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2020 Breakout Session IV

 

Sunday, March 8, 2020 ▪ 10:00 AM-11:30 AM

Title

Presenter(s)

Intended Audience

4.1

Preparing for, Briefing and Presenting Oral Argument in Appeals in United States Courts of Appeals

Mark Gross

All Levels

Advocate/Attorney/Law Student

4.2

A Deep Dive into 504 and Damages

David Grey

Intermediate/Advanced

Attorney/Advocate/Parent/Law Student

4.3

Addressing Trauma in Schools

Bobbie Gallagher

Hillary Freeman

All Levels

All Attendees

4.4

IEP Transition Toolbox

Elizabeth Watson

Melissa Waugh

Intermediate/Advanced

Advocate/Attorney/Law Student

4.5

Meeting the Special Education Needs of the English Language Learner

Grace Kim

Intermediate/Advanced

All Attendees

4.6

Enforcing Section 504 in Schools: An Exercise in Education

Sarah Fech-Baughman

Torie Atkinson

Intermediate/Advanced

All Attendees

4.7

Should I Stay or Should I Go? “Stay-Put (Pendency) Placements During Due Process and Appeals

Michele Kule-Korgood

Intermediate/Advanced

Attorney/Advocate/Law Student

4.8

How to Create a Learning Notebook for a Student with Disabilities

Anna Caudill

Novice/Intermediate

All Attendees

4.9

How to Speak So Schools Will Listen

Jennifer Fisher

Ashley VanCleef

All Levels

All Attendees

 

4.1 Preparing for, Briefing and Presenting Oral Argument in Appeals in United States Courts

of Appeals

 

Presenter:

Mark Gross

Legal Consultant

303 Lincoln Avenue

Falls Church, VA 22046

(703) 901-9047

markgross303@gmail.com

 

Intended Audience:

All Levels of Experience

Attorneys

 

Brief Session Description: 

This presentation focuses on preparing, briefing and arguing appeals in a federal court of appeals. Appealable orders, how to form issues that will catch the attention of appellate court judges, preparing effective appellate briefs, and presenting oral argument to appellate judges are covered. How to draft a petition for certiorari seeking Supreme Court review of an adverse court of appeals decision is also briefly discussed.

 

Presenters’ Biography:

Mark Gross was an attorney in the Appellate Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice for over 40 years. He served first as a line lawyer in the Appellate Section 1974 and was promoted to Deputy Chief in 1996. As a line lawyer he wrote appellate briefs for the Division filed in the United States Supreme Court and in nearly every federal court of appeals and argued appeals in nearly all of the federal courts of appeals. As Deputy Chief, Mr. Gross supervised about a dozen Appellate Section line attorneys.  He reviewed their draft memoranda and appellate briefs and helped them prepare for oral argument.  Mr. Gross received the top litigation award in the Civil Rights Division in 1993.  Mr. Gross wrote, and then supervised the preparation of, most of the amicus briefs the Justice Department filed in IDEA-related cases; he filed in excess of 30 IDEA-related amicus briefs in courts of appeals and in the Supreme Court. He also provided advice to the Department of Education on IDEA and other education matters. Mr. Gross was also the Department of Justice Complaint Adjudication Officer from 1983 until he retired in 2016.  As such, Mr. Gross was in charge of the DOJ office that issued the final administrative decisions in all employment discrimination complaints filed against the DOJ.  Those complaints could allege discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, or religion.  His office issued final relief in all such cases in which discrimination was found, including reinstatement, hiring, promotion, elimination of discipline, compensatory damages, and attorneys’ fees. Mr. Gross retired from the Department in April 2016, and currently consults with attorneys on IDEA, ADA and Section 504 litigation.  He is also “Of Counsel” with the Law Firm of Brian K. Gruber in Rockville, Maryland, a firm that specializes in IDEA cases.  Mr. Gross is also an adjunct professor of law at the Washington College of Law at American University in Washington, D.C., where he has taught courses in civil rights, education and federal law (including the IDEA, Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act), appellate advocacy, disability rights, and employment discrimination law. Mr. Gross has an adult son with Down Syndrome.  When his son was in 2d grade and was enrolled in an adjoining school district because his local school district had no special education program for students with serious intellectual disabilities, Mr. Gross was part of an Inclusion Task force that prepared an inclusive education program for his local school district.  All students with intellectual disabilities then were educated in the local school district where they lived along with their friends and siblings.  Mr. Gross was also a member of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board for ten years, supervising disability programs, among others, implemented in Fairfax County and the City of Falls Church, Virginia.


