Dispute Resolution

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Video | A Tale of Two Conversations

A Tale of Two Conversations is a two-part video showing actors playing a parent of a child with a disability and a school administrator. The meeting was requested by the parent and takes place in the administrator’s office. Take One shows the parent and administrator talking about the child’s special education program. They are talking, but not listening. Their communication is unproductive. Take Two shows each person using more effective communication skills.

Both video conversations are available for viewing online at CADRE, as is a companion Study Guidethat looks more deeply into the effective communication skills shown in the second video. Read more about and access the resources here.

Engaging Parents in Productive Partnerships

(2015) | Available in English and Spanish | Useful to educators and others seeking to increase collaboration and effective partnering with parents Engaging Parents in Productive Partnerships is an easy-to-read presentation of suggestions on how educators and service providers can effectively collaborate with parents. The 4-page brief concludes with specific recommendations for IEP meetings, organized […]

The Right to Disagree

Current as of October 2017 In Spanish | En español ___________________   Parents have the right to disagree with decisions that the school system makes with respect to their child with a disability. This includes the school’s decisions about: —the identification of the child as a “child with a disability”; —the child’s evaluation; —the child’s […]

Filing a Complaint with the State Education Agency

There are times when you, as a parent, may want to communicate in writing with your child’s school about some problem or concern with your child’s education or well-being. This page presents a model letter or email you might write to file a complaint with the State Education Agency as an approach to resolving a dispute with your child’s school.

Requesting a Due Process Hearing

There are times when you, as a parent, may want to communicate in writing with your child’s school about some problem or concern with your child’s education or well-being. This page presents a model letter or email you might write to request a due process hearing as an approach to resolving a dispute with your child’s school.

Requesting Mediation

There are times when you, as a parent, may want to communicate in writing with your child’s school about some problem or concern with your child’s education or well-being. This page presents a model letter or email you might write to request mediation as an approach to resolving a dispute with your child’s school.

Mediation

IDEA requires school systems to have procedures to make mediation available to parents and public agencies to resolve a dispute involving any matter arising under Part B, including matters arising prior to the filing of a due process complaint. Mediation is entirely voluntary.

Filing a State Complaint

State complaints are an important procedural safeguard in IDEA, because they give individuals and organizations a mechanism through which they can address special education conflicts and resolve disputes.

Five Options, 1-2-3

There are times when parents and schools simply do not agree on some issue affecting a child’s education. They may try informal approaches to resolving the conflict, such as reviewing and revising the child’s IEP or holding a facilitated IEP meeting (an approach emerging in the field). When these don’t result in agreement on what represents an appropriate education for a child, the law (IDEA) provides several approaches that parents and schools can use to help resolve the dispute.

The Due Process Hearing, in Detail

Before launching into a close look at the due process hearing, it’s helpful to know that states organize their due process systems in two different ways

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