Transitioning Back to School After a Hospitalization

  • It can be very important to communicate information about a child’s hospitalization with their school so the school can partner to meet the child’s needs upon returning to school. Both the hospital and the school are committed to helping children with this transition.

    Each child’s privacy and confidentiality are important. Information shared about the student’s hospitalization will be kept confidential and shared only with parties to whom parents or guardians give permission. Parents will determine who at school this information would best be shared with to assist the student’s return to school.

    Strategies to Ensure Student Success

    • Contact the student’s school counselor when the student is hospitalized to let them know about any absence from school. Communicating that the child is in the hospital will ensure that absences are excused and will allow parents not to notify the school daily.
    • Sign a release of information giving the hospital permission to contact a person of the parent's choice at the school to help coordinate care while the child is in the hospital and to assist with any discharge planning.
    • When parents or guardians notify the school of the child’s hospitalization, the school will help to coordinate the child’s schoolwork so they don’t fall behind while hospitalized. The school will also be able to determine if other assignments or modifications are needed to make up for the hospitalization time.
    • When a student does return to school, the school may designate a planned contact for the student. This person will be the student’s support system and will help them navigate any complications that may have arisen in their absence. This planned contact also gives the parent ONE point of contact and makes communication easier for all involved.
    • It can be helpful for the school to have information about what medications the student may be taking and its possible side effects. The school would then be able to report to parents any unusual behaviors and help monitor side effects.
    • Any suggested strategies from the hospital should be shared with the school. These strategies may be able to be incorporated into the child’s school day.
    • Based on the student’s needs, extra resources may be needed. Communication with the school can help ensure resources from the hospital or community are incorporated into the student’s day.