comply with state and/or federal laws regarding particular programs that receive state financial assistance, LCAP, and/or pupil fees. More information regarding UCPs can be found in the Notice and Form. 

UCP Notice and Form
Board Policy 1312.3 – Uniform Complaints
Administrative Regulation 1312.3 – Uniform Complaints

Williams Uniform Complaints

Complaints regarding the sufficiency of instructional materials, teacher vacancy or misassignment, or emergency or urgent facilities conditions that pose a threat to the health and safety of students should be submitted in writing.

Williams Uniform Complaint Form
Administrative Regulation 1312.4

Complaints Concerning Instructional Materials

Complaints concerning instructional materials will be accepted only from staff, district residents, or the parents/guardians of children enrolled in a district school. 

Complaints Concerning Instructional Materials Form
Board Policy 1312.2 – Complaints Concerning Instructional Materials
Administrative Regulation 1312.2 – Complaints Concerning Instructional Materials

Complaints Concerning District Employees

Every effort should be made to resolve concerns at the site or office level at the earliest possible stage.  If a complainant is unable or unwilling to resolve the complaint directly with the employee, they may submit a formal complaint. 

Complaints Concerning District Employees Form
Board Policy 1312.1 – Complaints Concerning District Employees
Administrative Regulation 1312.1 – Complaints Concerning District Employees

Feedback on Other Issues

Issues that do not fall under one of the types of complaints are not governed by law, a policy, or procedures.  For these types of issues, we recommend sharing your feedback.

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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,
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 855 Lenzen Avenue, San José, CA 95126

For Title IX, discrimination or equity complaints involving staff:
Assistant Superintendent, Administrative Services, Dominic Bejarano, (408) 535-6139 ext. 15015 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 855 Lenzen Avenue, San José, CA 95126

For Section 504 Compliance complaints involving students:
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 855 Lenzen Avenue, San José, CA 95126

For facilities or other ADA complaints:
Director of Facilities and Construction, Denny Pini, 408-535-6000 ext. 19411, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 855 Lenzen Avenue, San José, CA 95126

Please refer to Board Policy 0410, revised December 13, 2018

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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.
5. Coaching.
6. Locker rooms.
7. Practice and competitive facilities.
8. Medical and training facilities and services.
9. Publicity.

  • 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.

Additional Resources:

United States Dept of Education - Office of Civil Rights
California Dept. of Education – Office of Equal Opportunity

For Title IX, discrimination or equity complaints involving students:
Director of Student Services/Student Title IX Coordinator, Darbi O’Connell at 408-535-6080 ext. 13212 (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)), 855 Lenzen Avenue, San Jose, CA 95126


For Title IX, discrimination or equity complaints involving staff:
Assistant Superintendent, Administrative Services, Dominic Bejarano at (408) 535-6139 ext. 15015 (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)), 855 Lenzen Avenue, San Jose, CA 95126

Please refer to Board Policies 6145 and 6145.2, revised January 14, 2014

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Transgender Policy

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.

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Sexual Harassment

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:

  1. Unwelcome leering, sexual flirtations or propositions
  2. Unwelcome Sexual slurs, leering, epithets, threats, verbal abuse, derogatory comments or sexually degrading descriptions
  3. Graphic verbal comments about an individual’s body, or overly personal conversation
  4. Sexual jokes, derogatory posters, notes, stories, cartoons, drawings, pictures, obscene gestures or computer-generated images of a sexual nature
  5. Spreading sexual rumors
  6. Teasing or sexual remarks about students enrolled in a predominantly single-sex class
  7. Massaging, grabbing, fondling, stroking, or brushing the body
  8. Touching an individual’s body or clothes in a sexual way
  9. Purposefully cornering or blocking normal movements or any physical interference with school activities when directed at an individual on the basis of sex
  10. Displaying sexually suggestive objects
  11. Sexual assault, sexual battery, or sexual coercion

And/or under the following conditions:

  1. Submission to the conduct is explicitly or implicitly made a term or condition of an individual’s academic status or progress.
  2. Submission to or rejection of the conduct by a student is used as the basis for academic decisions affecting a student.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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Feedback

San José Unified values feedback from our community.  Please share your feedback using this form, and your feedback will be shared with the appropriate staff.

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