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(14.9) What is a “home instruction” placement for a student who qualifies for special education?

(14.9) What is a “home instruction” placement for a student who qualifies for special education?

Home instruction (sometimes called “home/hospital”) is an educational program option available to students with disabilities who cannot be educated in a public school setting.  Typically, students in this placement have significant health needs or significant behavioral challenges and have struggled to attend school in a public school behavioral class, non-public school or mental health setting.

Any home instruction program must be individually designed to assure that progress toward goals and objectives continues, even if the program is being provided at the student’s home.  The law also requires that students have access to — and make progress in — the general education curriculum.  [20 U.S.C. Sec. 1414(d)(1)(A)(i).]  All the same procedures must be followed by the IEP team in developing an IEP for a student to be instructed at home as are followed for any other special education student.  [Letter to Boney 18 IDELR 537(OSEP 1991).]

For a student with an IEP, services are determined by the IEP team including the type, length and amount of instructional services. This is different from the home- or hospital-based instruction that a student with a temporary disability, (who is not a Section 504 or special education student) may receive, where one hour per day is permissible. See Q. 1 above.   

For the special education student, an arbitrary limit of one hour per day of home instruction, without individualized assessment and a determination that such a limit will result in educational benefit, is not designed to meet that student’s unique needs.  Educational benefit means progress toward the central IEP goals and objectives.  [County of San Diego v. Special Education Hearing Office, 93 F.3d 1458, 1467 (9th Cir. 1996).]  If the district insists on a limit of one hour per day and you disagree, a parent may file a compliance complaint or file for due process.  See Chapter 6, Information on Due Process/Compliance Procedures.