Homebound Instruction

Homebound instruction is designed to meet the needs of children who are confined to their homes because of medical or emotional disorders.  Homebound instruction enables such children to continue their education program while at home.  It is intended that a child receive homebound services only temporarily until their medical condition allows them to return to the regular classroom or until an appropriate placement is determined. 

While no specific number of days can be set due to the many complex variations in cases, the ďtemporaryĒ requirement is based on the premise that instruction should take place in the school setting to the fullest extent possible.  Educational and physical modifications may be attempted before students are placed on homebound instruction.  The goal is always to return the student to the school setting as soon as possible.  Homebound instruction is not intended to supplant school services and is by design temporary.

Overview of Services

Homebound services are available to all students who are enrolled in Hanover County Public Schools.  The program is designed to provide continuity of educational services between the classroom and home setting for students whose medical needs, either physical or psychiatric, preclude school attendance.  It may also be used to supplement the classroom program for health impaired children whose conditions may interfere with consistent attendance (e.g., students receiving dialysis, chemotherapy, or radiation treatments) or for children with disabilities that prevent regular school attendance.  

            While homebound instruction is helpful to students whose illnesses and special needs preclude school attendance for a period of time, it has limitations.  Students who are injured or whose illnesses make it difficult for them to complete assignments independently may fall behind in their work.  Students may not be able to complete requirements for certain classes while receiving homebound instruction.  Parents are encouraged to work closely with the school contact person, typically the studentís school counselor, to make program choices that will ensure the success of their students who require homebound instruction.  

            Homebound services are typically administered in the studentís home with a parent or responsible adult present.  If an adult is unable to be present in the home during instruction an appropriate public place (i.e. local library) can be utilized for homebound instruction.  Parents are encouraged to work closely with the homebound teacher to establish a mutually agreed upon meeting time and place.  A parent (or responsible adult) is required to be in the home while Homebound Instruction is provided by the homebound instructor. 

Eligibility

Students may be found eligible for homebound instruction if medical evidence shows that they are physically or emotionally unable to attend the regular public school.  Eligibility is determined on the basis of information submitted by a physician, psychiatrist, or licensed clinical psychologist through the Homebound Referral Form.A treatment plan must also be submitted with any requests for homebound instruction.   Homebound instruction will be available only to those students for whom it is anticipated will be absent a minimum of two (2) weeks.  Any student illness that prevents regular school attendance for less than two weeks is best handled at the school level rather than with homebound services.  If a student experiences intermittent excessive absences due to a chronic medical condition, homebound services may be appropriate before the student actually misses a full two weeks of school.  Homebound may be provided for these students on a periodic basis as specific by the physician.  In order to maintain a studentís eligibility for homebound instruction he/she is not allowed to sustain outside employment or participate in extra-curricular activities, unless the need for these activities is specifically stated in writing by the physician, psychiatrist, or clinical psychologist.  Participating in school activities during the school day is not allowed and after school hour school activities will require permission from the school principal and homebound coordinator.  Homebound instruction is not provided after the school year is completed. Any question regarding the approval of homebound services in unusual situations should be directed to the Homebound Coordinator at 365-4509.

If a child suffers from an emotional disorder and the attending psychiatrist or licensed clinical psychologist recommends homebound instruction, such instruction may be approved.  A treatment plan MUST accompany the Homebound Referral Form for students suffering from an emotional disorder. The treatment plan must outline the childís mental health diagnosis, treatment history, current treatment, and a date for returning the child to school.  Weekly counseling for students who receive homebound instruction for emotional disorders is recommended.  A mandatory review every nine weeks and written documentation required to extend homebound.

Homebound instruction is available to students who are pregnant following the birth of the child for six weeks or longer with a verification note from their physician.  In cases where the physician determines that school attendance would present a health risk to the student prior to delivery, additional medical information will be required before homebound services can begin.  

In order to evaluate the need for homebound instruction, the parent/guardian of the student is requested to grant Hanover County Public Schools written permission to consult with the physician, psychiatrist, or licensed clinical psychologist.  The exchange of information is essential in determining the initial eligibility and continued eligibility of the student in receiving homebound services.  The Homebound Referral Form contains a statement for the parent to sign granting Hanover County Public Schools permission to consult with the appropriate medical professional.

Procedures for Obtaining Homebound Services

In order to obtain homebound instruction, the parent or guardian must obtain a copy of the Homebound Referral Form.  This form is available in all schools via the Hanover County Public School intranet, as well as this website under Homebound Instruction.  The form must be completed in its entirety, signed by the attending physician, and returned to the school contact person or sent directly to the Homebound Coordinator located at the School Board Office at 200 Berkley Street, Ashland, Virginia, 23005. The fax number is 804-365-4813. Requests for homebound instruction must be approved before homebound instruction can begin.  Prescription notes and letters from physicians will not be accepted in lieu of the initial medical referral form.  When homebound instruction is requested for children who are emotionally unable to attend school, a treatment plan form must accompany the Homebound Referral Form.  Once the request has been reviewed and approved, approval will be indicated by signature and a copy will be returned to the school contact person.

