This information is again taken from the Department of Education website. You can see the brochure here, and get the REQUIRED Mediation request form here. PLEASE NOTE: mediation can be faster than a due process complaint, and you don’t need a lawyer at all (a due process hearing allows you to hire a lawyer for your complaint). However, mediation is confidential and can not be discussed, and any resulting settlement can not be shared with ANYONE. You can go through mediation and still file a due process complaint.
What is Mediation?
“Mediation is an informal, voluntary and confidential process in which an impartial third party (the mediator) provides an opportunity to the parties to problem-solve through discussion. Mediators assist parents and the school system in resolving disputes and reaching agreement on issues regarding the proposals or refusals to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, educational placement of the student and/or the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Mediators do not make decisions for the parties. Mediation may take place at anytime regardless of the filing of a due process and/or state complaint.”
How is mediation requested?
“A request for mediation may be initiated by contacting the school district or the WVDE. The request for mediation must be in writing on a mediation request form and contain an original signature.”
Why use mediation?
“The mediation process provides the following benefits:
- offers a timely opportunity for discussion of differences;
- empowers parties to resolve their own differences and enhances future relationships;
- increases satisfaction with the outcome by both parties;
- unlike the resolution meeting, mediation is confidential; and
- is available at no cost to the parents and the school district.”What can be expected from mediation?
“During mediation, parents and district personnel, with the help of the mediator, can expect to:
- state their concerns;
- discuss their differences;
- talk about how the differences can be settled;
- possibly reach an agreement; and
- receive written, signed copy of the agreement at the conclusion of the mediation, if an agreement is reached.”