Due Process Hearing Officer Orders Private College Prep School Placement for Student; Parents and Student Prevail in Rare Virginia Decision

February 29, 2024, two Virginia parents and their student prevailed in a due process hearing against Prince William County Public Schools (PWCPS).

When Hearing Officer Rhonda Mitchell found a private college preparatory school to be the appropriate placement for the student, and ordered PWCPS to pay for the student’s tuition, the word unprecedented came to the minds of the parents and their advocate.

Fairfax County Public Schools “Expert” Determines Lindamood Bell Not Appropriate for Student with Dyslexia, Because Lindamood Bell’s Site Has Pictures of Young Children On It

Virginia Hearing Officer Rhonda Mitchell determined the program Lindamood Bell is not appropriate for a student who has Dyslexia, after Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) “experts” made curious statements about the instruction and Lindamood Bell’s site and staff.

Jugnu Agrawal, program manager of FCPS’s special education curriculum, and one of the FCPS “experts” who testified in front of HO Mitchell, said Lindamood Bell isn’t appropriate because, “if you go and look at the pictures on their website and everything, it is specifically for elementary.”

(June 13, 2022, Update) Due Process Case 22-84, Chesterfield County Public Schools, Virginia: Subpoenas, Motions, Transcripts, and More

June 13, 2022, Update: Transcripts for due process days March 25th, 28th, 29th, and 30th, 2022, were added.

Thank you to two Chesterfield County, Virginia, parents for sharing their due process experiences and associated documents.

You’ll find the hearing transcripts at the end of this article. In the coming weeks, subpoenas, motions, and other documents will be added, providing readers an example of how due process hearings play out record by record.

Due Process Transcript, Fauquier County Public Schools, Virginia, Hearing Officer Frank Aschmann

Here you’ll find the hearing officer’s decision and the transcripts for a two-day due process hearing, which Fauquier County Public Schools (FCPS) filed against the parents of a student who was clinically diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, emotional disability, ADHD, and anxiety, and who at the time of the hearing had an Individualized Education Program (IEP). FCPS filed the due process with the purpose of 1) proving the student isn’t eligible for an IEP and 2) terminating the student’s IEP.

Second Virginia Hearing Officer Rules Reading Program Inappropriate for Student with Dyslexia

For the second time in about a year, a Virginia Hearing Officer ruled that the program “Just Words” is inappropriate for a student with Dyslexia. In both cases, the due process hearing focused on a student attending Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), in Virginia.

The law firm Blankingship & Keith represented FCPS in both cases, too. Although the first hearing officer ruled “Just Words” to be inappropriate for a student with Dyslexia, FCPS continued to enroll students with Dyslexia in it, and FCPS and Blankingship & Keith continued forward in the second hearing, arguing “Just Words” to be appropriate for a student with Dyslexia.

Due Process Hearing Officer: “Just Words” Not a Methodology that Addresses Learning Disabilities Associated with Dyslexia; FCPS Continues to Recommend “Just Words” for Students with Dyslexia

“From the evidence presented at the hearing, I have learned there are several competing methodologies that address learning disabilities associated with dyslexia. But it is clear to this Hearing Officer that JUST WORDS is not one of them”. —Richard M. Alvey, Due Process Hearing Officer

If you have a child in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS), Virginia, who has Dyslexia, chances are FCPS has stated the program “Just Words” is appropriate to address your child’s unique needs related to Dyslexia.

Didn’t matter if the child was in 4th grade or 10th grade, FCPS pushed “Just Words” for children with Dyslexia.

Earlier this year, due process hearing officer Richard M. Alvey stated a final decision about “Just Words” that every parent with a child who has Dyslexia should know about—and which should have stopped FCPS’ continuing to recommend the program for children with Dyslexia.