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Dispute Resolution Process and Timeline

Any parent(s) and/or guardian(s) who have concerns about the education of a student with a disability, can try and resolve the issue(s) or concern(s) by following the 4 options below:
  • First, discuss the matter with the student's exceptional children's teacher, regular education teacher or administrator at the school. 
  • Second, if you still have concerns,  then reach out to the compliance specialist at your student's school. Claudia Marini serves Thomasville Primary and Liberty Drive, and Joy Gadberry serves Thomasville Middle and Thomasville High. 
  • Third, if you are still not satisfied with the answers provided regarding the outcome, please reach out to Ken Hill, Executive Director of Exceptional Children Programs. 
  • If an agreement still cannot be reached at this point, then one or more of these following options may be used to bring the issues to a resolution. 
 

Informal Dispute Resolution 

Facilitation
When parents or school representatives are apprehensive about the next IEP meeting, or it is a complex meeting with numerous participants, or communication between home and school is becoming tense, an impartial facilitator can be requested to assist the IEP team members in communicating more effectively, keeping the focus on student outcomes, and developing compliant IEPs.

 

Formal Means of Dispute Resolution 

Mediation

You or the school have the right to request the Department of Public Instruction to provide mediation services if you and the school are unable to agree upon the identification, evaluation, educational program, placement or the provision of a free, appropriate public education of your son or daughter.

 

Formal Written Complaints
When informal means for solving disagreements have not been successful, more formal dispute resolution alternatives are available through the provisions of federal and state laws governing special education [the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Article 9 of Chapter 115C of the North Carolina General Statutes].

 

Due Process Hearing

A Due Process petition is a legal action filed to obtain a decision by a judge about a special education issue. Due Process cases typically involve disputes between the parent and the school about whether the services provided to the child are appropriate and allow the child to make progress at school. Due Process petitions can also relate to issues about eligibility or evaluations.