Guidelines for Homebound and Home Based Instruction

Discipline Form-green form.pdfRevised December, 2015

Office of Special Education
450 Radio Lane
Culpeper
, VA 22701
(540) 825-3677 ext. 3135

What is Homebound and Home Based Instruction?

Homebound instruction is designed to provide continuity of educational services between the classroom and home or health care facility, for students whose medical needs, both physical and psychiatric, do not allow school attendance for a limited period of time. Homebound instruction may be used to supplement the classroom program for students with health impairments whose conditions may interfere with regular school attendance (e.g., students receiving dialysis or radiation/chemotherapy; or students with other serious health conditions). Students must be enrolled in a public school in Virginia in order to receive homebound instruction. 

Homebound instruction is designed to be a temporary service for students whose medical needs, both physical and psychiatric, do not allow school attendance for a limited period of time. It is not intended to supplant school services. The goals of homebound services are to sustain continuity of instruction and to facilitate the student returning to school. Homebound instructional services are not a guarantee that the student will progress in the academic program.

For students who are eligible for special education, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team must amend the IEP to meet the special education student’s temporary instructional needs based on the approved certification of need for homebound instruction. Parental consent must be obtained to amend the IEP, prior to initiation of homebound services.

Home based instruction is also provided per the IEP when students with disabilities are long-term suspended or expelled due to discipline infractions. It is also a special education placement option for students whose disability-related needs cannot be met through a less restrictive placement option.

Who determines when homebound or home based instruction is necessary?

Prior to requesting homebound services, the parent/guardian should explore options for school-based instruction with school personnel. Eligibility for homebound instruction is determined on the basis of medical evidence submitted by a licensed physician or licensed clinical psychologist. Parents may obtain a “Certification of Need for Homebound Instruction” form from the Office of Special Education or from each school office. The certificate must be fully completed, including parental permission to contact the treating physician or licensed clinical psychologist, in order for the student to be considered for homebound services. Completed forms are submitted to the Office of Special Education and the homebound coordinator for the school division reviews all requests for completeness of information and appropriateness of the request. Additional information may be needed from the parent, physician or psychologist, and/or school personnel. Approval is determined on the basis of the student’s documented need for service.

When a student with an IEP is approved for homebound services, the IEP team must convene to amend the IEP to reflect homebound instruction prior to the homebound services being implemented.

If the request for home based instruction is for a student with a disability and the reason is disability-related, the IEP team must reconvene to consider the request for homebound services. The IEP team must determine that home based instruction is required for a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). Home based instruction is a restrictive placement and should only be considered when a student’s needs are such that they cannot be met in another less restrictive setting. 

There are legal requirements for students with disabilities who are long-term suspended or expelled. Home based instruction is an option considered by the IEP team when students with disabilities are long-term suspended or expelled. 

Homebound and home based instruction in a student’s IEP is a mandated service. It is extremely important that services be implemented exactly as listed in the IEP.

How is the amount of services determined?

Homebound and home based instruction is designed so the student does not fall behind during the period of confinement. Homework should be expected. Every effort will be made to ensure academic progress; however, course credit must still be earned according to class requirements. Elective courses are not guaranteed. The Virginia Department of Education Homebound Instructional Services Guidelines suggests five hours per week for elementary school students, eight hours per week for middle school students, and two hours per core academic subject per week for high school students. In cases where the student has an IEP, the IEP team should consider the student’s individual needs related to his/her disability. 

Review and Termination of Service

Students receiving homebound and home based instruction should return to the school setting as soon as possible. Homebound and home based services are always considered temporary and are based on the premise that instruction should take place in the school setting to the fullest extent possible. In the case of homebound instruction, an extension of services beyond nine calendar weeks is determined by additional medical or psychological information from the attending physician or licensed clinical psychologist. Parents must submit a new “Certification of Need for Homebound Instruction” form. 

The homebound or home based teacher will assist the student, family, and school with the student’s transition back to school. However, other support staff, such as the school nurse, guidance counselor, or school psychologist, may also be involved in the transition process, depending on the nature of the student’s needs. 

