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Task Force


Task Force to Review Board Policy 3208 and Superintendent Procedure 3208SP

I. Charge

Board Policy 3208 commits Seattle Public Schools (District) to a positive and productive education and work environment free from discrimination, including sexual harassment. The corresponding Superintendent Procedure, 3208SP, details the formal and informal procedures that incorporate the requirements of RCW 28A.640, WAC 392-190-056 through 392-190-075, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Pursuant to Superintendent Procedure 3208SP, the Deputy Superintendent, as delegated by the Superintendent, is convening a task force (?2019 Title IX Task Force?) during the 2019 calendar year to review the use and efficacy of Board Policy 3208 and Superintendent Procedure 3208SP, as well as other tasks as detailed below in the scope of work. Based on the work of the committee, staff from the Office of Student Civil Rights shall prepare a report to the Superintendent including, if appropriate, any recommended policy and procedure changes.

II. Scope of Work

The 2019 Title IX Task Force will complete a review of the District?s current practices to ensure the District complies with the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Chapter 28A.640 RCW, and U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights guidance. The primary purpose of the 2019 Title IX Task Force will be to make recommendations to the Board of Directors and Superintendent for any revision to current policy, procedure, and practice of the District on matters pertaining to sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sexual assault within schools, programs, and activities of the District.

The objective of the review is to inform current practices to ensure the District has comprehensive and accessible programs in the following areas: a) a procedure and protocol to effectively respond to reported incidents of alleged sexual harassment, including sexual assault/violence and sexual misconduct, that complies with state, and federal regulations, which also considers developmentally appropriate supports and due process rights for all parties involved; and b) a developmentally appropriate educational and outreach component for the prevention of sexually harassing or sexual misconduct behaviors. This review should ensure that these programs do not merely demonstrate compliance with applicable federal and state laws, but also demonstrate the District?s commitment to safe and civil education and work environments.

The 2019 Title IX Task Force?s work will be anchored in and build on our commitments as set forth in state and federal law; Board policy and Superintendent Procedure; U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights guidance; work product from prior advisory committees; and additional outreach as needed and determined by the Task Force. Student input shall be incorporated into the discussion through a combination of surveys and in-person engagement. Additional parent, community, and stakeholder group input may be gathered prior to, during, and following programmatic decisions and activities. The 2019 Title IX Task Force will consider and develop recommendations based on historical and current practices, student data, and will evaluate innovative and creative approaches to meet the needs of students for the future.

The 2019 Title IX Task Force will review and make recommendations in the following specific areas:

A. Review and provide input on current practices including: (a) posting of required notices; (b) training of staff on responding to reports of alleged sexual misconduct; (c) response to complaints, including investigations; (d) identification and implementation of support responses and remedies; (e) data tracking of reported incidents; (f) prevention curricula for students; (g) outreach program for parents/guardians and community members. The work in this area will include a review of reported incidents of sexual misconduct received by the District from the 2015-2016 academic year to the current academic year.

B. Review and provide input on the District’s educational activities for students regarding the awareness and prevention of sexual misconduct and sexual harassment.

C. Based on the reviews detailed above, develop recommendations to the Superintendent for any policy and procedure revisions.

Work from the 2019 Title IX Task Force will be presented as recommendations and opinions to the Superintendent and School Board by means of communication from the Office of Student Civil Rights (OSCR) throughout the period of time the Task Force convenes. The 2019 Title IX Task Force will publish meeting agendas and non-confidential meeting minutes on the website. A final report will include a review of all projects and activities, as well as all recommendations of the 2019 Title IX Task Force. The 2019 Title IX Task Force will not serve for the purpose of decision-making. Any decisions regarding policy and procedures shall remain with the Superintendent and School Board.

III. Policy Considerations and Guidance

Guiding anchor documents include:

  • Board Policy 0030 (Ensuring Educational and Racial Equity)
  • Policy 3208 and Procedure 3208 SP (Sexual harassment)
  • Policy 3210 and Procedure 3210 SP (Nondiscrimination, Acts of Hostility and Defamation)
  • Policy 5253 and Procedure 5253 SP (Maintaining Professional Staff/ Student Boundaries)
  • U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, ?Title IX Resource Guide?
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, ?Title IX Legal Manual?

IV. Membership

A. Number

The 2019 Title IX Task Force will strive to be inclusive of the broad spectrum of ethnic, racial, and geographic diversity found within the Seattle Public Schools. In addition to regular voting members, the task force will also contain a number of non-voting members, including staff from the District?s Office of Student Civil Rights, who will co-facilitate the task force meetings, and individuals with technical expertise. The 2019 Title IX Task Force will consist of 15 members appointed by the Deputy Superintendent or designee based on a review of applicants by a selection committee. The selection committee will work intentionally to balance this task force to ensure we have enough expertise to effectively conduct the review of District policy, procedure, and practices.

B. Qualifications and Selection Criteria

The goal is to be selective of applicants to ensure there is a balance of perspectives and backgrounds. This task force will be representative of our Seattle Public Schools, students and families. The voting membership of the task force will be comprised of parents/guardians, staff representatives, and community organization members from across the District and city of Seattle. Non-voting membership of the task force will include staff from the Office of Student Civil Rights and technical experts.

Parent/Family Members Parent/family members who have a student currently attending Seattle Public Schools.

Staff Representatives Staff representatives may include, but not be limited to: certificated teachers, building administrators, Educational Staff Associates and central office staff/administrators.

