June 2021
SERC Scoop Newsletter

  • What is SERC?
  • SERC 2021 Virtual Dispute Resolution Conference
  • Exploring Implicit Bias and Microaggressions in Special Education
  • Virtual Mediation and IEP Facilitation in Oklahoma
  • Crucial Conversations Virtual Training
  • Which Dispute Resolution Process is best for me?
  • Upcoming Events

What is SERC? 

The Special Education Resolution Center of OSU (SERC) has been collaborating with the Oklahoma State Department of Education for over 10 years to help families and school district resolve conflicts at the earliest stage possible. SERC provides services for children from birth to 3 in SoonerStart and for students 3 through 21 in public schools.

What does SERC provide to schools, SoonerStart, and families at no cost?


SERC 2021 Virtual Dispute Resolution Conference

Don’t miss out on the SERC 2021 Virtual Dispute Resolution Conference: “Working Together and Through Special Education Conflict” taking place Wednesday-Thursday, June 16-17, 2021. This conference will meet from 8:30 am – Noon each day. The conference is free of charge and will provide participants an opportunity to learn helpful information, tips, and techniques designed to help you through the process. Wednesday will be for parents and Thursday will be for schools. The conference will take place live on Zoom and a link will be provided for each day. A conference flyer along with a registration form that needs to be completed and returned to the SERC office can be found in the links below. If you have any additional questions, please contact Shannon Esmeyer at the SERC office (888) 267-0028, or shannon.esmeyer@okstate.edu.


Exploring Implicit Bias and Microaggressions in Special Education

Unconscious bias is the result, in part, of the human brain’s need to categorize and store vast amounts of information. While everyone has unconscious biases, it can create problems when they surface in our evaluations and decisions. In Special Education, our implicit biases can alter our decisions regarding who we assess, who we believe, and how we evaluate cases. Further, it is important to understand how microaggressions can affect our parties, clients, and colleagues, leaving them with negative encounters over our seemingly innocuous statements. This CADRE webinar will deepen knowledge and skills in the area of implicit bias, microaggressions and how to mitigate those factors when evaluating cases or working with families.

View the Exploring Implicit Bias and Microaggressions in Special Education webinar here:


Virtual Mediation and IEP facilitation in Oklahoma

IEP facilitations and mediations are continuing to take place through online-video format with Zoom. This platform works well for facilitating meetings throughout the state of Oklahoma. To participate, you will need a computer/iPad/smartphone with WIFI and a place to meet without interruptions. Participants can also access by phone. An iPad with hot spot can be provided for use at no cost for those without access to a computer and/or WIFI. Contact SERC for more information about scheduling a virtual meeting.


Crucial Conversations Virtual Training

Crucial Conversations is a nationally recognized training that helps people have difficult conversations that they are afraid to have or that aren’t going well. And the focus of the training is not just about communication – it’s about helping people get the results they want and need.

Crucial Conversations can help you in your conversations with:

  • School administrators
  • School Staff and personnel including general ed teachers
  • Service resource providers
  • IEP team members
  • Parents and their advocates
  • Organizations that work with children with disabilities

Because of travel restrictions related to COVID-19, we are still not able to offer in-person classes at this time. However, we now have a virtual format available using Adobe Connect that is very effective. It consists of five 2-hour long sessions that can be scheduled over two days or one session at a time.

Recently we completed a virtual training for district administrators with Seminole Public Schools. Here’s what Special Ed Director Cindy Heupel had to say about the training, “I have long been a student and believer in Crucial Conversations as well as Critical Conversations and the wealth of knowledge and skills that it provides and that can be placed in one’s toolbox to be utilized in fulfilling administrative duties. The team at Seminole has provided me with positive feedback and enhanced our ability to now use a common vocabulary when collaborating on critical issues facing our district.  In particular, it is proving extremely useful in providing feedback to teachers in post-observation and evaluation conferences.  Dr. Keiter has been good in making the scenarios applicable to real life situations our administrative team encounters. The digital platform has been great.  It is extremely interactive and provides an opportunity for group collaboration as well as individual responses.  It is extremely engaging.  I am quite sure that if it were not offered digitally, we would not have been able to take advantage of the opportunity.”

Crucial Conversations is available at no cost to those attending through our partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Education. If you are interested in scheduling a future training for your district, please contact our offices at (888) 267-0028 or contact Rob Keiter at rob.keiter@okstate.edu.

View the Crucial Conversations Online Course Agenda here:


Which Dispute Resolution Process is best for me?

You may be wondering which dispute resolution process would be the best for you when dealing with special education-related disputes. This dispute chart will help you understand the differences between the three processes offered in Oklahoma. Each of these processes is offered at no cost to schools or parents. Please contact us with any questions related to our dispute resolution processes. We can help you decide which process will work the best for your situation.


Upcoming Events

ABLE Tech has successfully completed its first series of virtual workshops for special education and related service providers. The feedback was outstanding and focused on planning positive systemic improvements and changes.

The next workshop series is scheduled for Fall 2021. For more information about the 2021 September, October, and November workshops, visit the ABLE Tech AT Support Team Workshops webpage.

Jo Anne Pool Blades, Program Manager
Special Education Resolution Center (SERC)
Oklahoma State University Sponsored Program. 9726 E. 42nd Street, Suite 203 | Tulsa, OK  74146
Phone: 
918.270.1849

Email: jo.blades@okstate.edu