Homebound Services

Students who cannot attend school because of an accident or illness may be eligible for homebound instruction. A licensed physician must certify that the student is unable to attend school and may benefit from instruction given in the home.

South Carolina Law

Regulation 43-241 says that students who cannot attend public school because of illness, accident, or pregnancy, even with the aid of transportation, are eligible for medical homebound or hospitalized instruction. A physician must certify that the student is unable to attend school but may profit from instruction given in the home or hospital. Any student participating in a program of homebound medical instruction or hospitalized instruction must be approved by the district superintendent or his or her designee on standardized forms provided by the South Carolina Department of Education. All approved forms must be maintained by the district for documentation.

The intent of medical homebound instruction is to keep the student connected to regular curriculum until they return to the classroom. The goal is transition back into the school environment as soon as possible. Any student participating in homebound instruction must be approved.

 

How does a parent arrange for his or her child to receive medical homebound instruction?

A parent should start by contacting the Director of Special Education, Jonathan Hayes. The school will consider the severity of the student’s illness or injury, the length of time that the student will be out of school, the impact that a long period away from school will have on the student’s academic success, and whether the student’s health needs can be met at school. The State Board of Education Regulation 43-241 requires a licensed physician certify that the student cannot attend school as a result of an accident, illness, or pregnancy, despite the aid of transportation, and that he or she may benefit from instruction given in the home.

In addition, the physician must complete the state’s medical homebound instruction form. The superintendent, or his or her designee, may or may not then approve the student’s participation in a program for medical homebound instruction.

When can medical homebound instruction begin?

State Board of Education Regulation 43-241 stipulates that a student is eligible for medical homebound instruction on the day following the last day of his or her school attendance or on the first day of the regular nine-month academic year in which the student would otherwise be enrolled if he or she were able to begin the school year. The student remains eligible until the day before he or she returns to school or until the last day of the regular academic year, whichever occurs first.

Who teaches the student receiving medical homebound instruction?

Medical homebound instruction is provided either by a teacher who is regularly employed in the school, district or by a teacher whom the school or district contracts to perform the service. State Board of Education Regulation 43-241 specifies that any teacher providing medical homebound instruction to students residing in South Carolina must hold a valid South Carolina teacher’s certificate. In most instances, the teacher providing medical homebound instruction will not be the student’s current classroom teacher.

What are the student’s responsibilities in the medical homebound instruction process?

The student must realize that medical homebound instruction is an extension of regular school and all classroom rules and regulations, as well as school policies, apply.

In addition, the student should:

  •  be available for all scheduled instruction
  • be dressed appropriately
  • have all books and materials needed for instruction
  • complete all homework assignments
  • remain courteous, comply with teacher requests, and use appropriate language
  • dedicate instruction time to instruction only (no phones, visiting, radio, television, etc.)

Failure to fulfill these responsibilities could result in the early termination of a student’s homebound period and/or loss of credit.

What are the parents’ responsibilities in the medical homebound instruction process?

The parents should:

  • realize that before instruction can begin, all necessary paperwork must be completed
  • ensure that the child is prepared for the arrival of the medical homebound teacher
  • understand that during the course of medical homebound instruction, adult supervision in the home may be required in order to ensure a healthy and safe environment for both the student and the teacher
  • make certain that the student is available for all scheduled instruction
  • contact the homebound teacher to cancel the scheduled period of instruction in cases of emergency
  • inform the homebound teacher of the child’s future medical appointments as early as possible if such appointments will interfere with instruction time
  • understand that if the student is absent for his or her scheduled period of instruction, he or she is considered absent from school on that day
  • understand that the state’s compulsory attendance laws fully apply to medically homebound students
  • communicate with the school’s medical homebound instruction coordinator about changes in the child’s health and return-to-school plans
  • understand that although medical homebound instruction usually takes place at home, an alternative site may be designated if circumstances warrant
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