The Office of Homebound Instruction Services
Melanie Stephenson, MSW, LCSW
Coordinator, Homebound Instruction
The Vision of the Office of Homebound Instruction Services is to ensure that every student that qualifies for homebound services remains educationally engaged as a learner and socio-emotionally connected with Loudoun County Public Schools as they prepare to return to their school community.
The Mission of the Office of Homebound Instruction Services is to provide a seamless transition for each student that qualifies for homebound services, while supporting their instructional program by providing high quality teachers, individualized curriculum and resources, and consistent and efficient practices that support student engagement and connectedness.
Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) Homebound Instruction Program is designed to provide continuity of educational services between the classroom and home/hospital for students who must be confined due to a medical need either physical or psychological, that contraindicates school attendance for a limited period of time.
The goal of Homebound services is to keep the student current with classroom instruction and to facilitate the student's return to the current classroom setting as soon as possible.
Whenever possible and appropriate, it is recommended that school-based accommodations/interventions first be explored as an alternative to Homebound Instruction Services, as Homebound is considered to be one of the most restrictive environments in which a student can be educated. For further information regarding the various school-based accommodations/interventions available to students, please click on the MTSS Triangle link on left-hand side of this page.
To be eligible for homebound services, the student must be actively enrolled in a Loudoun County public school. In cases where it is medically projected that a student will miss three consecutive weeks or longer of classroom instruction because of a medical condition or procedure, a request may be submitted for consideration if it is determined that the student cannot otherwise attend with accommodations.
Every effort will be made to ensure academic progress; however, course credit must still be earned according to class requirements. Priority will be given to the core academic subjects of math, science, social science, and English. Specialty classes (i.e. those requiring labs, special facilities or equipment) may not be comparable and elective courses are not guaranteed. For secondary students, World Language, economics and personal finance may be supported during the final two years of education, if required by a student to graduate from LCPS.
The Homebound Instruction Services Referral Progress
In order for your student to be considered for Homebound services, the following process should be followed:
- Contact the Assistant Principal at your student's school and request a meeting to discuss what previous student-specific accommodations have been attempted and if Homebound services may be appropriate.
- If the collaborative decision is made to proceed with a referral for services, please request the following LCPS forms from the Assistance Principal: Physician Certification of Need for Homebound Instruction and Parental Request for Homebound Instruction.
- Submit the "Physician's Certification of Need" to the medical professional who is actively (student must have been seen by this professional within the last two months) treating your student for the condition that is impacting his/her school attendance, for completion. If your student has a mental health emotional condition that is preventing regular school attendance, the Physician's Certification of Need must be completed by a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist or psychiatric nurse practitioner.
- Complete, sign and date the "Parental Request for Homebound Instruction" and return these forms to the Assistant Principal at your student's school.
- The Assistant Principal will submit the completed "Physician's Certification of Need" and the "Parental Request for Homebound Instruction" forms to the Office of Homebound Instruction Services for approval determination.
- The Coordinator of Homebound Instruction Services will determine eligibility for services based on the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Homebound Guidelines. Approval of students for homebound instruction is based upon medical documentation submitted by a license physician, a licensed psychiatrist, a licensed clinical psychologist or a licensed nurse practitioner, and information provided by school staff members. The Coordinator of Homebound Instruction Services may also contact the submitting medical professional to share or clarify information provided for approval determination purposes.
- Once the Coordinator of Homebound Instruction Services has completed the Physician's Certification of Need verification process, an approval determination decision will be sent via e-mail to the Assistant Principal at your student's school. He or she will then notify you of the decision along with the duration for which services have been approved.
- If your student is a student with special needs and has an Individualized Education Program (IEP), the Coordinator of Homebound Instruction Services will notify the special education supervisor and the student's case manager of the approval determination. An IEP meeting must be held following Homebound Instructional services approval, in order for the IEP team to determine if Homebound services are appropriate for your student.
- The assigned Homebound teacher(s) will contact you to schedule a meeting to discuss instructional logistics and weekly meeting times.
Location of Services
The location of Homebound services will be designated by the LCPS Office of Homebound Instructional Services.
Recommended Hours of Instruction-Individualized Per Student Need
Based on a regular five-day school week during the academic school year, elementary students generally receive a minimum of five hours of instruction a week, middle school students receive eight hours a week, and high school students receive two hours per core class for which the student is actively enrolled. Students with special needs: The IEP Team determines the hours required in accordance with the student's educational needs.For further information regarding Homebound Services, please contact the Homebound Contact at your student’s school. We also invite you to read the "Homebound Instruction Services Handbook: A Guide for Parents and Guardians on this page.Transitioning Your Student Back to School Following Homebound Services: Return to LearnAs Homebound instruction services are designed to keep student's current with classroom instruction on a temporary basis, students must attend school to the greatest extend possible, if they are medically able to do so. School and homebound staff members work collaboratively with you, your student, and medical and/or community resources to coordinate the appropriate transition plan for the student following the Homebound instruction period. This plan may include any reasonable accommodations and/or supports that will enhance the student's ability to appropriately access the school-based curriculum.It is highly recommended that prior to your student returning to school, a transition meeting should be held to discuss and formulate a reasonable support plan, specific to your student's needs. If this meeting is unable to be held prior to your student returning to school, it is recommended that it be held as soon as possible following his/her return to school. Please contact the Assistance Principal at your student's school to discuss and schedule this meeting.Meeting attendees may include, but are not limited to, the following individuals:
- Your student (as deemed appropriate)
- You, the parent or guardian
- School Administrator(s)
- School nurse and/or health care specialist
- Medical professional who is actively treating your student (also welcome phone attendance if they cannot participate in person)
- School Social Worker
- School Psychologist
- School Counselor
- Student Assistance Specialist (if deemed appropriate)
- Community-based mental health professional(s)
- If your student is eligible for special education services, the special education supervisor, case manager, and teachers
- Classroom teacher(s)
Students transitioning back to school after an extended absence due to a mental illness or chronic medical condition need support as they reintegrate back into the school learning environment. The Return to Learn guidelines are designed to establish the rationale, roles, and responsibilities, and procedures for planning and implementing accommodations and supports that a student may need to effectively transition back to school following an extended absence. An extended absence is generally defined as missing more than a week of school.
Transitioning a student back to school from an extended absence requires coordination and communication. To effectively accomplish this, transition planning requires a system of care that involves teaming and collaboration among school staff, family members, and community treatment providers (e.g. hospital staff, psychiatrists, physicians, etc.) both prior to and after the extended absence. Ongoing communication is essential to promote a shared understanding and to develop and implement an effective plan that appropriately meets the student's educational needs for successful school reintegration. It is also important that school teams identify a point of contact for the student who can case manage the transition and facilitate ongoing communication.
As a student transitions back to school, he or she may experience various cognitive, social, emotional, and academic challenges. The stresses of re-entry may slow ongoing recovery, whereas positive supports can enhance recovery and reintegration. These challenges should be addressed during the transition planning process.
To learn more about the Return to Learn process, please visit: