The ADR program involves everything from training parents and educators in effective communication and negotiation skills to conducting formal mediations known as Solutions Teams. The intent of this program is to maintain positive relationships between the student's family and the school as well as to save money for both parties.
When a call for assistance is made, the program specialist will listen to the concerns and help identify key issues and interests. Information about special education laws and practices may be provided, if relevant, and a referral may be made to others who can appropriately work with the issues. If Local Mediation through a Solution Team is considered the best option, the program specialist will mediate the parties’ concerns. When a mediation agreement is reached, the details are put into an agreement form and signed by everyone involved. Local Mediation does not prevent either party from pursuing state-level mediation if the parties are not satisfied with the result.
Solution Teams are a co-mediation team consisting of a parent of a child with a disability and an educator or administrator and community mediator.
When a call for assistance is left on the ADR Helpline (707) 524-2785, an ADR-trained SELPA program specialist will respond to the phone call within 48 hours (response time will be longer on weekends and holidays).
We have had a very strong success rate of preventing conflicts from going to fair hearing at the state level.