School blackboard

School and Education Specialists

(757) 668-7061

The Hospital School Program fosters self-sufficiency through educational services and resources for families, schools and the medical community.

Note: The Hospital School Program follows the Norfolk Public Schools schedule for closings or delays due to inclement weather.

Educational Services

We offer 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. Our staff consists of administrators, support staff, teachers, educational consultants, an assistive technology specialist, art therapist and a music therapist. Parent permission and medical staff permission must be obtained before any services are initiated.  

Hospital Teachers

Our teachers provide year-round educational services for patients ages 2 through 21. We are certified in regular and special education with preschool, elementary and secondary experiences collectively. We work with physicians, nurses, patients and schools to help children continue their studies, through the following activities:

  • Direct instruction with patients individually at bedside when medically tolerated.
  • Communication 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.
  • Gathering the patient's pertinent school history, making recommendations to the home school, making referrals for homebound instruction and assisting schools in making accommodations and/or modifications for the patient's return to school.
  • Reviewing Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and providing comparable services as tolerated by the patient pending medical waiver. During instructional sessions,  we collect informal data via observation and/or assessment. Pending length of stay,we 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

Our Enrichment Team is composed of the art therapist, music therapist, assistive technology specialist, preschool teacher.

Art therapy is a mental-health profession that uses the creative process of art 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. 

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 school materials.

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 who 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 and 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 provides education services to children 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 because of 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 affects 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 

CHKD Outpatient Clinics with Educational Consultants

  • Asthma 
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Care Connection for Children
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Developmental Pediatrics
  • Endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Genetics
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Lead
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Nephrology
  • Pulmonology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Rheumatology
  • Sickle cell
  • Special immunology
  • Spina bidifa 

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 help plan 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. 

(757) 668-7061

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