4.2 A Deep Dive into 504 and Damages

 

Presenter:

David M. Grey

Grey & Grey

2800 28th St., Suite 330

Santa Monica, CA 90405

310-444-1980

david@greyslaw.com

 

Intended Audience:

Intermediate to Advanced

Attorney, Advocates and Parent

           

Brief Session Description:

Section 504 prohibits disability discrimination, but also has regulations requiring schools to provide FAPE. FAPE under §504 and the IDEA are similar, but not exactly the same. This session examines §504 in detail. The goal is to understand where §504 fits in with the IDEA and when to use the law to get damages.

 

Presenters’ Biography:

David M. Grey, Esq. is a partner with the law firm of Grey & Grey in Santa Monica.  David is an experienced special education attorney who has successfully handled a lot of due process hearings and appeals in state and federal court.  He has experience with a broad range of special education matters. A significant number of his cases involve people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing or those who are in danger of being seriously hurt if not properly served by the school. David has an interest in using civil rights laws to obtain injunctive relief and damages beyond what is provided for under IDEA. Prior to his special education practice, David focused on employment and real estate disputes, where he had many jury trials, arbitrations and administrative hearings. David has lectured and written extensively on a variety of legal topics. He was successful in convincing the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse summary judgment against two of his clients in K.M. v. Tustin Unified School District, 725 F.3d 1088 (9th Cir. 2013)(cert. denied). The Ninth Circuit made clear that compliance with IDEA does not foreclose rights available under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In S.P. v. East Whittier City School District, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals again agreed with David that failure to correctly identify a child’s eligibility resulted in a denial of FAPE.  Most recently the California Court of Appeal ruled that California’s education code should be construed to benefit the student, not the District and that IEPs must be implemented right away upon consent in B.H. v. Manhattan Beach Unified School District, 35 Cal. App. 5th 563 (2019)(Review filed 6/28/19).

 

4.3 Addressing Trauma in Schools

 

Presenters:

Bobbie Gallagher, PhD, BCBA-D

Autism Center for Educational Services, Director

1989 State Highway 88

Brick, NJ 08724 848-565-1357

bobbie@autismcenterforeducationalservices.com

 

Hillary D. Freeman, Esq.

Freeman Law Offices

103 Carnegie Center, Suite 101

Princeton, NJ 08540 609-454.5609

hillary@freemanlawoffices.com

 

Intended Audience:

All Levels of Experience

All Attendees

 

Brief Session Description:

Trauma affects individuals very differently.  There are common traumatic events that occur in and out of school, the impact of which is often minimized by others. For example, schools often return the student, especially those with disabilities, back to the classrooms where they were bullied, attacked, or restrained without regard to the fear that may be instilled upon them from the incident itself. This workshop presents (1) approaches to identifying trauma; (2) interventions and supports to better serve the student who experiences a traumatic event and (3) legal strategies to advocate for those interventions.

 

Presenters’ Biography: 

Dr. Gallagher is a BCBA-D with her PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP). She is the Director of Clinical Training for the ABA Online program at TCSPP and the owner of ACES. She is the author of “A Brick Wall: How a Boy with No Words Spoke to the World.” For more than 20 years Dr. Gallagher has worked in the field of ABA, speaking nationally to educate others on the needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorder, and for the last six years with a focus in the area of sexuality and trauma.  Her advocacy for those with autism has led to national legislation.  She and her husband were the family that requested the CDC’s first ever epidemiological study in their hometown of Brick, N.J.

 

Hillary D. Freeman is deeply committed to her work representing people with disabilities and their families. As the sister of a man with autism and national/international speaker in special needs issues, she is able to combine personal experience with her legal training to help families advocate for services and supports. She has experience representing clients in special education and Section 504 issues, higher education issues including accommodations on high stakes testing and graduate school admissions tests, guardianship matters, estate planning and adult services. She was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers® Magazine from 2013-2019. She has been honored with Robin Sims Trailblazer Award in 2015. She holds a JD from Widener University School of Law and practices in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.


