Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) involves providing alternative means of solving problems that arise between families and schools. The ADR program involves everything from training educators in effective communication and negotiation skills to referring parents and LEAs to an Independent Child Advocate. We have had a very strong success rate of preventing conflicts from going to due process hearings at the state level. The intent of this program is to maintain positive relationships between the student's family and the school as well as to save time and money for both parties. More information about ADR is available in our program brochures (see Related Documents).

Special Education Compliance Assistance provides conflict resolution related to special education compliance and placement issues for LEAs and other agencies:

  • Problem-solving student-specific disputes between parents and districts, including suggestions and options to avoid state mediations, due process hearings, and/or compliance complaints (see ADR above).
  • Technical assistance in state mediations, due process hearings, and compliance complaints.

For more information, call (707) 524-2785.

95 Percent of ADR Cases are Resolved Without Going to Due Process

The ADR Process

The Sonoma County SELPA will facilitate an Alternative Dispute Resolution process to help resolve conflicts between schools and families with children in special education. The program serves the families of all children in special education within Sonoma County. Major components of the program include:

  • Phone Mediation
  • Facilitated IEP Meeting
  • Independent Child Advocate
  • Mediation
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Comparing the ADR Process to Due Process

The Alternative Dispute Resolution process was developed in response to the growing need for a better way for families and schools to resolve their differences around special education.

The Goal is to help Parties Reach mutually agreeable solutions while maintaining positive relationships.

ADR Helped us reach a mutually agreeable solution while maintaining positive relationship with our child's teacher.

Parent of Enrolled Student

ADR is a great process for bringing together schools and families. We wholeheartedly endorse this program.

Sonoma County SELPA Community Advisory Committee