When parents or school representatives are apprehensive about the next IEP meeting, or it is a complex meeting with numerous participants, or communication between home and school is becoming tense, an impartial facilitator can be requested to assist the IEP team members in communicating more effectively, keeping the focus on student outcomes, and developing compliant IEPs. Parents or school systems have the right to request the Department of Public Instruction to provide facilitation services to assist the IEP team in making determinations regarding identification, evaluation, educational program, placement or the provision of a free appropriate public education for students with disabilities. Facilitation is a process utilizing an impartial, neutral facilitator to guide the process of the meeting and to assist members of the IEP team in communicating effectively. An IEP is developed by a collaborative team whose required members share responsibility for the process, content, and the results. Facilitation is the process of helping the IEP team complete a task, solve a problem, or come to agreement to the mutual satisfaction of the participants. There does not need to be a conflict between the parties. A facilitator may also be useful when the school personnel want to concentrate on the IEP issues to be determined rather than on the meeting process. A facilitator may also be used for any transition IEP meeting when there are typically more people at the table.
System Oversight, Infrastructure and Organization: 

Policy/Procedures

Parents or school systems have the right to request the Department of Public Instruction to provide facilitation services to assist the IEP team in making determinations regarding
identification, evaluation, educational program, placement or the provision of a free appropriate public education for students with disabilities. The facilitated IEP meeting will be conducted by a qualified and impartial facilitator at no cost to the parent or the school.

  • The facilitator explains his or her role, describes consensus decision-making, gets agreement on the agenda, establishes roles of group members (ex. scribe and time keeper), and guides the discussion toward the desired outcomes.
  • The facilitator guides the parties through the items on the agenda. Ideas are recorded on pages for all team members to see, so information is visual as
  • well as auditory.
  • The facilitator ensures participation from all team members and uses a variety of strategies for reaching consensus.
  • Determinations are documented and a prior written notice is issued to the parent.

Personnel

The facilitated IEP meeting will be conducted by a qualified and impartial facilitator. Facilitators have training and experience in helping clarify points of view, communicating more effectively, and resolving conflict. 

What is the role of the facilitator?

  • To plan and design the meeting process,in partnership with the parties.
  • To set a positive and welcoming tone for the meeting.
  • To clarify the purpose of the meeting, the desired outcomes, the process to be used, and the roles of each person.
  • To keep the discussion focused on the child.
  • To draw out opinions and encourage full participation from all IEP team members.
  • To monitor the pace of the meeting.
  • To maintain neutrality, reflecting content and process back to the group
Practitioner Standards & Professional Development: 

Training/Professional Development

Facilitators have training and experience in helping clarify points of view, communicating more effectively, and resolving conflict.

Public Awareness & Outreach Activities: 

Availability/Accessing Services

A request for facilitation can be made by completing a Mediation/Facilitation Request Form. After completing all the information required by the form, it is then mailed or faxed to the Facilitation Coordinator at the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), Exceptional Children Division. A staff person from the DPI will contact the other party to provide notice of the request and to explain the process. As the LEA is legally responsible for convening IEP team meetings, the LEA must agree to have a DPI facilitator present. Conversely, the parent’s consent is sought when the LEA requests the facilitator’s presence. The Facilitation Coordinator will appoint a facilitator who will contact both parties to determine the desired outcomes and to develop the agenda for the meeting. 

Materials/Activities

The form can be downloaded by clicking the web site address:
http://ec.ncpublicschools.gov/parent-resources/dispute-resolution/facili...

Evaluation & Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI): 

EVALUATION

NC-facilitation-feedback-formJUL13

NC-results-reflection-formJUL13