Loudoun County Public Schools

Loudoun County Public Schools Hire 1st Ombuds to Hear Concerns

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Families in Loudoun County have a new resource to help navigate problems or concerns with their schools. Loudoun County Public Schools recently hired an ombuds – a new position and relatively new concept in K-12 education.

More common at the collegiate level or in the corporate world, an ombuds serves as a neutral entity within the school district to hear concerns from employees, students and parents and connect them with the resources to help.

"The position of the ombuds is gaining a little bit of momentum in the kindergarten through 12 public school setting," ombuds Carey Williams said.

She brings 20 years of education experience to the newly formed position in a school system that's been at the center of much controversy.

“I sit within the superintendent's office and report to the chief of staff, and I don't sit within any other department or office, so I don't have any ties or responsibilities to any other entity within the division," she said.

Loudoun County is just the 38th K-12 district in the country to have an ombuds. One of the first school districts to start such a program was D.C. Public Schools, which handles hundreds of cases a year.

As the Loudoun cases roll in, Williams will look for trends or systemic flaws in policies or practices.

“But I'm not the person who's going to be modifying or rewriting or changing that policy,” she said. “But I can be a catalyst. I can help look at that division-wide equity and the systems and practices that we have in place."

Williams said parents may email or call her office and the process can be confidential.

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