4.4 IEP Transition Toolbox

 

Presenters: 

Elizabeth M. Watson, MS, CRC, CCM, LCPC, CBIS

Rehabilitation Specialist

Watson VR Resources, Inc.

126 E. Wing St, #311

Arlington Heights, IL 60004

847-259-3925

wvrri@sbcglobal.net

 

Melissa K. Waugh, J.D., M.P.H.

Attorney

Belkowitz Law, PLLC

P.O. Box 4593

Lynchburg, VA 24502

(434) 200-9042

mwaugh@belkowitzlaw.com

 

Intended Audience:

Intermediate/Advanced  

Attorneys/Advocates

 

Brief Session Description: 

This session is intended to prepare attendees to confidently advocate for transition assessments and transition plans that are appropriately ambitious in light of a child’s unique circumstances.  Participants gain a firm understanding of transition assessments, how to evaluate a proposed transition plan, and how to use the law to advocate for appropriate assessments and plans.

 

Presenters’ Biography:  

Elizabeth Watson is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Certified Case Manager, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (Illinois), and Certified Brain Injury Specialist. She earned a MS degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and has worked in the rehabilitation field since 1985. Her current practice includes transition assessments of special education students, and expert witness and consulting services related to IEP Transition Plans. Elizabeth is active in training fellow rehabilitation professionals and other professionals on vocational rehabilitation transition services and is active promoting vocational rehabilitation services for special education students. In 2015, she was named Chair of the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals newly formed section, Vocation Rehabilitation Transition Services, and Section Representative to the IARP Board. Elizabeth was awarded the Outstanding Professional Member Award of the International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals in 2016. She is employed by Watson VR Resources, Inc, Arlington Heights, IL.

 

Melissa Waugh is an attorney with Belkowitz Law, PLLC, located in Fairfax, Virginia.  She graduated with honors from the University of Houston Law Center in Houston, Texas in 2000, and began practicing with the law firm of Vinson & Elkins in Washington, D.C.  She also holds a graduate degree in Public Health from the University of Texas-Health Science Center in Houston, Texas.  Ms. Waugh originally focused her legal practice on Health Care Law and Policy, but in 2010, she and her husband adopted two children from foster care who came to them with IEPs.  That was her first encounter with the world of special education.  Ms. Waugh started her own firm to assist families of children with disabilities navigate this complicated area of the law, and joined Belkowitz Law in 2018.  Her practice focuses exclusively on special education law, and she has represented parents in IEP meetings, mediations, state and federal complaints, due process, and federal appeals.  Ms. Waugh regularly presents to parent and professional groups throughout Virginia and has served as faculty for a National Business Institute course on “Special Education Law from A to Z”.  She is a long-time member of COPAA, and a coordinator for a state-wide group of attorneys and advocates in Virginia.  Ms. Waugh is licensed to practice law in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.  She lives with her family in Lynchburg, Virginia.


4.5 Meeting the Special Education Needs of the English Language Learner

 

Presenter: 

Grace E. Kim, Esquire

Law Office of Grace E. Kim, PC

11325 Random Hills Road

Fairfax, VA 22030

(703) 859-6375

gekim@gekimlaw.com

 

Intended Audience:

Intermediate/Advanced

All Attendees

 

Brief Session Description: 

Identifying and addressing the needs of the English Language Learner (“ELL”) with disabilities can be challenging. Many Parents and LEAs are often confused by the law’s requirements when it comes to ELLs with disabilities, resulting in a lack of identification and intervention during a critical time in a student’s academic and functional development. This session provides an explanation of the law and the ELL and their Parent’s rights and lessons learned from representing these special families.

 

Presenters’ Biography: 

Grace E. Kim is the principal attorney with The Law Office of Grace E. Kim, P.C. She focuses her practice on Special Education and Education Law, to include issues involving the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), restraint and seclusion, school discipline, and higher education issues. Ms. Kim has been working on behalf of children with Special Needs since 2002 as a mother of a Special Needs child; a paralegal and law clerk who focused on Special Education, School Law and Juvenile Justice; and an attorney dedicating her practice to representing families of Special Needs children with legal and education-related issues. She earned her B.A. degree from Nyack College, her M.A. degree from Alliance Theological Seminary, and her J.D. degree from the George Mason School of Law. Ms. Kim is a member of the George Mason Inn of Court and lectures on Special Education and related topics for various organizations. Ms. Kim lives in Virginia with her husband, Joshua, her daughter, Karis (11) and her son, Josiah (17) who is on the Autism Spectrum with comorbid conditions and other neurological and physical disabilities.


