The Independence Local School’s Parent Mentor Program is here to help you and your child. We offer support and information to parents of special needs children. We give you the opportunity to be the best advocate for your child. This program is designed to foster parent and professional teamwork. As a parent of a special needs child, parent mentors have experienced the journey with their own child and can truly understand the challenges that parents face with raising a child with a disability.
The State of Ohio is currently the only state to have a parent mentor program, though several other states are beginning the process. Seventy-one projects are currently funded, representing 201 of Ohio's 611 school districts. The Independence Local School District started the Parent Mentor Program in 2014.
The Independence Local School’s Parent Mentor Program offers:
One-to-one support to parents, to help them learn their roles and responsibilities in their child’s educational process. This can include attending I.E.P. (individual educational plan) meetings, gathering resources and information needed by a parent, meeting with parents in person or talking with them on the phone.
If you would like to be included on the email list service that will provide you with the Special Education monthly newsletter and updates on resources, classes, activities and seminars, please email Eileen Hawkins with your name and email address at Eileen.firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions or need support, please do not hesitate to call Eileen at (216) 524-0424.
Support Group meetings for parents from Independence and Cuyahoga Heights Schools so that parents have an opportunity to meet other parents and share resources and ideas to help them through the special education process.
E-Blast Service that provides announcements about upcoming school and community events, educational opportunities or seminars relating to special needs or special education.
The development of an on-going library collection of books, pamphlets and other resources focusing on special needs that can be shared between families.
A monthly newsletter with local, state, and federal information regarding special education.
Information local workshops focusing on topics that will give parents a better understanding of their child's disability and ways to enhance their child's educational and daily living skills.
Support and cooperation with all district professionals who provide services to students with special needs.
Establishment of a communication link for parents of children with special needs through the Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County, workshops, and local support groups.
Explanation of the special education programs available through the Independence Local School District and Cuyahoga Valley Career Center.