Michigan Special Education Mediation Services

Working Together for Student Achievement in Michigan

Special Education Mediation Services helps students by fostering cooperation and effective teamwork among those who plan their education. The overall goal is to help students, parents and educators make decisions that improve education outcomes.

Mediation provides a confidential setting for participants to explore options that meet your child’s needs. A neutral mediator supports a collaborative approach to finding a mutually agreeable solution.

A meeting facilitator can manage special education meetings, so discussions are collaborative and everyone at the meeting has a chance to contribute ideas and provide feedback.

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

How it Works!

1. Call 833-KIDS-1ST or complete request services form HERE.
2. SEMS will gather information about the student and your concerns
3. SEMS will provide information about how our services may help in your situation
4. SEMS will contact the other party for agreement to participate
5. SEMS will coordinate the services needed with a local resolution center

To learn more about the program, visit the MISEMS website HERE!