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Homebound and FAPE


Tony
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My daughter is a homebound student(not home/hospital). Qualifies under multiple disabilities and requires full assistance in all goals outlined in her IEP.

We have had to remain virtual since March of 2020 due to Covid, despite easing of restrictions and our other kids returning full time in person.

The push back by the district to provide accommodations to homebound students is that we are electing to remain virtual(their words). We have not elected virtual and have been fighting to have in person services resume. They have citied Covid policies and health and safety preventing district staff from entering a non-district controlled environment and that the instructional delivery model for all homebound students is virtual.


I have filed 2 formal complaints of discrimination on the instructional delivery model with the superintendent and deputy superintendent, they have both been ignored despite the requirements of investigation under the districts non-discrimination policies and proceedures. They are even going as far as having all questions asked of IEP team members only answered by the Special Education supervisor.

Has anyone had this issue of a district forcing a change in placement by withholding services under policies they cannot produce.
 

 

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I feel there is more to this than what you posted.  You stated:  We have had to remain virtual since March of 2020 due to Covid.  You also state that the school said:   we are electing to remain virtual.  There is a disconnect with these statements.

If your child cannot go into a school building due to COVID, there should be documentation in the school records showing this and virtual instruction makes sense with the possibility of some services happening in the home (depending on what's been documented and school policy).  Given that the school is saying 'we are electing to remain virtual', my guess is that the school 'considered' your documentation and decided it's OK for your child to be in the building for school.

Until you & the school are on the same page with this, you will remain at a stalemate.  (It seems that school policy prevents school employees from 'entering a non-district controlled environment'.  This is a real shame as in my district, we have sports teams that go to other schools for competitions.  This policy means that teams cannot go to another school for an away game unless the district employee-coaches stay out of the opposing team's buildings as they are non-district controlled environments.  I know your child doesn't participate in sports but the same policy that prevents them from getting in-home services prevents classmates from entering locker rooms and basketball courts and indoor track arenas, etc with their coaches.  Maybe you can get the backing of these parents to get school policy changed - assuming they don't have a double standard in how they apply this policy to other 'non-district controlled environment'.)

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What is the placement listed in your daughter's IEP and the reasoning listed for that placement?

What services did the district provide to your daughter earlier in the pandemic? Did staff come into your home?

Have you already provided the district with letters from medical providers recommending she continue receiving instruction/services virtually, or virtual instruction with in-person therapies, or something else? 

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On 11/12/2022 at 10:55 AM, JSD24 said:

I feel there is more to this than what you posted.  You stated:  We have had to remain virtual since March of 2020 due to Covid.  You also state that the school said:   we are electing to remain virtual.  There is a disconnect with these statements.

If your child cannot go into a school building due to COVID, there should be documentation in the school records showing this and virtual instruction makes sense with the possibility of some services happening in the home (depending on what's been documented and school policy).  Given that the school is saying 'we are electing to remain virtual', my guess is that the school 'considered' your documentation and decided it's OK for your child to be in the building for school.

Until you & the school are on the same page with this, you will remain at a stalemate.  (It seems that school policy prevents school employees from 'entering a non-district controlled environment'.  This is a real shame as in my district, we have sports teams that go to other schools for competitions.  This policy means that teams cannot go to another school for an away game unless the district employee-coaches stay out of the opposing team's buildings as they are non-district controlled environments.  I know your child doesn't participate in sports but the same policy that prevents them from getting in-home services prevents classmates from entering locker rooms and basketball courts and indoor track arenas, etc with their coaches.  Maybe you can get the backing of these parents to get school policy changed - assuming they don't have a double standard in how they apply this policy to other 'non-district controlled environment'.)

Yes there is. Since schools reopened fully all homebound students were served under a virtual instructional delivery model. There is no in person option for students with an LRE of homebound. When we’ve asked how the district intended to provide support or accommodations to virtual we were told the accomedation is to go to the school. 

There is no policy preventing staff from entering the home to provide services. The guidance implemented by the district specifically states that staff may enter a home and that home visit should continue. Special education depart will not provide the policy they’ve cited within prior written notices and emails. Through public records request for a prohibition on staff entering non-district environments, all that was produced was the district policy and proceedures for home-hospital instruction and infectious disease. Neither make any reference to non-district controlled environments.

When asked for clarification I was told I would receive an additional email from the district(none was received). Upon follow up 10 days later I was referred by the public records officer to the districts attorney for any further questions regarding it. The district has said the only students receiving in home in person instruction are those run in state facilities, this is because they have to follow the same Covid guidelines imposed by the district.
 

since providing their own guide can e to the special education department, they refuse to acknowledge it and state that my daughter now is qualified for home hospital instruction based off a doctor’s not provided over 75 days ago, but home hospital is served in a virtual instruction model. The state office of superintendent of public instruction has a home hospital team. Contacted them and their guidance is that if instruction is remote or virtual it does not qualify as home hospital. Additionally any special education services provided student are homebound services and not home hospital.

So yes there is more and there is always something changing when advocating for in person services to resume in her LRE. 

 

 

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It seems like you may need to consider your procedural safeguards (mediation, state complaint, due process). Have you tried mediation with the district? That could be the fastest method of dispute resolution depending on your and the district's schedules. You could consider filing a discrimination complaint with OCR if the district won't respond to your discrimination complaints.

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On 11/19/2022 at 5:46 PM, Jenna said:

It seems like you may need to consider your procedural safeguards (mediation, state complaint, due process). Have you tried mediation with the district? That could be the fastest method of dispute resolution depending on your and the district's schedules. You could consider filing a discrimination complaint with OCR if the district won't respond to your discrimination complaints.

They’ve declined mediation (twice). I’ve had a complaint filed with OCR since May/June (ESY was also virtual for all homebound students). OCR has rolled everything from this year into the complaint also but they are still reviewing it to see if they will move forward. Much like everyone else they are severely understaffed.

There has been one offer of a facilitated meeting but only to discuss change of placement to full time at school. This IEP was drafted by the Sped supervisor and sent to us with the district policy on unexcused absences, informing us we were at 8 this year.

I feel like we’re at a point someone else needs to be involved and look at this. I’ve made sure to be very thorough, I print every email sent and received, I have almost the entire districts policies printed and in binders. I’ve documented and chart the days since I either make a request in accordance with policies or procedures, or when I am informed by the Sped supervisor an action will be taken (so far there has been zero follow through on what they’ve said). I’ve included the deputy superintendent and superintendent on these communications as well.

I just don’t get how they can choose to not implement an IEP and say it’s a parent obligation to make it work if they choose an instructional delivery model the student can’t access without support.

 

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