When to Mediate
During the development of the mediation option several constituencies asked "How do you know when to mediate?" A parent who had been through many levels of due process and litigation suggested a checklist which resulted in this brochure. Five of the six focus groups stated it was better to mediate early before situations got polarized and contentious; before relationships were perhaps irreparably harmed; before too much negativity, anger, frustration, or despair resulted.
How much is "too much"? That's for you and your colleagues interested in a particular student to decide. Families and educators are equal partners in this process. So, for one it may be "too much" at salary negotiation time and "too much" for another at retesting time. It's O.K. to admit another approach is needed. It's even recommended that families and schools work together - creatively and collaboratively.
So, how do you know when to try Mediation?
Or, how do you know when would be a good time to suggest mediation when talking with the school administrator, teacher, psychologist, bus driver, paraprofessional, OT, PT, nurse, etc.?
The following descriptions came from the mediation focus groups. When compiled they look like a possible list of "symptoms" for you to decide when "enough is enough", "this isn't working", it's "too much" from your perspective.
GENERAL DIRECTIONS: If you have felt or thought four (4) or more of the symptoms on the checklist in any combination for two (2) or more months while attempting to work out an issue, you may want to fill the prescription: call a mediation center for a second opinion. (Note: General Directions were developed by absolute whim of the brochure creator.)
hard to determine
left holding the bag
lack of understanding
long, drawn out
If you think you would like four (4) or more of the following for two (2) or more months: Call a mediation center:
needs to be resolved
up front communication
part of the agenda
wish it could be settled
it will be addressed
want to talk
be in compliance