Kaye Vance, Glendale, WI

Picture of Kaye Vance

Name: Kaye K. Vance

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Location: Milwaukee; Rhinelander, Wi.

Mediations/Facilitations:​ I have successfully mediated/facilitated several hundred special education meetings in all disability areas. I have become skilled in using virtual tools, such as confidential breakout rooms and have administered multiple virtual meetings.

Background and experience with special education​.
I have served as a:

  • Special Education Classroom Teacher;
  • Program Support Teacher, Supervisor, and Assistant Director of Special Education;
  • Member of the Department of Public Instruction committee of parents and school representatives to develop the initial process and guidelines for placement decisions;
  • Attorney representing both parents and schools;
  • A Sec. 504 Impartial Hearing Officer and a Impartial Due Process IDEA Administrative Law Judge (ALJ);
  • University OF WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE, INSTRUCTOR, Regular and Special Education Law at the Master’s degree level.

Disclosure​: I am a step-parent of a child with special needs, now an adult, who I know benefited greatly by the right education and community support.

My Approach to Mediation and Facilitation​:

I am an optimistic mediator. Optimistic because when the parties agree to mediate there is already progress. They have agreed to work together for the benefit of the student. I am also realistic. There can be many points on which the parties do not see eye to eye. But that does not stop them from focusing on helping the student and figuring out how to work together for that purpose.

Parties will listen to and respect each other. Parents have a wealth of knowledge about their child and know them best. Educators care about students and are skilled and motivated to provide instruction and support. When appropriate, it is very beneficial to
have the student attend, even if it is virtually. In summary, my role is to clarify, elicit suggestions, make sure participants are heard and encourage forward positive movement.

In Mediation,​ I am proactive and conscious of the need to work together. I very much want the process to work for everyone so at the end there is a point where forward movement can continue. Frequently, this involves figuring out the most effective way for the parties to continue to communicate.

IEP Facilitation​ is different from mediation. The IEP meeting is a required decision making regulated process that, at its best, unites the school and the parents in the development of a clear educational blueprint. I facilitate the meeting within the IEP guidelines, talk with the parties to identify priorities, and guide the meeting to completion in a timely manner.

I have the following EDUCATION EXPERIENCES:

  • Law Degree from Marquette University; Lead Articles Editor on Law Review Journal.
  • Master’s Degree in Special Education, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Education Certifications include: regular, special education teacher, principal and pupil services administrator.
  • I received a mediation and alternative dispute resolution certificate from Marquette through a post-graduate training program that involved mediating community disputes. I attended a Guardian Ad Litem training focusing on facilitating communication of the child’s needs.
  • Annual mediation training through WSEMS
  • Continued virtual learning in Spanish through the University of Milwaukee certification program.
  • Participating in training to add to my skills in virtual mediations and meetings.

Also, in the last few years I spent extended periods of time in a Spanish Immersion Program. I lived with a Costa Rican family and attended classes during the day. I am far from fluent; that will be a lifelong learning process. Due to this years’ unique circumstances immersion was not possible. However, I found living as part of another culture invaluable. Like here, children are at the center of the family. Parental concerns are the same all over our world. For their children, parents universally desire economic security, education, good values and preparation for their future.