Pupil Services - Special Education

Parent Mentor Program

What is the parent mentor program?

The Parent Mentor Program is a parent-to-parent resource available to families in the Shaker Heights City School District who need information, guidance, or support through any phase of the special education process.  Funded by a grant from the Ohio Department of Education, the program provides assistance to families of children with disabilities at no cost to the family.  The goal of the program is to help families effectively navigate the special education process in partnership with school district personnel and to enable parents to make informed decisions on behalf of their children.

Who is the Parent Mentor?

The Parent Mentor is someone who has a child with special needs and thus is knowledgeable about the special education process.  The Shaker Heights District Mentor is a licensed, independent social worker. The mentor’s role is to help families partner effectively with school district personnel to achieve the best possible education for their child with special needs.

What does the Parent Mentor do?

Guides parents through the special education process

Attends IEP and other team meetings upon request

• Provides confidential support to help address parent questions and concerns

• Acts as a liaison between parents and the school to facilitate open communication

• Works with the PTO Special Education Committee and other parent groups to provide parent/staff workshops and parent networking opportunities

• Supplies information on all aspects of educating students with special needs


How do I request mentor support?

Contact Holly Palda,
M.S.S.A.; L.I.S.W.
Parent Mentor

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