Special Education Dispute Resolution

  • Parents of students with disabilities and school districts sometimes disagree as to what special education and related services are appropriate.  Resolving differences or concerns in the least adversarial manner and closest to the school level is the best way. It is important to make your concerns known to the teacher and ESE Program Specialist, and if unresolved, to speak with the principal. It is best to discuss your concerns and make an attempt to resolve them at an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) meeting. This saves time, preserves relationships, and can result in better outcomes for the student as well as their family.

    To support parents in this process, the School District of Collier County’s Exceptional Student Education (ESE) department contracts with South Florida Parent Center to assist you with training in the disability areas of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, information about parent rights, and technical assistance and support with understanding identification/evaluation, and the Individual Educational Plan (IEP) and Transition process.  To learn more about this organization’s mission, please contact Wilbur Hawke, Parent Liaison at(239) 417-3636 or via wilbur@collierstc.com.

    You may also contact Emily Kafle, Director of Exceptional Student Education (ESE) at (239) 377-0135 or via kaflee@collierschools.com 

    The Florida Department of Education has made available to parentsSpecial Ed Connection® - a free online resource that parents can use to gain an understanding of what special education is and how it works, as their child enters, progresses through and exits the world of special education requirements. From legal rights to practical application and from student referrals to IEPs, Special Ed Connection® explains specific procedures and provides real-world application strategies so parents can learn the complexities surrounding special education supports and services. To request access to the resource, contact Jessica Braun at (239) 337-8539 or via email JessicaB@leeschools.net.
    When disagreements occur or when you believe that the school is not meeting its legal obligations, there are various options available to resolve these disputes. Information about these alternate options can be found at the link below.

    IDEA Procedural Safeguards
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