The IEP Facilitator will contact the parties and schedule the FIEP meeting to be held in a timely manner and in a location that is convenient for both parties. The IEP Facilitator will also speak by telephone with the parents and the IEP chairperson prior to the meeting to clarify the issues, gather necessary information, and explain the FIEP process. The IEP Facilitator has the opportunity to gather issues from, and then exchange
issues between, the key participants prior to the IEP meeting. This process provides the participants some private time to consider possible resolutions and options for discussion
before the day of the IEP meeting. The IEP Facilitator then supports the group in collaboratively creating solutions for the student. As a result, all members equally share responsibility for the IEP meeting process and the results.
The IEP Facilitator is not the IEP chair, nor is he or she a decision maker. Rather, the IEP Facilitator supports the collaborative process of the meeting and assists the parties to reach consensus where possible. There are four facilitators who also serve as state special education mediators. Parents and the local education agency are encouraged to mutually agree on the selection of the mediator who will serve as the IEP Facilitator. In the event that the parties cannot agree on the individual, and they still wish to pursue this alternative dispute resolution process, then the ultimate selection will be up to the district that pays the Facilitator’s expenses.
If both the district and the family agree that they need assistance with working out their differences with the help of a third party, and the district or charter school agrees to the expense of contracting with an IEP Facilitator, they contact the NMPED’s Special Education Bureau and ask to speak to the ADR Coordinator or the Parent Liaison to find out more.