Appropriate Dispute Resolution

The San Mateo County SELPA Office provides IEP Team members with a variety of Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) strategies when disagreements stall decision making in an IEP meeting. ADR options utilize neutral facilitators or neutral panel members who guide the team through specific strategies to yield creative, legally compliant, and collaborative solutions. Along the way, IEP Team members learn to communicate openly and heal damaged relationships while crafting stronger plans for students with special educational needs. Through ADR, IEP Teams ultimately retain control of the decision making process, rather than abdicating to a hearing officer or judge who dictates one and only one solution- without ever even meeting the student, or seeing the classroom options. ADR is

  • Rapidly Responsive: appointments are typically scheduled within three days to two weeks
  • Free of Charge: No fees associated with any of these options
  • Confidential: Information is shared outside of the process on a “need to know” basis
  • Protective of Legal Rights: No one relinquishes their right to pursue legal remedies, should they not be satisfied with the outcome of an ADR strategy
  • Focused on Desired Outcomes: Written agreements are integrated into the IEP document, with support provided for progress monitoring


Appropriate Dispute Resolution - Brochure

Opciones de Resolucion Apropiada de Disputa (ADR) - Folleto

Facilitated IEP Meetings - Brochure

Facilitated IEP Meetings - Forms