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When would I make a request for mediation?

Anytime you have a serious disagreement with the school and you feel it isn’t getting resolved, you may request mediation. In mediation, you and school personnel sit down with an impartial third person (called a mediator), talk openly about the areas where you disagree, and try to reach an agreement. Mediation is voluntary, though, and both parties must agree to meet with a mediator. There are benefits to mediation, both for you and for the school. One of the chief benefits is that mediation allows you and the school to state your concerns and work together to reach a solution that focuses on the needs of the student and is acceptable to both of you. (For more information on mediation, see question #25 in NICHCY’s publication called Questions and Answers about IDEA . A booklet on mediation is also available from CADRE, the Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education. You can contact CADRE at (541) 686-5060 for the booklet, or download it from their Web site . You may also want to get information on mediation from your PTI or P&A.)

Sample Letter 8: Requesting mediation

Today’s Date (include month, day, and year)

Your Name
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code
Daytime telephone number

Name of Person to Whom You Are Writing
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear (name),

My son/daughter, (child’s name), currently attends (name of school) and is in the (___) grade in (teacher’s name) class. I am writing to inform you that the school and I are in disagreement concerning (BRIEFLY state what the disagreement is about). We have been unsuccessful in resolving this dispute, and I am requesting mediation so that we may resolve our differences.

I would like the mediation to be done as soon as possible. Please let me know when this can be arranged and send me a copy of the school’s guidelines on mediation. My daytime telephone number is (give your phone number). Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Sincerely yours,

Your name

cc: your child’s principal
your child’s teacher

This information is copyright free.

Readers are encouraged to copy and share it, but please credit the National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY). NICHCY Parent Guides are published in response to questions from individuals and organizations that contact us. We encourage you to share your ideas and feedback with us!

Publication of this document is made possible through a Cooperative Agreement between the Academy for Educational Development and the Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

P.O. Box 1492
Washington, DC 20013
v/tty: (800) 695-0285
Fax: (202) 884-8441
e-mail: [email protected]

Excerpted from Communication with Your Child’s School Through Letters. National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities. (2002). Washington, D.C.: Academy for Educational Development.
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