Home School or Hospital Tutoring
Private school students. A student who is enrolled in a private school at private expense (“private school student”) is entitled to receive publicly-funded home/hospital instruction as a special education service if s/he has been found to be a student with a disability who requires special education. Mass. General Laws Chapter 71B, § 1defines “school age child with a disability” as follows:
a school age child in a public or non-public school setting who, because of a disability consisting of a developmental delay or any intellectual, sensory, neurological, emotional, communication, physical, specific learning or health impairment or combination thereof, is unable to progress effectively in regular education and requires special education services, including a school age child who requires only a related service or related services if said service or services are required to ensure access of the child with a disability to the general education curriculum. G.L. Chapter 71B, § 1
A private school student who has been evaluated and has been found eligible for special education is entitled to receive home/hospital educational services as outlined in Question #9 from the Mass. DESE Q&A. For both public school students and private school students, the justification for any needed home or hospital instruction must be documented by a student’s personal physician.
A school district that receives a request for home instruction from someone other than a physician, or from a physician who is not personally responsible for a student’s care, is not obligated to provide instruction under 603 CMR 28.03(3)(c). In this case, the responsible school district should inquire further with the student’s parent or guardian to determine the student’s status and any additional information or action that is needed.
For example, the school district may need to proceed under the compulsory attendance law if it determines that a student between ages 6 and 16 is not attending school, is not being otherwise educated in a manner approved by the school district, and is not medically unable to attend school.