Community Boards – Free Mediation Services for UESF Members
In partnering with UESF and SFUSD, Community Boards, the oldest public conflict resolution program in the US, has provided its conflict resolution services–mediation and facilitation–at no-cost to all San Francisco’s schools. The goal of this collaboration is to provide school administrators and educators with an additional resource for proactively addressing problems before they escalate into conflicts that may lead to disciplinary or grievance actions.
Confidentiality is an important element of all Community Boards’ mediations. In order to get at the root cause of a dispute, all parties are encouraged to talk freely. This right of confidentiality is protected by California consumer law. Information divulged in mediation is inadmissible in any possible future litigation.
The types of issues and disputes with SFUSD that can be mediated by Community Boards are wide and varied. They include:
- Classroom conflicts: teacher/paraprofessional, paraprofessional/paraprofessional
- School building conflicts: staff/staff, staff/school admin, school admin/SFUSD
- Community stakeholders: teacher/parent, school admin/parent, school admin/site council, school admin/social services or law enforcement, school/neighborhood
Here is a sample of the conflicts Community Boards has helped/is helping through mediation:
- a teacher and a group paraprofessionals in which the paraprofessionals felt mistreated and disrespected by the teacher;
- a site manager and a paraprofessional over a miscommunication around disability leave;
- a site manager and a group of teachers who felt disrespected;
- a group of teachers and administration pertaining to past conflicts with a former site manager and plans for the renovation of the school;
- two teachers with personality and communication style differences;
- a school social worker & psychologist with a new teacher in the Special Day Program; and
- a group of teachers and the assistant principal around safety issues and disciplining of children.
Community Boards is ready and eager to assist others. Please remember, no small issue is too trivial and no large issue is too complicated for mediation. Visit www.communityboards.org for a quick overview of our 35-years of experience and expertise.
If you have a situation at your school site that you would like to submit for mediation, contact your UESF staff representative at 956-8373.