Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Special Education Mediation"— Presentation transcript:
1Introduction to Special Education Mediation Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA)Introduction to Special Education Mediation
2Bureau of Special Education Appeals Due Process for Special EducationFree and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)Access to Education for All Students Despite DisabilityIndividualized Education Program (IEP)Myrto
3Why Does the BSEA Exist? 603 CMR 28 (Mass Law) Mediation 603 CMR 28.0834 CFR 300(Federal Law, IDEA)Mediation 34 CFRSection 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973(Federal Law)Myrto
4Supervisor of Mediation Who We AreDirectorHearing Officers Mediators AdministratorsSupervisor of MediationBecca
5Mediator BackgroundsAttorneys (3) and Dispute Resolution Backgrounds (4)In-depth Special Education knowledgeBecca – we all bring something different to the table, we all have our own styles, but all have #2, 3, 4
6Mediation Nuts & Bolts Collaborative Problem-Solving Process Voluntary ConfidentialNo cost to participants
7Role of Mediators Neutral No decision making authority Do not interpret lawsDo not tell parties what to do, who is right or who is wrongBSEA is Within the Divisionof Administrative Law Appeals(NOT DESE)
8How Massachusetts is Split Up Becca7 Mediators1 Supervisor
11Benefits of Mediation Collaborative Problem-Solving Control of Process and OutcomeRelationships85% Settlement RateTimeliness
12Mediation Myths Just for simple issues Parents need an attorney or advocateOnly useful when there is a “bad” relationshipA process of splitting the middleGetting the Mediator “on your side”Time to give the other side a “piece of your mind”
13What can you Mediate? Issues that can be mediated: Eligibility Level of ServicePlacementCompensatory servicesCommunication IssuesOthers?
14Requesting MediationDistricts notify BSEA (no action, full or partial reject)BSEA sends form letters to Parents & DistrictsParents/Districts make request directly to mediatorAdvocate can request BUT Parent can and should talk to MediatorParents/Districts can request mediation at any time (do not need the letter!)Mutually agreeable date, time, and locationRandom mediators
15Before You Call to Request Mediation Make sure that you have had all necessary IEP/TEAM MeetingsReviewing evaluationsReviewing proposed IEPAn attempt to resolve issuesWhat do you want from Mediation? Be specific but not exhaustiveDo not send Mediator any paperwork, etc.OR Phone CallShould be able to sum up in two minutes or less what you are looking for (i.e. placement, level of service, eligibility)
16Mediation process Introduction Joint Session Private Session ResolutionAverage of 2-4 hoursSecond SessionFollow Up Session
17Introduction & Joint Session Brief HistoryStatement of Desired OutcomeListening PatientlyBody LanguageQuestions, Comments, ClarificationsRoom for MovementWHAT CAN BE DONE TODAY TO MOVE FORWARD?
18Private Sessions Optional Confidential Place for brainstorming Time to weigh out options and consider outcomes
19Required Mediation Participants Parent/guardianDecision-maker for District
20Optional Mediation Participants StudentAdvocatesSchool Team MembersAdministratorsSpecialistsAttorneysSupportersEach side chooses who they will bringBe thoughtful with your clients: Money Time Relationships Stress Emotions - Future
22Advocate: Do’s and Don’ts Be a bridgeSupport parentsEmpower parents to make decisionsUse supportive & productive languageFocus on the student’s individual situationDon’tExacerbate the situationAdd emotion into the situationLecture school staffFocus on minor error and typosInterrupt
23Develop Collaborative (Not Contentious) Relationships Remember the LONG lasting relationship between parents and school districtsCreate deeper understandingFind Allies on the TEAMCreate a vocabulary of resolutionSolve future problemsMake space for hope
24Prepare Your Client Explain All Options Reality Checking (Hearing, Mediation, SpedEx, etc.)Reality CheckingGive them HopeRoom for MovementHumanize StaffBring a Snack/DrinksTalk Parents Off the Cliff
26At the End of the Day… Parents are the ultimate decision makers It’s their life.It’s their child.It’s their family.It’s their relationship with the school.They are the ones who will live with the decision.
28Facilitated IEP Meetings… Support the Team Meeting from start to finishEnsure everyone listens, hears, and is respectfulKeep the meeting moving forwardHave time accountabilityMay be quite active…or just a presenceWe do not run the meeting…the person who runs the meetings (typically Team Chair) still runs the meeting3rd Party NeutralA Facilitated Team Meeting will not become a mediationCall the Marc Sevigny, Coordinator of Mediation & Facilitations to request a Facilitated Team Meeting.
29Questions Myrto Flessas, Mediator Metro Boston SuburbsMatthew Flynn, MediatorCentral MassRebecca Stone, MediatorNorth ShoreLeslie Bock, MediatorMiddlesex and Metro North/SouthMarc Sevigny, Coordinator of Mediation, FIEPsKatherine Bures, MediatorSouth ShoreSusan Singleton, MediatorWestern MassSteve Lilly-Weber, MediatorBoston and South Shore