- What is SERC?
- SERC Wisdom Wednesdays Monthly Webinar
- Effective IEP Team Meeting and Communication Guidelines
- A District Child Find Obligation is not Relieved by a Student’s High Intelligence or Academic Performance
- Understanding School Removals
- Virtual Mediation and IEP Facilitation in Oklahoma
- Crucial Conversations Training Update
- 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 16 years to help families and school districts 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?
- Training on communication and collaboration skills to help prevent conflict.
- An IEP Facilitator to manage conflict during contentious IEP meetings.
- A Mediator to guide a structured process in which parents and personnel can resolve specific issues related to special education.
- A Due Process Hearing Officer at an administrative hearing to resolve, what could not be resolved at an earlier stage. During the resolution time of the process, SERC can provide a facilitator to help the parties discuss the hearing issues in a safe and structured setting and try to resolve them if possible.
SERC Wisdom Wednesdays Monthly Webinar
Working together and through conflict to support students with disabilities can be challenging for parents and schools. Learn helpful information, tips, and techniques from the experts that can help you navigate through difficult situations. These webinars are geared toward parents, advocates, school personnel, State Department personnel, private providers, and organizations/professionals who work with families of children with disabilities.
Join us for this free 1.5-hour webinar series the third Wednesday of each month from 12 pm to 1:30 pm CST. Monthly webinars are recorded and available for viewing. Transcripts are also available by visiting our webinar page below.
View the Wisdom Wednesdays webinar page with information and registration links to upcoming webinars along with recordings and transcripts of completed webinars here:
Effective IEP Team Meeting and Communication Guidelines
IEP team meetings are intended to be a collaborative partnership between school personnel and parents. Effective communication is an essential tool that supports this required teaming and collaboration. Because it is difficult to listen and hear anything positive from any team member who is adversarial to the process, consider tips and resources for supporting a a better way forward. When your best efforts aren’t working, for whatever reason, SERC is positioned to attend meetings, at your request and the approval of the other party, to support the team so that it can do its important collaborative work. Contact SERC (888-267-0028) for information about seeking an IEP team facilitator to handle eruptions and conflict that may be occurring.
View the OSDE Special Education Guidance Brief on Effective IEP Team Meetings here (PDF):
View SERC’s Communication Guidelines for Effective IEP Team Meetings here (PDF):
A District’s child find obligation is not relieved by a student’s high intelligence or academic performance.
The SERC office receives many calls because a district has refused to test and has told a parent that the child is in advanced classes or is too smart to be in special ed. It is important to remember that a district’s child find obligation is not relieved by a student’s high intelligence or academic performance. A recent case again makes that point.
View the related case posted March 1, 2022 by LRP Publications here (WORD):
Understanding School Removals
Many children in Oklahoma are being excluded from the school environment because of emotional or behavioral difficulties. Our state Special Education Department issued guidance addressing children on reduced days ( OSDE guidance for SY 21-22; Page 5). Recently an excellent article was published addressing the school removals across the country. Both resources are an excellent read. Enjoy!
View the OSDE guidance addressing children on reduced days here (PDF):
View the article published by the National Public Disability Rights Network here (PDF):
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 for Mastering Dialogue Training Update
Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue 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 and family support personnel that work with children with disabilities
While we will continue to offer a virtual training format for this course, we are now able to schedule in-person classes starting in July, 2022. Both formats include five 2.5-hour sessions. The in-person format will take place over two days. The virtual format can be scheduled over two to five days. We have a lot of flexibility regarding scheduling and only suggest that the sessions not be spread apart too far in order to maintain momentum and maximize learning.
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 Rob Keiter at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (405) 569-3105.
View the Crucial Conversations for Mastering Dialogue Course overview here (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 here:
View the Spanish version of the dispute resolution chart here:
SERC Wisdom Wednesdays Monthly Webinars
April 20, 2022
Parent School Engagement
Register for the April 20, 2022 Webinar here.
May 18, 2022
Greg Abel, Sound Options Group
Register for the May 18, 2022 Webinar here.
June 15, 2022
Special Education “Ponders” from a Former School Attorney Andrea Kunkel, J.D., M.S.
Register for the June 15, 2022 Webinar here.
ABLE Tech Monthly AT Workshops
ABLE Tech has successfully completed several series of virtual workshops for special education and related service providers. The feedback was outstanding and focused on planning positive systemic improvements and changes.
Monthly workshops are currently scheduled through March, 2022. For more information about the ABLE Tech monthly workshops, visit the ABLE Tech calendar here.
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