Some special education students may experience serious illnesses that prevent them from attending classes on school campuses. These illnesses may be:
of relatively short duration (at least 4 weeks in length);
persistent (continuing for the foreseeable future);
periodic (periods of illness, totaling at least 4 weeks in the school year, requiring confinement at home/in the hospital, interspersed with periods of time when the student can attend classes on campus).
In all cases, information from the student’s physician must indicate that the student must be confined to the home or hospital as a result of his/her condition. A physician or a parent should notify the campus that homebound services are being requested. The campus evaluation person will obtain the parent’s permission to obtain medical information. When preliminary medical information is received, the evaluation person and the Homebound Coordinator will staff the case. If they determine that the campus can provide necessary support, such as skilled nursing care, to maintain the student’s attendance, an ARD/IEP meeting should be held to discuss necessary changes to the student’s program. If the student does appear to have a condition that requires confinement at home or in the hospital, the campus evaluation person will send directly to the physician the following forms:
Letter to the Physician
Homebound Needs Evaluation
Disability Report for Other Health Impaired or Orthopedic Impaired, as appropriate
(Forms are obtained from the District Special Education Department office.)
Upon receipt of the forms from the doctor and review by the campus evaluation person and the Homebound Coordinator, an ARD/IEP meeting should be held to discuss homebound services and a change in placement for the student. This meeting should be duly constituted and include the Homebound Coordinator and the homebound teacher. If homebound placement is agreed to, the following sections of the ARD/IEP document will need significant changes:
course schedule and related services. Homebound instruction includes only core academic areas. Graduation requirements should be carefully reviewed for secondary students who go on homebound.
LRE considerations. Homebound placement is the most restrictive setting available. Homebound students are not able to participate in any campus-based events or community activities or participate in any activities with their peers. A strong justification must be made for selecting such a restrictive placement option.
goals/objectives/modifications/accommodations. These may require changes in order to be appropriate for home/hospital instruction.
commensurate school day. TEA redefines what constitutes a full day of instruction for a homebound student as four hours per week for grade K through 12 and 2 hours per week for age 3 through PK. However, if the student is not offered the hours that comprise a commensurate day, the shortened instructional services must be justified.
The Homebound Parent/Student Agreement form must be reviewed and signed by the parent to clarify the District’s, parent’s and student’s responsibilities and expectations.
The homebound teacher who provides homebound instruction must be a certified special education teacher. He/she will establish a regular schedule of services for visiting the home. An adult (someone 18 years old or older) must be present in the home during homebound instructional time. The homebound teacher will provide instruction, assign work and give grades according to the student’s IEP, making necessary accommodations for the health condition of the student.
The homebound teacher will develop lesson plans that will be a part of the services record for the student. A copy of the plans will be provided to the parent so they will be aware of the scope of instruction and assignments that may be given to the student to complete.
As the projected period of confinement draws to a close, the homebound teacher will work with the parent to return the student to a campus placement. Information from the doctor should be obtained by the Homebound Coordinator to address the need for any changes to the campus program, such as a shortened school day, a shortened school week, or additional accommodations, such as rest periods during the day. The doctor should also provide a release for the student to return to campus. An ARD/IEP meeting must be held, after the receipt of the physician’s release, to change the student’s placement.
If the student will require additional time on homebound placement, not originally anticipated by the ARD/IEP committee, the doctor must provide additional documentation that the confinement should continue. A brief ARD must be held to extend the homebound services, making any additions or changes that are needed.