What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary confidential process where schools and parents attempt to reach an agreement with the help of a qualified mediator. This is solution drive process facilitated by someone who has specialized training in conflict resolution.
The mediator does not decide the outcome of the dispute but is there to help facilitate a settlement between the parties. If an agreement is reached the mediator drafts the agreement and submits a copy to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Parents Should Know:
You do not need an attorney to mediate; however, you may have an attorney or advocate present during the process. Each party may only have three participants unless additional participants are mutually agreed upon by both parties. Please note that an attorney can not attend or participate on behalf of any party at mediation.
Mediation is DESE funded, so it is provided at no cost to either party.
Mediation is faster than filing a due process or child complaint. All mediations must be conducted within thirty (30) days of the parties agreeing to mediate.
Parents can choose the mediator as long as the mediator is on MO DESE's list of approved mediators, and mutually agreed upon by the school district.
Any mediator used for dispute resolution must be approved by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MO DESE). Below are some of the approved mediators for Missouri with some additional information to assist in your decision. You may contact MO DESE to file for mediation, and for a complete list of approved mediators. Both parties must agree to mediation.
Note: MoDE Foundation does not endorse or recommend any mediator. This list is for information only to assist families in finding an mediator.