Homebound instruction is a service in which educational instruction is provided to an enrolled student that has been determined eligible and is unable to attend school for medical or other reasons. Homebound instruction is categorized as one of the most restrictive alternatives in a continuum of services and is to be considered a temporary measure whenever possible.
The procedure for requesting medical homebound instruction is not determined
at the state level or by physician but is established by the individual school district. Therefore, the parent should start by contacting the school guidance counselor or administrator to obtain homebound guidelines and forms. A licensed physician will need to provide information as to the reason that the student may not attend school and that the student may profit from instruction given in the home or in a hospital.
The physician must complete a medical homebound instruction form that the local school district provides, and the parent will need to sign a Release of Information form also in case additional information needs to be provided to the district by the physician. The superintendent and/or homebound determination team may or may not then approve the student’s participation in a program for medical homebound instruction. The superintendent and/or homebound determination team may ask the physician to supply additional documentation in order to determine if medical homebound instruction is appropriate. The district may be able to provide necessary accommodations and modifications for the student to remain at school in the least restrictive environment.
If homebound instruction is approved, the site for medical homebound instruction is usually the student’s home, in a hospital, or an alternate location if deemed necessary. Every effort should be made to create an environment that is healthy and safe for both the student and teacher and that is conducive to learning. Homebound instruction provides at least 5 hours each week of instruction from the homebound instructor. The instructor will be employed by the district or a contracted service of the district.
The parent/guardian’s responsibility includes:
- All necessary paperwork completed
- Ensure that the child is prepared for the arrival of the instructor
- Provide an area that is conducive to learning and suitable for learning
- Adult supervision in the home is required *the student is available for all scheduled instruction
- Contact the instructor as soon as possible to cancel the scheduled period of instruction in cases of emergency
- Inform the homebound instructor of the child’s future medical appointments as early as possible if such appointments will interfere with instruction time
- Understand that if the student is absent for his or her scheduled period of instruction, he or she is considered absent from school on that day
- Understand that the state’s compulsory attendance laws fully apply to medically homebound students
- Communicate with the instructor about changes in the child’s health and return-to-school plans
- Monitor and encourage the child to plan his or her time in order to accomplish assigned work.
The student’s responsibility includes:
- Realizing that medical homebound instruction is an extension of regular school and all classroom rules and regulations and school district policies apply
- Be available for all scheduled instruction
- Be dressed appropriately
- Have all books and materials needed for instruction
- Complete all homework assignments
- Remain courteous, comply with teacher requests, and use appropriate language
- Dedicate instruction time to instruction only (no phone calls, visiting, radio, television, and so on).
At the time a student is placed on homebound instruction, the counselor, principal, and homebound team will work with the parents/guardians to create an appropriate plan for transition back to the school environment. In conjunction, the district will conduct periodic reviews of the need for the continuation of homebound instruction.