SERC Advisory Council

About the Advisory Council

An Advisory Council has been established to provide input, from the viewpoints of various stakeholders, on the development of policies and procedures that regulate mediation and the due process hearing system. The policies and procedures formulated by the Special Education Resolution Center (SERC), with the advice of the Council, will be presented to the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) as a recommendation for positive change.

Members come from locations throughout the state of Oklahoma. The school district membership reflects small, medium, and large districts with about half of the school district members having participated in due process and half have not. School district representatives are encouraged to work with their district as a team to represent school district views on the Advisory Council. The parents represent children having various disabilities across the school-age span; some parents have participated in the due process while others have not.

Advisory Council Membership

  • Dr. Allison Fennell–ConchChair, Program Manager, Special Education Resolution Center
  • Allyson Robinson, Vice-Chair, Director of Accessibility Programs, Oklahoma State University
  • Shannon Esmeyer, Secretary, SERC Administrative Specialist

Representatives: Oklahoma School Districts

  • Lesa Elerick,  Principal, Jones Public Schools
  • Charlene Duncan, Special Education Director, Owasso Public Schools
  • Dr. Gena Koster, Assistant Superintendent, Oklahoma City Public Schools
  • Dr. Ashley Proctor, Special Education Teacher, Noble Public Schools

Representatives: OSDE

  • Dr. Elana GrissomOklahoma State Department of Education, Special Education Project Manager – Alternative Placements
  • Shea StarkOklahoma State Department of Education, Special Education Program Manager – Regulatory Compliance

Representatives: Parents of Children with Disabilities

  • Melissa StevensParent
  • Lori WathenParent
  • Ellen KimbrellParent AgencyOklahoma Parent Center (OPC)
  • Janice Morris, Parent AgencyOklahoma Disability Law Center (ODLC)
  • Michelle Rico, Parent Agency – Sooner Success
  • Erin Shepherd, Parent Agency – The Arc of Oklahoma

Representatives: SERC Service Provider

  • Lucy KroblinMediator

Oklahoma Special Education Resolution Center
Advisory Council Rules

I. Name and Mission

  • The name of the organization shall be the Special Education Resolution Center Advisory Council; hereafter identified as the Advisory Council.
  • The Advisory Council is established pursuant to the terms of the contract between the Oklahoma State University Department of Wellness – Sponsored Programs (DOWSP) and OSDE for the management of the special education mediation, due process hearing and appeal systems for the State of Oklahoma.
  • It shall be the Mission of the Advisory Council to provide advice on: 1.) the policies and procedures of the special education mediation, due process hearing and appeal system as developed by SERC and 2.) the recruiting, training and evaluation of mediators, hearing and appeal officers.
  • SERC serves as a recommending body only.  All work submitted to the Advisory Council will eventually be submitted to the OSDE – Special Education Services division (OSDE SES) as a recommendation for change.

II. Definitions

  • State means the State of Oklahoma.
  • Year means the project year beginning July 1 and ending June 30.

III. Duties of the Advisory Council

  • Provide viewpoints from a variety of stakeholders to include a mediator, school districts, a community member, parents of students with disabilities and OSDE during the development of recommended policy and procedure change;
  • Advise whether the current policies and procedures are meeting the needs of the parents/school districts to be served;
  • Recommend changes in policy and procedure of the special education mediation,  due process hearing and appeal systems, and in the recruitment;, training and evaluation of mediators, hearing and appeal officers, and
  • Help foster good relations between the stakeholder groups.

IV. Membership

A. Composition of the Advisory Council:

  • Shall consist of thirteen (13) members.
  • Shall be recruited to ensure a broad range of backgrounds and experience.
  • Shall be geographically representative of the state and shall reflect the diversity of the state with respect to race, ethnicity, and types of disabilities across the school-age span.
  • Shall consist of a majority, not less than fifty-one percent (51%), membership composed of parents of children with disabilities, throughout the range of school-age as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act (IDEIA).
  • Shall include six (6) parents of students with disabilities.
  • Shall have one (1) member representing OSDE SES.
  • Shall include four (4) members representing school districts: a superintendent, a special education director, a regular education teacher, and a special education teacher.
  • Shall have one (1) member representing mediators of the mediation system.
  • Shall have one (1) member representing community interests.
  • Members appointed as a mediator and community representative shall not count toward the calculated majority membership.

B.  Terms and Vacancies

  • Advisory Council membership is a three (3) year term duration.
  • At the end of the first two year period, Advisory Council members, except for the OSDE SES representative, will be replaced in staggered order. Original Advisory Council members will be replaced by a random drawing of names for replacement of one (1) or two (2) years in the parent category and the school district category of members.  The representative of OSDE SES shall continue year to year and the representative shall be designated by the OSDE.
  • Advisory Council member replacement shall occur by selection from a nominating committee consisting of one school district representative, one parent representative, and the Director and Program Manager of SERC.
  • Advisory Council members shall be replaced within parameters of the original selection.
  • Advisory Council members may be terminated if the member misses two (2) consecutive unexcused meetings.

C. Financial Compensation

  • Expenses shall be paid by SERC for any member who incurs expenses for an attendant or interpreter services during Advisory Council meetings.
  • Advisory Council members shall be reimbursed for any travel expenses incurred for attendance at Advisory Council meetings; (providing travel expenses are not paid by any other agency source).

V.  Meetings

  • The Advisory Council shall meet quarterly.
  • The Advisory Council activities shall function on a fiscal year basis: July 1 through June 30.
  • Written notice stating the place, date, and hour of any meeting shall be delivered personally or by mail to the last known address of each member not less than ten (10) days before the date of such meeting.

Advisory Council Meetings for the 2024 Calendar Year:

  • Friday, March 1 from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Friday, June 7 from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Friday, September 13 from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Friday, December 6 from 10 a.m. to noon