Dispute Resolution: Learn more

Dispute resolution is a process of resolving disagreements.

The school system has a formal process to go through. This is your legal right.

These are the steps, in order. 1. Meet with the school again. Share your concerns with the school team and try to work together. 2. Request a facilitated IEP. Bring in a neutral facilitator to improve communication between you and the IEP team. 3. ask for mediation. Bring in a neutral mediator who is trained to to help resolve issues between you and the school district. 4. File and informal complaint. 5. File a formal complaint. 6. File for a due process hearing. This is a formal meeting, like a court trial. This should be a last resort!


Click on the link at the bottom of the page to download the Notice of Procedural Safeguards. Or click here to find this notice in another language. (A webpage will open in a new tab on your screen.)

How to find more information:

Click on these links. They will open in a new tab or window on your screen.

Click the links below to download a chart that compares the different steps, and the official document that describes your rights and the processes.


Sources: Federation for Children with Special Needs, MA DESE, Family TIES of MA, The Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE)