June 2024 SERC Scoop

What is SERC?

The Special Education Resolution Center (SERC) has been collaborating with the Oklahoma State Department of Education for nearly 20 years to help families and school districts resolve conflicts at the earliest stage possible. SERC provides services for children from birth to age 3 in SoonerStart and for students ages 3 through 21 in public schools.

The Oklahoma State University Department of Wellness – Sponsored Programs (DOWSP) is the lead agency for SERC.

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


Understanding Due Process Wisdom Wednesday Webinar Three-Part Series

Many people find Due Process Hearings in Special Education a mystery. Jo Anne Blades, J.D., recently led a three-part webinar series entitled, “So You Think You Want to File a Due Process Hearing Request.” The webinars do not contain every piece of information one needs to navigate the process, but Due Process is explained in a way so that it can make more sense!

Since parents most often file, Sharon Coppedge Long, Director of the Oklahoma Parent Center, assisted Jo Anne Blades and Allison Fennell Conch with the presentation. View each webinar recording and it’s supporting documents at the links below.

Part One – Initial Considerations:

Part Two – Getting Ready for the Hearing:

Part Three – What Happens at the Hearing?


Oklahoma’s Alternate Diploma Program

In April 2023, House Bill 1041 changed the graduation pathway for a specific group of students in Oklahoma. By amending 70 O.S. § 11-103.6, it created a new route to graduation tailored for the 1% of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities. This includes students who are taught to alternate academic achievement standards and participate in the Oklahoma Alternate Assessment Program (OAAP).

This change aims to ensure that these students have a fair and appropriate pathway to graduation that considers their unique needs and abilities. To participate in the OAAP, students require alternative achievement standards in all content areas; have an IEP with observable, measurable goals that include short-term benchmarks/objectives; and meet indicators from the Criteria Checklist for Assessing Students with Disabilities on Alternate Assessments.

Check out the Guidance Briefs for Parents and Educators on Alternative Diplomas and the OAAP for more information. Readers may also be interested in the Alternative Diploma Course Pathway for the coursework requirements for these students.


Parent Perspective and Positive Advocacy Approaches – February 21, 2024 Wisdom Wednesday webinar 

Although families and school districts partner to work towards positive outcomes for students with disabilities, opinions sometimes differ in meeting specific needs and goals. It is imperative to bridge gaps in understanding and perspectives on either side of the table for a successful long-term partnership. Join Andee Cooper, parent of a high schooler with disabilities, as she shares her experiences in working with her son’s school district over many years. She will discuss how parental responsibilities and worries over the course of a lifetime may differ from that of the school, how this difference in outlook can impact the ways in which parents approach certain topics and requests, and communication tips for effective parental involvement that school districts can benefit from in working with families of students with significant needs.

Watch the Parent Perspective Zoom recording on Youtube

Open the Parent Perspective video transcript Word document

Open the Parent Perspective PDF presentation slides


Follow SERC on Social Media!

If you haven’t followed us on Instagram and Facebook, you’re missing out! Do you want to stay up to date on the most recent goings-on at the organization, including interviews with our service providers and a glimpse into the day-to-day lives at SERC? Do you want tips and tricks on bridging communication gaps and education for families and parents on dispute resolution? Surely you would benefit from updates on other special education news and happenings in the community that might affect YOU!

Give us a follow on Facebook and Instagram.


SERC’s Facilitation Training – Registration Open!

SERC offers a one-day training to districts on facilitating meetings. The training provides an overview of facilitation, including facilitator qualities and skills, key functions of a facilitator, the facilitator’s role before, during, and after a meeting, along with a toolbox of practical facilitator strategies and techniques to use during a meeting. This training provides helpful resources to those who want to sharpen their skills and tools when facilitating difficult meetings, and benefit districts wanting to develop in-house facilitators for IEP meetings.

The training will be offered in-person with regional classes in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The course will be from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. This training is available at no cost to those attending through our partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Registration is made online. Course dates and locations with registration links are below. For more information, contact SERC’s Program Coordinator, Rob Keiter at rob.keiter@okstate.edu or (405) 569-3105.

See the Facilitator Training agenda.

White and blue graphic with text that reads, "Special Education Resolution Center (SERC) presents. Facilitation Training. Learn more about: Facilitator qualities and skills, key functions of a facilitator, facilitator's roles and more! Free! Through partnership with the State Department of Education. SERC logo. Oklahoma Department of Education logo.

Fiscal Year 2025 Facilitation Training Schedule and Registration


Which Dispute Resolution Process is Best for You?

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.


Contact SERC

For more information about any of the content in this newsletter, please reach out to SERC Program Manager, Dr. Allison Fennell-Conch.

Phone: 918-270-1849 or 888-267-0028 (toll-free)
Email: allison.conch@okstate.edu

Special Education Resolution Center
9726 E. 42nd Street, Suite 203
Tulsa, OK  74146
okserc@okstate.eduokserc.org