Resolving Disagreements (RSS)
There are many options available to you to resolve concerns or disagreements with your school district about your child's special education services.
One option is the local dispute resolution process, which is called Resolutions for Student Success (RSS) and which serves families and school districts within the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education. (A list of the school districts is available here.)
The Exceptional Family Resource Center (EFRC) facilitates the RSS process. The Exceptional Family Resource Center is an independent agency staffed by parents of children with disabilities and has served families and special educators in the San Diego and Imperial Counties for over 20 years.
The RSS Process is:
- Confidential - All information shared through the RSS process is confidential unless both parties agree to release it.
- Results - Oriented - RSS outcomes usually result in mutually acceptable agreements.
- Satisfying - A safe, collaborative working relationship is developed and supported through the RSS process, building trust between the parties.
- Fast and Efficient - The RSS coordinator will respond to initial phone calls within three working days. This is considerably faster than the 45-day timeline for state-level due process.
- Cost Effective - RSS is a free process and does not involve the use of attorneys or paid advocates.
How To Get Help...
- Call the RSS Coordinator for assistance: 1-800-977-7008
- The RSS Coordinator will listen to your concerns and help you identify the specific issues. Information and resources to help you learn more about special education laws and practices may be provided if needed.
- The Coordinator will explain the RSS program and assist you in determining the best option to resolve your concerns. (Many disagreements have been resolved without the need for a mediation meeting.)
- If the option chosen is mediation, the Coordinator will, with your permission, contact the school district and encourage them to participate in the mediation with you.
- If the school district agrees to the mediation process the Coordinator will assign a team of two mediators. The Coordinator will then contact you and set the location, date, and time of the RSS mediation session.
- When an agreement is reached, the details are written into a Resolutions for Student Success Agreement and signed by both parties. Both parties will receive a copy of the agreement. The agreement is legally binding.
RSS Mediation Team
The RSS Mediation Team consists of two individuals who guide the way to a solution between the disagreeing parties. All RSS Mediation Panel members are specially trained mediators. Typically, the mediation panel is composed of one parent of a student with a disability and one educator, both from outside the local school district
The mediators do not decide who is "right" or who is "wrong" but rather assist the parties in getting their interests met regarding the special education program/services for the student.
If the parties do not come to resolution, they may continue working on a solution and/or they may choose to file for due process. Information about due process is available in the Procedural Safeguards which are available on this website by clicking here.