The Ombudsperson’s Role at Shining Mountain
by Mary Beth Fifer

The Ombudsperson’s Role at Shining Mountain by Mary Beth Fifer, Board of Trustees Member, Faculty Member

marybeth-fiferWhere do I go when I need to speak with “the school” about an issue?

Where do I go if I am not sure how to have my question/concern addressed?

Where do I go if I feel my concern has not been addressed to my satisfaction?

Go to the Ombudsperson:  Mary Beth Fifer

The ombudsperson role is one of my many responsibilities at the school.  It is one that I take very seriously and enjoy very much.  This is the beginning of my 5th year and I have helped many families with concerns that they have had. 

Here are some of the things that I can do for you and your family:

  • I can schedule a time to listen to your question or concern.  Based on the Living Community Principles we have adopted at Shining Mountain,( http://shiningmountainwaldorf.org/living-community-principles/) I will first ask you if you have spoken directly with the person/people you are having challenges with.  If not, I will suggest you do so and can help you if you are having trouble doing so.
  • I will take minutes of our conversation and go over them with you either in person or by email.
  • We will talk about where you might take your question/concern, help you think through the issue and/or help you set up a meeting.  If needed, I can be at the meeting with you.
  • I might consult with the School Leadership, setting up a meeting for you if necessary.
  •  If appropriate, I might suggest you attend the Community portion at the beginning of the Board of Trustees monthly meeting. 
  • Another tool I have is to initiate a Common Concern meeting to reach resolution regarding issues that include relationship matters.  (Adult “helpers” will be assigned to individuals as active listeners and support.  A facilitated meeting with helpers for all involved and minute takers will meet.  An action plan with agreements and dates for a follow up will be established during this meeting.
  • I will follow up on the process until resolution and check in with you in the future to make sure things continue to improve.
  • Mostly importantly, all of these steps are confidential.

I hope that you don’t need me in this role but if you do, I’d love to help you.  Don’t let your questions/concerns go on without resolution.  That never helps the situation.  Please give me a call or send me an email.  marybethf@smwaldorf.org  303-951-8850.