Ashley VanCleef is not only an experienced attorney but also a 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 an 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 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, 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 serves on the Mental Health Management Agency Board of Directors for Frederick County, the Frederick County ACE Mentor Program Board of Directors, and previously served on the Commission on Disabilities for Frederick County. She is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association, Frederick County Bar Association, International Dyslexia Association, and National Association of the Deaf Advocacy Section. In her spare time, Ms. VanCleef enjoys spending time with her family, running with Athletes Serving Athletes (ASA), and volunteering with her church youth group.