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Mars Area School District

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Process of Parent Concerns

Parent / Coach Relations

Both parenting and coaching are extremely difficult vocations. By establishing an understanding of each position, we are better able to accept the actions of the others and provide greater benefit to the student. As parents, when your children become involved in our programs, you have a right to understand what expectations are placed on your child. This begins with clear communication from the coach of your child’s program.

Communication you should expect from your child’s coach

    1. Expectations the coach has for your child as well as all the players on the squad.
    2. Locations and times of all practices and contests.
    3. Team requirements, i.e. fees, special equipment, off-season conditioning.
    4. Procedure should your child be injured during participation.
    5. Team rules and guidelines, and lettering requirements.

Communication coaches expect from athletes

    1. Notification of any schedule conflicts in advance.
    2. Special concerns in regards to a coach’s philosophy and/or expectations.

As your children become involved in the athletic programs they will experience some of the most rewarding moments of their lives. It is important to understand that there also may be times when things do not go the way you or your child wishes. At these times discussion with the coach is encouraged.

Appropriate concerns to discuss with coaches

    1. The treatment of your child, mentally and physically.
    2. Ways to help your child improve.
    3. Concerns about your child’s behavior.

It is very difficult to accept that your child’s not playing as much as you may hope. Coaches are professionals. They make judgment decisions based on what they believe to be the best for all students involved. As stated above, certain things can be and should be discussed with your child’s coach. Other things must be left to the discretion of the coach.

Issues not appropriate to discuss with coaches

    1. Playing time;
    2. Team strategy;
    3. Play calling;
    4. Other student-athletes.
There are situations that may require a conference between the coach and the parent. These are to be encouraged. It is important that both parties involved have a clear understanding of the other’s position. When these conferences are necessary, the following procedures are suggested to help promote a resolution to the issue of concern.

If you have a concern to discuss with a coach, the suggested procedure is listed below:

    1. Call to set up an appointment.
    2. If the coach cannot be reached, call the athletic director. He will set up the meeting for you.
    3. Please do NOT attempt to confront a coach before or after a contest or practice. These can be emotional times for both the parent and coach. Meetings of this nature do not promote resolution.
Conflict Resolution
The purpose of this procedure is to provide a framework for student-athletes and their families to resolve conflicts that may arise in the course of a student’s participation in both individual and team interscholastic sports sponsored by the Mars Area School District. Such a framework is necessary to ensure a uniform, fair, orderly, and prompt resolution of issues that arise concerning student-athletes and their participation in the sports sponsored by the District.
Note: If the complaint procedure is not followed the complainant will be redirected to the proper step to have their situation resolved.
Step 1: – Coach Level
    • All conflict resolution meetings adhere to a strict 24-hour rule whereby any meeting with a coach shall wait a minimum of 24 hours following any contest ending.
    • Complaints regarding an individual coach must be made directly to the head coach by the complainant. Every effort should be made to resolve the problem at this stage.
    • Meetings at the coach level will always include at least two coaches.
Step 2: – Athletic Director Level
    • Complaints not resolved with the head coach must be submitted in writing to the Athletic Director. The written complaint must contain the following:
      • The name of the coach or the specific sport, level of competition, and/or the general athletic concern involved. A brief but specific summary of the nature of the complaint and the facts surrounding it.
      • The complaint must be signed by the complainant.
    • Such meetings will occur at the earliest and most convenient time for both parties.
    • The Athletic Director will not accept meetings with more than one family at a time. Note: Because playing time and level or position placement are the sole responsibility of the coach, complaints regarding these items will not be heard beyond the Athletic Director.
Step 3: – Building Principal Level
    • If a student-athlete or family is not satisfied with the Athletic Director’s proposed resolution, a meeting with the building Principal may be requested.
    • Such meetings will occur at the earliest and most convenient time for both parties.
Step 4: – Superintendent Level
    • If a student-athlete or family is not satisfied with the building Principal’s proposed resolution, a meeting with the Superintendent may be requested.
    • Such meetings will occur at the earliest and most convenient time for both parties.
    • The Superintendent may consult with the Board as needed, possibly resulting in extended time prior to resolution.

Board Consideration
The purpose of this step-by-step procedure set forth above is to ensure that individuals most familiar with the situation (i.e. coaches and the athletic director) have an opportunity to respond to and resolve inquiries in a satisfactory and timely manner. The Board anticipates that most issues will be successfully resolved through the stated procedure. However, as with all issues about which members of the public have a concern, inquiries that are not resolved to the satisfaction of the family may be presented to the Board. In order to ensure the viability of the problem resolution procedure, the Board will entertain only those inquiries that have been fully processed through the steps in the order listed of this Conflict Resolution procedure.