Editor’s Note — The initial version of the this story referenced the acronym “LEA,” which was contained in the report from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). The story has been updated to explain and clarify what the acronym means in the context used by the VDOE.

ASHBURN, Va. (DC News Now) — The Virginia Department of Education found that Loudoun County Public Schools is in noncompliance with a 6-year-old’s individualized education plan, or IEP.

Havilah Mitchell is legally blind, cannot walk or talk yet and experiences a variety of seizures because of a rare genetic condition.

Her mother, Whitney Mitchell, said it was a relief to have her case reviewed by the state body after years of fighting for her daughter’s services.

Havilah Mitchell’s IEP requires that two nurses care for her who are trained in detecting and treating her seizures. Whitney Mitchell said her daughter was in and out of Cedar Lane Elementary School in Ashburn for months this year, because the district couldn’t staff the positions.

“64 days total for the entire school year that LCPS didn’t allow Havilah to attend school due to staffing,” Whitney Mitchell said.

She said that she offered to attend school herself as her daughter’s nurse, but the division would not allow her to.

“By not speaking and not walking and not knowing how to use her hands, and all these things that she should be learning in school,” Whitney Mitchell said. “It only furthers her suffering.”

The VDOE report obtained by DC News Now charges that LCPS has not properly trained Havilah Mitchell’s private nurse, refuses to provide transportation outlined in the IEP and denies Havilah’s access to general education as outlined in the IEP.

“The student is being forced to stay at home because the LEA refuses to provide reasonable accommodations,” the report said. The acronym “LEA” stands for “local educational agency,” referring to the school division.

VDOE is requiring LCPS to implement a corrective action plan by August 2.

Whitney Mitchell believes the school district could have staffed the nursing positions if it offered more competitive pay, as LCPS advertised hourly rates far below the Medicaid rate for the area. She said she suggested a higher rate of pay for the board, which told her it would take her suggestion into consideration during upcoming budget planning years.

“Havilah can’t wait for upcoming budget years. She needs to be in school, yesterday. She’s losing so much of her education,” Whitney Mitchell said.

Whitney Mitchell said her daughter went back to school last week, just before the family received the notice from VDOE. She says she hopes things are moving in the right direction, but is worried that the district is cutting special education positions.

The proposed budget for next fiscal year eliminates a number of special education positions that the board said were unfilled, including a number of speech-language pathologists.

“LCPS cannot continue being allowed to get away with denying children an education because those children are more difficult to educate,” Whitney Mitchell said. “But as Havilah’s mom I’ll do what I had to do.”