If a student has an IEP, the IEP team must amend the IEP upon termination of homebound or home based services in order to return the student to the school setting. 

Who provides homebound and home based instruction?

Homebound and home based instruction is provided by teachers employed by Culpeper County Schools or who are contracted on an hourly basis by Culpeper County Schools. Since most homebound and home based teachers work at schools during the school day, homebound and home based services are often provided in the evening and/or on weekends. If possible, homebound and home based instruction is scheduled during school hours, but this is not guaranteed.

When are services provided?

Services are to be provided during the school year. The Virginia Department of Education requires that homebound instruction be initiated no later than five instructional days upon approval of the homebound instruction.

The homebound or home based teacher contacts the parent immediately to establish a regular weekly schedule for services. It is required that an established schedule be developed and followed throughout the duration of the homebound or home based service. It is not practical to schedule “as you go”.

Homebound and home based service providers and parents are encouraged to schedule sessions between the hours of 8:00 am and 8:00 pm. Homebound instruction may be provided on weekends, if mutually convenient for both the teacher and parent.

What are the Responsibilities of the Classroom Teacher(s)?

A student receiving homebound or home based instruction is maintained on the class roll. The classroom teacher(s) will:

  1. Provide the homebound or home based teacher with appropriate instructional materials and information.
  2. Be responsible for grading procedures in collaboration with the homebound or home based teacher.
  3. Maintain close contact with the homebound or home based teacher to monitor the instructional progress of the student.
  4. Collaborate with the homebound or home based teacher about the curriculum and appropriate instructional strategies.

What are the Responsibilities of the Student and Parent/Guardian?

The student and parent/guardian are expected to work cooperatively with the assigned homebound or home based teacher and school personnel to:

  1. Notify the school division that homebound services may be needed, discussing the process for initiating services, and signing a release of information form so the school can share information with the physician about homebound services prior to the official request being made.
  2. Obtain the “Certification of Need for Homebound Instruction” form from the physician or licensed clinical psychologist requesting homebound services and completing parental signature forms in order to begin homebound instruction. 
  3. Have a responsible adult in the home during the entire period of instruction.
  4. Provide adequate facilities for teaching (quiet room without interruptions, with a table, chairs, and appropriate supplies) or provide transportation to another agreed upon facility.
  5. Have the student ready for instruction at the time designated by the homebound or home based teacher.
  6. Supervise daily homework.
  7. Notify the teacher, prior to the scheduled visit, if there is a contagious illness in the home or if there is an emergency.
  8. Keep all appointments with the homebound or home based teacher (excessively missed appointments may result in suspension of services).
  9. Make every effort to complete school assignments.
  10. Advise the homebound or home based teacher of any changes in the student’s status that would necessitate modification or termination of homebound services.
  11. Notify the school division coordinator of excessively missed appointments or tardiness by the homebound or home based teacher.
  12. Follow the health care provider treatment plan by keeping appointments, therapy sessions, and so forth.

What are the Responsibilities of the Homebound or Home Based Teacher?

An individual employed as a homebound or home based teacher must hold a Virginia teacher’s license. A homebound or home based teacher should have a broad background of professional training and experience to adapt instruction to each student’s needs. Every effort is made to secure teachers licensed in secondary content areas. For this reason, it may be necessary for secondary students to have multiple homebound or home based teachers. Teachers engaging in academic instruction in the home should also be able to adjust to a variety of home situations and be knowledgeable of cultural uniqueness. 

In addition to the above, persons serving as homebound or home based teachers must:

  1. Maintain close contact with the student’s teacher(s) to receive and implement appropriate educational programs.
  2. Use assignments and materials provided by the teachers.
  3. Maintain an accurate record of the hours of instruction provided for each assigned student and turn in to the Office of Special Education.
  4. Fill out progress report for each homebound session and turn in to Office of Special Education with time sheet.
  5. Submit the student’s completed work to the designated school representative (usually the student’s teacher) prior to the end of the grading period and maintain written documentation of work completed.
  6. Collaborate with classroom teacher(s) to grade completed assignments.
  7. Document any instruction time that is interrupted because of the child not being available for the instruction period. 

