Creating Agreement in Special Education

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1 Creating Agreement in Special Education Presented by The Office for Dispute Resolution

2 About this training Based on collaborative work of CADRE and the IDEA Partnership along with numerous cross stakeholder agencies. Incorporates other ODR training components such as the Six Step Process. Today s s presentation is an abbreviated version of a longer training which includes additional content and practice.

3 Jointly Developed By: The Center For Appropriate Dispute Resolution In Special Education (CADRE) The IDEA Partnership Project (at NASDSE) With funding from the US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)

4 Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Due Process Hearings. Due process hearings provide the parties with an opportunity to have an impartial decision-maker resolve the issues in dispute. While due process hearings are an important protection, they can be costly if parties choose to involve attorneys in the process, time consuming, and contentious, and can damage relationships between families and educators.

5 Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Therefore, the Department believes every effort should be made by the parties to resolve disputes as early as possible and without a due process hearing. July 30, 2008 Federal Register (emphasis added)

6 Due Process Comparison , YEARS

7 7-Pak Consortium of Large States California Florida Illinois New York Ohio Pennsylvania Texas

8 How Does Pennsylvania Compare? 1. New York 5, California 2, Pennsylvania Illinois Texas Florida Ohio 200 ( approximate) statistics

9 Fully-Adjudicated Decisions In , 2008, less than 10% of the requests for due process hearings resulted in a fully-adjudicated hearing officer decision.

10 Cases Resolving Without a First Hearing % 79% 79% Blue cases resolving without first hearing 21% Red cases utilizing due process hearing

11 Continuum of Dispute Resolution Options in Special Education

12 Our goal today is to leave you with: A useful resource for early dispute resolution Conflict management steps at the local level Communication skills awareness and their effect on conflict outcomes Tools for the toolbox

13 What is Conflict? Frustration Confusion Anger Competing priorities Worry Stress Win/lose outcomes

14 Beliefs and Attitudes Conflict Occurs Outcome/ Consequence Perceptions & Thinking Behavior/ Response Emotions/ Feelings Identified Used with Permission of Good Shepherd Mediation Program, Philadelphia, PA Let s talk!

15 Chinese Symbol for Conflict The Chinese Symbol for conflict or crisis includes two elements: danger and opportunity. In other words, every conflicts presents an opportunity.

16 Causes and Types of Conflict Resources Value Psychological The smaller the circle, the more difficult the conversation.

17 Let s s Talk about Emotions Loss Hurt Fear Helplessness Disappointment Frustration Guilt Grief Embarrassment Lack of Validation ANGER Center for Alternatives in Community Justice

18 Conflict Management Styles Controlling Collaborating Personal Goals Compromising Avoiding Accommodating Relationship Goals Thomas Killman Model

19 Avoiding Sidestep, postpone, or withdraw from the issue for the present Personal Goals When to use it? When potential harm outweighs benefits to resolve When time is needed to collect information or cool down Relationship Goals

20 Accommodating Personal Goals Sacrifice your own personal goals to satisfy the concerns of the others Yield to another point of view When to use it? When relationships are most important Reach a quick, temporary solution Relationship Goals

21 Controlling Pursue own ends without agreement of others Personal Goals Achieving one s personal goals paramount When to use it? When unpopular actions must be implemented When your family s or organization s welfare is at stake Mandates (law) Relationship Goals

22 Compromise What is it? Personal Goals Quick, mutually acceptable alternatives Both parties give up something When to use it? When two parties of equal power are strongly committed to mutually exclusive goals To achieve temporary solutions to complex issues Relationship Goals

23 Collaborating Identifying concerns of each person and finding alternatives that meet both sets of needs Personal Goals Finding a solution that fully satisfies needs and concerns of both people When to use it? When relationships and issues are both important To gain commitment and acceptance for a high-quality decision Relationship Goals

24 Your son, who is in the sixth grade wants to grow his hair long and pierce his face.

25 Constantly Ask Yourself: Is this approach (style) the best one to use right now in order to reach a successful outcome to the problem at hand?

26 A Tale of Two Conversations Take One

27 What Did You Notice? External distractions (noise, cell phones, beepers) Time constraints Interrupting Second Guessing/Mind- Reading Used with Permission of Good Shepherd Mediation Program, Philadelphia, PA

28 What Did You Notice? Filtering/Selective Listening Judging/Making Assumptions Language difficulties Fear or intimidation Power imbalances Content used with Permission of Good Shepherd Mediation Program, Philadelphia, PA

29 Maximize Active Listening Skills Non-verbal cues: Relaxed and open posture, gestures, nodding, etc. Accommodate personal space needs. Facial expressions: Think about what your face is saying to the other person. Content Used with Permission of Good Shepherd Mediation Program, Philadelphia, PA

30 Maximize Active Listening Skills Eye contact: Be aware of cultural differences Verbal Cues - minimal encouragement Demonstrate understanding

31 Use Communication Skills that Encourage Conversation Avoid blaming statements: Attack the problem, not the person. Stay away from universal comments such as, You always and You never Use I statements: Tell how the situation is affecting you. Content Used with Permission of Good Shepherd Mediation Program, Philadelphia, PA (modified)

32 Use Communication Skills that Encourage Conversation Clarify: Don t t make assumptions. Ask open-ended ended questions. Reframe negative thoughts into constructive language. Content Used with Permission of Good Shepherd Mediation Program, Philadelphia, PA (modified)

33 A Tale of Two Conversations

34 While perceptions might not be the ultimate truth, they are what people use to make decisions. -Breaking the Glass Ceiling-

35 The Importance of Understanding Other Perceptions Discovering what the other sees in any given situation can be an insightful tool for productive communication. Conflicts are not only rooted in different desired outcomes, but also on differences in perceptions.