4.6 Enforcing Section 504 in Schools: An Exercise in Education

 

Presenters:

Sarah Fech-Baughman

Director of Litigation

Government Affairs and Advocacy

American Diabetes Association

2451 Crystal Drive

Alexandria, VA 22202

703.253.4823

sfech@diabetes.org

 

Torie Atkinson

Staff Attorney

Disability Rights Advocates

655 Third Ave, 14th Floor

New York, NY 10017

(212) 644-8644

tatkinson@dralegal.org

 

Brief Session Description:

This workshop focuses on the right to related services and accommodations of students with medical needs such as diabetes. The key differences between the IDEA, Section 504, and the ADA, including how these laws can and should be used in school settings, are highlighted and participants discuss barriers to appropriate accommodations and services.

 

Presenters’ Biographies:

Sarah Fech-Baughman is the Director of Litigation at the American Diabetes Association, where she represents the American Diabetes Association (“Association”) in cases in which it serves as an organizational plaintiff and conducts an active amicus practice. She currently represents the Association as counsel in the M.F. v. New York City Department of Education. The American Diabetes Association provides legal assistance to constituents with diabetes in areas of employment, education, public accommodations, and jail/prison/law enforcement interactions. Prior to joining the ADA, Ms. Fech-Baughman completed a postgraduate fellowship at University Legal Services, the protection and advocacy organization for the District of Columbia. There, she assisted in litigating Brown v. D.C., concerning the District’s Olmstead obligations. Ms. Fech-Baughman obtained her law degree from American University’s Washington College of Law in 2012, cum laude. She served as an Articles Editor on the Administrative Law Review and a research assistant to Professor Robert Dinerstein.

 

Torie Atkinson is a Staff Attorney at Disability Rights Advocates, where she represents plaintiffs in class action impact litigation on behalf of people with disabilities in all areas, including education, transportation, criminal justice, and website access. She currently represents the American Diabetes Association and three parents of children with diabetes in M.F. v. New York City Department of Education. Prior to joining DRA, Ms. Atkinson clerked for the Hon. Judge Eric N. Vitaliano in the Eastern District of New York before working at Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division as an Honors Trial Attorney in the Employment Litigation Section. There, she litigated employment discrimination and veterans’ rights matters, and was awarded the James R. Douglass Award for contributions to LGBT rights for her work on behalf of transgender North Carolinians. Ms. Atkinson received her B.A. magna cum laude from Barnard College in 2006, and her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2015. She received a Pro Bono distinction for her over 1,500 hours of public interest work. At HLS, she was the Executive Managing Editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, who published her Note on the criminalization of poverty through municipal fines and fees. She was awarded a 2014 Ford Foundation Fellowship to work at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and interned at the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, the WilmerHale Legal Services Center, and the New York Attorney General’s Office Civil Rights Bureau.


4.7 Should I Stay or Should I Go? – Stay-Put (“Pendency”) Placements During Due Process

and Appeals


Presenter:

Michele Kule-Korgood, Esq.

Managing Attorney

Kule-Korgood and Associates, P.C.

118-35 Queens Boulevard, 17th Floor

Forest Hills, NY 11375

T: 718-261-0181

mkule@educationlawny.com

 

Intended audience:  

Intermediate/Advanced

Attorneys/Law Students/Advocates

 

Brief Session Description:

The intersection of the growing body of jurisprudence and the IDEA’s statutory provisions regarding the stay-put provision (“pendency”) has produced numerous situations where a child’s pendency placement during due process is unclear. This session provides an overview of the IDEA’s “stay put” provision and delve into the various complexities that can trigger or affect a child’s “pendency placement”.


