Navigator Program - South Dakota

The South Dakota Navigator Program provides individualized technical assistance, information, and support services to families and educators caring for children with special education needs. Goals of the Navigator Program include improving family-school collaboration, providing an additional mechanism for conflict-resolution at a local level, providing technical assistance and leadership development for parents and educators, and promoting the knowledge of benefits derived from increased family involvement to school personnel.
System Oversight, Infrastructure and Organization

System Design/Management

This partnership between South Dakota Parent Connection, the federally-funded parent information center, and the South Dakota Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (SEP), is funded through a grant from SEP.


Working with a Navigator is an informal, time-limited problem-solving process and does not limit a parent's right to use formal processes such as the help of an advocate, filing a complaint, request a facilitator or mediator assigned by the state or filing for a due process hearing.  Navigators remain objective and neutral as they help both parents and school personnel to:

  • Locate and utilize information and resources
  • Improve family-school communication
  • Understand the special education process
  • Build (or re-build) partnership
  • Reach or make progress towards agreement


Navigators have included "Partners in Policymaking" graduates, experienced educators and recently retired special educational administrators.

Practitioner Standards & Professional Development

Practitioner Qualifications

Peer Navigators are located across South Dakota, and have expertise in issues relating to special education, disabilities, communication and conflict resolution.


The program is funded through a partnership between the South Dakota Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs and South Dakota Parent Connection.

Public Awareness & Outreach Activities

Availability/Accessing Services

Information on Peer Navigation may be requested by phone or email from the South Dakota Parent Connection.

Program Contact
<p>South Dakota Parent Connection</p><p><a href=""></a></p><p>Navigator Program <a href=""></a></p><p><a href=""> (link sends e-mail)</a></p>