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Certification of Teachers
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Teachers employed for delivering homebound instruction are governed by the same certification regulations as all other teachers. Refer to Certification Staffing and Policy Guidelines (CSPG) #1, Appropriate Certification in Pennsylvania, statement 7

7. A "homebound instruction" teacher is governed by the same certification regulations as all other teachers. When regularly employed professional staff cannot be assigned to homebound instructions, persons on the substitute roster holding appropriate certification may be used. If no certified person is available, an emergency certificate may be issued to qualify a person to teach homebound students.

Note: all CSPGs are available on the PDE website.

Teachers providing homebound instruction for one district may be employees of another district. There is nothing to prohibit a parent who is properly certified from providing the homebound instruction.

Elementary Certification
(Grades Kindergarten through Sixth)

In the case of students in grades kindergarten through sixth, an elementary certification is all that is necessary.

Mid-Level Certification
(Grades Seventh through Ninth)

A teacher may have a mid-level certification that allows them to teach one of the following for grades seventh through ninth only: English, science, mathematics, or citizenship.

High School Certification
(Grades Seventh through Graduation)

If a student is in grades seventh through high school, then the teacher delivering homebound instruction must be certified in the subject he or she teaches.

Special Education Students

There are occasions when a student with a disability may need homebound instruction, such as during an extended absence from school for a medical reason. In these cases, the instructor must be certified in special education in addition to any other certification necessary for the grade and course (e.g. elementary education, secondary math, and secondary science).

When the school district provides homebound instruction for a special education student, district staff may consult with the IEP team on the suggested number of hours to be provided for this student.

If the district does not offer homebound instruction as a matter of policy, then the IEP team could determine that Instruction Conducted in the Homeis appropriate.

Instruction Conducted in the Home is a special education placement determined by the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team for special education students and is not the same as Homebound Instruction. For information regarding instruction in the home for special education students, please consult the Instruction Conducted in the Home BEC.

Other Options

If teachers with the appropriate certifications are not available, there are other options.

  • The employing school district may request an emergency certification
  • A teacher may be used that is not certified in all subjects if they act as a monitor only (i.e., delivering the assignments and instructions; picking up the assignments; monitoring tests); the student would be assigned to classes in the school and the district's school teachers that are specifically certified in the content areas would be overseeing the education (e.g. assigning the instruction, grading the work). This option keeps the homebound student on track with the class for when they return to school.
  • The district may provide the homebound instruction via the school district's own online (cyber) program. The district would ensure that the student has all the necessary equipment, access and training for working via the Internet at no additional cost to the student. This potentially provides far more instruction than would otherwise be delivered. However, the district's policy must allow for exceptions, including parental objection.

For additional information, please contact:

Lois Novak |
Pennsylvania Department of Education - School Services Office
333 Market Street | Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.783.6610 | Fax: 717.214.4389
RA-homebound@pa.gov | www.education.state.pa.us