Board Policy Descriptor Code: IDDC
HOSPITAL/HOMEBOUND INSTRUCTION PROGRAMS
OVERVIEW OF SERVICES
Hospital/Homebound (HHB) services are designed to provide continuity of educational services between the classroom and home or hospital for students in Douglas County public schools whose medical needs, either physical or psychiatric, restrict them to a hospital or their home for a period of time that will significantly interfere with their education.
The teaching of standards as defined by the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS), the Georgia Quality Core Curriculum (QCC), Section 504 Plan, IEP, and any local curriculum for the classes in which the HHB student is enrolled and under the direction of the classroom teachers.
Eligibility for HHB service is based on the following criteria:
1. The student must be enrolled in the Douglas County public school system. Private or home school students are NOT eligible for HHB services from a Georgia public school.
2. The student must have a medical and/or psychiatric condition that is documented by a licensed physician or psychiatrist who is currently treating the student for the diagnosis presented. Only a psychiatrist can submit a medical request form for an emotional or psychiatric disorder.
3. The student must be anticipated to be absent for a minimum of ten consecutive school days per year or the equivalent on a modified calendar or the student has a chronic health condition causing him or her to be absent for intermittent periods of time anticipated at a minimum of ten school days per year or equivalent on a modified calendar or five school days on a high school block schedule per year.
4. Students approved for intermittent HHB services must be absent for three consecutive school days on each occurrence before HHB services will be provided.
1. The parent/guardian, emancipated minor, or student 18 years of age or older should contact the school counselor to discuss Hospital/Homebound services and obtain an application.
2. The school counselor will discuss eligibility, steps in the application process, and distribute the required paperwork.
3. The parent or guardian must sign the parental agreement concerning HHB policies and procedures. A release for medical information relating to the reason for the request for HHB services shall be required by the Douglas County Board of Education.
4. If the student is an emancipated minor or is 18 years of age or older, that student is eligible to sign the Hospital/Homebound (HHB) Referral Form and the Compliant Authorization for Exchange of Health and Education Information (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – HIPAA).
5. The Board of Education may require the parent, guardian, emancipated minor or student 18 years of age or older to sign the HIPAA form relating to the reason for the request for HHB services. If the request for the signed HIPAA form is made, it must be submitted before services are provided.
6. The completed application must be returned to the school counselor. An incomplete application may cause a delay in the initiation of services. Only the original paperwork will be accepted as application for hospital/homebound services.
7. Within five school days of receiving the completed application, the appropriate school contact shall notify the designated Hospital/Homebound teacher, parent, guardian, emancipated minor or student 18 years of age or older of the time and place of the school team or IEP meeting to discuss HHB services. A telephone conference call or other electronic communication may be considered a meeting. At this meeting, an Educational Service Plan (ESP) will be developed for the student who will be served. This plan must address the disabling condition, anticipated length of absences, accommodations and modifications to be addressed.
8. Instructional services schedule will be set up by the Hospital/Homebound teacher.
1. The student shall be counted present for the entire week when he or she is provided instruction on an individual basis or as part of a group by the HHB teacher for a minimum of three hours per week.
2. If the student is unable to receive HHB instruction during the school week due to his or her medical condition, the school may, at the school’s discretion, schedule a make-up session. Once the session is completed, the student is counted in accordance with the Georgia State Board of Education Rule 160-5-1 Student Attendance.
3. The health care facility providing approved HHB services to a student confined in the facility must submit verification of the number of instructional hours the student received to appropriate HHB contact at the LEA for the student to be counted present during this time.
1. The time of the instructional session shall be arranged by the HHB teacher in cooperation with the parent, guardian, emancipated minor, or student 18 years of age or older. The time of the instructional session will typically occur during the school day.
2. To comply with the Georgia State Board of Education Rule 160-4-2-.31 Hospital/Homebound (HHB) Services and meet attendance requirements, a minimum of three hours of instruction per week must be provided.
1. An individual employed as a HHB teacher must hold Georgia teacher's certification. The HHB teacher must be employed and supervised by a designated official of the LEA. The HHB teacher should have a broad background of professional training and experience so that he or she will be able to adapt instruction to each student's needs. The HHB teacher must also be able to adjust to a variety of home or hospital situations and be knowledgeable of cultural diversity existing within his or her community.
2. HHB instruction can be offered on a one-on-one basis, in a small group, at the home of the student, at the health care facility where the student is confined, or through online learning courses, such as the Georgia Virtual School or other approved online courses or other locations as identified by the ESP. The type of instruction offered is based on the agreement as set forth in the ESP which shall take into consideration the cognitive ability and medical condition of the student.
3. Instructional materials will be issued to the student or HHB teacher by the classroom teachers prior to the first scheduled HHB visit.
4. For students participating in online learning courses such as the Georgia Virtual School or other approved courses, the HHB teacher may facilitate the learning process, monitor assignments and provide tutoring assistance as defined in the ESP. Participation in an online course will meet the requirement of the minimum of three hours of HHB instruction per school week for the HHB student to be considered present by the school.
5. All state mandated tests will be administered unless the student is approved to take an alternate assessment as stipulated in the ESP.
TERMINATION/EXTENSION OF SERVICES
1. Students will be released from HHB services when the projected return date on the Application for Hospital/Homebound Services Medical Referral Form is reached or if the licensed physician or licensed psychiatrist indicates that the student is released to return to school.
2. When the student is employed in any capacity, goes on vacation during regularly scheduled school days, participates in extracurricular activities, or is no longer confined to home, services may be discontinued.
3. When the student returns to school for any portion of the school day other than to participate in state-mandated standardized testing, services may be discontinued.
4. If three HHB sessions are cancelled without citing extenuating circumstances, services may be discontinued.
5. When the conditions of the location where HHB services are provided are not conducive for instruction, or threaten the health and welfare of the HHB teacher, services may be discontinued.
6. Hospital Homebound services may be extended beyond the originally identified return to school date if the licensed physician or psychiatrist submits a request for extended services.
7. Reevaluation and medical updates may be required every four weeks.