Individualized Education Program (IEP) Meeting Facilitation

IEP meeting facilitation is an optional dispute resolution process where an impartial facilitator assists the IEP team with communication and problem solving during an IEP team meeting.  Using facilitation as an early dispute resolution option, keeps control of the decisions in the hands of those who know the student the best, the IEP team.

Facilitators help with the IEP process by keeping the meeting focused, moving forward and helping ensure everyone’s voice is heard.   The facilitator is not part of the IEP team and will not give advice or make decisions.   The facilitator helps the IEP team participants maintain productive communication, stay on task, and promotes resolution of disagreements that arise in the development of the IEP.

Facilitators are not investigating the school district and are not there to enforce special education law.  The school district is still responsible ensuring the IEP meeting is conducted in accordance with federal and state law and that all appropriate forms are completed.

If parents or school districts have concerns regarding the student’s IEP, the parties may request assistance of an OPI IEP facilitator by filling out the request for facilitation form.  An IEP facilitation request form may be obtained by contacting the Dispute Resolution Office for Special Education at (406) 444-2046.

Other Resources:

Explanation of the OPI IEP Facilitation Process

IEP Facilitation Request Form

IDEA Special Education Part B Procedural Safeguards Notice (see page  6)

CADRE Parent Guide IEP Facilitation

CADRE Considering IEP Facilitation: A School Administrator’s Perspective

Montana IDEA Special Education Dispute Resolution Comparison Chart