36 Perceptions Exercise

37 FINISHED FILES ARE THE RESULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTIFIC STUDY COMBINED WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF MANY YEARS.

38

39 POWER IMBALANCES Inherent in conflict Participants may not be prepared Cultural differences may contribute There are formal & informal forms of power Critical to address power imbalances

40 Cultural Reciprocity Cultural Reciprocity facilitates conversations with families that help to identify the values and beliefs that underlie priorities, goals, and visions for the child and facilitate understanding and knowledge about the special education system enabling them to make informed decisions about services. Adapted from : Harry, B., Kalyanpur, M., & Day, M. (1999). Building Cultural Reciprocity with families. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co

41

42 Positions and Interests POSITIONS are what people want or say that they want. INTERESTS are the needs, desires, concerns or fears that motivate people to take a certain position. Your position is something you decided upon. Your interests are what caused you to decide. Getting to YES by Roger Fisher and William Ury

43 Sample Positions Any child in my class must be able to do the basic work required. We want an American Sign Language interpreter in that English Lit class. Rob has a right to a full-time instructional assistant next term.

44 Finding the Interest Question, question, question "Why is that solution important to you? Why are you suggesting? "What would you accomplish in getting what you want?" "What if that did/didn't happen? How will you be affected by? Imagine that you got ; what would be taken care of?

45 Finding the Interests What need is the person taking this position attempting to satisfy? What is motivating the person? What is the person trying to accomplish? What is the person afraid will happen if a demand is not fulfilled?

46 In the Tale of Two Conversations: What was the parent s s position? What were her underlying interests (concerns, needs or desires)?

47 The Useful Skill of Reframing "The art of reframing is to maintain the conflict in all its richness but to help people look at it in a more open- minded and hopeful way. Bernard Mayer, in The Dynamics of Conflict Resolution

48 Reframing Reframing is verbally translating concerns (emotional and otherwise) stated by one party into a mutual problem for both (all) parties to resolve. It s s saying what the person is concerned about, in a way that makes it a problem for both of you to solve. How can we best? Useful when listing issues to be resolved or to identify a positive intention within a statement.

49 Reframing: Let s s give it a try The school is unwilling to give my daughter the O.T. she needs. If he s s going to be in my class, he s s going to have to meet my expectations. I m m not getting any information from the school!

50 An Overview of the Six Steps: Responding to Conflict Constructively 1. Setting the Stage 2. Listen and Tell 3. Clarify the Issues 4. Generate Options 5. Evaluate the Options 6. Moving Forward

51 Step 1: Set the Stage An opportunity to establish the tone for conflict resolution by being a considerate host or guest and by paying adequate attention to important preparation activities. Agree about the issues that will be addressed. Set a time and place that is appropriate for all. How long will the meeting last? Is there a follow-up date established? Are there accommodations or cultural considerations such as the need for an interpreter?

52 Step 2: Listen and Tell Stories Each person has uninterrupted time to tell his/her perception of the situation Each person listens, clarifies and when appropriate, reframes what he/she heard Aim to have a Learning conversation by shifting from a message delivery stance to to a learning stance Difficult Conversations : How to Discuss What Matters Most by Stone, Patton and Heen of the Harvard Negotiation Project

53 Step 3: Clarify the Issues Once you understand each other s perspectives on the problem and underlying interests, agree on what issues are to be resolved. List the issues early in the process so that everyone can see them. Use them as a framework for the rest of the conflict resolution discussion.

54 Step 4: Generate Options State the purpose and then brainstorm possible solutions. Will others be involved? Do you need more minds to develop more ideas? List as many ideas as possible Separate inventing from deciding Focus on what you can do - not on what you can t t do Think outside of the box be creative Accept all ideas without judgment, criticism or commitment

55 Step 5: Evaluate the Options Reality test the options. If we decide to do this, how will it work out? Ask important questions: Do we have the authority to do this? Do we have the resources? What obstacles should we prepare for? Look for options that are mutually acceptable get buy in.

56 Step 6: Moving Forward Memorialize your agreement, refining the particulars of what you have decided or agreed to during your discussions. Who? What? When? How? What if? (contingency plan)

57 Shifting our Perceptions: Opportunity to: What is Conflict? Improve your relationship/rapport Share successful outcomes Learn others perspectives Increase understanding Develop creative thinking Build confidence for future conflict resolution

58 Other Ways to Create Agreement IEP Facilitation Mediation Resolution Session Facilitation

59 Resources Creating Agreement in Special Education The IDEA Partnership and CADRE ODR Dispute Resolution Skills Training Some of the components, diagrams and activities were created or adapted by Good Shepherd Mediation Services and is a product of the collective work of mediators contracted by ODR along with ODR staff. This work was initiated under an IDEA grant to the Office for Dispute Resolution in The Conflict Resolution Information Source - University of Colorado Institute on Community Integration University of Minnesota Resources associated with the Harvard Negotiation Project: Getting to YES by Roger Fisher and William Ury Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen

60 Office for Dispute Resolution Mediation IEP Facilitation Special Education ConsultLine Due Process Hearings Creating Agreement Training 6340 Flank Drive Harrisburg, PA (717) or , TTY Users: PA Relay 711 at Web address

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