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Mediation
Mediation

What happens when I don’t agree with something proposed or refused at the IEP meeting?

Discuss with the team your feelings and why a proposed action or something that was refused should be considered. If the team does not agree, the IEP team shall provide the parent(s), in plain language:

  • An oral and written explanation of the parent’s right to request mediation;
  • Contact information, including telephone number, that the parent may use to receive more information about the mediation process;

And

  • Information regarding low cost and pro bono representation and related services available in the area.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a facilitated negotiation to help resolve a dispute between a parent and a special education. Mediation uses a negotiation process facilitated by a third party. This third party does not make decisions and does not side with either side in the dispute. Mediation can be initiated by either party and is voluntary. The school district, parent(s), or mediator may end the mediation at any time.

Mediation sessions are closed proceedings. Discussions that occur during mediation are confidential and cannot be used as evidence in any subsequent due process hearing or civil actions. Prior to the start of mediation, parents or the public agency may be asked to sign a confidentiality pledge.

Who will facilitate the mediation process?

An employee of the Office of Administration Hearing (OAH) who is qualified and trained in effective mediation techniques conducts the mediation. This person will not have a personal or professional interest in either party.

What does a mediator do?

A mediator helps the parties:

  • Identify issues
  • Discuss viewpoints
  • Generate options
  • Create solutions agreeable to all

Who pays for the mediation process?

Mediation is of no cost to the parent or public agency responsible for the child’s early intervention or education, including the cost of the meeting with parents to encourage mediation.

How do I request mediation?

A request for mediation is made to the public agency responsible for the early intervention or education of the child. To assist parents with filing the request for mediation, click here for the attached form. For further assistance, contact Wendy Keen at 410-778-7164 in the Special Education Office at Kent County Public Schools. Parents may also contact MSDE, division of Special Education/ Early Intervention Services at 410-767-7770.

A mediation session will generally occur within 20 days from receipt of the request at a location that is convenient to the parents and the public agency.

What happens after the parties come to an agreement?

Once the parties have resolved some or all issues, they will work together to write an agreement. Both parties will sign the agreement stating they agree to the resolution of the dispute. It is legal for either party to have an attorney review the agreement before signing. If either party is not comfortable with the agreement, they should not sign it. Once both parties have signed the resolution agreement, it is legally binding.

Can either party use mediation to delay or deny the right to a due process hearing?

NO! Mediation does not deny or delay the right to a due process hearing. Mediation promotes communication in a mutually respective manner contributing to a more positive working relationship in the future.

FREE OR LOW COST ASSISTANCE

FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION DISPUTES

Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education

Website: www.mcie.org
Phone Number: 410-859-5400 / 800-899-8837

Maryland Coalition of Families for Children’s Mental Health

Website: www.mdcoalition.org
Phone Number: 410-730-8267 / 888-607-3637

Maryland Disability Law Center, Inc. (MDLC)

Website: http://www.mdlclaw.org/
Phone Number: 410-727-6352 / 800-233-7201

TDD: 410-727-6387

Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS)

Website: www.mvlslaw.org
Phone Number: 410-547-6537 / 800-510-0050

Parents Place of Maryland

Website: www.ppmd.org
Phone Number: 410-768-9100 / 800-394-5694

Kennedy Krieger Institute:

Maureen van Stone, Esq.
Director, Project HEAL
716 N. Broadway, Office 106
Baltimore, MD 21205
443-923-4416
Vanstone@kennedykrieger.org

Mallory Finn, Esq
Staff Attorney, Project HEAL
716 N. Broadway, Office 111
Baltimore, MD 21205
443-923-9571
finnm@kennedykrieger.org

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District Office:

5608 Boundary Ave
Rock Hall, MD 21661
Phone: 410-778-1595
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