Indicator: Leadership supports continuous improvement efforts and makes a concerted effort to foster a culture of information sharing, coordination and collaboration among leadership, dispute resolution staff, other departments/units, and contractual entities.
Leadership is critical to the development, implementation, and sustainability of the dispute resolution system and available processes. A clear vision and guiding principles for the dispute resolution system have been established and communicated to dispute resolution staff, other departments/units and contractual entities. Policies, procedures, and practices encourage and enable information sharing, coordination and collaboration. Program leadership and staff meet regularly to plan and/or review dispute resolution operations and performance. Leadership supports staff’s ongoing professional development. Senior leadership is regularly informed of progress and communicates with various stakeholders about their dispute resolution system and processes. Leadership addresses disproportionality and sets key equitable outcomes. Efforts are made to actively seek and grow leaders, including individuals from underserved populations.
Examples: weekly, monthly, or quarterly planning and review – perhaps in conjunction with staff, practitioners, and stakeholders; senior leadership provides updates to senior management and advisory groups
Indicator: A broad group of stakeholders is involved in planning, promotion, evaluation, and improvement activities for the dispute resolution system.
Efforts are made to understand the interests and experiences of the people who use and are most impacted by the system. Input and feedback from diverse and representative stakeholders, including parent organizations, districts, and others, is regularly requested and encouraged. Two-way communication regularly occurs between leadership, staff and stakeholders.
Examples: parents, educators, service providers, practitioners, special education advisory panels, dispute resolution sub-committees, and others
Indicator: A data system is in place that allows for tracking of cases across different dispute resolution options and the analysis of activities and performance.
Program data are housed in a structure that allows analysis of activities and performance. Mechanisms are in place for collecting and tracking case specific data from inquiry to outcome or resolution. Effective data systems allow for easier data collection, case management, reporting, and data analysis within a specific process and across the entire system. Being mindful of confidentiality requirements, permissions are set so that appropriate personnel and contractual entities have access to individual case data, as well as program and dispute resolution system data.
Examples: SEA dispute resolution or longitudinal database, spreadsheets, case management program, case files
Indicator: Strategies for building a culturally competent system are intentional and prioritized.
States or agencies undergo a self-assessment to identify barriers that limit access to information and dispute resolution services for individuals from non-dominant cultures. A strategic plan is developed to address these barriers, set performance goals, and identify and engage stakeholders.
Examples: self-assessment tool, checklists, diversity training, materials review
Indicator: Sufficient resources to implement and monitor dispute resolution activities are allocated and available.
An appropriate number of capable personnel and contractors who respect and reflect the diversity of those being served are available to manage the system and deliver services. Resources are allocated for stakeholder engagement, public awareness and outreach, and professional development, including training in dispute prevention and collaboration skills. Cost effective strategies are implemented with fidelity and adequately supported, including early resolution options likely to reduce the need for more costly and adversarial dispute resolution options. Partnerships and existing structures are leveraged to increase capacity and minimize redundancies.
Examples: funding, dedicated staff/FTE, leveraged resources
Policies & Procedures
Indicator: Policies and procedures that align with federal and state regulations have been established for the administration of dispute resolution options.
Policies and operational procedures are clearly recorded and enacted. Content is consistent with relevant regulations and easy for implementers and users to understand. Policies and procedures are reviewed and improved as needed. Attention is given to ensure policies and procedures limit barriers to access, especially for individuals from non-dominant cultures.
Examples: guidelines, checklists, letters, forms, correspondence, manuals