The Parent Mentor Program is to help parents of children with disabilities effectively navigate the educational system in partnership with school district personnel. This is accomplished by providing information and support to families and by creating a mechanism to convey the family perspective to school district officials.
Our parent mentor is a critical link in providing information on laws and rights, educational options, district programs, explaining the IEP process, and the parent’s role in evaluation and placement. Additionally, she promotes effective collaboration among parents, district personnel and community agencies.
Various positive results and benefits have come from implementation of the Parent Mentor Project. Some of them are listed below:
- Improved written and oral communication between school district and parents. The parent mentor activities significantly enhance communication and reduce miscommunication between families, district personnel, and community members. By serving as a liaison, misunderstandings due to differing terminology, eligibility requirements, etc. are reduced among the parties.
- Creation of new and stronger partnerships between parents, district personnel, and community agencies.
- Enhanced family participation in the special education process by helping to empower families through knowledge/support as needed.
- More cooperation/collaboration between families, district personnel and community resources.
- Increased parent awareness and utilization of community resources.