Community Organization Representatives Community representatives may hold positions in educational, service, government or not-for-profit organizations/associations with an interest in and knowledge of matters related to sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sexual assault/violence. A representative of the organization should be nominated by the executive director or senior manager of the organization.

Appointments to the task force will be made so that collectively the group will represent the diverse population of Seattle Public Schools in terms of ethnicity, language, race, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, type of family (two parents, single-parent, foster care/kinship, etc.), geographic location within the city, and school level (pK-12).

C. Selection Process

1. Nominations are due by February 28, 2019
2. Nominations reviewed by the selection committee: between March 4 – March 8, 2019.
3. Members of the selection committee will be appointed by the Deputy Superintendent with intention to invite and include:

Parent and Community Representative(s)

  • Seattle Parent Teacher Student Association (SPTSA) President or designee;
  • Community Based Organization Representative (King County Sexual Assault Resource Center; Harborview Center for Traumatic Stress & Sexual Assault, etc.);
  • School Board Member

District Staff:

  • Title IX Coordinator
  • Student Civil Rights Compliance Officer
  • Representative from Coordinated Health and/or Student Support Services
  • Representative from Special Education Department
  • Representative from School Operations Division
  • Representative from General Counsel?s Office
  • School building leaders to represent elementary and secondary levels selected by Chief of Schools

4. Selection committee will work in accordance with a specific rubric to recommend appointees and alternates to the Deputy Superintendent
5. Invited appointees notified by email, no later than March 15, 2019 with the first meeting scheduled to occur on March 28, 2019. Further task force meetings will be scheduled in collaboration with the task force members.
6. Invited appointees to accept or decline a seat on the task force by March 22, 2019.
7. Remaining seats will be filled by alternates
8. Membership will be posted on the District website

No one may serve on the task force who has a financial interest in the outcome of the recommendations made by the task force.

D. Manner of Notification of Nomination Process

The District shall provide public notice to individuals and organizations that may reasonably be interested in serving on the 2019 Title IX Task Force. Notice shall include the following activities:

  1. District Website;
  2. Publishing in the School Leader Communicator with direction to share with BLTs and PTSAs;
  3. Direct written notice to active community organizations which may have an interest in participation;
  4. Direct written notice to all Parent Teacher Student Associations (PTSAs) at all school sites;
  5. Known subject matter experts; and,
  6. News release to news outlets, including community and ethnic newspapers

E. Discussion of Consideration & Efforts

Members will be selected and appointed in accordance with School Board Policy 4110: Family & Community Advisory and Oversight Committees, and the corresponding Superintendent Procedure 4110SP.

F. Duration of Task Force and Terms of Office

  1. The 2019 Title IX Task Force is established to run for one full year and may extend due to needs and progress of the work. Initial term of office is set at one calendar year, April 2019 – April 2020.

V. Sub-Committees

The task force may, from time-to-time, create sub-committees as necessary to carry out specific work of the task force. These sub-committees should be task-specific and have a limited duration of existence. It is the recommendation of staff from the Office of Student Civil Rights that the 2019 Title IX Task Force create a sub-committee to directly solicit input from current District students.

A.Size and Selection of Sub-Committee MembersSub-committees shall be restricted in size to between three (3) and five (5) current members in order to expedite the task(s) at hand. Sub-committee members will be sought from the regular task force membership and shall be appointed by the co-chairs of the task force or the Deputy Superintendent.

VI. Task Force Operations

A. Staffing

The 2019 Title IX Task Force will operate fully on the work of its members and volunteers. District resources may be used for the following activities at the discretion of the Deputy Superintendent for the following tasks:

  • Scheduling meetings;
  • Distributing agendas, handouts and posting on website; and
  • Preparing and distributing minutes and posting on website.

B. Orientation

An orientation session will be held to begin the work of the newly-appointed members. Implicit Bias Training (video review) is a requirement before the orientation session.

C. Responsibilities: Attendance and Student Information Confidentiality

Task Force members will be expected to attend the initial orientation and monthly meetings (dates and times to be determined by members during the initial orientation). Missing three consecutive meetings will result in automatic removal from committee participation. Additionally, since task force members will have access to potentially personally-identifiable student information when reviewing reported incidents of sexual misconduct, any disclosure of confidential student information will be grounds for immediate removal from the task force.

D. Open Public Meetings Act and Records Retention

District task forces do not have authority to take action on behalf of the school board and are, therefore, not subject to Washington?s Open Public Meetings Act and are not required to keep minutes. For the 2019 Title IX Task Force, most meetings will be open to the public and a record of the actions of the task force will be kept as meeting minutes. Meeting minutes will be posted on the District?s website. Meetings will be closed to the public, however, when members of the task force will be discussing reported incidents of sexual harassment or misconduct, as the discussion could include personally-identifiable student information. Notice of closed meeting will be included on the agenda posted on the website.

E. Consensus Model Voting

When asked to provide a measure of committee opinion on specific topics, suggestions, or proposals put before the task force, the Regular task force members will use a voting methodology that shall identify the degree of consensus for each topic using the metrics:

4 = strongly agree 3 = agree 2 = disagree 1 = strongly disagree

This model of voting will allow the Board of Director and Superintendent to understand if there is a divergence in opinion and whether and how to seek additional information to inform district decisions, programming, and recommendations to the school community. Minority opinion reports to the Superintendent by one or more task force members will be allowed.