In a Q & A regarding dispute resolution during the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal Office of Special Education Programs discusses how parents and school districts can resolve their disagreements when the schools are closed due to the pandemic.
OSEP states that parents and districts should work collaboratively to try to resolve disagreements but if they are unable, they should access the state complaint or due process complaint procedures.
In the absence of a face to face meeting, how parents and districts can meet for resolution sessions or mediation in order to resolve their. OSEP’s response is that there is nothing in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that prevents parties from agreeing to meet in resolution or mediation using alternatives such as conference calls or virtual meetings.
They also indicate that with the exception of an expedited disciplinary matter, there is nothing preventing parents and school districts from agreeing to extend timelines for dispute resolution.
Additionally, administrative law judges have the power to grant requests for continuance of due process hearings for good cause.