Workshop helps districts improve their home and hospital programs
March 13, 2023
For students who need to be hospitalized or stay at home due to a medical need, California requires school districts to offer home and hospital instruction that strives to keep students on track academically while they recover.
With this or any other program, the design and implementation can always be improved.
Districts may be using simple forms that don’t collect the essential information needed to ensure a student’s success. Communication with other departments, medical professionals and parents could be enhanced. In addition, administrators in charge of home and hospital programs often oversee a few other programs, making it challenging to find the time to research ways to improve their services.
Steven France, director in Acalanes Union High School District, suspects many school leaders are in the same situation.
When he gave a presentation on the topic during January’s Every Child Counts Symposium, he initially thought only a few attendees would be interested. Instead, he walked into a packed room.
“I thought, wow, this is clearly a need,” he said. “Since my ECC presentation, about six or seven districts have emailed me … [asking for] help.”
In a new virtual workshop on ACSA’s Online Learning Center, France is sharing what he’s learned from 11 years as a home and hospital program director to help other districts provide compliant, well-thought-out home and hospital programs that support the needs of students.
California Education Code requires districts to offer home and hospital instruction for students with a temporary disabling condition that makes attending school impossible or inadvisable. A medical professional must make the initial request for home and hospital instruction.
Referrals can be for anything from broken bones to intensive medical treatments, like cancer. When he first started overseeing his district’s program, France said concussions were the most common medical issue. Today, behavioral health issues including anxiety, depression and OCD are common reasons students receive home and hospital instruction.
France said some districts treat home and hospital as a different school placement. The home and hospital teacher becomes the teacher of record, creates a curriculum and grades work. Other districts keep students at their comprehensive site and the home and hospital teacher becomes more of a liaison between their current teachers and home.
There are often nuances to home and hospital instruction that can be difficult to navigate. What if a student is in a residential treatment facility that is outside their home district boundaries? Or what if the student has an existing IEP before their home and hospital placement? France has found solutions to these and other issues that will be discussed during the workshop.
Attendees will receive France’s home and hospital manual with step-by-step instructions on program implementation, including responsibilities and roles. France said they’ll also get “every single form I have developed, re-created or borrowed from other districts.”
France said being a home and hospital director can sometimes feel like being on “isolation island” — he’s found sharing with other colleagues has been beneficial for improving services to students.
When France reflects on the importance of this program, he sees home and hospital teachers as vital connections to school during a difficult period in students’ lives.
“Our at-promise youth — these are them. They’re right here,” he said. “They’re the ones that need us the most.”
Home and Hospital Instruction: Nuts and Bolts for Effective Implementation
What: Online workshop on how to implement a compliant, well-thought-out home and hospital programs that support the needs of students. When: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. April 13 Where: Virtual (Online Learning Center) Cost: $69 Register:
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