Helpless Homebound

Jaeden Miller, Writer

There are thousands of injuries and pregnancies among high school students every year, leading to major difficulty for attending school. When a student is under any sort of condition, it can be very difficult to not only attend school, but to make it from class to class. In order to provide assistance with this, many school districts around the nation have started to provide a new program; homebound.

There are over one hundred school districts around the country that offer homebound services, allowing for students who are injured or unable to attend school to continue their daily education. A student may apply for homebound services whenever they are in a situation that does not allow them to attend school. The application is then looked at by the board of education, and they decide if said student fits the role of homebound.

“Homebound is a program that the district offers for students who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to attend the regular school day. Typically, students would access homebound if they were going to be absent for a long period of time, and it would be difficult for them to continue their course work,” counselor Connie Ficken said.

In order for a student to receive homebound services, they must have a note filled out and signed by a medical doctor that states that the student will be unable to attend school for one reason or another. The note is then sent to the board of education, along with a few other pieces of paperwork, typically filled out by the students parents. In order for a student to access homebound services, a student must be planning on being absent for at least six weeks of school.

“When in homebound you spend most of the day working on assignments that your homebound teacher has brought you and a couple of times a week your teacher comes to give you new assignments or give you a test,” junior Elisabeth Roach said.

Although homebound is a very good option for students who are unable to attend the regular school day, there are also a lot of disadvantages to going on the program. For one, students are unable to receive direct instruction from their teacher, which can lead to confusion. On homebound, a student still does all of the same work as their peers, it is just done at home or with an assigned teacher. The teachers assigned typically only teach one subject on a regular basis, so when a student on homebound has multiple different classes, their teacher will not be able to help much on the subjects they are not very good at.

“The disadvantages are that you are missing out on face to face instruction. If you are gone, you can learn the material, but there are certain classes and topics that students will do better with having face to face instruction. Students will also be missing out on social interaction. You’re home twenty-four hours a day, fighting the motivation to work on work,” assistant principal James Oyler said.

Homebound can be a very dangerous option for students, because when on homebound, students have to make their own motivation to do all of their work. When in a school environment, there are teachers and other students there to motivate everyone. When at home, students are surrounded by different comforts, which can make it very difficult to motivate oneself to actually get up and do school work.

“From a student perspective, there are classes that are not able to be provided with homebound instruction. The district publishes a list of classes that would automatically qualify for homebound. But if a student is enrolled in classes that are not on that list, it’s really teacher discretion whether or not they can continue in those classes, and sometimes it’s just not going to be possible,” Ficken said.

Altogether, homebound can be a very positive option for schools to provide to students. It can allow for continued learning, even while a student is unable to attend school. However, students should not go on homebound unless absolutely necessary. Being on homebound can very easily complicate things, with the time needed to wait for the school board to approve it, getting assigned a teacher, possibly dropping classes, etc. So, while homebound can be a great option, students and parents should use major discretion and do a lot of research on the program before making a final decision.