FCPS Announces Appointment of New Assistant Ombudsman for Special Education

News Release
July 12, 2019

Dawn Clements, who currently serves as Fairfax County Public Schools’ (FCPS) educational specialist, pyramid support liaison in the Department of Special Services, has been named the new assistant ombudsman for special education, effective August 1. Clements will be primarily responsible for supporting parents who have special education concerns and will provide deeper knowledge and more experience with the special education process.

“This new position will enable parents to have an impartial person to go to for information and options when an issue arises with their child who receives special education services,” says Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand. “We want parents to feel heard and supported when bringing a concern to the school district, and Ms. Clements will serve as that link between parents and FCPS.”

Clements has served in her current position for 10 years, providing responsive and student-centered guidance and support to teachers and administrators regarding the implementation of and compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. She works with school staff members to ensure that students receive the appropriate special education services; supports schools in the rollout of new region- or school-based special education programs, including intellectual disabilities and enhanced autism programs; and monitors the IEP (individualized education program) process to serve as a knowledgeable representative of the special education services and resources available in FCPS. Clements also partners with parents, school staff, advocates, and attorneys to facilitate resolution of concerns regarding students with disabilities, collaborating to reach a decision in the best interest of the student. Clements has also served as special education department chair at Hayfield Secondary School, and as a LEAD Fairfax administrative intern, where she was responsible for developing a comprehensive list of school wide classroom interventions and progressive pyramid of interventions.

She has delivered special education professional development for administrators, teachers, and parents. 

Clements earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, a master’s in special education from North Carolina State University, and an administrative endorsement from George Mason University as part of the LEAD Fairfax cohort.