Resolution Meetings are mandated by IDEA 2004 for due process requests initiated by parents unless both parties waive participation in the meeting or if both parties agree to try mediation. The purpose of the resolution meeting is for the parents to discuss the due process complaint and supporting facts so the school has the opportunity to resolve the dispute. A resolution meeting gives the parents and the school a chance to work together to avoid a due process hearing.
When a due process hearing is requested, a dispute already exists and the parties may have difficulty reaching agreement at a resolution meeting. Like in mediation, the presence of a neutral facilitator at the resolution meeting may yield more effective and successful meetings. The law states that the first 30 days after a parent requests due process is considered a resolution period. As a requirement of this, a resolution meeting must be held. If both parties believe the use of a neutral third party at the resolution meeting will increase the likelihood of reaching agreement, ODR will send a facilitator to assist the parties. It is also important to note that there is no charge to either party for the use of the facilitator. The procedures and benefits of this activity are described below.
CADRE, the National Center for Dispute Resolution in Special Education, has developed guides for parents on various dispute resolution topics. The guides were written with the support of parent leaders from across the country. Please note that these documents were not developed by ODR and therefore do not include Pennsylvania-specific regulations and procedures.
IDEA Special Education Resolution Meetings: A Guide for Parents of Children and Youth
Resolution Meeting Video
Resolution Meeting Facilitation
This video was developed to answer questions and provide information regarding Resolution Meeting Facilitation, a voluntary option available through ODR to parents and local education agencies when a due process hearing has been initiated.
Benefits of Resolution Meeting Facilitation
- Builds and improves relationships between parents and schools
- Provides opportunities for parties to resolve conflicts if they arise
- Encourages parents and professionals to identify new options to address unresolved problems
- Is typically a less stressful mechanism for resolving disputes than a due process hearing
- Supports all parties in participating fully
- Provides an opportunity to resolve issues which could negate the need to move forward with due process