About SEMS

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About SEMS

Resolving Disputes Collaboratively

Special Education Mediation Services (SEMS), formerly known as Michigan Special Education Mediation Program, provides mediation, facilitation and training services for working through disagreements so that children with disabilities promptly receive the services they need to develop and succeed in school. These services often help to avoid disputes or help resolve them early.

Good communication between parents and the school district is critical in working together to meet the educational needs of students. However, sometimes challenges may need to be addressed with additional support. How parents and schools communicate with each other plays an important role in finding common ground. Facilitators and mediators support collaborative conversations to help build a foundation for student achievement. The value of mediation is recognized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Michigan Department of Education Office of Special Education. Facilitation and mediation services are available free of charge.

Benefits of a Collaborative Approach Through Facilitation and Mediation

  • Learn more about the educational process
  • Develop and maintain a positive working relationship with the school team
  • Understand each other’s perspective
  • Keep the focus on positive outcomes for your child
  • Find solutions that are agreeable to all involved
  • Resolve issues quickly and avoid lengthy investigations or costly court proceedings
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