School and Education Resources
When a child’s life is interrupted by an illness or hospital stay, as well as when he returns home, it is important that the child continue with as many normal activities as possible, such as school. The ability to attend and participate in school is a measurable outcome for progress.
The School Services department integrates information regarding pertinent medical and educational needs to create individualized school recommendations for patients when they are discharged and to determine a school plan for patients with extended hospitalizations.
The goal of the school services department is to ensure that patients maintain their current academic standing or improve their academic rankings with our support.
During Your Child's Hospital Stay
Children’s Health℠ works closely with the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) to offer classroom instruction for children from kindergarten-age through 12th grade. Instruction is provided by certified teachers employed by the DISD
Classes are held Monday through Friday during the DISD calendar school year. The schedule is determined on an individual basis. Generally, one hour of daily instruction is provided in the four core subject areas. Bedside instruction is available for children unable to attend classroom sessions.
- Patient is hospitalized a minimum of 10 days or more (at the time the school referral is made). This includes children admitted for a one-time illness or injury and those whose illnesses require multiple hospitalizations.
- Patient must withdraw from his local school to be enrolled in the DISD program. (This process is taken care of by School Services).
- Parents or legal guardians are required to complete all DISD registration paperwork in order for their child to be enrolled.
Hospital Tutor Program
Our teachers collaborate with school districts to provide tutoring for hospitalized children at all grade levels, kindergarten through 12th grade. Certified teachers coordinate instruction to help patients complete missed assignments from their local schools while they are patients at Children's Health.
Tutoring is provided by trained hospital volunteers who help children achieve educational success. Tutoring hours are Monday through Friday during the school calendar year, based on volunteer availability.
Volunteers will assist bedside (if illness does not allow the patient to leave her room) or they will bring patients to our designated schoolroom.
Transitioning Back to School
Psychiatry School Program
Our Psychiatry School Program helps your child continue to make academic, cognitive, social and emotional progress while in the hospital and after she is discharged.
The classrooms are staffed by teachers certified by the Texas Education Association from both Children’s Health℠ and the Dallas Independent School District (DISD). The primary focus of the school program is to provide continuous school instruction and to decrease distraction from treatment, due to parental or patient anxiety regarding school achievement.
Specialized behavioral programs focus on increasing self-management and implementation of coping strategies within our classrooms. Those recommendations are communicated to the patient's school. Our goal is to stabilize your child’s behavior and teach you and your family the skills they need after your child leaves the hospital.
While admitted in the inpatient Psychiatry School program, patients also will enroll in the DISD. All DISD enrollments are completed at the time of admission. Classes are held Monday through Friday during the DISD calendar school year. Hospital teachers also provide instruction to non-DISD patients as they transition back and re-enroll in community school, which is determined by their different levels of treatment.
Partial Hospitalization Option
We also offer a partial hospitalization option once the child withdraws from DISD and re-enrolls in their community school. That level includes two hours of daily school instruction and helps the child make a gradual transition and reintegration into community school. While receiving their two hours of daily school instruction, they will complete their regular community school assignments.
School Re-Entry Program
If your child’s illness affected their appearance or ability to do certain activities, you need resources that will help you and your child adjust to the return back to the classroom.
Our child life specialists are available to help ease the transition. The school re-entry program is designed to educate a patient's classmates prior to the patient's return to school.
How It Works
Through the program, a child life specialist and sometimes a nurse from the appropriate clinical area visit the class of a child who has been absent from school for a long period of time due to illness, but who will now be returning to the classroom. School re-entry also provides a chance for the hospital professional to explain misconceptions, ease worries, and disqualify myths.
These staff members prepare the class for the patient's re-entry into the school setting and help classmates better understand side effects of some medical treatments, such as hair loss, weight loss/gain, fatigue and nausea. They also answer any questions that peers may have about the disease but are uncomfortable discussing with the patient.
The Benefits of the Program
There are several positive benefits associated with our re-entry program including improved self-esteem for the returning student, less parental anxiety, educating school personnel and staff of any accommodations needed, as well as opening the doors of communication between the returning student and classmates, as well as preparing everyone for what to expect.
School Consult Program
When a family needs to navigate the school system to obtain special services for their child, Children’s Health℠ provides consultations for families to assess what their school concerns are and how their needs can be met.
Children’s Health does everything we can to keep your child’s sense of routine intact. We are here to assist parents and guardians with various school concerns or with issues that arise during or after a hospital stay.
Our expertise can help facilitate school reintegration and successful transition of patients into their community school, help reduce the number of patients retained in a grade based on absenteeism by offering tutors and hospital-based schooling, and provide the IDEA or 504 recommendations for educational services in a patient's community school