Alternative Dispute Resolution (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 ADR, parents and districts maintain the right to follow through with ADR procedures.
The Contra Costa SELPA offers an Alternative Dispute Resolution process to help resolve conflicts between schools and families regarding special education concerns. These services are provided free of charge to families within Contra Costa SELPA local educational agencies (LEAs)/districts. It is hoped these services enhance a collaborative partnership and preserve the relationships between families and districts.
STAGE 1 - PREVENTION
STAGE 2 - INTERVENTION
A variety of opportunities are available, including pro-active case management, facilitating IEPs, and collaborating in the IEP process.
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.
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
Facilitated IEP Meetings
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