Hospital School Program

Our mission is a personal investment in teaching and learning.


The Hospital School Program will foster self sufficiency through educational services and resources to families, schools and the medical community.

What is the Hospital School Program?

The Hospital School Program is a State Operated Program sponsored and funded by the Virginia Department of Education in cooperation with the Norfolk Public School System.

The Hospital School Program offers a continuum of educational services that cover inpatient status, transition to home or school, maintenance and follow up care through outpatient clinics. All Hospital School Program Services are free. The staff consists of Administrators, Support Staff, Teachers, Educational Consultants, Assistive Technology Specialist, Art Therapist and a Music Therapist. Parent permission and medical staff permission must be obtained before any services are initiated. Once permission has been granted, educational services can be provided.

Hospital Teachers

Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has teachers who provide year round educational services for patients, ages 2 through 21. The teachers are certified in regular and special education with preschool, elementary and secondary experiences collectively. They work with physicians, nurses, patients and schools to help children continue their studies.

  • Provide direct instruction with patients individually at bedside when medically tolerated.
  • Communicate with the patient’s home school to notify the school of the patient’s admission to the hospital, enrollment in the Hospital School Program, discharge from the hospital, grades, assignments and credits earned while the patient was enrolled in the Hospital School Program.
  • Gather the patient’s pertinent school history, makes recommendations to the home school, makes referrals for homebound instruction and assist schools in making accommodations and/or modifications necessary for the patient’s return to school.
  • Review Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and provide comparable services as tolerated by the patient pending medical waiver. During instructional sessions, the teachers collect informal data via observation and/or assessment. Pending length of stay, teachers prepare to amend the IEP to address the changes in setting and/or services by consulting with parents and home school case managers.

Enrichment Team

The Enrichment Team is comprised of the Art Therapist, Music Therapist, Assistive Technology Specialist, Preschool Teacher, and Reading Enrichment Teacher.

Art Therapy is a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art making to improve and enhance the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages.

Music Therapy is an established healthcare profession that uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages. The School Program Music & Art Therapists serve the inpatients in NICU, PICU, General Pediatrics, Rehab, Hematology/Oncology and Renal/Dialysis Outpatient Clinics.

Assistive Technology Services provide for technical and instructional support related to assistive technology hardware, software, peripherals, and materials necessary to promote academic success and allow students' access to their curricula materials.

High interest, vocabulary-rich literature is available through our Reading Enrichment Program. Age-appropriate books are shared at bedside. Follow-up activities are presented to reinforce reading skills and information being presented.

The literacy book cart program is funded by the Hospital School Program and private donations. It is supported by a group of dedicated volunteers who make weekly book cart visits to individual rooms and participants are offered a selection of age appropriate stimulating reading materials. You will often find our volunteers reading to our youngest population, promoting literacy for everyone!

Instructional services are provided for preschool children, that are in a public school system, and have a current individualized education program (I.E.P.). In addition, child find services are provided for preschoolers on the 3rd, 5th, 7th and 8th floors. These services may include public awareness and parent education information, developmental/educational screenings, referrals to community agencies, IDEA identification.

Educational Consultants

Patients living with chronic illnesses and chronic medical conditions experience health adversities in addition to disruptions in their daily school routines. The Educational Consultants’ Program has a history of providing education services to patients served in outpatient clinics at CHKD.

The consultants are certified educators with training in educational assessment and knowledge of chronic health conditions that may impact a child’s education. Educational Consultants’ services are provided in selected outpatient clinics at no cost to the patient or family.

A major responsibility involves collaborating with teachers and school administrators regarding the patient’s medical condition and its impact on learning. This provides an important connection between school personnel, medical staff and families.

Role of Educational Consultants
  • Act as a link between the medical team and the child’s school
  • Communicate accommodations that are required due to the child’s medical condition
  • Assist parents in understanding the educational needs of their child
  • Assess current educational status
Services of Educational Consultants
  • Administer and interpret educational assessments
  • Provide consultation to address specific school/education issues
  • Schedule school visits and classroom observations
  • Provide parent education on accessing school services
  • Inform school personnel and community agencies on how chronic illness impacts learning
  • Educate the medical community regarding current education law and supportive programs available to patients
Reasons Educational Services may be needed
  • Failing grade
  • Attendance concerns
  • Accommodations
  • Learning needs
  • Behavior concerns
  • Educational interventions

The following outpatient clinics at CHKD have educational consultants available:
  • Care Connection
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Developmental Pediatrics
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastro-Intestinal (GI)
  • General Pediatrics
  • Hematology
  • Lead
  • Nephrology
  • Oncology
  • Oyster Point
  • Pulmonary / Allergy
  • Rehab
  • Rheumatology
  • Sickle Cell
  • Special Immunology (SI)
  • Spina Bifida
  • Tidewater Child Development Services (TCDS)

How can physicians help?

Physicians can initiate the educational process by notifying the Hospital School staff when a patient is ready to begin educational and developmental intervention. They can also provide information on the patient's medical condition to facilitate educational discharge planning.

How can parents or guardians help?

Parents/guardians can:

  • bring books and/or assignments for planned admissions
  • bring a copy of the patient’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) to assist in planning instruction for students with exceptional needs
  • assist hospital teachers by sharing information about the child’s educational needs

How can the home school help?

The home school personnel can assist the Hospital School with the planning of an appropriate educational program for the patient. They can provide information about the child's academic abilities, current assignments and specific areas of concern. Cards, phone calls, e-mails or videotapes from the home school also help support the patient and family. Children with health impairments benefit from collaborative planning efforts between school personnel and the Hospital School Program.

How can I get additional information or talk to someone about the program?

For additional information about the Hospital School Program, please contact (757) 668-7061.