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Navigating School Choice Options

Hospital Homebound

From the Florida Department of Education: “A homebound or hospitalized student is a student who has a medically diagnosed physical or psychiatric condition which is acute or catastrophic in nature, or a chronic illness, or a repeated intermittent illness due to a persisting medical problem and that confines the student to home or hospital, and restricts activities for an extended period of time. The corresponding definition is found in State Board of Education Rule 6A-6.03020, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.)” 

A student’s Hospital Homebound program options depend on the county where the student lives.

There are typically three options offered in each county:

  • Full-Time: Unable to attend for any part of the school day. Recommended for a new cancer diagnosis or chronic illness. Student is assigned a teacher who is able to meet with them throughout the week and provide support either virtually or face-to-face.
  • Co-Enrollment (Part-Time): Recommended for students who have been diagnosed with a chronic illness and are able to attend school for part of the day or week.
  • Intermittent: Recommended for students who are able to attend school regularly, but may require services if the health condition interferes. Support provided as needed.

Florida Virtual School provides a fully accredited online school designed for personalized learning. Learn more at

Home Education (Homeschool)

Home education is a parent-directed educational option that meets the requirement for regular school attendance. Parents have the freedom to determine their child's educational plan and how to reach goals. Students can explore and learn at their own pace, in any location or at any time. Home education students are able to enter college and are eligible to participate in the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program.

There are many homeschool programs available to fit your needs. To choose home education you need to:

  • Send a written notice of intent to the school district superintendent. The notice must be filed within 30 days of beginning the home education program and must include the following information: Name of the home education student(s), birthdate(s), address, and parent's signature.
  • Maintain a portfolio of educational records. State law defines a portfolio as a log of educational activities which is made when the instruction takes place and which shows the title of any reading materials used, OR samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks or creative materials used or developed by the student.
  • Make the portfolio available for inspection by the superintendent upon 15-day written notice.
  • Provide an annual educational evaluation of the student's educational progress to the superintendent.
  • Preserve each student's portfolio for two years.
  • Submit a letter of termination to the school district superintendent when the student completes the home education program, enrolls in a public or private school, or moves out of the district.

GED (General Equivalency Diploma)

The GED test is a high school equivalency test that measures skills required by high schools and requested by colleges and employers. It tests four subject areas: science, social studies, mathematical reasoning, and reasoning through language arts.

After you pass the GED test, your diploma or credential will be issued by your state and you’ll receive a GED transcript to apply to college, start training, or get a better job. Learn more at

Here are things to know about getting a GED:

  • Students must be at least 16 years of age
  • Students may be required to take subject area pretests and attend test preparation classes before taking the GED test.
  • Cost, requirements of preparation classes, and required hours of classes may vary from county to county.
  • Test preparation classes will have a certified teacher available to students.
  • Pinellas County:
    • Offers many centers where students can take preparation classes online and in person.
    • If a student is over 18 and can pass their subject area pretests, they will not be required to attend test preparation classes.
    • If a student under the age of 18 receives a passing score of 150 on their pretest, then they may register and take their GED test immediately.
    • To successfully pass the GED test, the student must obtain a minimum passing score of 145 and must pass each of the four subject areas.
  • How is the GED scored?
    • GED Passing Score (145-164)
    • GED College Ready (165-174)
    • GED College Ready + Credit (175-200)

School Choice Resources


Tutoring Lab

Tutoring Lab Update

The Patient Academics team is excited to announce that Tutoring Lab is back! Tutoring Lab is held in the Panda Cares Center of Hope Family Resource Center located on the second floor of the Outpatient Care Center or virtually via Zoom. Interested in Tutoring Lab? Contact our Patient Academics Team at [email protected].

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The Patient Academics Tutoring Lab is a free service available to patients and siblings who receive care at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. Tutoring is provided by Florida certified teachers and students must come prepared with assignments and/or work.

Eligible participants include: Patients and siblings ages 6 and up; must be free of contagious illness.

Location: The Tutoring Lab is hosted in the Panda Cares Center of Hope Family Resource Center on the second floor of the Outpatient Care Center. Location is subject to change. Virtual option via Zoom is also available upon request. 

Back to School Bash

Each August, the Patient Academics Program hosts a “Back to School Bash” event for our patients and families. As part of the event, we like to ensure that our patients and their siblings begin each school year with the supplies they need to succeed. These supplies are provided through generous donations from our employees and our community. Leftover supplies are donated to area schools (identified as high risk), used in our tutoring lab and shared with patients as needed throughout the school year.

To support our Back to School Bash event, please visit our Amazon wish list to view high priority items that are needed to “fill” the backpacks for this event.