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SPARC Mediation is a voluntary and confidential way for families and schools to resolve special education disputes. Mediation is a process that empowers parties to find mutually agreeable solutions in an informed, non-adversarial setting with the help of a neutral third party.
Prior to the mediation, a SPARC mediator listens to the concerns and needs of those involved in the dispute to identify the issues to be mediated. They also explain the mediation process and the role of the mediator. If the parties agree to mediation, it is scheduled in a timely manner, at a neutral location, and with a select list of participants.
During mediation, SPARC's trained, neutral mediators guide participants through a process that encourages dialogue and joint problem-solving. Mediation helps participants gain a holistic view of the problem and the solution that will best meet the needs of the student. The participants determine the outcome of the mediation, and any agreement reached is documented and legally binding.
If an agreement is not reached, the parties are free to pursue other avenues, such as proceeding with an administrative complaint or a due-process complaint. Participating in SPARC mediation will not delay or deny any rights under IDEA, including the deadline of an existing due process or administrative complaint.
Review this handout, developed in partnership with the Delaware Department of Education and the Parent Information Center of Delaware, Inc., to learn more about the role of the mediator and participants prior to and during the mediation.
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mediator was quite supportive and demonstrated a level of understanding
of the complex issues presented in this case. The mediation process
appears to have us on a good track."
"The mediator did a great job making sure everyone was heard, everything was understood, and made people feel at ease during the meeting."
SPARC offers both in-person and virtual special education mediation. Review this document for what to expect when participating in a SPARC virtual mediation session. If you have other questions or concerns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about SPARC Mediation, contact email@example.com or 302-831-8158 or visit the SPARC Mediation FAQ page.