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Office presentation icon Claire Thorsen Session 2.3 - Presentation.ppt


Claire Thorsen, Blumberg Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN 

The concept of facilitated IEP meetings emerged in Indiana about three years ago. Since that time, steady progress has been made in weaving it into school districts with the longer term goal of making facilitated meetings a part of each school’s culture. The first part of this session will offer a model for determining the benefits of making FIEP training and implementation a state initiative, the types of supports that can be offered from the state level and how state departments of education can serve as a mechanism encouraging agencies, schools and parents to work together for student improvement. Benefits for having a statewide coordinator for training are included in this section. During the second part, participants review some consideration studied prior to choosing an instructional model for training. Different options for providing training will also be discussed. There will be a conversation as to why it is important to train parents, school staff and others. The critical issues surrounding degrees of neutrality and when to choose a co-facilitation model will also be presented. The outcomes of 82 meetings where high conflict was present will be offered for support of including the facilitation process in IEP meetings. A look at some common communication problems as well as major sources of conflict will be supplied along with how these issues might be addressed by the facilitator when choosing tools for guiding the meeting. A summary of training evaluations will also be presented. The final sections will document what has been learned about facilitation and support over a three year period, about training needs, coaching needs, demonstration, modeling and marketing. We will review the immense value of having a diverse, active, advisory team make up of administrators, teachers parents, mediators, university people, parent advocacy groups and DOE staff in planning, implementing and developing the process and framework and developing a co-facilitation manual. Future directions, data collection, evaluation and monitoring will round out the presentation. The intent for this session is to provide information while allowing it to be as interactive as possible.

CADRE's National Symposium on IEP Facilitation