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Chain of Command

How to Effectively Communicate With School Officials

Parents are often discouraged when they attempt to communicate with central office administrators and school board members and are sent back to building-based officials in order to resolve a problem their child may be experiencing in school. To prevent that frustration, parents can become informed about the “chain of command,” or where to begin the communication sequence regarding their problem or concern.

Many parent and community questions are easily and completely answered by communicating directly with the educator in charge of the class or program. Each situation should first be addressed at whatever level the initial action was taken with appeals moving on to the next level on the chain of command. The easiest way to communicate is via email and a phone call is the next preferable way. 

Customize for your district and add specific names/phone numbers/email addresses where appropriate.

ABC School District
Office of the Superintendent
20XX-20XX School Year

  1. On Matters Involving Instruction/Curriculum
    1. Classroom Teacher
    2. Principal
    3. Curriculum Director
    4. Superintendent
    5. Board of Education
  2. On Matters Involving Athletics
    1. Coach
    2. Athletic Director
    3. Superintendent
    4. Board of Education
  3. On Matters Involving Student Discipline
    1. Classroom Teacher
    2. Assistant Principal
    3. Principal
    4. Superintendent
    5. Board of Education
  4. On Matters Involving Facilities/Grounds/Buildings
    1. Principal
    2. Supervisor of Facilities
    3. Superintendent
    4. Board of Education
  5. On Matters Involving Transportation
    1. Bus Driver
    2. Transportation Director
    3. Superintendent
    4. Board of Education

Provided as a sample to board members and superintendents from the Michigan Association of School Boards, September 2010.