Facilitated IEP Meetings - District of Columbia

Facilitated Individual Education Program (FIEP) Meetings are IEP meetings that are led by an independent facilitator and are designed to help the team overcome the pressures and challenges of a potentially contentious meeting. The facilitator does not make educational decisions regarding the student or development of the IEP. The facilitator’s primary goal is to assist team members in the thoughtful, productive construction of a quality IEP.
System Oversight, Infrastructure and Organization

System Design/Management

A facilitated IEP meeting provides an opportunity for early conflict prevention and resolution and is available to District of Columbia Schools, Public Charter Schools, Private Schools with D.C. Public Students, Parents of children with disabilities and Adult students with disabilities. Facilitation is offered through Adovcates for Justice in Education, Inc. 

FIEP Process: 

I.Referral to Adovcates for Justice in Education, Inc., for FIEP meeting
II.School/LEA Representative
III.Community providers
II.AJE provides confirmation of referral
III.AJE contacts LEA representative and/or parent to inform of referral for FIEP meeting
IV.AJE reviews FIEP process with parties
V.AJE provides opportunities for training on FIEP process
VI.Completion of agreement forms
VII.Facilitator is identified
VIII.Preparation with facilitator
IX.Facilitator notifies LEA of proposed FIEP meeting dates
X.LEA sends Letter of Invitation to parent
XI.FIEP Meeting takes place
XII.Facilitator drafts resolution agreement
XIII.Facilitator follows up with parties on next steps and notifies AJE of outstanding issues


The facilitator's role is to:

  • Keep the meeting focused on the student;
  • Ensure everyone at the table has a voice;
  • Encourage active listening by all participants; and
  • Keep the group from getting stuck on just one aspect of the IEP.

Facilitators are responsible for:

  • Conducting pre-facilitation interviews;
    • Parent;
    • School (special-ed coordinator or LEA designee)
    • Facilitation Coordinator (AJE)
    • Conducting the facilitation at agreed time and place;
    • Ensure parties sign confidentially agreement;
  • If resolution on any issue, drafting resolution agreement to that issue; and
  • Notify IEP Facilitation Coordinator immediately of any unresolved issues;

Forms/Letter Templates


Practitioner Standards & Professional Development

Training/Professional Development

Public Awareness & Outreach Activities

Availability/Accessing Services


The school, the parent or the adult student may request to have a trained, impartial professional facilitator attend the IEP meeting. The facilitator's role will be to help members of the IEP team remain focused on student issues and goals while addressing conflicts and disagreements that may arise during the meeting. 

It is advisable to request a facilitated IEP early in the IEP process:

  • Difficulty reaching consensus;
  • Earlier Conflicts or a History of Conflict;
  • Lack of Trust;
  • Breakdown in Communications;

A facilitated IEP team meeting encourages early dispute resolution as team member concerns are discussed and conflicts don’t have time to develop into more serious disputes.