According to VDOE the goals of homebound services are to sustain continuity of instruction and to facilitate the student returning to school. Homebound instructional services are not a guarantee that the student will progress in the academic program. Homebound instruction is designed to provide continuity of educational services between the classroom and home or health care facility, for students whose medical needs, both physical and psychiatric, do not allow school attendance for a limited period of time. Homebound instruction may be used to supplement the classroom program for students with health impairments whose conditions may interfere with regular school attendance (e.g., students receiving dialysis or radiation/chemotherapy; or students with other serious health conditions).
Homebound instruction is not intended to supplant school services and is by design temporary. While no specific number of days can be set due to the many complex situations that arise for students, instruction should take place in the school setting to the fullest extent possible. The student’s inability to attend school for medical reasons, both physical and psychiatric, must be certified by a licensed physician or licensed clinical psychologist.
Eligibility for homebound instructional services should be a collaborative decision between the treating health care provider, parent/guardian, and school personnel. Prior to requesting homebound services, the parent/guardian should explore options for school-based instruction with school personnel. If homebound services are needed, approval of services is based upon a completed medical certification of need.
The medical certification of need is the health care provider’s documentation of the student’s illness, treatment plan, and the estimated length of recovery time. The certification must be fully completed, including parental permission to contact the treating physician or licensed clinical psychologist, in order for the student to be considered for homebound services. The school division reviews all requests for completeness of information and appropriateness of the request and will follow up with the treating physician or licensed clinical psychologist to clarify the need for homebound instruction versus school-based instruction with appropriate accommodations, as necessary. Homebound services are for student illness/injury only; services are not appropriate to compensate for absences related to family care or illness.
If it is necessary for homebound instruction to continue beyond 9 weeks, it is necessary for the medical certification of need and the extension form both be completed. The extension requires additional information to be completed to include treatment plan, progress towards treatment goals, and specific plans to transition student back to the school setting. This will be required from the treating health care provider to document the need for extended services.
-Excerpts from the Virginia Department of Education Homebound Instructional Services Guidelines (PDF) – revised February 2012