Alternative Dispute Resolution

Parents of students with disabilities are afforded many protections under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). However, the law is complex and may appear confusing. The Sweetwater Union High School District is committed to assisting you with navigating the IDEA to help resolve disagreements with your student’s IEP, or the provision of services in the IEP.

We have the following services available to you:

Education & Training
Individual consultation or small group training can be provided on various components of the IDEA, including procedural safeguards (“parent rights”), referral and assessment, IEP requirements, and issues related to discipline.

Alternative Dispute Resolution
The District’s Special Projects office can arrange for objective resolution of disagreements you may be having with your student’s IEP, or the implementation of the IEP. A District administrator, along with a trained parent of a student with a disability, are prepared to meet with you to review your concerns. As appropriate, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) will be used to resolve your disagreement. ADR is a formal process for resolving conflicts that uses productive and respectful communication to collaboratively reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

Peer Support at IEP Meetings
A trained resource parent can attend your student’s IEP meeting with you. This peer support may assist you with:

  • Taking notes during the IEP meeting
  • Asking questions during the meeting that you may not think to ask
  • Debrief with you after the meeting to confirm outcomes

If you have a specific concern regarding your student’s program or services, we suggest you begin by informing the school psychologist. If your issue is still not resolved, please contact the Special Services office at (619) 796-7500. An administrator will speak with you and determine a course of action.

Pre-Hearing Resolution Session
If you have filed for Due Process through the Office of Administrative Hearings, our Special Projects office will contact you to offer an informal Resolution Session. This meeting is scheduled before the formal Mediation or Hearing. The purpose of this confidential, voluntary resolution session is to make every attempt to resolve your issues in a positive and efficient manner. It is our hope to establish a direct, trusting relationship with you, so we may successfully address any future concerns.

Contact Information:
There is no cost to you for any of these services. To make arrangements, or to speak with someone about these alternatives, please contact Karen Dodds at (619) 600-3303 or