Parent Info » ADR


I. Overview of Alternative Dispute Resolution Provided by the Contra Costa SELPA

Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR, is a process for resolving conflicts that is voluntary, confidential, preserves future relationships, and respects the dignity of individuals while also creating mutually satisfying solutions. ADR uses communication, collaboration, negotiation, and mediation to produce an agreement that meets the interests of the parties involved. When participating in Alternative Dispute Resolution, parents and districts maintain the right to seek state-level due process.

The Contra Costa SELPA offers an Alternative Dispute Resolution process to help resolve conflicts between schools and families regarding special education concerns. The program, which is provided free of charge, serves the families of all children within Contra Costa SELPA local educational agencies (LEAs)/districts, by enhancing a collaborative partnership and working to preserve the relationships.

STAGE 1 - PREVENTION - No Request Form Needed
STAGE 2 - INTERVENTION - Use Request Form

Staff/Parent Workshops

A variety of opportunities are available, including pro-active case management, facilitating IEPs, and collaborating in the IEP process.

Phone Consultation

Families and school district personnel can contact the CCSELPA office to receive information about special eduation laws, rights and protections of children receiving special education services


When requested, the SELPA staff can conference with parents, or district staff, to intervene early, offer suggestions, and resolve concerns. Provided as a one-time support, if on-going support is requested, consider coaching.

Ongoing Consult/Coaching

Staff are available to meet with district staff, or parents, to coach on helpful resolution strategies, effective communication techniques and options for resolving conflicts. This stage may involve attending the IEP with parent, or district staff, and/or observing the student.

STAGE 3- RESTORATION - Use Request Form

Facilitated IEP Meetings (FIEP)

This is a formal IEP meeting facilitated by a neutral facilitator. The process is designed to help the IEP team to build relationships, focus on the IEP content and the student, and work toward a positive IEP team outcome.

Post Facilitation Conversation

Following a formal facilitated IEP, SELPA staff can meet with parents and district staff to discuss outcomes and potential next steps.

II. Process for Requesting an Alternative Dispute Resolution Service

  • Parent/Guardian, or District staff, contact the Contra Costa SELPA Program Specialist assigned to their District of Residence directly for support. District assignments for Contra Costa SELPA Program Specialists are below. Parents and District Staff can also contact the ADR Coordinator; Justine Melendez, at the Contra Costa SELPA office at:
    925-827-0949 ext. 24 or [email protected].

  • Parent/Guardian or District, completes the ADR Request Form. If the request for support went directly to the Program Specialist, submit the completed form to the Program Specialist. The Program Specialist will then submit the form to the ADR Coordinator.

  • If the request for support is received by the ADR Coordinator, the Coordinator will assign the case to the Contra Costa SELPA Program Specialist supporting the District of Residence.

  • The Contra Costa SELPA Program Specialist will then contact the party requesting support to discuss their concerns and the ADR continuum options.

    • Ongoing Consult/Coaching
    • Facilitated IEP

  • The SELPA Program Specialist, District and Parent/Guardian collaborate for a resolution.

Tammy Watson

Program Specialist
[email protected]
(925) 827-0949 ext. 17

Sara Castille, M.Ed.

Program Specialist
[email protected]
(925) 827-0949 ext. 13

Tricia Facteau, M.S.

Program Specialist
[email protected]
(925) 827-0949 ext. 21

MaryAnn Frates, Ed.D.

Executive Director
[email protected]
(925) 827-0949 ext. 14


John Swett


Walnut Creek




Contra Costa County Office of Education