Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

A fast track for resolving disputes

Offering students and families an opportunity to resolve disputes collaboratively, while avoiding time-consuming and costly litigation

What are the benefits of alternative dispute resolution?



The goal is to establish mutually agreeable solutions resulting in written agreements.


No Cost

ADR does not have costs tied to its process and are free of cost to families and local education agencies.


Legal Protection

Parties choosing to engage in any Alternative Dispute Resolution practices do not give up their rights to due process.



All information shared through the ADR process remains confidential unless all parties agree otherwise.

How to get help:

Prior to ADR, you might want to contact the following people who can help you:

  • Case Carrier
  • School Administration
  • Program Coordinator

These key individuals can:

  • Meet with students and families to clarify issues and concerns
  • Facilitate an IEP meeting
  • Inform families about programs & services

If these individuals are unable to resolve your concerns, please contact an ADR Lead who can:

  • Facilitate a meeting with a neutral
  • Listen to your concerns, help you
    identify solutions and assist through the
    ADR process
  • Coordinate and monitor ADR activities
  • Provides parents and professionals with
    options to address unresolved issues

8-Step Process

Step 1

A concern, issue, or complaint is brought to the attention of the DUSD Special Education Department

Step 2

ADR lead contacts family to schedule meeting

Step 3

A neutral facilitator, staff and family may participate in an ADR conference

Step 4

During an ADR conference, the parties work together to develop a mutually agreed upon resolution

Step 5

When an agreement is met, a formal resolution is developed in writing

Step 6

If an agreement is reached that involves additional resources it will need to be approved by the DUSD Board of Education

Step 7

If approved by the Board of Education, the Special Education Department will implement the agreement

Step 8

ADR lead provides follow-up communication and implement support with office staff and school site team members

Items to Note:

  • Typically, ADR collaborative conferences occur within 10 days of contacting an ADR Lead.
  • The ADR Process can be binding and may require the approval from the Board of Education.
  • All resolutions are mutually agreed upon by both parties.
  • Typically, formal complaints filed with the California Department of Education (CDE) take 60+ days to resolve, and the resolutions are determined by the CDE.
  • Due process filings can be costly for both
    parties, and resolutions may take months
    or even years.
  • The ADR process can expedite resolutions to a family’s concerns

For assistance, please contact the ADR Lead at your respective school district.

Downey Unified School District Logo

Downey Unified School District
Special Education Department
Attn: ADR Lead
11627 Brookshire Avenue
Downey, CA 90241
(562) 469-6500

Montebello Unified School District Logo

Montebello Unified School District
Special Education Department
Attn: ADR Lead
123 S. Montebello Blvd.
Montebello, CA 90640
(323) 887-7900