Informal Dispute Resolution (IDR)

Informal Dispute Resolution (IDR) is a process where after the IEP team members have exhausted all options of resolving disputes related to a student’s program hold a meeting in an effort to seek resolution to outstanding issues in a voluntary and confidential setting. At times, parents and the student’s educators may have differences in opinion with regard to the student’s programming and services. The IDR meeting may address these and more. The IDR meeting may also include concerns raised in reference to assessment, special education eligibility, special education placement, and related services.

Why Choose Informal Dispute Resolution

IDR provides an opportunity for the parents and district to work together in a collaborative, timely manner with reduced costs to both parties.


Special Education Staff are available to assist the IEP team meetings prior to the scheduling of an IDR.  The IDR itself is an opportunity for a collaborative and non-adversarial meeting to review and problem-solve the areas of concern and disagreement.  It is an opportunity to discuss special education related issues in a confidential setting where all participants work together to define steps that will collectively resolve the issues.

Timely Resolution

Together the participants will work toward a clear and defined plan to address each area of concern or dispute in a timely manner.  A resolution through the IDR process may be reached within a few days or shortly thereafter, depending on the complexity of the issues and the planning required to resolve them.

Reduction of Costly Resources

There is no cost to parents to participate in an IDR meeting.  When both parent and district collaborate together in the problem solving-model, costs are potentially saved in legal and advocate fees.  The IDR process does not preclude parents from seeking legal consultation.

What is the purpose of an IDR meeting?  

The goal of the IDR meeting is to support the IEP team to get back on track. The decisions for the child are always best made by the individuals that are familiar with the child’s needs.  However, when the IEP team is unable to resolve the issues, an IDR between the District and family may be necessary.

How do I request an IDR meeting?

Contact your school site Administrator, School Psychologist or Program Specialist for information regarding the referral process.

Who participates in an IDR meeting?

You may bring a support person to assist you during the meeting.  Remember that the IDR meeting is voluntary and intended to be a collaborative problem- solving session.  District participants may include but are not limited to Program Specialists, School Psychologists, School Administrator and/or Education Specialists. All IDR participants should be ready to work with each other in an efficient and respectful manner.

May I audio-record the IDR meeting?

The meeting is confidential and is not recorded.  It is an opportunity for the participants to express their concerns and freely exchange dialogue regarding the issues in a safe and confidential meeting.