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Navigator Program

Navigator Program

The Navigator Program provides individualized guidance to parents who suspect or have a child with a disability, and school professionals, at no cost. The program is a partnership between the South Dakota Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs and South Dakota Parent Connection.

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Navigators remain objective and neutral as they help both parents and school personnel to:

  • Locate and utilize information and resources
  • Improve family-school communication
  • Understand the special education process
  • Build (re-build) partnerships
  • Reach or make progress towards agreement

Peer Navigator Consultants are located around the state and have expertise in issues related to special education, disability, special health care needs, communication strategies and conflict resolution.

Working with a Navigator is an informal, time-limited, problem-solving process and does not restrict a parent's rights to use formal processes such as the help of an advocate, filing a complaint, requesting a facilitator or mediator assigned by the state, or filing for a due process hearing.

Building Bridges

"SDPC helped guide us through the IEP process and other school-related challenges. We have had professional, resourceful Navigator representatives that encourages each side of the parent/school relationship to be honest, open and productive."


"We have been very pleased with how we work together as a team. It's been a win/win situation. We love the Navigator. Thank you for your dedication, patience and knowledge while working with the team to meet the needs of the student."

School Representative

Links to Resources


What Parents Should KnowAbout Special Education in SD

Dare to Dialogue

When Behavior is a Concern

Online Trainings

Strengthening Relationships and Communication

The Sections of the IEP

Parent Briefs

Extended School Year

Evaluation and Re-Evalulation

Parents Rights Responsibilities in Special Education

Transition to Adulthood

Transition Planning



HS Graduation Requirements

Social Emotional Development

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