A homebound or hospitalized student is a student who has a medically diagnosed physical or psychiatric condition that is acute or catastrophic in nature, or a chronic illness or a repeated intermittent illness due to a persisting medical problem, which confines the student to home or hospital and restricts activities for an extended period of time. The corresponding definition is found in State Board of Education Rule 6A-6.03020, Florida Administrative Code (FAC).
What is Hospital/Homebound?
Generally, Hospital/Homebound is a short-term service to continue academic instruction at home or in the hospital for a student who is physically or emotionally too ill to attend school. A student working or participating in community or extra-curricular activities will not be considered as needing Hospital/Homebound Services.
Who is eligible?
Any public school student whose physician or psychiatrist certifies that the student:
- is not able to attend regular school
- is able to participate in and benefit from Hospital/Homebound instruction
- does not have a communicable disease, and
- is expected to be out of school three (3) weeks or longer, or has a chronic illness requiring extended absences throughout the school year.
Note: There is no waiting period for Hospital/Homebound. Students should apply before scheduled surgery or as soon as it is anticipated they might miss three (3) weeks or more of school. If in doubt, apply, and we will discuss eligibility with the doctor. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL SEVERAL WEEKS HAVE ELAPSED.
What are the steps to process the application?
The initial application form is available on the Seminole County Public Schoolwebsite and from the Hospital/Homebound office. Parent/Guardian(s) complete the initial form of the Hospital/Homebound application and submit the information to the guidance office located at the child’s school. The school guidance office will complete the school portion of the application.
The form is then given to the school nurse. The nurse contacts the doctor and the doctor completes the physician’s certification page of the application. The application is processed upon receipt and the parent is informed of the eligibility status of his/her child.
What happens after the application is approved?
After a student is determined to be eligible for Hospital/Homebound Services, a meeting is scheduled to develop an Individual Education Plan and sign placement papers.
What are the instructional models utilized by the service?
Direct instruction is provided to Pre-K through grade five students. Teleclass instruction, utilizing teleconferencing bridges, is provided for most standard subjects in grades six through twelve. Necessary equipment is provided. Web based computer classes are offered as well. The instructional model for students enrolled in Exceptional Student Education is determined on an individually prescribed basis.
What if the student is in a hospital out of his/her county of residence?
Any student from another county, hospitalized in Seminole County, will be served by Seminole County Public Schools after an application has been processed. Likewise, a Seminole County student hospitalized in another county will be served by that county's Hospital/Homebound Service untilhe/she is discharged. The student will then transfer his/her application to our office and service will be continued by the Seminole County Public Schools Hospital/Homebound Services as needed.
What about absences from school until Hospital/Homebound instruction begins?
Until Hospital/Homebound instruction begins, parents are advised to call the school's attendance office daily, unless otherwise instructed. Students should get assignments from their school and keep up with their work to the degreehealth permits, until enrollment in Hospital/Homebound is initiated.
Hospital/Homebound is not responsible for work assigned prior to enrollment in the Hospital/Homebound program.
What about grades?
Upon completion of Hospital/Homebound, a grade report is sent to the parents and to the school. The Hospital/Homebound grade may then be used alone or in combination with other grades at school, as determined by theschool.
Is there any cost to parents?
No. Hospital/Homebound services are provided while there is a continuingmedical need. Once the medical need is over, a student must return to school even if he/she is not "caught up" in his/her schoolwork.
Are Hospital/Homebound services available for students who are emotionally ill?
Yes. Students with emotional illnesses who are determined to be eligible for Hospital/Homebound services must have a psychiatric evaluation and on-going psychological counseling. The psychiatric evaluation must include a history, examination findings, diagnosis, and a prognosis. District procedures require therapy to continue for eligibility in Hospital/Homebound.
Can students keep up with their academic work while receiving Hospital/Homebound service?
Yes, with several important "ifs": if the student has been referred to Hospital/Homebound without a delay, and if the student is willing and able to do the assigned work. However, the Hospital/Homebound Service is not a full-time program and is not designed as an alternative to regular school attendance.
Are pregnant students eligible?
Normally progressing pregnancies without medical complications are not eligible for Hospital/Homebound. If there are medical complications to thepregnancy, they must be validated by the attending physician.
- Are other options available?