What is a Parent Mentor?
A Parent Mentor draws from their personal experience having at least one child in their household with learning disabilities. The parent mentor is employed by a local educational agency to assist the school district and families by providing support, training and informational services to accommodate their child's education needs. These services are provided at no cost to the family.
School districts have a responsibility to develop, support and implement a system of education services for all students. The basis of the Parent Mentor Program is the expectation that students with disabilities be ensured an appropriate and meaningful education when parents and educators communicate effectively and operationalize the partnership planning required by Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Districts choose to implement the Parent Mentor Program to promote this necessary and effective communication by providing information and support to families about special education issues and by providing a mechanism to convey the family perspective back to the system.
What does the Parent Mentor do?
• Guide families through the special education process and helping them understand their rights and responsibilities
• Provides information and resources to families and educators, including education laws and district and community programs. Collaborate with the PTO Special Education Committee and other parent groups to provide parent/staff workshops and parent networking opportunities
• Provides confidential support to help address parent questions and concerns
• Acts as a liaison between families and educators to facilitate open communication
• Attends Evaluation Team Report (ETR), Individualized Education Program (IEP), and other meetings at parent or staff request
• Host information sessions and workshops for families for professionals