Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities (ACSD) (2022-23)

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

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Submit a Question

Contact Us

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 at the top of this webpage, 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. 

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.

2022-23 Committee Charge

  • Examine current practices regarding the referral process; staffing standards; academic, behavioral, and wellness programming; and the provision of special education and related services at the five Public Separate Day sites in FCPS (Key Center, Kilmer Center, Burke School, Cedar Lane School, Quander Road School).
  • Review evidenced-based and research-based practices regarding Public Separate Day schools for students with disabilities. 
  • Based on a review of evidenced-based and research-based practices, make recommendations designed to improve staff recruitment and retention at FCPS Public Separate Day sites.
  • Based on a review of evidenced-based and research-based practices, make recommendations designed to ensure consistency in the student referral process to a FCPS Public Separate Day site compliant with the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) requirements in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Presentations, Reports, & Bylaws

Meeting Information

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. 

Meeting Dates and Locations

ACSD Officers Meeting Information

ACSD officers meet at 6 p.m. at Willow Oaks in Room 1002A on the following dates:

  • September 21, 2022
  • October 19, 2022
  • November 16, 2022
  • January 26, 2023 - CANCELED
  • February 15, 2023
  • March 15, 2023  - CANCELED
  • April 19, 2023
  • May 17, 2023
  • June 21, 2023

June 13, 2023 - Subcommittee Meetings, Willow Oaks, 6 p.m.

Meeting related information will be posted here.

June 13, 2023 – General Meeting, Willow Oaks Room 1000B, 7 p.m.

Meeting agenda, minutes, and related information will be posted here.

2022-23 Membership

Membership Term Expires: June 30, 2023

Interested in serving on the ACSD?
Any member of the public can show interest in serving on the ACSD by completing the ACSD Public Interest Form and emailing it to [email protected].  Information will be shared with the organizations and individuals that you have indicated an interest in representing on the ACSD. 

School Board Member Representatives    

Carolyn Haydon, Braddock District-Megan McLaughlin
Randi Cosentino, Dranesville District-Elaine Tholen
Lauren McCaughey, Hunter Mill District-Melanie Meren
Stephanie Smith, Franconia District-Tamara Derenak Kaufax
Harry Henderson, Mason District-Ricardy Anderson
Brandon Cassady, Member at Large-Karen Keys Gamarra
Sanna Bouzit, Member at Large-Abrar Omeish
Susan Edgerton, Member at Large-Rachna Sizemore-Heizer
Kaitlinn Erkilla, Mount Vernon District-Karen Corbett Sanders
David Bean, Providence District-Karl Frisch
Amanda Campbell, Springfield District-Laura Jane Cohen
Yasmeen Merani, Student Representative
Michael Simon, Sully District-Stella Pekarsky

Region Representatives

Nita Payton, Region 1-Douglas Tyson-Assistant Superintendent
Holly Stearns, Region 2-Fabio Zuluaga-Assistant Superintendent
Vacant, Region 3-Grace Taylor- Interim Assistant Superintendent
Vacant, Region 4-Penny Gros-Assistant Superintendent
Hideshi Ishikawa, Region 5-Rebecca Baenig-Assistant Superintendent

Community Representatives     

Darcy Acquavella, City of Fairfax School Board
Shannon Duncan, Decoding Dyslexia of Virginia (DDVA)
Sandi Dallhoff, Department of Neighborhood and Community Service
Brandis Ruise, Fairfax Area Disability Services Board
Jovieh Liray, Fairfax County Health Department
Colleen Jones, Fairfax County Council of PTAs
Daniel Cronnell, Fairfax/Falls Church Community Services Board
Vacant, Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations
Linda Mason, Higher Education
Vacant, League of Women Voters, Fairfax Area
Anne Hobbs, Parents of Autistic Children of Northern Virginia (POAC-NoVA)
Ally Baldassari, Fairfax County Special Education PTA (SEPTA)

FCPS Division Representatives

Elizabeth Zielinski, Assistive Technology
Denise Stitt, FCPS Teacher
Rachel Charlton, Early Childhood Special Education (Preschool)
Vacant, Career and Transition Services