James Sands, Dubuque, IA

James Sands Portrait

Name:  James P. Sands

Location: Available Statewide in Wisconsin

Mediation and IEP Facilitation Training:

  • CADRE’S 8th National Symposium on Alternative Dispute Resolution in Special Education, Fall, 2021
  • Mediation Training Program, Certificate of Completion, Institute of Conflict Studies, Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System, 5-Day Intensive and Annual Updates
  • IEP Facilitation, 5 Day Intensive, Indiana State University, Joint Training with Parents and Special Education Administrators
  • Restorative Justice Mediation, Tippecanoe County Youth Services, Lafayette, Indiana
  • Restorative Justice Conference and Update, University of Wisconsin, Platteville, Wisconsin
  • Mediation and Group Conference Training, Certificate of Completion, Northeast Iowa Community College, Dubuque, Iowa


  • Education Specialist (Education Administration), Western Illinois University
  • Master of Science (Special Education), University of Northern Iowa
  • Bachelor of Science (Special Education), University of Dubuque
  • Graduate Studies (Orthopedic and Other Health Impairments), Ball State University

Current Position:

Private Practice Mediator and Facilitator

Mediation/Facilitation/Special Education Experience:

  • Mediator and IEP Facilitator, Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System
  • Mediator and Facilitator, Restorative Practices, Dubuque Community Foundation, Dubuque, Iowa
  • Mediator and Facilitator, Restorative Practices, Dubuque YMCA/YWCA, Dubuque, Iowa
  • IEP Facilitator, Indiana School Districts;
  • Special Education Director, Assistant Director, Supervisor, and Principal, Indiana and Iowa
  • Special Education Consultant, and Educational Diagnostician, Mississippi Bend, Bettendorf, Iowa;
  • Special Education Teacher and Transition Specialist, Dubuque Community Schools, Dubuque, Iowa;
  • Adjunct Professor, Teaching Courses in Legal Issues, Collaboration, Assessment, Emotional Disabilities, Mild Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana;
  • Adjunct Professor, Teaching Courses in Mild Disabilities, Emotional Disabilities, and Learning Disabilities, Indiana University Northwest, Gary, Indiana;
  • Areas of expertise include parent/school collaboration, behavior intervention, mild interventions, intense interventions, autism, early childhood integration, high school transition services, providing mental health services in public schools, and strategies to avoid litigation
  • Positive reputation in building trust with schools and parents in dispute resolution
  • Co-Presenter with special education attorney on IEP Implementation for Students with Orthopedic and Health Impairments
  • Co-Presenter with parents on IEP Development

Perspectives on Special Education Mediation/Facilitation (I will):

  • Actively listen to both parties and remain neutral
  • Create a safe and confidential place where parties can explain their positions
  • Guide both parties to remain focused on the student
  • Promote open communication and collaboration between families and districts
  • Support both parties as they work towards solutions in reaching agreement