The goal of a Facilitated Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team Meeting is to help IEP team members communicate effectively and develop plans that meet the student's educational need. Facilitated meetings are a voluntary process and may be particularly helpful when a team is expecting the discussion at a meeting to be challenging.
What are the benefits of a Facilitated IEP Team Meeting?
- Assistance in the development of a mutually agreed-upon IEP and other team decisions.
- The chance for team members to develop and keep good working relationships.
- Building the foundation for on-going communication and collaboration between the family and the school throughout the year.
- This service is offered at no cost from the community mediation center.
What does an IEP Facilitator do?
An IEP Facilitator:
- Helps make sure that everyone has a chance to speak and be heard at an IEP Team meeting.
- Keeps the discussion focused.
- Helps the team to resolve disagreements.
- Uses communication skills to help IEP Team members work together to develop and appropriate IEP and make other decisions about the IEP.
Who are the facilitators?
- Are highly trained volunteers from the Community Mediation and Conflict Resolution Collaborative (CMCRC).
- Are not members of the school team and do not have a relationship with the school or the parent.
- Are persons who focus on the process, while the team members make all of the decisions.
- Remain neutral and will not blame, take sides, or recommend actions.
What meetings are targeted for this project?
- IEP team meetings where the parents see the need for a neutral party to facilitate communication when there has been a dispute.
- IEP Team meetings in need of enhanced communication support that are not a follow-up to a settlement agreement, including Mediation Agreement, or Judicial Order.
- IEP team meetings where the team participants could benefit from modeling of facilitated communication and conflict resolution and do not involve school board or parent attorneys.
How are facilitators requested?
- School personnel or parents should contact their Regional Special Education Assistant Supervisor for Compliance to request a facilitated IEP team meeting.
For more information, contact:
Prince George's County Public Schools
Special Education Compliance Office
Jessie B. Mason Regional School
Temple Hills, Maryland 20748
The Project is Sponsored by: Maryland Association of Community Mediation Centers
Maryland State Department of Education