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.
Constructive Conversations and Enhanced Understanding
During mediation, SPARC's trained, neutral mediators guide participants through a structured process that encourages constructive 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.
SPARC Mediation Participant Testimonials