San Joaquin County SELPA develops and provides Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) strategies and training to its staff since 2000 as part of a grant from the state. One of the most widely accessed components of the Alternative Dispute Resolution program is Individualized Education Program Facilitation.
Program Access & Delivery
Parents can access informal IEP facilitation by contacting trained local SELPA staff. This option will be offered to them through the Intake Coordination process. Facilitated IEPs are held within districts in San Joaquin County SELPA and have proven to be very effective.
Legal Protections: Participation in the ADR process does not prevent any future use of the more traditional due process procedures which can be initiated at any time by either party.
No Cost: SELPA assistance is provided at no cost to families and do not involve the use of advocates or attorneys except under unusual circumstances.
Confidentiality: All participants are legally bound by the agreement to maintain confidentiality. This means, what is said or written in the ADR process cannot be used outside of that setting without the consent of all parties.
Training and Performance
San Joaquin County SELPA has trained more than 200 administrators, program specialists, psychologists, and teachers in the IEP facilitation process. San Joaquin County SELPA continues to support ADR training opportunities in the area. Staff regularly attends the Annual Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Conference, legal workshops and other professional conferences to bring back and share current practices and programs with SELPA Council of Directors.
Trainings are also offered as part of the SJC SELPA Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Collaborative Continuum, a network that promotes research based alternative dispute resolution techniques to facilitate communication among stakeholders in the IEP. The target audiences for these trainins are new special education teachers, general education staff, and others interested in learning more about the IEP process. This multi part ADR series training starts with basic introduction to communication skills and builds to more advanced trainings for the seasoned educator. Each module is a stand-alone training so that participants can attend any or all of the modules. Modules include: Connecting the Dots, Running an Effective IEP Meeting, The Art of Notetaking, Facilitating Collaboration - Beyond the IEP Paperwork, Contentious IEPs - Navigating Shark Infested Waters, and Nuts and Bolts of IEP Facilitation.
Usage data is collected for all ADR strategies and reported back to the state.
Margaret St. George, Coordinator
Alternative Dispute Resolution Program