What is an education liaison?
When a child is stable after an illness or injury, the next step is transitioning home and living life to the fullest potential, which includes succeeding in education.
At Ranken Jordan, a dedicated education liaison is the link between our medical team, the family and school to help a child continue education while in the hospital when possible and to ensure a smoother transition back to school.
Our education liaisons are experienced, certified teachers who make the process seamless between Ranken Jordan and the child’s schools. Education liaisons apply their expertise to help families navigate the next steps to help your child obtain the appropriate education support, services and resources. They work closely with the schools, to provide them information about your child’s diagnosis with your authorization.
What ages can benefit from an education liaison?
Our education liaisons work with children from preschool through high school. Children younger than school age may be referred to the Parents as Teachers program. In addition, Ranken Jordan child life specialists and therapists can meet some early educational needs; although we don’t operate a formalized preschool.
Many resources are available for students of all ages to continue their education from Kindergarten to high school, and all the way through college.
Applying their professional background, our education liaisons ensure that your child receives the best possible education plan based on their medical diagnosis.
How can the education liaison at Ranken Jordan help my child?
At Ranken Jordan, we look at the whole child. Keeping up with education during the hospital stay ensures an easier transition when it’s time to return to school.
If children are patients at Ranken Jordan longer than three weeks, they may receive homebound education through St. Louis Special School District or their home school district.
While it’s called “homebound” education, our patients are actually taught at Ranken Jordan. Our education liaisons coordinate with your child’s school to bring schoolwork to your child. Appointed homebound teachers visit Ranken Jordan to teach children around their schedules. Homebound education is provided by the school to prevent the child from falling behind academically for a more successful re-entry into the classroom. Typically, homebound education and hours are modified to focus on core classes.
My child isn’t the same as before. How can my child return to school?
If their abilities have changes, some parents may find it difficult to see how their child could go back to school. Our education liaisons break down barriers and help you understand the accommodations that can be made by the school so your child can attend or receive services they need to continue their important education.
Educating parents and schools is a key part of our role. By partnering with education liaisons, parents feel more confident about their ability to work with their school and to help their child. Some schools have never had a student with a medical complexity, and need help understanding what accommodations are needed and how to facilitate these.
Serving as tireless advocates for you and your child, staff determine what your child will need when they return to school. Education Liaisons help parents and schools understand the various laws and regulations that foster accommodations for your child and can also connect you with appropriate resources to help every step of the way.
Through frequent communication with the medical team, parents, and the school, our education liaisons bring all information together, including medical records, to create a comprehensive profile of your child. This profile provides valuable insight as their school may develop an IEP (individualized education plan) or 504 plan. These written plans are created for children attending public school who are evaluated and eligible to receive these accommodations. Because private schools are not required by law to provide any accommodations, we partner with them to see what may be available to your child.
Sometimes, various situations prevent a child from returning to school in the traditional school setting, which can result in children receiving homebound education in their home. In some instances, children receive education both at home and in school based on health needs. For example, some children with compromised immune systems may receive homebound education through the flu season and re-enter school in the spring to avoid exposure to the viruses.
Through the expertise of our educational liaisons, our goal is to make families and schools feel comfortable and confident going forward in your child’s education process.
We’re here to help. Give us a call at (314)872-6400 and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.