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.

Due Process Hearing Transcript: Six-Day Hearing

The transcript included in this article is for a due process hearing that took place over the course of six days, between December 3, 2019, and December 13, 2019.

The mother and father of a student attending Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) filed for due process. FCPS is the local education agency (LEA) involved. FCPS was represented by John Cafferky, a lawyer with Blankingship & Keith. The Virginia hearing officer was Richard Alvey. The parents were represented by lawyer Ashley VanCleef.

This hearing and the decision written by Hearing Officer Alvey proved to be a gamechanger, specifically Alvey’s statement that the program “Just Words” is inappropriate for students with Dyslexia.