Office of the Ombudsman

Contact Info
Nancy J. Deering
Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner

Office Location
765 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102

Phone: 973-733-7015
Fax: 973-733-8282

The Ombudsman serves as an information conduit and conflict resolution resource for parents and other members of the community who have concerns related to The Newark Public Schools. The Ombudsman is confidential, neutral, independent and informal.

The Ombudsman helps to foster the kind of educational environment where students will thrive and school-based programs will be strengthened. Critical to its success is ongoing dialogue that promotes cooperative relationships between parents and school staff as well as educators and community representatives.

The Ombudsman, along with other staff who are committed to the welfare of the whole child, advises key administrators as to the kinds of situations that encourage student and adult relations and models the types of behaviors that promote future growth. The Ombudsman also works diligently to help parents become true partners with educators in building vital support systems to help children get ready for college, work and life.

Key Facts

The Ombudsman does not replace formal issue resolution functions (e.g., Human Resources, Legal Services, Affirmative Action, Labor and Employee Relations, line management, etc.); he or she complements and supplements them with additional capabilities.

The Ombudsman program is independent. Conversations with an Ombudsman are off-the-record. Therefore, an Ombudsman can provide complete confidentiality, anonymity, official neutrality and informality.

The Ombudsman assists in achieving outcomes consistent with fairness, NPS values, regulations and the law.

The Ombudsman is guided by the professional standards of practice and code of ethics of the International Ombudsman Association.

Confidential – the cornerstone of our practice

When you contact us about a complaint or concern, you can expect to talk with someone who will listen attentively to your concerns. We will not disclose your identity or the content of your communications unless:

We determine that there appears to be a threat of imminent physical harm.
We are ordered by a court or arbitration panel.
Neutral – the Ombudsman is a designated neutral who does not take sides on any issue brought to his or her attention

The Ombudsman considers the interest and concerns of both parties with the objective of achieving fair outcomes. Neutrality is the goal of the Office and carrying out the role demands fairness, objectivity, even-handedness and impartiality without outside influence.

Independent – reports directly to the Superintendent of Newark Public Schools

The Ombudsman operates independently of anyone who can use this resource and is not involved in making or administering policy.

Informal – we do not disclose the identity of individuals using the resource

The Ombudsman is not a replacement or substitute for existing complaint channels and procedures, but is an additional resource where individuals who have issues and/or recommendations regarding NPS can get assistance.

The Ombudsman will:

  • Interface with parents and the community
  • Listen attentively to concerns and recommendations
  • Provide confidential guidance, information and individual coaching to help prepare for difficult conversations
  • Help identify a range of resolution options through formal channels and/or informal processes
  • Help bridge communication between parents and educators
  • Identify trends and make recommendations for improvement to prevent issues from recurring
  • Assist in achieving outcomes consistent with fairness, established policies and the law.

The Ombudsman will not:

  • Take sides
  • Act as an advocate for any individual
  • Breach confidentiality
  • Conduct formal or in-depth investigations
  • Make, change or set aside established policies
  • Make management decisions
  • Replace existing resources
  • Participate in grievances or other formal processes
  • Offer legal advice