Purpose of Homebound Services
Homebound services are provided as part of the Special Education or General Education (§504) programs of EISD. This instructional arrangement/setting is designed for students who have a severe medical or serious chronic health condition which prohibits participation in the educational program on a school campus.
For most students, the focus of homebound instruction is on maintaining the student’s progress in classes during a specific period of illness or recovery from injury.
Homebound services are not intended as a long term substitute for school attendance nor as an alternative route to graduation. An important part of the plan for providing homebound educational services should be a transition plan to return the student back to the campus as soon as medically possible.
Homebound services are not effective in addressing the needs of students who are experiencing school phobia, school avoidance or have a moderate condition such as chronic fatigue syndrome. Effective interventions should address the underlying issues affecting the student’s ability to participate in the general curriculum at school.
Homebound services are not a long term substitute for attending classes. Students who plan to attend college need the classroom experience and rigor to be fully prepared. While homebound services will preserve attendance and credit, the preparation for university level coursework is best addressed at the school campus.
Provision of services
For students who were served in Special Education prior to needing homebound services, the Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committee determines homebound eligibility, what courses will be continued, and what special education services will continue in the home setting. All decisions are documented in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
For students who were served through §504 prior to needing homebound, the §504 committee will determine homebound eligibility and determine what courses will be continued in the home setting. All decisions are documented in the §504 paperwork.
For general education students who were not previously receiving §504 services but may qualify for homebound services, consent must be obtained from the parent/adult student to conduct an evaluation to determine eligibility for homebound services. If the student is found eligible for homebound services, a §504 meeting is held and the committee determines what courses will be continued in the home setting. All decisions are documented in the §504 paperwork and consent for placement in §504 must be received.
A general education teacher must provide homebound services to students in general education, and a special education teacher must provide homebound services to students in special education.
Teachers or therapists will provide the services in the home to maintain the student’s progress in the state required curriculum. Some subjects and electives may not be provided in the home setting if they require labs, specialized equipment, performances or group participation.
The ARD or §504 committee will determine the number of hours per week needed for the student. The homebound teacher must provide at least four (4) hours of instruction weekly to maintain 100% attendance for students. Attendance is necessary to meet state requirements for compulsory attendance, to obtain course credit and to advance from grade to grade.
Criteria for Homebound Services
Any student who is served through the homebound program must meet the following three criteria:
- The student is expected to be confined at home or hospital for a minimum of 4 weeks. The weeks need not be consecutive.
- The student is confined at home or hospital for medical reasons only.
- The student’s medical condition is documented by a physician licensed to practice in the United States.
The following documentation must be included in an ARD or §504 meeting:
- Decision about eligibility for homebound services
- The type(s) and amount of instruction to be provided to the student, including designated amount of time per week instruction will be provided
- Documentation from a licensed physician stating that the student has a medical condition that requires the student to be confined at home or hospital for a minimum of 4 weeks
The District will most likely request a consent for a release of records to speak with the student’s physician in an effort to collaborate and coordinate services. Parents are highly encouraged to allow the school district to speak with outside service providers.
Chronic illness/Intermittent homebound
Homebound services may also be provided to chronically ill students who are expected to be confined for any period of time totaling at least four weeks throughout the school year, as documented by a physician licensed to practice in the United States.
The ARD or §504 committee can develop a plan for intermittent homebound services. This type of plan will be triggered when a student misses a certain number of days due to a chronic illness. The student will begin to receive homebound services upon the trigger date, and services will cease once the student has received the agreed upon services and returns to school. For example, a student whose absences vary on the medical condition may have a plan that triggers 1 day of homebound for every 3 consecutive absences related to the medical condition.
Location of services
Homebound services are typically delivered in the home or hospital setting because the student is confined to the home or hospital. On rare occasions due to the nature of the disability, the ARD committee or §504 Committee can agree to provide services at a mutually agreeable location that is decided upon by the teacher and student/family.
Time of services
For the most part, Eanes ISD utilizes current teaching staff to provide homebound services. To the extent possible, we try to obtain teachers with expertise in a particular grade or subject. For this reason, the majority of homebound services are provided after school hours. Requests for services delivered at other times are evaluated on a case by case basis and require medical documentation of reasoning for another time.
Make-up sessions are provided to homebound students when the homebound teacher is absent. Sessions missed due to student inability to receive homebound instruction will not be rescheduled.
Attendance will be awarded following the guidelines of the current year’s Student Attendance Accounting Handbook. Attendance is documented by the homebound teacher and sent given to the campus attendance office.
A parent or guardian over the age of 21 must be present in the home at all times during instruction. School personnel are not allowed to be in the home alone with a student of any age for any amount of time. School staff are instructed to leave the premises if a responsible adult is not present. School staff are also instructed to leave the premises if they feel they are in danger due to a student or family member’s behavior. School staff are not to use the school district’s approved method of containment, Satori Alternatives for Managing Aggression (SAMA) in the home setting. The staff member should leave the home rather than engage in a containment.
The homebound teacher will work with the family to find the most convenient time available to provide the services. Once a schedule is made, parents are responsible to see that the student is rested and available for instruction at the scheduled time. The student will need to study and work on assignments between visits from the teacher. Parents will need to supervise the completion of assignments between visits and help students to be prepared. It is very difficult for ill students to keep up with the class work if parents do not provide structure and support to complete assignments on time. Should the student be too ill to participate in instruction or unavailable due to a change in the family schedule, the parent is requested to contact the school to notify the Homebound teacher that the appointment is canceled. The majority of homebound instruction is provided by Eanes ISD teaching staff and occurs after typical work hours.
The student is expected to complete the majority of assignments and tests/quizzes that are expected of all students in the course/class at school to obtain credit. If adjustments are made to this expectation, the §504 or ARD committee must specify what
accommodations will be made.
If modifications of TEKS is warranted due to the disability, a student receiving §504 services should be considered for a special education evaluation. Some modifications could result in a change in the credit received in the course or place a student on a
different graduation plan.
High School credit for advanced courses is dependent on the §504 or ARD committee decision about the amount of coursework to be completed to receive Pre-AP or AP credit. As a general guideline, students are expected to complete all of the assignments and
evaluations of the class to receive Pre-AP or AP credits. All coursework must be completed within the guidelines of the district for incomplete work. The general education teacher determines the grade based on these decisions and reports the grade on the student’s home campus
Transitioning back to campus
Some students are able to return to school full time when the physician releases them from medical restrictions. The homebound teacher will notify the classroom teachers when the return date is clear and facilitate the transition.
The ARD or §504 committee may write a transition plan for students who have been out of school for an extended period of time or who need a partial day at school as an interim step to return to school. The student will earn eligible days present (for those days the student is absent and served at home) based on the number of hours the student is served at home by a certified teacher each week. The length of the transition period must also be determined by the ARD or §504 committee based on current medical information.
Documentation of Services
Eanes ISD has a homebound log that must be completed by each teacher on a weekly basis. The log includes the student and teacher names, day and time of services, activities accomplished, notes, and any reasons for missed sessions.
The form it to be turned in weekly to Central Administration for supplemental pay and to the campus attendance clerk.
Discontinuation of homebound services
A student may continue to receive homebound services as long as there is a need as determined by the ARD or §504 committee with current recommendations from the physician. In collaboration with the parent and physician, the ARD of §504 committee
can dismiss a student from homebound services. The ARD or §504 committee may not extend homebound services beyond the confinement period specified by the physician.
Who do I contact if I have questions?
For students in general education, inquiries should be made to the campus §504 coordinator. For students served through special education, inquiries should be made to the campus special education coordinator, LSSP, or case manager.
Further questions can be addressed to Matt Zemo, Director of Special Education, email@example.com or (512)732-9021.