Special Education Mediation
The District will offer mediation to resolve any disputes involving any matter for which an impartial due process hearing may be brought, including matters arising prior to the filing of a due process complaint notice.
Such mediation shall be conducted by mediators furnished by a Community Dispute Resolution Center who are not employees of any school district or State agency that is involved in the education or care of the student who is the subject of the mediation process. Mediators may not have a personal or professional interest which would conflict with their objectivity in the mediation process and should be knowledgeable in laws and regulations relating to the provision of special education services.
Parents or persons in parental relation to students suspected of or having disabilities will receive written notice of the availability of the mediation program each time they receive notice of their entitlement to the impartial due process hearing procedures in accordance with Federal and State law and regulations. If the parent and District agree, alternative means of meeting participation may be utilized, such as video conferences and conference calls.
Discussions during the mediation process must be confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent due process hearing or civil proceedings.
If resolution to the complaint is reached through mediation, the parent and the representative of the District who has the authority to bind the District will execute a legally binding written agreement specifying the resolution and stating that all discussions occurring during the mediation process are confidential and may not be used as evidence in any subsequent due process hearing or civil proceeding of any Federal or State court. If the written agreement is inconsistent with the student’s current individualized education programs (IEP), the IEP must be immediately amended to reflect the mediation agreement.
The mediation process is voluntary and will not operate to diminish or limit any rights provided for in law, including the right of the parent or person in parental relation to request an impartial due process hearing subsequent to mediation. Parents or persons in parental relation to students suspected of or having disabilities continue to have full access to all rights, including due process procedures, provided for in federal and state laws and regulations. Similarly, mediation shall not be construed to limit a parent or person in parental relation from requesting an impartial due process hearing without having first utilized mediation procedures set forth in Education Law.