Presenters’ Biography:

Michele Kule-Korgood is the founder and managing attorney of Kule-Korgood & Associates, P.C. Michele has devoted more than twenty-five years, in private practice, to representing parents of children with disabilities in order to secure an effective education for their children.  While studying psychology as an undergraduate, Michele became a personal care assistant for a classmate with cerebral palsy.  Her classmate’s refusal to be defined by his disability inspired Michele to pursue a career in teaching special education.  Years later, as a special education teacher, Michele’s efforts to help a student obtain assistive technology, so he could have a voice in the world, again changed the course of her life.  In order to effect change for a greater number of people, she decided to attend law school and become a legal advocate on behalf of people with disabilities.  Today, Michele is one of the most well-known, respected attorneys in the field and has successfully handled thousands of matters in special education, ensuring that every child receives equal access to the high quality education to which he or she is entitled.  Her experience working closely with other professionals in the field, as well as her extensive knowledge of educational programs, allow Michele to assist parents in finding and accessing appropriate placements and services.  As a former special educator, Michele brings unique insight into the complex issues related to obtaining effective opportunities for children. Michele is highly sought after as a speaker on special education law and policy. She has chaired many conferences, and presented on various topics in special education law at numerous conferences, including those held by the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), the New York State Bar Association, the Practising Law Institute, Lehigh University, and at various agencies which provide education and advocacy services.  Michele is a Past Chair of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) and serves on its Board, and on the board of the Center for Learning Differences. Michele has argued and presented cases involving novel issues in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Eastern and Southern District Courts, the Appellate Division and state Supreme Court (including as lead counsel, along with Greenberg, Traurig, in the landmark decision of Mr. and Mrs. A v. N.Y. City Dep’t of Educ. (S.D.N.Y. 2011), holding that the exercise of rights under IDEA cannot be made to depend on the financial means of a disabled child’s parents, and extending the right for direct tuition payment to schools for parents without economic means, pursuant to the Burlington/Carter analysis).  She has a number of published decisions in various courts in special education and additional education-related areas of law. Michele earned her Juris Doctor Degree from Hofstra University School of Law and prior to that obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Boston University.


4.8 How to Create a Learning Notebook for a Student with Disabilities

 

Presenter:

Anna Caudill, Executive Director                        

Post Adoption Learning Services                        

106 Scruggs Avenue                                                         

Franklin, TN 37064                                                 

(615) 838-2122                                                        

amcarts@gmail.com           

 

Intended Audience:

Novice/Intermediate

All Attendees                                   

 

Brief Session Description:

Parents of students with disabilities manage a constant influx of data. Protecting a student’s access to appropriate education can hinge on good management of education planning and long-term goals. This presentation walks participants through setting up a system to organize and understand evaluations, track progress, make a 5 year plan, and know when to seek an advocate or attorney. Attendees complete a learning notebook outline and templates.

 

Presenters’ Biography:

Anna Caudill is a Tennessee based Advocate and parent of two boys adopted internationally with disabilities. A graduate of Vanderbilt University Kennedy Center’s Volunteer Advocacy Project (VAP), she is the Executive Director of Post Adoption Learning Services (PALS). Anna founded PALS in 2016 in response to the growing need of adoptive families for appropriate education support. She has spoken on behalf of children adopted internationally and children with disabilities at the Center for American Progress (CAP), the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), Show Hope, the Christian Alliance for Orphans, and with numerous Members of Congress the Tennessee General Assembly, HELP Committee staffers, and adoption support groups. Anna has been featured in the Washington Post and on the Great American Country channel, and she was named a 2013 Angel in Adoption by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI). In 2018, Anna successfully advocated for an amended bill to prohibit corporal punishment of students with disabilities in public schools. Her advocacy led to the bill’s expanded definition of “students with disabilities”. As a volunteer for the 2018 CCAI Angels in Adoption program, Anna mentored adoptees, their parents, and attorneys in lobbying Members of Congress for legislation benefiting children from backgrounds of foster care, adoption, and asylum/refugee claims. Prior to becoming a Mother and Advocate, Anna taught high school art for 10 years, conducted summer art camp and teacher training in co-ed schools in Iraq, and volunteered with World Relief in Nashville in support of Iraqi and Sudanese refugee communities. Anna has a Bachelor’s degree from University of the Cumberlands. 


