The Grandview Heights City School District will host a special-education panel discussion from 7 to 8:30 p.m. next Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Grandview Heights Public Library, 1685 W. First Ave.
"I think it's very important that we communicate with parents about issues relating to special-education law, procedures and guidelines," said Nancy Schott, director of pupil services.
"I've had sufficient conversations with parents to know that there is a need for awareness-raising," she said. "The better informed parents are, the better their children can be served."
Parents have an important role to play in working with the school district to help address their children's needs, Schott said.
"It really is a team effort," she said. "It's so important to have parents give their perspective. They see their child through a parent's eyes, while we see them through an educator's eyes."
As she begins her second year as the district's pupil services director, Schott said, the panel discussion also will give parents "a chance to get to know who I am and what my value system is about serving children with disabilities."
Along with Schott, the panel will include Joe Farry, parent coordinator at the Educational Services Center of Central Ohio; Gregory Matthews, a consultant with the center; and a parent mentor from the Bexley City School District.
A representative from the Ohio Department of Education or the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities also is expected to participate in the panel.
"This program is going to be a little atypical," Schott said. "So often, programs in a school district will have a focus on a target audience of teachers and administrators. The focus of this panel is on parents."
The Grandview school district serves about 105 students with disabilities this school year, she said.
Schott said she sent an email notice about the panel discussion that included a survey in which parents could indicate topics that most interested them.
"Parents are interested in basic information, such as what is the definition of an Individualized Education Program, details about the Jon Peterson Special Education Scholarship and the role of parents in the special-education process," she said.
Those and other topics will be covered during the panel discussion, Schott said.