Grading should be done collaboratively by the homebound/home based teacher and classroom teacher(s) unless otherwise informed by the Office of Special Education. The grades obtained while receiving homebound or home based instruction should be averaged with the other grades earned by the student while in regular school attendance. 

What if the homebound or home based teacher cancels a scheduled session?

If the teacher cancels a scheduled session for any reason, including illness, attendance at a meeting or conference, etc., the session must be made up at a time mutually agreed upon by the provider and parent.

What if the parent cancels a session?

Generally speaking, if the parent cancels a regularly scheduled session, the session is not made up. However, individual teachers may make reasonable attempts to make up sessions if the parent cancels due to illness. Make-up sessions are not guaranteed. If the student has a chronic illness that causes frequent cancellations, Culpeper County Public Schools will make every effort to accommodate the missed sessions. Cases will be addressed on an individual basis.

What about school holidays and other days schools are closed?

Homebound and home based instruction is provided only on days that students are in attendance at Culpeper County Public Schools (with the exception of weekends when there is mutual agreement between parent and homebound teacher). Services are not delivered on school holidays, snow days, or any other day when school is closed, unless the parent and homebound/home based teacher mutually agree to use a holiday or inclement weather day to fulfill hours owed. Sessions that would normally occur on these days are not made up. Teacher work days and in-service days can only be used for sessions if teachers are not involved in meetings and/or professional development activities and their principals approve. (Teachers can not include these hours on their time sheets since services are occurring during their contract day.)

Where are services provided?

Homebound and home based instruction is best facilitated in the home setting. In certain cases, it may be necessary to provide homebound services in an alternate location. Unless informed by the Office of Special Education, homebound and home based teachers should assume that the homebound or home based instruction will take place in the home. Homebound and home based teachers should contact the Office of Special Education with concerns regarding the location of homebound/home based services.

The following guidelines apply for using an alternate location:

  1. Transportation to the agreed upon location will not be provided by the homebound/home based teacher, unless the student has an IEP and the IEP team determines otherwise. It is expected that the parent will transfer the student directly to the teacher who will remain with the student until the parent picks up the student. Supervision will be provided at all times.
  2. For the homebound or home based instruction to occur at a location other than the home, advance permission must be obtained from the alternate location. It is important to note that all rules and regulations of the location must be followed. In many cases, the public library has been used for homebound instruction.

How is progress determined?

Students will receive report cards during homebound and home based instruction on the same schedule as students who attend school. Students with an IEP will receive IEP progress reports on the same schedule as report cards. 

Who do you contact regarding scheduling difficulties and other concerns?

If you have difficulty scheduling homebound or home based services or any other concerns with homebound and home based instruction, please call the Office of Special Education at 825-3677 ext. 3135.

What happens if homebound teachers and/or parents have difficulty with scheduling or have other concerns related to homebound/home based instruction?

It is important for homebound and home based providers to document all attempts to schedule sessions with parents. Teachers should contact the case manager at the school for advice or assistance in a timely manner. If the difficulty with scheduling or any other concern is not able to be resolved with the case managers’ help, contact the Office of Special Education immediately.

Homebound and home based services for students with IEPs fall under the same laws and regulations as other special education services provided by schools. It is imperative that all homebound and home based services in the IEP be followed exactly as written. Please report any concerns as soon as they arise so that compliance errors can be avoided.

If parents have concerns with the schedule of homebound or home based services, they should contact the Office of Special Education at 825-3677.

Report Cards and IEP Progress Reports

Students with IEPs receiving homebound or home based instruction are also required to receive report cards and IEP progress reports on the same schedule as students attending Culpeper County Public Schools

Please contact the Special Education Office at 825-3677 with any questions or concerns!


This document was adapted from the Virginia Department of Education Homebound Instructional Services Guidelines, July 2011.

