Student outcomes are best when parties learn to effectively communicate their interests and needs and work together to develop appropriate services for children with disabilities.

Since 2009, the Special Education Resolution Center (SERC) has been offering stakeholder training to help build capacity at the local level for productively managing conflict to best meet the needs of students with disabilities. A key goal of the SERC is “to help schools and families resolve issues at the earliest stage possible.” To further this goal, the SERC provides various options for stakeholder training in conflict resolution, including individualized training, a training titled “Engaging in Challenging Conversations,” a six-module course titled “Essential Skills for Engaging in Conflict” that is available online, and resources on “Good Meeting Management.”

System Oversight, Infrastructure and Organization: 

SERC provides training that is individualized to the needs of the school district. There is no cost to the school district and training may vary from 1.5 hours to 2 days.  Topics involve understanding the dynamics of conflict, handling difficult or sensitive conversations, building safety, and negotiation strategies. SERC will also provide training to school districts and parents entitled Engaging in Challenging Conversations. This training teaches the participants to focus on mutual purpose and develop skills for effective collaboration.

In addition, SERC provides an online professional development series written by Greg Abell, Principal at Sound Options Group, LLC, titled "Essential Skills for Engaging Conflict." This series is designed for Oklahoma schools and staff to improve their ability to work together and achieve a range of goals and objectives in improving student learning. 

Program Access & Delivery: 

SERC provides training that is individualized to the needs of the school district. There is no cost to the school district and training may vary from 1.5 hours to 2 days.  Topics involve understanding the dynamics of conflict, handling difficult or sensitive conversations, building safety, and negotiation strategies.

Public Awareness & Outreach Activities: 

The online series contains an introduction session plus six additional modules. Each module includes a guide and a video to be used to help facilitate groups who may use the series in professional development settings. The six modules are:

Introduction

Conflict and Collaboration: Explores the role of collaboration and conflict in the Special Education Collaborative Process of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Starting with Self-Preparation: Explains how understanding your own style and preparing yourself for the process leads to meaningful choices as one engages in the Special Education Collaborative Process of the IDEA.

Listening and Understanding: Explores the value of listening to understand and responding in a meangingful way during the Special Education Collaborative Process of the IDEA.

Sharing your Perspective: Presents the value of creating safety and sharing your perspective in a way that can be understood and responded to in the Special Education Collaborative Process of the IDEA.

Exploring Issues to Understand Interests: Looks at how to explore "the issues presented" in the Special Education Collaborative Process of the IDEA to understand the "underlying interests" that are driving positions of the participant.

Solutions and Mutual Purpose: Explores a variety of methods to find solutions to issues that also serve the mutual purposes of the parties during the Special Education Collaborative Process of the IDEA.

Series Guide

Online Resource: Good Meeting Management

Program Contact: 

For questions or details on training opportunities, please contact SERC at 918.270.1849 or 888.267.0028 (toll-free).