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Communication and Appeal Policy

The Sunrise community is committed to creating a cohesive and thriving community of individuals and families. Our commitment to this spirit of community is reflected in our protocols for healthy communication practices.


At Sunrise Waldorf School, the ideal is that direct and constructive communication strengthens relationships and community cohesion. Conversely, speaking negatively about others, or the school, can cause harm. In a situation where a member of our school community (e.g. parent/guardians, teacher, staff, volunteer, older student, etc.) has an observation, concern, or complaint regarding any aspect of the school, the following steps provide guidance in how to address the topic. All feedback is important to the school, and Sunrise is committed to hearing feedback and responding appropriately.  


Direct Communication

  • If you feel comfortable, approach the other party/parties directly involved to discuss the concern in a private conversation. For example, a parent concerned about classroom issues should make an appointment with the class teacher as a first step to addressing the issue.

  • Avoid, or be mindful, when speaking with others not involved.

  • If you are not comfortable speaking directly to the other party, please proceed to the next step. 


Scheduling a Meeting

If you do not feel there is a resolution to your feedback, following your conversation with the other party, please schedule a meeting to speak to:

  • the Education Director (for issues related to teaching and learning),

  • the Head of School (for all other school-related issues).


A meeting by appointment is preferable and can be scheduled over phone or email.


NOTE: If your concern involves the Head of School, the Education Director is designated to act in place of the Head of School throughout the process. The Board will be made aware of any concerns regarding the Head of School.


Information Gathering

Whomever is listening to your feedback, whether the Education Director or the Head of School, they will listen to your concerns and record a summary of the issue, including the steps taken to date to address the issue (if any), and the desired outcome.


They will discuss:

  • your desired level of confidentiality

  • limitations, if any, that your wishes regarding confidentiality may place on the ability to follow through with resolving the issue. 


If the matter requires further actions that cannot be achieved in this meeting, the matter will continue to the next step. If an answer or resolution can be provided within this meeting, then no further actions are required. If the matter does not feel complete to you, it is up to you to clearly articulate the need for further follow up.   



After the meeting, the Head of School or Education Director will investigate the matter further.

  • Within two to three working days, they will provide a response.

  • If no immediate resolution is possible, you will be notified about the timeline for pursuing resolution of the concern.

  • They will keep you informed throughout the process and facilitate a resolution to your concern as quickly as possible. 



Depending on the nature of your concern, the Education Director or the Head of School may refer the issue to the individual, committee, or authority best suited to resolve the issue (e.g., the Human Resources Committee for staff-related concerns; the Care Coordinating Group for social issues; the Sunrise Education Society Board of Directors for business-related concerns, etc.).

The Education Director and/or the Head of School is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that any parties with a conflict of interest are not involved in considering or influencing a resolution to the issue.

  • Ensuring that the body the issue has been referred to follows procedures mandated by school policies to resolve concerns.

  • Ensuring that the procedures to be followed are explained to you fully.



The Head of School, or Education Director will:

  • Deliver the result of the communications process.

  • At the delivery of the outcome, they will ensure that you are informed about the timeline limitations of the appeal process, if there is continued dissatisfaction with the outcome.


Appeal Process

  1. Requests for appeal may be directed to the Vice President of the Sunrise Educational Society within seven days of notification of the decision that is being appealed, at

  2. The Head of School will be informed about the appeal by the Board Chair or Vice President immediately.

  3. The Vice President, or Designate, of the Sunrise Educational Society will then form an ad hoc committee consisting of a minimum of two members (one being a Board Member) and one or two Faculty members. Potential Appeal Committee members should not have had influence or bias toward the original decision. The Vice President, or Designate, of the Society will chair the Appeal Committee and has discretion as to its make-up and structure. 

  4. The Appeal Committee will meet within ten working days of the request for appeal to decide whether to hear the appeal. If the committee decides to hear the appeal, the appeal process must be completed (including communication) within twenty working days of the appeal request.

  5. At the completion of the appeal process, a feedback form will be sent out to the individual who brought the concern forward.


Independent School Ombudsperson

The Federation of Independent Schools of BC (FISA), Associate Member Society, which Sunrise is a member, provides an independent school ombudsperson for issues that have “exhausted all avenues of redress, appeal or review” provided by Sunrise, including this Appeal Process. If the individual continues to be dissatisfied with the outcome, they can email or phone 1-(604)-684-6023 to inquire about this process. The cost of the independent school ombudsperson is carried by Sunrise.    

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