Tips for Teachers

Help A Child Return To School After Being Diagnosed With Cancer 

For The Hospitalized Child

  • Maintain active contact with the student (phone calls/letters/recorded messages)
  • Provide classroom opportunities for students to understand their classmate's illness and treatment
  • Arrange for the school reentry team to make a classroom presentation (if possible)
  • Send classroom/school cards/greetings to the student
  • Include the student in classroom activities
  • Keep other classmates updated with the child's progress, when appropriate
  • Provide opportunities for the child to participate or contribute to classroom projects
  • Allow older students and adolescents to determine "what" and "how much" information can be shared with classmates
  • Assist and communicate with the student's tutor
  • Provide distance learning via computer/video camera, when available 

For The Child's Return (General)

  • Invite the School Intervention and Re-Entry Team's for a Faculty Presentation and/or Classroom Presentation
  • Review the Student's Individualized Educational Plan, "I.E.P." , if applicable
  • Discuss comprehensive evaluation with the child's parents if warranted. (Children with cancer are covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and/or 504 of the Rehabilitation Act "other health impairment")
  • Communicate with student/staff/parents/health care team
  • Prepare classmates for the student's return (changes in appearance: weight gain or loss, scars, casts, wheelchairs etc.) via the School Intervention and Re-Entry's Team Classroom Presentation
  • Maintain contact with Parents (daily logs, phone calls, progress reports) 

Classroom Accommodations

  • Determine which educational accommodations would be appropriate (e.g. extended test time, extended completion time, fewer assignments, separate testing area)
  • Determine what classroom accommodations would be appropriate (e.g. preferential seating, access to hydrations and snacks, second set of books)
  • Implement modifications, be sure not to single the student out, do not place unnecessary restrictions
  • Offer innovative learning strategies (e.g. audio recordings to assist with reading)
  • Provide adequate time to transfer from class to class (elevator pass, 5 minute hall pass, or book/backpack buddy if necessary)
  • Anticipate poor handwriting due to medications that cause neuropathy (defecits in both sensory and motor function)
  • Help organize the student's notebook, keep log of daily assignments
  • Use the "buddy system" to review assignments
  • Allow the student to wear hats, bandannas, hair pieces (waive the no cap policy)
  • Offer the student a quiet place to rest, if needed
  • If necessary, modify physical education class


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