What is Homebound and Home Based Instruction?

Homebound instruction is designed to provide continuity of educational services between the classroom and home or health care facility, for students whose medical needs, both physical and psychiatric, do not allow school attendance for a limited period of time. Homebound instruction may be used to supplement the classroom program for students with health impairments whose conditions may interfere with regular school attendance (e.g., students receiving dialysis or radiation/chemotherapy; or students with other serious health conditions). Students must be enrolled in a public school in Virginia in order to receive homebound instruction. 

Homebound instruction is designed to be a temporary service for students whose medical needs, both physical and psychiatric, do not allow school attendance for a limited period of time. It is not intended to supplant school services. The goals of homebound services are to sustain continuity of instruction and to facilitate the student returning to school. Homebound instructional services are not a guarantee that the student will progress in the academic program.

For students who are eligible for special education, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team must amend the IEP to meet the special education student’s temporary instructional needs based on the approved certification of need for homebound instruction. Parental consent must be obtained to amend the IEP, prior to initiation of homebound services.

Home based instruction is also provided per the IEP when students with disabilities are long-term suspended or expelled due to discipline infractions. It is also a special education placement option for students whose disability-related needs cannot be met through a less restrictive placement option.

Who determines when homebound or home based instruction is necessary?

Prior to requesting homebound services, the parent/guardian should explore options for school-based instruction with school personnel. Eligibility for homebound instruction is determined on the basis of medical evidence submitted by a licensed physician or licensed clinical psychologist. Parents may obtain a “Certification of Need for Homebound Instruction” form from the Office of Special Education or from each school office. The certificate must be fully completed, including parental permission to contact the treating physician or licensed clinical psychologist, in order for the student to be considered for homebound services. Completed forms are submitted to the Office of Special Education and the homebound coordinator for the school division reviews all requests for completeness of information and appropriateness of the request. Additional information may be needed from the parent, physician or psychologist, and/or school personnel. Approval is determined on the basis of the student’s documented need for service.

When a student with an IEP is approved for homebound services, the IEP team must convene to amend the IEP to reflect homebound instruction prior to the homebound services being implemented.

If the request for home based instruction is for a student with a disability and the reason is disability-related, the IEP team must reconvene to consider the request for homebound services. The IEP team must determine that home based instruction is required for a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). Home based instruction is a restrictive placement and should only be considered when a student’s needs are such that they cannot be met in another less restrictive setting. 

There are legal requirements for students with disabilities who are long-term suspended or expelled. Home based instruction is an option considered by the IEP team when students with disabilities are long-term suspended or expelled. 

Homebound and home based instruction in a student’s IEP is a mandated service. It is extremely important that services be implemented exactly as listed in the IEP.

How is the amount of services determined?

Homebound and home based instruction is designed so the student does not fall behind during the period of confinement. Homework should be expected. Every effort will be made to ensure academic progress; however, course credit must still be earned according to class requirements. Elective courses are not guaranteed. The Virginia Department of Education Homebound Instructional Services Guidelines suggests five hours per week for elementary school students, eight hours per week for middle school students, and two hours per core academic subject per week for high school students. In cases where the student has an IEP, the IEP team should consider the student’s individual needs related to his/her disability. 

Review and Termination of Service

Students receiving homebound and home based instruction should return to the school setting as soon as possible. Homebound and home based services are always considered temporary and are based on the premise that instruction should take place in the school setting to the fullest extent possible. In the case of homebound instruction, an extension of services beyond nine calendar weeks is determined by additional medical or psychological information from the attending physician or licensed clinical psychologist. Parents must submit a new “Certification of Need for Homebound Instruction” form. 

The homebound or home based teacher will assist the student, family, and school with the student’s transition back to school. However, other support staff, such as the school nurse, guidance counselor, or school psychologist, may also be involved in the transition process, depending on the nature of the student’s needs. 

If a student has an IEP, the IEP team must amend the IEP upon termination of homebound or home based services in order to return the student to the school setting. 

Who provides homebound and home based instruction?

