Temporary Home/Hospital Instruction for Students with Special Medical Needs

Home Hospital Instruction (H/H) Boy is sitting in a wheelchair. Child is standing with crutches.
provides ongoing education at home
or in a hospital for a student who can’t be in school because of a temporarily disabling physical or mental impairment. The student, family members and the school district work as a team to determine the best possible H/H program to meet an individual’s abilities and needs.

H/H Instruction is offered for a student with a qualifying illness or disability that is predicted to prevent regular attendance at school for a minimum of 4 weeks. H/H tutoring can last up to 18 weeks. Students may qualify for Home Hospital Instruction even if they don’t meet eligibility requirements for other special education programs. However, students who already receive special education programming and accommodations through Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act or through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) may also qualify for H/H because of changing circumstances. Students who need more than 18 weeks of home- or hospital-based school in a year may need to make other arrangements by working with a Section 504 or Individualized Education Program (IEP) team.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • The student must be enrolled in the school district or receive ancillary services from a public district if enrolled in a private school.
  • A family’s letter of request must include a recommendation in writing provided by a doctor, nurse practitioner, licensed mental health provider or another qualified medical professional (MD, DO, DMD, ND, PA, ARNP, LMHP). The written statement must describe the physical or mental illness or disability and state that the student will be unable to attend school for 4 weeks or more due to the illness or disability. This document must be filed with the school district.

Program Details:

  • Tutoring will be offered for at least 4 weeks but not longer than 18 weeks per school year. Services can be provided intermittently, but the total time per school year may not exceed 18 weeks, and each disabling episode must be predicted to require at least 4 weeks of tutoring support.
  • Services are not provided during school vacations unless the student is registered for Extended School Year (ESY) programming.
  • An application submitted less than 4 weeks before the end of the school year may be denied.
  • Home Hospital Instruction is not provided for a student to stay home in order to care for another person.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are students who attend private schools eligible for Home Hospital Instruction?

Answer: Sometimes. A student can receive H/H instruction through the public schools if enrolled full-time or part-time in the district, even if the enrollment is for specific, ancillary services such as Speech or Occupational Therapy.

2. If a student anticipates missing an entire year of school, what services are available?

Answer:  If a student will miss more than 18 weeks during a school year because of a medical condition that qualifies as a disability under Section 504 or IDEA, the student’s IEP or 504 team can determine whether home-based services are appropriate. Section 504 and IDEA are federal laws that entitle students with disabilities to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). For information see:

3. What if the student is ready to return to school before 4 weeks of tutoring are done? 

Answer: The student can return to a regular school program when ready. However, the district can still claim reimbursement for 4 weeks of services and those 4 weeks will still be subtracted from the student’s eligibility for an 18-week maximum per school year.

4. Can a student receive H/H tutoring in the summer?

Answer: Sometimes. If the student is enrolled in summer school, the student may be eligible to receive H/H tutoring services if all H/H criteria are met. Summer classes designed for enrichment versus credit are not eligible for H/H.

5. Can a student be on a 504 plan and obtain H/H instruction at the same time?

Answer:  Yes, H/H instruction may be used on a temporary basis for a student with a 504 plan or an IEP.

6. Can a tutor administer a state exam?

Answer: Yes, however the tutor must be trained as a proctor as described in the directions for administering the test.

7. Can a home-schooled student who becomes ill or injured receive H/H?

Answer: Yes, any student who is enrolled in the public district full- or part-time qualifies for H/H instruction.

8. Can a student stay home with a baby postpartum to care for her infant?

Answer:  Yes, a student is eligible for H/H instruction for her postpartum recovery (at least four weeks, with health-care verification). However, the program does not provide tutoring so that a student can stay home to care for an infant or other family member.

For more information: http://www.k12.wa.us/HealthServices/HomeHospital.aspx