Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities

The Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities is a State Mandated Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)

Contact Us

Submit a Question

We welcome and encourage parents/guardians, students, teachers, administrators, staff and others interested in special education in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) to share your thoughts, ideas, and/or public comment related to the needs of students with disabilities.

By clicking the “Submit a Question” button above, your email will go directly to the Co-Chairs of the ACSD, at their email account [email protected]. This account is also monitored by the FCPS Liaison to the ACSD, Michael Bloom.

Please note that correspondence with ACSD members is subject to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Hence, your correspondence may be made public if (1) it deals with FCPS business and (2) someone requests it. 

Public Comment at ACSD Meetings

Fairfax County and City residents may sign up the evening of the monthly meeting to provide in-person public comments, or submit a written, video or audio testimony by email to [email protected]. A maximum of 10 written, video or audio submissions are available and will be prioritized in the order they are received.  Please submit your written, video or audio testimony by 5:00 p.m. the day before the meeting. Written, video and audio testimony should not exceed 3 minutes in length. When submitting public comment by email, please indicate “For Public Comment” in the subject line. 

School Board Liaison

Laura Jane Cohen

Staff Liaison

Michael Bloom, Director, Special Education, Department of Special Services


Harry Henderson


Elizabeth Zielinski

View additional contact information for the Department of Special Services

Committee Purpose

8 VAC 20-81-230(D)—A local advisory committee for special education, appointed by each local school board, shall advise the school board through the division superintendent.

2021-22 Committee Charge

  • Examine current FCPS practices regarding school-based accountability and fidelity related to the implementation of best practices on the identification, evaluation, eligibility, and instruction of students with disabilities.
  • Make recommendations designed to improve division wide consistency related to the fidelity of the implementation of special education procedures and practices.
  • Make recommendations designed to ensure equitable use of Department of Special Services (DSS) resources for all students with disabilities - regardless of school, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, or gender.

Presentations, Reports, & Bylaws

Meeting Dates and Locations

Monthly meetings are held at the Gatehouse Administration Building which is located at 8115 Gatehouse Road, Falls Church, VA 22042.

Access to the Gatehouse Administration Center
Please be advised that the doors to the parking garage elevators for access to the Gatehouse Administration Center are now locked.  Visitors who wish to attend monthly ACSD meetings will need to enter through the main entrance of the building.  There is limited parking outside of the main entrance.  Visitors who park in the parking garage will need to walk around to the main entrance of the building.  Once you are at the main entrance, please call 571-423-4102 and someone will let you into the building and direct you to the meeting room.


2021-22 Membership

SB Member Representatives    

Liz Brocato, Braddock District-Megan McLaughlin
Lissy John, Dranesville District-Elaine Tholen
Lauren McCaughey, Hunter Mill District-Melanie Meren
Jennifer Benecke, Lee District-Tamara Derenak Kaufax
Harry Henderson, Mason District-Ricardy Anderson
Vacant, Member at large-Karen Keys Gamarra
Sanaa Bouzit, Member at Large-Abrar Omeish
Susan Edgerton, Member at Large-Rachna Sizemore-Heizer
Phara Rodrigue, Mount Vernon District-Karen Corbett Sanders
Mary Hackman, Providence District-Karl Frisch
Amanda Campbell,  Springfield District-Laura Jane Cohen
Zahraa Hassan, Student Representative
Michael Simon, Sully District-Stella Pekarsky

Region Representatives

Tania Damavandy, Region 1-Douglas Tyson-Assistant Superintendent
Joe Alston, Region 2-Fabio Zuluaga-Assistant Superintendent
Vacant, Region 3-Nardos King-Assistant Superintendent
Rachel Macias, Region 4-Jay Pearson-Assistant Superintendent
Vacant, Region 5-Rebecca Baenig-Assistant Superintendent

Community Representatives     

Darcy Acquavella, City of Fairfax School Board
Shannon Duncan, Decoding Dyslexia of Virginia (DDVA)
Sandi Dalhoff, Department of Neighborhood and Community Service
Brandis Ruise, Disability Services Board
Vivienne Goldstein, Fairfax Co. Health Dept.
Ann Marie Ward, Fairfax County Council of PTA
Stephanie Bailey, Fairfax/Falls Church Community Services Board
Vacant, Federation of Citizens
Linda Mason, Higher Education
Vacant, League of Women Voters
Brianne Russell-Morris, POAC-NoVA
Ally Baldassari, SEPTA

School Representatives

Elizabeth Zielinski, Assistive Technology
Nicole Zupan, Faculty
Deane Kiley, Preschool
Vacant, Transition Services

Meeting Agendas

Meeting Minutes