March 2021
SERC Scoop Newsletter

  • What is SERC?
  • Apology as a Tool for Resolving Conflict
  • CADRE virtual learning resources for parents and educators
  • 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?

Apology as a Tool for Resolving Conflict

Have you thought about the power of a good apology? How can apologies move the parties forward? These questions and others are explored in this excellent CADRE webinar. Learn about the different types of apologies (including full, partial, rapport, ritual, and transactional) as well as the effect of timing, delivery, and sincerity. This training focuses on how different cultures view forgiveness and saving face and the impact of these beliefs on both giving and receiving apologies. With a more complete understanding of the intricacies of an apology we can learn how to seek a greater level of resolution and closure in our communications and negotiation with others by giving and receiving apologies in a way that is more mindful and aware.

Click here to view the webinar

Click here for a transcript (pdf)

CADRE distance learning resources for parents and educators

Circumstances related to COVID-19 may prohibit participants from attending special education meetings in person. In these situations, technology allows one or all of the individuals to participate through the Internet or telephone. Many types of meetings can occur virtually, including IEP meetings, mediations, resolution sessions, and due process hearings. While each of these types of meetings is unique, virtual meetings share common traits and considerations. CADRE has recently published resources, tips and strategies for meaningfully participating in a virtual meeting. Click here for more information!

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
  • Staff and personnel including general ed teachers
  • Services resource providers
  • IEP team members
  • Parents and their advocates

Because of travel restrictions related to Covid-19, we are 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. We’ve trained six groups in the virtual format since June, 2020. Right now we have six new groups scheduled through the end of June, 2021. If you are interested in scheduling a training for the next fiscal year starting in July, please contact us.

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

View the Crucial Conversations Online Course Agenda (pdf)

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.

View the English version of the dispute resolution chart (pdf)
View the Spanish version of the dispute resolution chart (pdf)

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.

For more information about the workshop series along with the registration links for the 2021 January, February, and March 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 Program9726 E. 42nd Street, Suite 203 | Tulsa, OK  74146