Homebound and home based instruction is provided by teachers employed by Culpeper County Schools or who are contracted on an hourly basis by Culpeper County Schools. Since most homebound and home based teachers work at schools during the school day, homebound and home based services are often provided in the evening and/or on weekends. If possible, homebound and home based instruction is scheduled during school hours, but this is not guaranteed.

When are services provided?

Services are to be provided during the school year. The Virginia Department of Education requires that homebound instruction be initiated no later than five instructional days upon approval of the homebound instruction.

The homebound or home based teacher contacts the parent immediately to establish a regular weekly schedule for services. It is required that an established schedule be developed and followed throughout the duration of the homebound or home based service. It is not practical to schedule “as you go”.

Homebound and home based service providers and parents are encouraged to schedule sessions between the hours of 8:00 am and 8:00 pm. Homebound instruction may be provided on weekends, if mutually convenient for both the teacher and parent.

What are the Responsibilities of the Classroom Teacher(s)?

A student receiving homebound or home based instruction is maintained on the class roll. The classroom teacher(s) will:

  1. Provide the homebound or home based teacher with appropriate instructional materials and information.
  2. Be responsible for grading procedures in collaboration with the homebound or home based teacher.
  3. Maintain close contact with the homebound or home based teacher to monitor the instructional progress of the student.
  4. Collaborate with the homebound or home based teacher about the curriculum and appropriate instructional strategies.

What are the Responsibilities of the Student and Parent/Guardian?

The student and parent/guardian are expected to work cooperatively with the assigned homebound or home based teacher and school personnel to:

  1. Notify the school division that homebound services may be needed, discussing the process for initiating services, and signing a release of information form so the school can share information with the physician about homebound services prior to the official request being made.
  2. Obtain the “Certification of Need for Homebound Instruction” form from the physician or licensed clinical psychologist requesting homebound services and completing parental signature forms in order to begin homebound instruction. 
  3. Have a responsible adult in the home during the entire period of instruction. If the instruction takes place at a location other than the home (i.e., public library), the parent (or another adult assigned by the parent) may be required to remain at the alternate location to provide adequate supervision for the student.
  4. Provide adequate facilities for teaching (quiet room without interruptions, with a table, chairs, and appropriate supplies) or provide transportation to another agreed upon facility.
  5. Have the student ready for instruction at the time designated by the homebound or home based teacher.
  6. Supervise daily homework.
  7. Notify the teacher, prior to the scheduled visit, if there is a contagious illness in the home or if there is an emergency.
  8. Keep all appointments with the homebound or home based teacher (excessively missed appointments may result in suspension of services).
  9. Make every effort to complete school assignments.
  10. Advise the homebound or home based teacher of any changes in the student’s status that would necessitate modification or termination of homebound services.
  11. Notify the school division coordinator of excessively missed appointments or tardiness by the homebound or home based teacher.
  12. Follow the health care provider treatment plan by keeping appointments, therapy sessions, and so forth.

What are the Responsibilities of the Homebound or Home Based Teacher?

An individual employed as a homebound or home based teacher must hold a Virginia teacher’s license. A homebound or home based teacher should have a broad background of professional training and experience to adapt instruction to each student’s needs. Every effort is made to secure teachers licensed in secondary content areas. For this reason, it may be necessary for secondary students to have multiple homebound or home based teachers. Teachers engaging in academic instruction in the home should also be able to adjust to a variety of home situations and be knowledgeable of cultural uniqueness. 

In addition to the above, persons serving as homebound or home based teachers must:

  1. Maintain close contact with the student’s teacher(s) to receive and implement appropriate educational programs.
  2. Use assignments and materials provided by the teachers.
  3. Maintain an accurate record of the hours of instruction provided for each assigned student and turn in to the Office of Special Education.
  4. Fill out progress report for each homebound session and turn in to Office of Special Education with time sheet.
  5. Submit the student’s completed work to the designated school representative (usually the student’s teacher) prior to the end of the grading period and maintain written documentation of work completed.
  6. Collaborate with classroom teacher(s) to grade completed assignments.
  7. Document any instruction time that is interrupted because of the child not being available for the instruction period. 