4.9 How to Speak So Schools Will Listen: Strategies for Collaborative, Effective, and

Successful IEP Meetings

 

Presenters:

Jennifer Engel Fisher, M.S. Associate Director

Weinfeld Education Group, LLC 4865-A Cordell Avenue, Suite 240 Bethesda, Maryland 20814

301-370-1928

jennifer@weinfeldeducationgroup.com

 

Ashley VanCleef, Esq. Principal Attorney Law for Parents, LLC

122 E. Patrick Street, Suite 125

Frederick, Maryland 21701

410-206-6997

ashley@lawforparents.com

 

Intended Audience:

All Levels of Experience

All Attendees

 

Brief Session Description:

Do you ever feel members of the IEP Team are not listening or understanding you? Do have effective methods to document and communicate what the student needs?  This session empowers participants use a variety of techniques to ensure collaborative, effective, and successful IEP meetings by presenters who have worked on both sides of the IEP table. Issues relevant to understanding the perspectives of all members of the IEP team to effectively advocate for students and avoid costly mistakes, including those seen in case law are addressed.

 

P res ent ers Biography:

Jennifer Engel Fisher, M.S., is the Associate Director of Weinfeld Education Group, LLC. Jennifer earned her B.S. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and her M.S. in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University. She has taught in both self-contained and inclusion settings in Howard County Public Schools, Maryland. Jennifer served a variety of student populations including students with AD/HD, Learning Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disabilities, and those with an Emotional Disturbance diagnosis. Additionally, Jennifer co-created the Learning Resource Program at the Lowell School in Washington, DC. She consulted with teachers to support students with a wide variety of special needs as well as the gifted population. Her expertise in a variety of methodologies, including Orton-Gillingham, Project Read, and Fundations, allow her the broad knowledge needed to work with a variety of populations. As the Associate Director, Jennifer serves as an educational consultant for students in elementary through high school, conducting observation, reviewing records, and attending school meetings. She is also responsible for the Advocacy division of WEG, which involves ongoing training of other advocates. Additionally, Jennifer leads the School Selection divisions of WEG. She regularly consults with schools and parents, providing them with training on effective instructional strategies and methodologies.Jennifer is a current Board Member of KEEN, Greater DC. Past Board positions include: Board President of Washington Independent Services for Educational Resources (WISER), Academic Excellence Chair on the Board of Creative Minds International Public Charter School in DC, and Board Member of the International Dyslexia Association, Maryland Branch.  Jennifer has co- authored two books; T a ke C ontr ol of As perger’s S yn drom e : T he O ffic ia l S trat eg y G u ide for Tee ns w it h As perger’s S yndr ome a nd Non verba l Le arning D is ord ers and Take Control of Dyslexia and Other Reading Difficulties. Jennifer is also a contributing author of School Success for Kids with ADHD.

 

Ashley VanCleef is not only an experienced education law attorney but also an Orton Gillingham trained, certified special educator.  She has served students with disabilities as special education teacher, school and state level administrator, and school attorney.  Prior to forming Law for Parents, Ashley's experience as a special education attorney included working for the Law Office of Brian K. Gruber, P.C., staff attorney for Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) in Maryland, as well as Supervisor and 504 Coordinator for the MCPS Resolution and Compliance Unit. While in MCPS, Ms. VanCleef instituted informal, collaborative solutions to assist families and school system staff to resolve concerns through the least adversarial means focusing on win- win resolutions.  As an attorney for parents, she continues to find dynamic approaches to resolving concerns with student-focused outcomes. Ms. VanCleef's experience also includes serving as a resource teacher for middle schools, nonpublic schools, and compliance in Howard County Public Schools in Maryland.  She provided training for special educators on instructional frameworks and interventions, administration of the Woodcock Johnson educational assessment, writing/conducting individualized education programs (IEPs), and compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Additionally, she worked as a case manager for students placed in nonpublic settings and served as a member of the Central Educational Placement Team (CEPT). Prior to moving to Maryland, Ms. VanCleef worked for the state departments of education in both Texas and Oklahoma. Her many duties included compliance monitoring of school districts, technical assistance for families to access the dispute resolution options of IDEA, state complaint investigations, and providing statewide training on special education requirements. Ms. VanCleef works with multiple groups to provide professional learning on federal and state education requirements.  Ms. VanCleef is a former adjunct faculty member of Morgan State University where she taught Legal Aspects of Educational Administration and has been a guest lecturer for other colleges. Ms. VanCleef is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association, Frederick County Bar Association, International Dyslexia Association, and National Association of the Deaf Advocacy Section.


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