I am sure that many of you at one point have felt the need to call 311 as far as the DOE NYC goes.
Over the last year I have done extensive research about 311 and the DOE NYC.
I have learned a lot about it, it is a very important tool for getting your complaints addressed directly, however the first step is knowing how to use it.
Lets start off with the facts:
P311 was set up by Bloomberg around 10 years ago and in that respect it is still fairly new, most parents use it to find their zoned school and general information. Very few parents and teachers know about the complaint procedures, but they do exist. In fact it is much easier to call P311 and get results, then it is to write a letter to the chancellor or Mayor.
311 and p311 are very different. 311 is where you can make general complaints about the city. However the DOE NYC may cloak itself as 311 it is actually p311 and there are many ways to contact them. lets start out by going over the history see the website below.
and then there is also :
P311 can help you solve many special education issues:
There is also this diagram that shows how p311 is connected to Enrollement and therefore complaints lodged there may help you if you are trying to change schools :
I also found out that this guy is one of many who you may even speak to when you call:
I developed a script for teachers or parents that want to call, to remain anonymous.Call them up and say you are concerned about somethings that are happening at a NYCDOE Public school (state the name) that are school wide issues that have to do with safety and the well being of the children and staff.
They may ask ” what is your name?”
Your response is “I prefer not to say”
They may ask “Are you a parent?”
Your response is “I prefer not to say”
That may ask you questions trying to get identifiable information.
Your response is to stay anonymous.
You will ask for a service request.
Once you have the service request please make a note of it. Log the call, time and date and rep name if possible. Call back in five days ask for an update provide service request number and reopen the complaint if nothing has been done. This takes some vigilance.
The most important thing is to keep track of the service request number and keep calling to reopen if nothing is done.
“One security guard for 900 students and 77 teachers.”
“Parking in the school yard”
“Poor parent engagement”
“Lack of AIS services”
“Lack of real PTA room”
“Improper SLT protocol”
“No gym teacher”
“No access to school library for all students”
“Non HQT staff for ESL”
“Class size too Large”
“Screaming school aids”
“Lack of computers”
Anything that you can think of that you know is wrong.
Now instead of wasting time calling 311 you can contact P311 directly if it is a special ed issue make sure to say so. Any number that is listed as an enrollment office on the DOE NYC website is actually the same as P311!
You will notice that all of these numbers have the same first six digits. You can keep reopening complaints until they are resolved. They hate when you do this I imagine it is because it winds up going into a larger data base that shows the state and the US how unhappy we are with our schools here in NYCDOE. 311 in general is used throughout the country and it is monitored. Remember 311 is 24hr 7 days per week but P311 is only Mon-Fri from 8am to 6pm.
You can provide your child’s OSIS number if you have a personal issue, but know now that the principal of your school will find out about it and may retaliate against you or your child! Remember this call will go directly to whomever you want to handle it, most complaints go to the DFA (district family advocate), but depending on the nature of the complaint, they can go to special ed reform, FACE or the district, heck who knows maybe even the Chancellor herself.
You can also go to the 4th floor of 65 court street in brooklyn and get copies of your complaints, or mail a self addressed envelope to them directly requesting the copy. Ask them about this process over the phone and they will provide details. You can always speak to a supervisor if you get a rep that is unhappy.
Counselors at Enrollment Offices can help you find your school options and apply to schools. Offices are open Monday through Friday from 8 am – 3 pm
715 Ocean Terrace (Building A) Staten Island, 10301
If more people took the time as a group to make these calls I am sure we would see change. Feel free to email me if you have any questions along the way. Or of you want to start a call p311 complaint group to address any City Wide Issues with the DOE NYC. I think the reason no one has tried this is because we all hate being on the phone, but I know first hand that it gets results, and creates a paper trail.
I do not think that this resource has ever been used by the masses collectively, perhaps that can change if parents and teachers can get together and try this out.
There are many calls that I have not tried yet. like filing a complaint about OSI for example or about classroom size.
Keep me posted!