Ombuds Office

Confidentiality is a key characteristic of the Ombuds Office.  The office does not divulge a client's name or the nature of the issue being discussed without the client's consent.  With the client's permission, individuals whose help is necessary to resolve a specific problem may be contacted.  The office acts only with your permission except in the unusual situations of imminent risks of serious harm where it appears to be no responsible options except to act without permission.

The Role of the Ombuds

The role of the Ombuds is to help staff, students and their families in identifying and evaluating their options for resolving and managing conflicts, provide mediation support, and make referrals to other appropriate departments, offices and/or community resources.

The Ombuds:

  • Provides a completely confidential and neutral resolution service independent of the Human Resources department for all members of the WISD community.
  • May advise an individual on how to make an official complaint to the WISD Superintendent or Board of Education about a problem.
  • Can identify problem and conflict areas within the school district and recommend improvements to the district leadership.

What the Ombuds Can do for you

  1. Listen and discuss questions, concerns, and complaints of clients about the functioning of the school district.
  2. Help staff develop problem solving skills and promote critical thinking so that staff is better able to act on their own behalf in resolving conflict.
  3. Assist clients in evaluating and assessing a variety of options to address their own concerns.
  4. Answer questions, help clients formulate appropriate questions and find others who can provide the correct answer.
  5. Identify problems and conflict area within the school district and recommend improvements.
  6. Make referrals for mediation, counseling, and dispute resolution services, and assist in creating a helping network for clients.
  7. Provide a safe and confidential setting where clients feel respected and where they can be candid and forthright.

What the Ombuds Cannot  do for you

  1. Take part in any formal grievance process, hearing, or judicial process.
  2. Make administrative or academic decisions for any other part of the school district.
  3. Assign sanctions.
  4. Give legal advice. 

Types of Ombuds Issues

  • Career Management - Promotion, performance management, end of appointment, layoff, reorganization, hostile environment, overwork, compensation, benefits. 
  • Work Relationships - Conflict with a colleague or supervisor, difficult staff, inappropriate or disrespectful behavior, abuse of power, bullying.
  • Policies and Requirements - Employment guidelines, disciplinary process and decisions, grievance and complaint procedures, academic policy or procedure concerns.
  • Illness and Disability - Disability services, accommodation requests, disability plans, leave options, internal and outside resources.
  • Discrimination and Sexual Harassment - Unwelcome and inappropriate behavior, inappropriate relationships.
  • Other Concerns - Safety, unethical behavior, compliance.

Contact the Ombuds Office if you:

  • Have a problem or conflict involving the school district or a department and don't know where to go to solve it.
  • Feel your concerns are not being heard.
  • Need information about policies and procedures affecting your work environment.
  • Believe your rights have been violated or you have not been given due process.
  • Need help to resolve or mediate a dispute.
  • Feel you have been treated unfairly or insensitively or that you are being subjected to intimidating, bullying or emotionally "toxic" behavior.
  • Think that the school district has made an error, but has not acknowledged it.


1819 S. Wagner Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48106

ADA & Accessibility

Our School Strives To Ensure Our Website Is Accessible To All Our Visitors 

Washtenaw ISD is committed to providing a website that is fully accessible and we are currently in the process of developing a new website to better meet the needs of our customers. Our new website will include improvements to ADA compliance and accessibility, and during this transition, we remain committed to maintaining our existing website's accessibility and usability. 

ADA Compliance

Non Discrimination

It is the policy and commitment of the Washtenaw Intermediate School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, age, height, weight, familial status, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation or any legally protected characteristic, in its educational programs, activities, admissions, or employment policies in accordance with Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments, executive order 11246 as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and all other pertinent state and Federal regulations.

Non Discrimination Information

ADA and Title IX Coordinator ADA and Title IX Coordinator
Brian Marcel
Associate Superintendent
1819 S. Wagner Road 
Ann Arbor, MI  48103
(734) 994-8100 ext. 1402
Cassandra Harmon-Higgins
Executive Director, HR & Legal Services
1819 S. Wagner Road 
Ann Arbor, MI  48103
(734) 994-8100 ext. 1311