The Sonoma County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) offers a range of local dispute resolution options including a co-mediation model composed of a parent of a child with disabilities and an educator or administrator. This strategy, which they call a Solutions Team, is designed to build a safe, collaborative working relationship by fostering communication between families and school personnel.
System Oversight, Infrastructure and Organization: 

System Design/Management

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.

Policy/Procedures

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.

Personnel

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.

Public Awareness & Outreach Activities: 

Availability/Accessing Services

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). 

Materials/Activities

CA - ADR_Brochure_Spanish_2008

Evaluation & Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI): 

EVALUATION

We have had a very strong success rate of preventing conflicts from going to fair hearing at the state level.

Program Contact

Kelly Brooks
Sonoma County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA)