Purpose of Homebound Services
Homebound services are provided as part of the Special Education or General Education (§504) programs of DSISD. 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.
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.
Texas Administrative Code §89.63(C)(2)(A)
Upon request for homebound services by the parent/guardian or adult student, the District will request a consent for a release of records to speak with the student’s physician in an effort to collaborate and coordinate services. When consent is received, the District will submit a Student Needs Consideration Form, for the physician to complete.
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 eligibility and placement decisions will take into consideration the documentation from the licensed physician; however, this documentation is not the sole determining factor in the committee’s decision-making process.
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/guardian/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.
The ARD or §504 committee will determine the number of hours per week needed for the student. A student receives 100% attendance when the homebound teacher provides four (4) hours of instruction weekly. Attendance is necessary to meet state requirements for compulsory attendance, to obtain course credit and to advance from grade to grade.
Transitioning back to campus
Some students are able to return to school full time when the physician releases them from medical restrictions. 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.
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 or §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 additional information, inquiries should be made to your child’s campus counselor or administrator.
Implications for Homebound Services
- Homebound Services are the most restrictive learning environment. Students who qualify for homebound instruction would need a physician’s release to participate in any in-person school activities.
- 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 always 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.