A legal consultant is investigating allegations of inconsistent grading and transcript practices at Pleasanton Unified School District high schools.
District spokesman Patrick Gannon confirmed the ongoing "investigation/audit" this week, saying the move to bring in one of the district's contracted law firms to examine the situation is common practice when receiving complaints about policy implementation and student records.
"After we receive this type of information, we investigate to understand the issue better and determine any corrective actions," Gannon told the Weekly.
"In this case, we engaged a law firm regarding information received around potentially inconsistent high school grading and/or transcript practices," he said. "A law firm was consulted due to the fact that the concern raised was a legal one with regards to the Education Code and involved private student records. The investigation is still being conducted."
Gannon would not confirm the exact nature of the allegations, including whether, or to what extent, transcript integrity is in question.
The situation unfolded after the district received information in October about alleged transcript inconsistencies at the high schools -- complaints shared during Superintendent David Haglund's listening tour at school sites and in community engagement meetings, according to Gannon.
Speaking generally, Gannon said, "One area of feedback we received a good deal of feedback related to the implementation of district policies and procedures, and how some may be being applied differently across school sites. We have been doing a good deal of work in this arena, including adding the focus as one of our organizational goals for the year."
"Depending on the situation and need, we may vet and engage in these processes internally or reach out to a third-party for assistance," he added. "These outside sets of eyes often help to ensure our policies and procedures are clearly articulated and consistently applied across the district -- all of this is in an effort to provide the best services to schools, students and families."
The transcript investigation is spearheaded by one of the four law firms the district has under retainer this year. The consultants are working to complete the probe and present results as soon as possible, though an end date has not been identified, according to Gannon. There is no cost estimate at this point.
Grading and transcript oversight falls under multiple departments at the district level, as well as at individual school sites, Gannon said.