Ashley VanCleef

Ashley VanCleef

Advising on what students need educationally and are entitled to legally.
  • Education Law, Civil Rights
  • Maryland
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&ASocial MediaResponsive Law

Ashley VanCleef is not only an experienced education law 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 a special education attorney included working for the Law Office of Brian K. Gruber, staff attorney for Montgomery County Public School in Maryland, as well as Supervisor and 504 Coordinator for the Resolution and Compliance Unit. 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 assessment, writing/conducting individualized education programs (IEPs), and compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. 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 in 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 is a member of Maryland State Bar Association, Frederick County Bar Association, International Dyslexia Association In her spare time, Ms. VanCleef enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering.

University of Baltimore
J.D. (2011) | Education Law
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University of Central Oklahoma
B.S. (1998) | Special Education
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Professional Experience
Principal Attorney
Law For Parents, LLC
- Current
Law Office of Brian K Gruber, PC
- Current
Montgomery County Public Schools
Speaking Engagements
IEP and 504 Plan Legal Workshop, Columbia, Maryland
National Business Institutes
IEPs and 504 Plans: A Legal Compliance Guide, Rockville, MD
National Business Institutes
IEP Goal Progress Monitoring: Ensuring Legal Compliance A. What the IDEA Says About Progress Monitoring B. Documenting Progress C. Reporting Lack of Progress VI. Avoiding Common IEP Errors and Mistakes A. Predetermination on IEPs B. IEPs with no Meaningful Educational Benefit C. Failure to Document Changes in Placement Decisions D. Failure to Properly Include Parents in the Process
Routes to Resolution, Accessibility Summit 2017, McLean, Virginia
National Business Institutes, FBAs and BIPs: An Essential Legal Guide
Professional Associations
State Bar of Maryland
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National Association of the Deaf
Advancing Member
- Current
Activities: Deaf Business Advocates Section
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International Dyslexia Association
- Current
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Frederick County Bar Association
- Current
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Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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  • Credit Cards Accepted
Practice Areas
Education Law
Civil Rights
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Discrimination, Employment, Fair Housing, Police Misconduct, Privacy Law
Additional Practice Area
  • Special Education law
  • English: Spoken, Written
Legal Answers
Q. Can I file charges against the school for not protecting my son?
A: Bullying should be taken very seriously by schools. It is important to report and document the bullying on the school bullying and reporting forms. The laws vary by states but Federal guidance can be found here If the bullying is based upon the student's disability, race, sex, color, or national origin, be sure to indicate as such in the report to the school system.
Q. My 8 y/o has been physically assaulted in class many times. Admin is aware and done nothing. Can I take legal action
A: School systems are required to act upon reported acts of bullying. School systems have bullying forms posted on the websites and paper copies are available in the school buildings. This is the best way to document what is happening and to hopefully have administration swiftly take action.

If the school administration does not act on your report, you can escalate the concern to their supervisors at the central office level and to the Maryland State Department of Education.

Whether there is a personal injury claim depends on whether the school staff act on the report or not and whether there is any negligence on the school system's part that could be contributing to a child's injuries. ... Read More
Q. Is there any way to stay in Howard County middle school until the end of this school year if you moved in January?
A: HCPSS Policy 9000 explains how tuition is assessed as follows:

A student who becomes a nonresident, because the parent(s) with whom the student resides move out of Howard County during the school year, may complete the current school year at the school in which the student is enrolled. Tuition may be assessed based on the following:

a. If the student becomes a nonresident prior to the fourth marking period, the student will be allowed to remain for the duration of that school year only and tuition will be assessed.

b. If the student becomes a nonresident during the fourth marking period, the student may attend for the rest of that school year tuition free.

c. For a student who becomes a nonresident after achieving Junior status, the student will be allowed to remain at the student’s current school through graduation upon payment of tuition.

If a family were to move during the 4th marking period, the student may continue to attend tuition free. Otherwise, tuition is assessed. There are some exceptions and the opportunity to request tuition waivers for financial hardships.
... Read More
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Websites & Blogs
Law For Parents
Contact & Map
Law For Parents, LLC
122 East Patrick Street #125
Frederick, MD 21701
Toll-Free: (410) 206-5997
Fax: (240) 358-1091