Return to School / Extension of Homebound

Extension of Homebound Instruction

Homebound instruction is not intended to supplant school services. The school-based team or IEP Team is responsible for contacting the parent/guardian at least three (3) weeks prior to the initial end date of Homebound Instruction to discuss either the re-entry of the student to school-based learning and/or the need for an extension to be requested and the medical documentation required for such an extension.

If it is necessary for homebound instruction to continue beyond nine calendar weeks, an extension or reauthorization form, including treatment plan, progress towards treatment goals, and specific transition plans for returning the student back to the school setting, is required from the treating health care provider to document the need for extended services. The school-based team (i.e., principal, director of counseling, or designee), or IEP Team is responsible for creating a transition plan outlining this information.

Continuation of additional homebound instruction must be requested by the licensed physician, clinical psychologist, or licensed psychiatrist. For students receiving special education services, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) committee determines the duration of services.

Components of an Extension Request:

  • Name of the student
  • Justification for the extension of homebound instruction
  • Updated Medical Certification of Need signed by student’s medical professional of record
  • Additional time homebound instruction is anticipated
  • Specific steps planned to return the student to classroom instruction
  • Changes in amount and kind of activity for the student during extended homebound instruction
  • Signature, date, office address, and phone number

The request for an extension of services should be submitted by the parent/guardian to the school-based team or IEP Team no later than seven (7) business days prior to the end date of the initial services.

The school-based team or IEP Team should forward this request to the Homebound Instruction Coordinator within two (2) business days of receipt of the request for extension of services and communicate updates regarding the re-entry plan or the parent/guardian request of an extension to the Homebound Instruction Coordinator.

The Coordinator of Homebound Instruction will review the application and contact the medical professional of record for verification within five (5) business days of receipt of the application. Such verification can be made by medical/professional staff designated by the medical professional of record. Once verification is obtained from the medical professional of record, the Coordinator of Homebound Instruction notifies the parent/guardian of approval and consults with designated school personnel regarding extension of services within three (3) business days.


Parents/guardians who are denied homebound instructional services or the extension of homebound instructional services for their student may appeal the decision to the Chief Academic Officer. The timeline for the appeal process will be provided in the denial letter sent to the parent/guardian. The appeal should be made in writing within ten (10) business days of the date of the receipt of the denial letter and include any additional medical documentation from a licensed physician, clinical psychologist, or licensed psychiatrist. Should additional time be necessary to gather required medical documentation from the provider, the parent/guardian should contact the Chief Academic Officer in writing. The Chief Academic Officer may extend this timeline for no more than ten (10) business days. While an appeal is pending, students shall remain enrolled in Arlington Public Schools.

For students already enrolled in homebound instruction who are requesting an extension, homebound instruction may be extended up to five (5) business days beyond the original end date if an appeal is pending. The Chief Academic Officer shall respond to the appeal within ten (10) business days of receipt of the written appeal.

For a student with a disability, the appeals process should be in accordance with state regulations governing special education. All due process and IEP procedures will be followed.

Return to School

Students receiving homebound instruction should return to school-based instruction as soon as possible.

For students who are returning to school after a period of Homebound Instruction, school staff, parents, and the Homebound teacher should coordinate closely to assure that the student attends school to the maximum extent possible.

The determination of when to terminate Homebound Instruction is based on the student’s attendance in core subjects (English, Math, Science, and Social Studies). Once the student is able to receive instruction in the core classes in the school setting, Homebound Instruction should be terminated. Students may continue to require an adjusted school day, but that modification in itself is not sufficient to justify Homebound Instruction. Rather, the school staff and family should collaborate to determine workload adjustments and other necessary accommodations.

The Coordinator of Homebound Instruction facilitates the student’s return to instruction in the classroom.

When the student returns to school, the homebound teacher shall prepare, in duplicate, a summary of the student’s academic progress and submit one copy to the Coordinator of Homebound Instruction and one copy to the elementary school principal or the middle or high school director of counseling services. For students with an IEP, the summary shall also be submitted to the special education case carrier.

The homebound teacher is to assist the student, family, and school personnel with the student’s transition back to the classroom setting. However, other support staff, such as the school nurse, school counselor, IEP case manager, or school psychologist, may be more appropriately assigned to the student for transition purposes depending on the nature of the student’s needs.

School Nurse: For students with medical conditions, the school nurse is requested to participate in planning for a student’s return to school subsequent to a period of Homebound Instruction. This role may be consultative or advisory, and is to assist the student’s IEP or 504 Team, or other support staff, in understanding the student’s need for accommodations and modifications in the school environment.

In all instances, if a student is identified as a student with a disability under IDEA or Section 504, then that Team is to determine services and accommodations. The IEP Team must amend the IEP upon the ending period of homebound services in order to either return the student to the school setting or continue the homebound placement.