School is an important part of every child's life. By participating in the Hospital School Program, school-age children can continue to achieve academic goals and interact with peers. Certified teachers collaborate with the student's classroom and/or homebound teacher and other healthcare professionals involved with the patient's care to provide appropriate educational services. Educational sessions are provided in a group setting or at bedside, as medically appropriate.
Goals of the Hospital School Program
The Hospital School Program strives to help children develop and maintain academic skills. Participating in the familiar and "normal" activities of school helps children cope by reducing the stress of hospitalization. In addition, by supporting parents in navigating the educational system and accessing appropriate services for their child, hospital teachers help to make the transition from hospital back to school as smooth as possible.
Attending school in the hospital
The Hospital School Program is available to children who meet the following criteria:
- Children who are enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade or Special Education 5-21 years
- Children who are expected to miss three to four weeks of school and whose inpatient hospital stay is more than five days
- Children whose chronic illnesses require frequent admissions
In addition to providing instruction during an inpatient stay, hospital schoolteachers also assist families in the following areas:
- Assessment of patient's educational needs
- School re-entry
- Parent advocacy resources
How parents can help
Parents are instrumental in the success of their child's involvement in the Hospital School Program. Parents can help by:
- Notifying their child's teacher and school nurse to let them know about a school absence or hospitalization
- Notifying their child's primary nurse or child life specialist that they are interested in the Hospital School Program
- Bringing their child's schoolbooks and assignments to the Hospital as soon as possible
- Encouraging and supporting their child's participation in the Hospital School Program
- Communicating any issues that may affect the child's return to the classroom with the child's school staff (teacher, school nurse, guidance counselor, etc.)
To contact the Hospital School Program at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, call 267-426-1342.