Hospital Education Program
The work of children is to play and learn. Hospital stays often interrupt day-to-day play and learning opportunities. The Hospital Education Program (HEP) provides a variety of experiences that help normalize hospital stays for children and their families. These include a broad range of school services throughout the University of Virginia Children's Hospital. Special events, CMC-TV, and other extracurricular activities provide additional age-appropriate opportunities for socialization and enrichment.
HEP school services are integrated into the medical care children receive. Staffed by certified teachers, classrooms are provided for preschool, elementary, middle, and high school students on the 7th floor at University Hospital and at the Kluge Children's Rehabilitation Center (KCRC). For those children who are unable to leave their hospital rooms, bedside school sessions are arranged. Infant educators work with patients from birth through 24 months. On the 7th floor of University Hospital, physical education is also part of the students' school day.
HEP consultants are assigned to many pediatric clinics at the University of Virginia Children's Hospital and are important members of the healthcare team. They meet with children and families during clinic visits and act as liaisons between clinic staffs and home school divisions. Telephone communications and school visits help consultants ensure that school personnel are aware of a child's medical/educational needs. The consultants' goal is to minimize the effects of a child's medical problems on school progress.
The administrative structure of the Hospital Education Program is unique. The HEP is a state operated program established and supervised by the Virginia Department of Education. In this regard the Commonwealth of Virginia is a leader in ensuring that children in specialized hospitals have the same opportunities afforded to other public school students. The fundamental goal is to enable each student, to the full extent of his abilities, to develop the skills that are necessary for success in school and preparation for life. In addition the HEP maintains a cooperative, interagency relationship with the Charlottesville Public Schools and the University of Virginia Health System. Community outreach programs contribute to and help build strong local connections.
All HEP services are free to children and their families. For additional information, please call (434) 924-2658.