The Solutions Panel process was developed in response to the growing need for a better way for families and schools to resolve their differences around special education issues.
Solutions Panel members listen to both parties and structures the discussion in such a way that the parties arrive at their own mutually agreeable solution(s). The panel members do not decide who is "right" or who is "wrong" but rather assist the parties in getting their interests met regarding the special education program/services for the student.
Upon completion of a mutually satisfying outcome, both parties sign an agreement. If the parties do not come to resolution, they may continue working on a solution and/or they may choose to exercise due process rights.
The Solutions Panel consists of three individuals who are trained as a neutral third party to guide the way to a solution between disagreeing parties. All Solutions Panel members are specially trained mediators who use an effective, confidential, problem-solving process. Typically, the panel is composed of one parent of a student with a disability(s), one educator and one administrator; all from outside the LEA.
- Provides a secure environment that encourages a free exchange of ideas.
- Encourages participation, positive collaborative working relationships and communication between parents and district personnel in mediation by t more/less
- Is bound by agreement to maintain confidentiality.
- Convenes at a site agreeable to both parties and is usually held within two to three weeks of the initial request. This process is considerably faster than state timelines for due process hearings or complaints' investigations.
- Usually results in written agreements acceptable to both parties.
- Is more satisfying than seeking legal action with subsequent decisions and high costs for attorney's fees.
- Is provided free of charge within the Fresno County SELPA.
The following may occur if a Solutions Panel is requested:
- The Coordinator will complete an intake checklist and with permission, contact the other party and encourage participation in the Solutions Panel process.
- If the other part more/less
- When and agreement is reached, the details are written into a Solutions Panel Agreement and signed by all parties involved. All parties will receive a copy of the agreement.