It’s important to identify expectations of practice and performance for facilitators and then ensure that any training and support provided is aligned with these expectations. One critical aspect of this work is determining (with your stakeholder group) what your facilitation model(s) should look like. Some states follow a prescribed model of facilitation in which the meeting follows a specified and predetermined order and specific strategies are used. Other states follow a more flexible model, giving facilitators more discretion to choose the facilitation style and techniques they use during the meeting. Different facilitation models offer different pros and cons. Talk to a variety of IEP facilitation trainers to see what their approach is before your decide what is right for your program.
- What protocols and procedures do all facilitators need to follow? Will job aids be created to support facilitators in adhering to these protocols and procedures and/or will this information be incorporated into training?
- What facilitation model will you follow? Will facilitators have discretion to choose their own facilitation approach?
- Will there be one or two facilitators (co-facilitation) available, and if so, under what circumstances? Can co-facilitation be used to foster professional development?
- What is the expectation for facilitators to be knowledgeable of IDEA and compliance issues?
- There are benefits to having a facilitator with content knowledge about IDEA and expertise in the process of facilitation. Consider including this as part of your training program.
- Consider the consistency of your program as you train new facilitators in an established program. If different trainers are used, is there a concern about program fidelity?
- Talk to your procurement officer early in the process of developing your IEP facilitation program and become familiar with your state’s procurement rules as well as your department’s process and timelines for soliciting bids or posting requests for sealed proposals. This can be a cumbersome process. Plan accordingly.
CADRE, in partnership with the Connecticut State Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education and the Connecticut State Education Resource Center (SERC), supported a two-day IEP Facilitation Training March, 2013 with Joyce and Doug Little, founders and lead trainers of Key2Ed . Trainees...Learn more