Homebound Coordinator Hanover County School Board Office 200 Berkley Street Ashland, VA (office) (fax)

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1 Hanover County Public Schools Homebound Instruction Program Homebound Coordinator Hanover County School Board Office 200 Berkley Street Ashland, VA (office) (fax)

2 Hanover County Public Schools Guidelines for the Homebound Instruction Program Introduction Homebound instruction is designed to meet the needs of children who are confined to their homes because of medical or emotional disorders. These services enable 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 temporary 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. This level of homebound service is provided on an as-needed or intermittent basis and varies depending on the student s needs. 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 student s 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 student s 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, accompanied by a treatment plan. 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 deemed appropriate. Homebound may be provided for these students on a periodic basis as specific by the physician. In order to maintain a student s eligibility for homebound instruction he/she is not allowed to sustain 2

3 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. Any question regarding the approval of homebound services in unusual situations should be directed to the Homebound Coordinator at (804) 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 child s mental health diagnosis, treatment history, current treatment, and a date for returning the child to school. A mandatory review every nine weeks and a completed referral form is 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. The form must be completed in its entirety including a treatment plan to return the student to school, signed by the attending physician, and returned to the school contact person or sent directly to the Homebound Coordinator located at the Hanover County School Board Office, 200 Berkley Street, Ashland, VA or faxed to (804) 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 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 contact person is responsible for locating a homebound teacher for the student. A teacher in the student s school may be considered as the student s homebound teacher. If this is not possible, a teacher from another school in Hanover County Public Schools may be 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. In order to provide homebound services the teacher must hold a teacher s license issued by the Virginia Board of Education. Due to schedule conflicts, there may be instances when two homebound teachers need to be utilized to fulfill the necessary hours of instruction. 3

4 Special Education Below is clarification of terminology specific to children receiving special education services who receive services in the home. Homebound instruction 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. Homebased instruction means academic instruction provided to students in the home setting (or other agreed upon location) in accordance with the child s IEP. The IEP must be amended to reflect the homebased placement, including the number of hours of service. In certain situations, homebased 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 homebased services. Each school is responsible for ensuring the delivery of appropriate educational services for students who have IEP s. The homebound or homebased 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 homebased instruction is determined through the IEP process and does NOT require approval from the Homebound Coordinator. Please contact the Lead Teacher Specialist in your building if you have a homebased student. Hours of Homebound Instruction Elementary school students (K-5 grades) up to five hours of instruction per week. Middle school student (6-8 grades) up to eight hours of instruction per week. High school students (9-12 grades) up to ten hours of instruction per week or two hours per core academic subject per week. When long-term homebound instruction is requested for high school students carrying more than five credits, the student s 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. Homebound instruction is designed so that the student does not fall significantly behind during the period of confinement. It is necessary for the student to participate in the instructional process and complete assignments. Homework should be expected. Not all work will be completed in the presence of a homebound teacher. Every effort will be made to ensure academic progress; however course credit must still be earned according to class requirements. Priority will be given to core academic subjects. Specialty classes may not be comparable. Elective courses are not guaranteed. 4

5 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. 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. It is expected that the homebound teacher and parent will agree on an appropriate schedule and meeting place. If a schedule cannot be agreed upon, a delay in services may occur until another homebound teacher can be located. 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 child s 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 contact person is responsible for: Notify the classroom teacher(s) of the need for homebound instruction and establish an effective means of communication with the homebound teacher. Notify the classroom teacher(s) of their responsibility to provide the homebound teacher with the necessary instructional materials and assignments in a timely manner. Notify the teacher(s) of their responsibility for grading, to maintain records of grades, and provide new assignments as work is completed. Instructional progress should be monitored weekly. Provide all necessary homebound timesheets and student progress reports to homebound teacher. Provide signature on the homebound timesheet and student progress report prior to the timesheet being submitted to the School Board Office for payment. Provide classroom teacher(s) with information from the student progress monthly report submitted by the homebound teacher as appropriate. Keep on file the student progress report. Work with the homebound teacher to provide overall instruction to the student placed on homebound and monitor the progress of the student. Notify the parent and student one week before homebound is to terminate. 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). must: Once the school contact person has obtained a homebound teacher, the assigned homebound teacher Contact the parent(s) as soon as possible or within 24 hours of accepting the homebound assigned and arrange a schedule of instruction and begins providing instruction as soon as possible. Not delay homebound services in an effort to obtain all assignments from the school. Keep record of all times made available to provide instruction and turn the record in at the completion of the homebound assignment. Establish an effective means of communication with the school contact person and the classroom teacher(s). 5

6 Obtain all necessary homebound timesheets and student progress reports in order to document all hours of instruction and planning. Confirm that the parent (or responsible adult approved by parent) has made arrangements to be in the home during homebound instruction and set up a mutually agreed upon schedule. Provide instruction, monitor the student s work for accuracy, and communicate any concerns about the student s progress to the school contact person. Returns completed work to the home school on a regular basis for the classroom teacher(s) to grade. Maintain accurate records of the hours of instruction and documentation of all visits, phone calls, s, and communication. Submit homebound timesheet and student progress report to the school contact person for signature before forwarding the documents to the School Board Office by the 8 th of the month. A copy of the student progress report should be made and the report should remain on file with the school contact person who will utilize it as appropriate and communicate the information with the classroom teachers as needed. State specifically all subjects taught, tests administered, and the level of effort displayed by the student within the progress report. Timesheets are to be submitted on a monthly basis and the dates must reflect the instruction for the entire month. Payment is rendered the last working day of the month. All questions regarding when payment for services will be rendered should be directed to the finance department at (804) Claim only the actual time spent in planning and consulting with the child s teachers. Do not include any time spent in travel to the child s home. It should be noted that some homebound students may not require the full amount allocated for planning. Homebound teachers will receive payment for up to two (2) hours per month per child for secondary students and up to one (1) hour per month per child for elementary students to compensate for planning time. When school is in session for only part of the month as in December and June, Homebound teachers will receive payment for up to two (1) hours per month per child for secondary students and up to one (.5) hour per month per child for elementary students to compensate for planning time. Accurately report time spent providing instruction. This is crucial as random audits on individual timesheets are performed each year to verify the reliability of the timesheet. 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: Arrange for a parent (or responsible) adult to be in the home while homebound instruction is provided. Provide an environment in the home conducive to learning. Work closely with the homebound teacher to establish a mutually agreed upon schedule. Assure options are considered such as the local library if the home environment is not conducive to providing instructional services. other options should be considered such as the local library. Sign and initial the teacher s time sheet to confirm that the homebound services listed were provided. Keep all appointments with the homebound teacher as arranged. Students are NOT permitted to cancel homebound sessions. (Excessive cancellations of appointments may result in the inability of the student to earn credit or be promoted. Cancellations may also result in the suspension of the service.) Work with the school to set reasonable goals and make any necessary changes to the student s instructional program as necessitated by the student s condition. Make every effort to keep up with school work as assigned. Parents should supervise daily homework. Provide updated medical documentation at the end of the approved period of time. Alert the homebound instructor and the student s school of any change in the medical status than might result in the modification or termination of homebound services. 6

7 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 the student is behind with their school assignments they may be eligible for compensatory hours of homebound instruction. 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. If the services need to be extended past the nine weeks approved time, the referral form must be filled out again and resubmitted. Homebound instruction will terminate if requested written medical verification extending the homebound is not submitted in a timely manner. The link below will direct you to the Virginia Department of Education Homebound Instructional Services Guidelines. 7

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