The Facilitation system 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. A facilitator may be useful when the LEA personnel want to concentrate on the IEP issues to be determined rather than on the meeting process; if communication between parents and LEA personnel is becoming tense; or if parents and LEA personnel are becoming apprehensive about the next IEP meeting.
System Oversight, Infrastructure and Organization: 

System Design/Management

here are two kinds of facilitation: LEA-Sponsored and USOE-Sponsored. 

LEA-Sponsored Facilitation -
Many of Utah’s LEAs utilize IEP facilitators not part of the team (from their LEA or another) when there is a sense from any of the participants that the issues at an IEP meeting are being addressed unproductively, when an adversarial climate exists or when a meeting is expected to be particularly complex and controversial. 

USOE-Sponsored Problem Solving and IEP Facilitation Requests -
USOE-sponsored facilitators are available by mutual agreement of the LEA and parents. The USOE has created a model form that is available on the USOE Special Education Services website. When a request is received, USOE Special Education Services staff ensures that both parties have agreed to the use of facilitator. USOE-sponsored facilitation is also available, by mutual agreement, at resolution meetings resulting from a due process hearing complaint.

Policy/Procedures

The USOE maintains a list of trained facilitators who are available at no cost to the LEA or parent, upon request. It is important to remember that facilitation is not the same as mediation.

  • During a meeting facilitated by a USOE assigned faci
  • Facilitators will not speculate or otherwise inform the parties about the law, legal implications, or interpret the IDEA, Utah Board of Education Special Education Rules or any other applicable rule, regulation, or statute.
  • During a facilitated meeting, the USOE Compliance Coordinator or Law and Policy Coordinator will be available by telephone to provide technical assistance regarding the IDEA, Utah Board of Education Special Education Rules and other relevant information to the parties upon their mutual request.
  • Conference call or speaker phone capability is required for this communication to ensure that all parties are included in the conversation.
  • The USOE Compliance Coordinator or Law and Policy Coordinator will not render judgment on the facts of the case.
  • Policies and procedures for LEA facilitated meetings may vary and information regarding LEA facilitated meetings should be obtained from the particular LEA.
  • If, based on the outcome of the facilitated meeting, a written agreement, other than an IEP, is desired, that agreement should be drafted by the parties.
  • If the student’s IEP is changed during the facilitated meeting, the IEP team may write a new IEP or amend the existing IEP to reflect the outcome. The LEA is responsible for following up with the required notice and consent forms. The revised IEP is then implemented.

Personnel

The USOE generally assigns facilitators using the same rotating schedule utilized for assigning Mediators and Due Process Hearing Officers (DPHOs). However, due to the often urgent nature of the request, the USOE will proceed through the list in a rotational fashion and select the facilitator available in the necessary time frame. The USOE and its facilitators strive to meet urgent requests to the best of their ability.

Forms/Letter Templates

UT-3 FacilitationIntakeForm

Practitioner Standards & Professional Development: 

Practitioner Qualifications:

The USOE ensures that facilitators are qualified and impartial as follows:

The USOE recruits facilitators by posting flyers with dispute resolution training programs and organizations within the State.
Facilitator candidates are trained in facilitation or interest-based problem solving. Generally, candidates provide evidence of facilitation training. However, USOE Special Education Services Section may choose to provide facilitation training when needed.
In order to be placed and remain on the facilitation roster, facilitators attend training offered by USOE Special Education Services Section.
When facilitators are assigned, the potential facilitator is asked about any bias including personal knowledge of the student or family, or other circumstances that might lead to partiality in the proceedings or the decision.

Public Awareness & Outreach Activities: 

Miscellaneous:

More information about the program can be found in Utah's Dispute Resolution Manual.

UT-5 DisputeResolution_Manual