Educating the Student in the Home

Submitted by Tim Schwarz on Thu, 08/02/2018 - 09:00 AM

Many families seek home-based education services from the school district. Seeking services at home from the school district is likely to be a slog, and the benefit for that effort is questionable.

Hospital/Homebound (HHB)

HHB is a state program, independent of federal law. It requires a doctor's note. It is really aimed at typical students who have a long term but temporary condition, like a broken leg. Sometimes school districts get squirrely about a requirement that the student 'be confined in the home' by the relevant medical conditions.

The regulations require the student receive 3 hours of services per week. Somehow, every district seems to think that is a maximum number as well. I don't recall any time a district provided non-academic services (eg behavior, speech).

HHB is often plagued with bureaucratic issues that let students slip through the cracks - mostly variations of the teacher doesn't come. Teachers are supposed to be interfacing with the placed school for curriculum, but it essentially never happens.

A sub-type is intermittent HHB, for students who occasionally miss school but don't have a long term reason to be out of school. This program has all the shortfalls of HHB, but also usually requires missing three straight days before home education begins.

Home-based services

Conceptually, the IEP team can create any customized placement that it thinks is appropriate - could be one school MWF, another TuTh. Thus, the IEP could decide to place your child in your home, and order however many hours of whatever type of services. Most school staff treat this as interchangeable with HHB, with all the issues that entails. This is not correct - but might require getting the left hand and the right hand talking before it is seriously considered. Even then, the district often doesn't want to because it seems to them like setting up a satellite school in your home.

Assuming the team is considering home-based services, the regular analysis applies - the plan is aimed to provide an appropriate education, and if the evidence doesn't show home based is appropriate, the team shouldn't choose it. In part because the district tends to not want to do this, they often place heavy emphasis on Least Restrictive Environment - since classes at school are inherently less restrictive, this is a powerful argument that the district is not required to provide home education.


It is possible to leave a school district and enroll in a virtual school district. They are essentially only open for new enrollments in the summer, and I have other thoughts on school districts pushing students into a different, virtual school district. Once enrolled, the virtual school is obligated to provide IEP services, and most have some sort of train-the-parents model.


Free Education Rights Seminar
August 20, 2018 - 10 AM  

Art It Out Therapy Center (255 Village Parkway, Suite 580, Marietta GA 30067)
has invited me to present an overview of student education rights August 20, 2018, at 10 am.

Check the flyer below for additional information. Feel free to pass along to any interested folks.

Education Rights 101 - August 20, 2018


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