Grading should be done collaboratively by the homebound/home based teacher and classroom teacher(s) unless otherwise informed by the Office of Special Education. The grades obtained while receiving homebound or home based instruction should be averaged with the other grades earned by the student while in regular school attendance. 

What if the homebound or home based teacher cancels a scheduled session?

If the teacher cancels a scheduled session for any reason, including illness, attendance at a meeting or conference, etc., the session must be made up at a time mutually agreed upon by the provider and parent.

What if the parent cancels a session?

Generally speaking, if the parent cancels a regularly scheduled session, the session is not made up. However, individual teachers may make reasonable attempts to make up sessions if the parent cancels due to illness. Make-up sessions are not guaranteed. If the student has a chronic illness that causes frequent cancellations, Culpeper County Public Schools will make every effort to accommodate the missed sessions. Cases will be addressed on an individual basis.

What about school holidays and other days schools are closed?

Homebound and home based instruction is provided only on days that students are in attendance at Culpeper County Public Schools (with the exception of weekends when there is mutual agreement between parent and homebound teacher). Services are not delivered on school holidays, snow days, or any other day when school is closed, unless the parent and homebound/home based teacher mutually agree to use a holiday or inclement weather day to fulfill hours owed. Sessions that would normally occur on these days are not made up. Teacher work days and in-service days can only be used for sessions if teachers are not involved in meetings and/or professional development activities and their principals approve. (Teachers can not include these hours on their time sheets since services are occurring during their contract day.)

Where are services provided?

Homebound and home based instruction is best facilitated in the home setting. In certain cases, it may be necessary to provide homebound services in an alternate location. Unless informed by the Office of Special Education, homebound and home based teachers should assume that the homebound or home based instruction will take place in the home. Homebound and home based teachers should contact the Office of Special Education with concerns regarding the location of homebound/home based services.

The following guidelines apply for using an alternate location:

  1. Transportation to the agreed upon location will not be provided by the homebound/home based teacher, unless the student has an IEP and the IEP team determines otherwise. It is expected that the parent will transfer the student directly to the teacher who will remain with the student until the parent picks up the student. Supervision will be provided at all times.
  2. For the homebound or home based instruction to occur at a location other than the home, advance permission must be obtained from the alternate location. It is important to note that all rules and regulations of the location must be followed. In many cases, the public library has been used for homebound instruction.

How is progress determined?

Students will receive report cards during homebound and home based instruction on the same schedule as students who attend school. Students with an IEP will receive IEP progress reports on the same schedule as report cards. 

Who do you contact regarding scheduling difficulties and other concerns?

If you have difficulty scheduling homebound or home based services or any other concerns with homebound and home based instruction, please call the Office of Special Education at 825-3677 ext. 3135.

What happens if homebound teachers and/or parents have difficulty with scheduling or have other concerns related to homebound/home based instruction?

It is important for homebound and home based providers to document all attempts to schedule sessions with parents. Teachers should contact the case manager at the school for advice or assistance in a timely manner. If the difficulty with scheduling or any other concern is not able to be resolved with the case managers’ help, contact the Office of Special Education immediately.

Homebound and home based services for students with IEPs fall under the same laws and regulations as other special education services provided by schools. It is imperative that all homebound and home based services in the IEP be followed exactly as written. Please report any concerns as soon as they arise so that compliance errors can be avoided.

If parents have concerns with the schedule of homebound or home based services, they should contact the Office of Special Education at 825-3677.

Report Cards and IEP Progress Reports

Students with IEPs receiving homebound or home based instruction are also required to receive report cards and IEP progress reports on the same schedule as students attending Culpeper County Public Schools

Please contact the Special Education Office at 825-3677 with any questions or concerns!


This document was adapted from the Virginia Department of Education Homebound Instructional Services Guidelines, July 2011.

Certification of Need for Medical Homebound Instruction

Certification of Need for Alternative/Homebased Placement