Obtaining Homebound Teachers

The school homebound coordinator is responsible for locating a homebound teacher for the student.  Every effort should be made to assign a teacher from the studentís home school.  When this is not possible, a currently employed teacher from another school in Hanover County Public Schools is an option.  A list of homebound teachers will be provided to every school contact each September and updated as the school year progresses.  Any teacher currently employed by Hanover County Public Schools is eligible to provide homebound services even if their name does not appear on the current homebound list.  If unable to locate a homebound teacher, the school contact person should call the Homebound Coordinator for assistance in assigning a homebound teacher.  Due to schedule conflicts, there may be instances when two homebound teachers need to be utilized to fulfill the necessary hours of instruction.

Special Education

Below is clarification of terminology specific to children receiving special education services who receive services in the home. 

ďHomebound instructionĒ means academic instruction provided to students in the home setting (or other agreed upon location) who are unable to attend school for extended periods of time that would prevent normal school attendance based upon certification of need by a physician, psychiatrist, or licensed clinical psychologist.  For a child receiving special education services, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) must be amended to reflect the homebound placement, including the number of hours of service. 

ďHome-based instructionĒ means academic instruction provided to students in the home setting (or other agreed upon location) in accordance with the childís IEP.  The IEP must be amended to reflect the home-based placement, including the number of hours of service.  In certain situations, home-based instruction may be provided for special education students who have been suspended from school or for students who are waiting for another educational placement to be arranged. 

All guidelines of homebound must be followed if the referral for the services is a result of a recommendation from a medical professional.  If services are a result of an IEP decision, the Special Education Lead Teacher Specialists must be notified and involved in the IEP process for children receiving home-based services. 

Each school is responsible for ensuring the delivery of appropriate educational services for students who have IEPís.  The homebound or home-based program for these students should be monitored by the Special Education case manager who will inform the homebound teacher of IEP modifications and/or accommodations.  The Special Education case manager is responsible for ensuring that legal responsibilities for implementing the IEP are followed.  This includes the revision of the IEP for homebound services, monitoring due dates for IEP and triennial, and updating IEP progress. Eligibility for home-based instruction is determined through the IEP process and does NOT require approval from the Homebound Coordinator. 

Hours of Homebound Instruction

When long-term homebound instruction is requested for high school students carrying more than five credits, the studentís schedule may need to be revised.  All time allotments for homebound instruction are dependent upon the physical and emotional condition of the student.  Every effort should be made to ensure academic progress; however, course credit must still be earned according to class requirements.   

The program for homebound instruction follows the calendar for the regular school year.  Homebound teachers are not permitted to meet with students during school vacations, holidays, or snow days.  There may be circumstances when services need to be extended a few days beyond the last day of school.  These unique situations need to be handled by the home school.  School personnel need to work closely with the student, parent, and homebound teacher to determine an appropriate education plan for the student to complete assignments.  The Homebound Coordinator needs to be notified prior to the last day of school if services need to be extended.  Although homebound instruction is not typically provided when school is not in session, individual studentís medical circumstances or teacherís schedule may warrant instruction to be provided on a more flexible schedule (i.e. weekends).  Both the homebound instructor and parent will need to be in agreement before instruction can be provided on weekends.  It is expected that the homebound teacher and parent will agree on an appropriate schedule and meeting place.  If a schedule can not be agreed upon, a delay in services may occur until another homebound teacher can be located. A missed appointment for homebound or home-based will be reported to the home school as a day of absence and must have an excuse provided, similar to the practices in the home school.

Responsibilities of the Home School

The home school is responsible for monitoring the educational services while the student is receiving homebound instruction.  Students receiving homebound instruction are carried on the attendance rolls of their home schools.  A staff member from the home school is designated as the contact person for each individual case.  The school contact person is typically the childís school counselor, but this will vary depending on the school.  The school contact person, classroom teacher(s), and the homebound instructor will work cooperatively to provide services.  The school homebound coordinator is responsible to:

Homebound teachers are not responsible for creating assignments or tests.  The instructional program is the direct responsibility of the classroom teacher.  This includes the responsibility to collaborate on a regular basis regarding the content and appropriate materials to enable students to stay current with class expectations.

Responsibilities of Homebound Teachers

            The homebound teacher is essential to the team of persons whose function is to provide the materials and instruction that will enable the homebound student to maintain academic progress while recovering.  This role requires accurate and timely communication.  To ensure the success of the program, the homebound teacher must collaborate with the classroom teacher(s).

            Once the school contact person has obtained a homebound teacher, the homebound teacher is responsible to:

Responsibilities of the Parent(s) and Student

            The parent(s) and student are expected to work cooperatively with the home school and assigned homebound teacher.  Parent(s) and student are required to:

 

Review and Termination of Services

            The duration of homebound instruction depends on the nature and extent of the illness or disability of each student.  Students should return to school when homebound instruction is no longer medically necessary, whether or not assignments are complete and up to date.    

            If a student is medically unable to return to school at the end of the approved period of time, additional updated medical documentation will be required.  The parents of every child receiving homebound instruction are responsible for providing to the Homebound Coordinator updated written verification from a medical professional. Prescription notes and letters from physicians will be accepted for extension of services. 

Homebound instruction will terminate if requested written medical verification is not submitted in a timely manner.