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Dispute Resolution

Welcome to the Special Education Dispute Resolution website. The links below offer information on dispute resolution options available to parents and school districts regarding disputes that may arise during the Special Education process. In addition to information on Mediation, State Complaints, and Due Process Complaints, please explore our resources for early dispute resolution, understanding your rights, and important Special Education laws and regulations.

Dispute Resolution Office Operations during Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)

The Colorado Department of Education’s (CDE) top priority is the health and safety of all students, educators and communities in Colorado.  During this time of unprecedented national emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, access to CDE’s Office of Dispute Resolution—located at 1560 Broadway in Denver—has been restricted from guests and visitors. 

For this reason, CDE is not presently accepting hand-delivered state or due process complaints.  CDE is still accepting complaints by mail at:

Dispute Resolution Office
Colorado Department of Education
Exceptional Student Services Unit
1560 Broadway, Suite 1100
Denver, Colorado 80202

If you have any questions about this, or if you are unable to mail a state or due process complaint, please see our contact information at the bottom of this page.

Mediation

Mediation is an informal, voluntary process in which a neutral person assists the parties in communicating and exploring possible options for resolving conflict.  The goal of special education mediation is to help the parties reach their own mutually acceptable resolution of the disputed issues related to a student’s special education services.
Click here for more info on Mediation.

Model forms (use not required):
Mediation Request Form (PDF)
Mediation Request Form (Word)
Solicitud de Mediacion (PDF)

State Complaint

A State Complaint is a written complaint requesting an investigation of any alleged violations of the IDEA requirements.  A State Complaints Officer will conduct an informal investigation, considering the information and interviews of the parties involved, and issue a written decision.
Click here for more info on State Complaints.

Model Forms (use not required):
State Complaint Form (PDF)
Queja con el Estado (PDF)

Due Process Complaint

A Due Process complaint is a process involving an Administrative Law Judge who conducts a hearing, much like a formal court proceeding. The ALJ considers the information and testimony offered by each side and issues a written decision.
Click here for more info on Due Process Complaints.

Model Forms (use not required):
Due Process Complaint Form (PDF)
Due Process Complaint Form (Word)
Queja de Debido Proceso (PDF)


Restraint and Seclusion

A state complaint may be filed by an individual or organization who believes a school district or board of cooperative educational services is not following the Protection of Persons from Restraint Act (“PPRA”), such as where a school employee may have improperly restrained or secluded a student. 



Contact Us

For more information, or to speak with someone about dispute resolution options, contact:

Exceptional Student Services Unit, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, CO 80202 | Phone: 303-866-6694, Fax: 303-866-6767

Brandon Edelman, Esq.
Supervisor, Dispute Resolution
Email Brandon Edelman
303-866-6876
 

Tom Treinen, Esq.
State Complaints Officer
Email Tom Treinen
303-866-3801

Ashley Schubert, Esq.
State Complaints Officer
303-866-6311
 
Lindsey Watson, Esq.
State Complaints Officer
303-866-6619
 

Jennifer Woods
Dispute Resolution Paralegal & Coordinator
Email Jennifer Woods
303-866-6889

Cici Lyman
Program Support
Email Cici Lyman
303-866-4797

 

 


 


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Email

If you have problems with broken links or accessing the content on this page, please contact our web content coordinator Amanda Timmerman at Timmerman_A@cde.state.co.us. Please copy the URL link for this page into the email when referencing the problem you are experiencing.