Frequently Asked Questions for Parents and Public Agency/School Personnel
Maryland State Department of Education
Having IEP team meetings facilitated by an independent, trained “facilitator” is rapidly becoming a popular means for parents and school personnel to reach agreement in the educational decision making process for students needing or suspected of needing special education services. When the relationship between parents and school personnel become strained or better yet, before the relationship has the opportunity to fray, parents and school personnel are finding that using independent facilitators can assist the IEP team process.
An independent facilitator may help parents and school personnel avoid misunderstandings or disagreements when it is believed that discussions at the meeting may become challenging. Using a trained, independent facilitator has been found to be an effective means to keep IEP teams focused on the development of the educational program for the student while addressing some of the conflicts and disagreements that may arise from miscommunication. The independent facilitator will utilize skills that create an environment in which the IEP team members; school personnel and parents, can listen to each other and work together to develop high quality education programs for students suspected of, or identified as disabled.