About the K-12 Dispute Resolution Training

This 22 hour training is designed for those working with children and families with an emphasis on school-related conflicts. Any school staff, faculty, administrator, or parent who is resolving disputes with students will benefit from the communication and de-escalation strategies provided in this training. This is a blend of theoretical understanding (“Why is this conflict escalating?”) and practical solutions (“Here are 5 steps for reaching an agreement.”). You do not need any dispute resolution experience for this course. This will teach you the basic processes for resolving an academic dispute, such as facilitated brainstorming and mediated discussions.

Featuring trainers Ken Cloke, Nina Meierding, Michael Lang, Don Saposnek, and Clare Fowler. This course takes the best material from these experts discussing high conflict families, neurodiverse children, developing durable agreements, and gatekeeper parents, all woven together with insights from Clare Fowler.

The course is designed to prepare you to help students through a variety of situations, and develop lasting transformative solutions. Creating confidentiality and agreement forms are encouraged with an optional course, but is not part of the required curriculum.

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Additional video on Neurodiversity

    • Article Discussing Systemic Academic Change

    • Article Encouraging Diversity and Purpose on Campus

    • Article from 30 International Students, describing their current concerns.

    • Article about Special Education Online: Lessons from the Pandemic

  • 2

    Introduction to Academic Dispute Resolution

    • Introduction to K12 Mediation

    • Scheduling a Meeting

    • SONAR Facilitated Process

    • Child Psychologist Suggestions for mediating with students and families, with Dr. Lesley Cook

    • Implicit Bias, with Nina Meierding

    • Setting up a Session -- Intro to Psychology of Conflict

    • The Art & Science of Conflict Resolution: Preparing for a Meeting

  • 3

    Effective Meetings

    • Negotiation Trends

    • Negotiation Tools

    • JEDI Negotiation Skills

    • Navigating Family Conflict Including Neurodiverse Children, with Ken Neuman

    • Conflict Escalation Tactics

    • Escalation Role Play

    • Conflict Escalation Momentum

    • Psychology of Conflict, Advanced

    • Apology and Forgiveness in Families, with Ken Cloke

    • Considerations for Special Needs Children, with Ken Cloke

  • 4

    Successful Resolutions

    • Next Steps for Special Ed Disputes

    • Gatekeeper Parents, by Don Saposnek

    • Resolution Strategies

    • Reflective Practice, by Michael Lang

    • Durable Agreements--Optional--Suggested if you need to draft written agreements

    • Conclusion

    • CLE Survey

    • Preventing Conflict Before it Starts: Connect, Choose, and Channel