Purpose of Homebound Services
Homebound services are provided as part of the Special Education or General Education (§504) programs of Ennis ISD. This instructional arrangement/setting is designed for students who have a severe medical or serious chronic health condition that 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 committees 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 committees 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 meetings:
- The decision about eligibility for homebound services
- The type(s) and amount of instruction to be provided to the student, including the 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 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.
For more information on homebound services, contact the Special Education Department at 972-872-7040 if your child is receiving special education services or Director of Special Programs at 972-872-7053 if your child is receiving 504 services.