What is Homebound Instruction?
Homebound Instruction is a service the District may provide during a temporary period of excused absence not to exceed three months (90-days). Excusal from school attendance during this period may be granted, “…upon receipt of satisfactory evidence of mental, physical or other urgent reasons, but the term ‘urgent reasons’ shall be strictly construed and does not permit irregular attendance.” (22 PA. CODE CH. 11 Sec. 25) (WCSD Policy: 9325 Homebound Instruction).
Homebound Instruction is not a replacement or substitute for school attendance. Homebound Instruction is also not to be confused with “Home Schooling”. Section 1327.1 of the Pennsylvania School Code provides for a home education program designed to permit a parent, guardian or legal custodian ("supervisor") who has a high school diploma or its equivalent to conduct a home education program for his or her child or children.
The general education guideline for homebound education is not to exceed a total of ninety (90) calendar days. Certain circumstances could require additional instructional time. All requests for homebound instruction beyond ninety (90) calendar days will be based on student need according to medical and school district determination.
A school district may provide homebound instruction for a total of three months without consulting or notifying the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). The reasons for allowing a student to receive homebound instruction in lieu of being physically present at school are defined by regulation as mental, physical, or other urgent reasons. However, the term "urgent reasons" shall be strictly construed and not permit irregular attendance. See 22 Pa Code § 11.25(a).
The purpose of Homebound Instruction is to provide students with some level of instructional services during a temporary period of absence so that on return to school they can re-engage successfully with their instructional program.
Homebound instruction is provided for temporary and urgent reasons; it is not a long-term solution. Students on homebound instruction generally are confined to home or a care unit. A doctor does not "order" homebound instruction but rather provides the diagnosis to enable the school district to make an informed decision on how to best provide for the student's education.
The goal of homebound services is to keep the student current with classroom instruction and facilitate the student’s return to the current classroom setting. Homebound instruction is not intended to replace school services and is, by design, temporary. It is not a remediation program and is not designed to provide students with time to make up previously missed assignments. The goal of homebound instruction is to keep the student as current as possible with classroom instruction. It is expected that the family and school will minimize academic work missed due to absences prior to the initiation of homebound services.
Homebound Instruction is not a special education placement. However, students with Individual Education Plans (IEP) may receive Homebound Instruction during a temporary excused absence from school attendance after which they will return to school. Homebound Instruction is not to be confused with “Instruction Conducted in the Home”, which is included in the definition of special education located in the federal regulations (34 CFR §300.39(a)(i)) and is recognized as a placement option on the continuum of alternative placements for students with disabilities (34 CFR §300.115). This option is restricted to students who, because of a severe medical condition or mobility impairment, are unable to leave home to attend school.
Please reference the Homebound Instruction Resource Guide for an overview of eligibility criteria and procedures.