HOMELESS EDUCATION

MC-KINNEY VENTO HOMELESS ASSISTANCE ACT

All school-aged homeless children are entitled to the same free and appropriate public education that is provided to non-homeless students. Schools are required to remove barriers to the enrollment, attendance, and academic success of homeless students. Refer to BUL- 1570.1; Enrollment/Support of Homeless Children and Youth in Schools, March 5, 2008.

DEFINITION OF HOMELESS

A student between the ages of 0 to 22, who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, and;

  1.  has a primary nighttime residence that is a shelter designated to provide temporary living accommodations such as shelters, motels/hotels, domestic violence shelters, and transitional housing.
  2. lives in a car, park, abandoned building, public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
  3. lives temporarily in a trailer park or camping area due to the lack of adequate living accommodations.
  4. lives “doubled-up" with another family, due to loss of housing, stemming from financial problems.
  5. is abandoned at a hospital.
  6. resides in a home for school-aged, unwed mother or mother-to-be, if there are no other available living accommodations.
  7. is awaiting foster care in limited circumstances but does not include placement in a foster family, foster family agency or group home.
  8. is placed by the state in an emergency shelter due to lack of alternative housing.
  9. is an abandoned, runaway or throwaway youth or migratory child living in any of the circumstances described above.

SCHOOL SELECTION / STUDENT RIGHTS

Homeless student can attend the last school of enrollment, if feasible, or attend the school in the area where the family is temporarily residing.

  • Student can remain at selected school site throughout the duration of homelessness. The school site is considered the school of origin.
  • If the family gains permanent housing, the student can remain at the current school for the duration of that academic year.
  • Homeless students who are not attending their school of residence do not have the right to attend the next matriculating school. The student must attend the school in the area in which he/she is temporarily residing.

ENROLLMENT

Schools must immediately enroll homeless students, regardless of the lack of:

  • Academic Records
  • Proof of Residency
  • Medical Records
  • Immunization Records*

*A 30 day conditional enrollment is granted if immunization records are not provided

The enrolling school shall immediately contact the last school of attendance to obtain missing records.

HOMELESS ED PROGRAM RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Assist in the identification of homeless students.
  • Facilitate enrollment and equal access to school programs.
  • Assist unaccompanied youth with enrollment, school placement and obtaining immunization records.
  • Provides school backpacks, school supplies and assistance with transportation and school clothing as appropriate.
  • Ensure students and their families receive all services for which they are eligible, such as Head Start, Early Head Start, Preschool, etc.
  • Provide in-service training and technical assistance to schools and community agencies.
  • Provide referrals to health, mental health, dental and other school and community services.
  • Coordinate resources through community outreach.
  • Ensure that parents are informed of their educational rights and are provided with the opportunity to participate in their child's academic career.
  • Disseminate public notice of educational rights in places where services are provided.
  • Ensure that schools are informing parents and students of transportation services and provide assistance in accessing these services.
  • Mediate enrollment disputes.
  • Ensure that homeless youth have access to a free public education, equal to that of any other youth.
  • Strengthen the implementation of the District's homeless education policy.
  • Reduce enrollment barriers that homeless families face
  • Ensure that homeless students are being properly identified and served
  • Coordinate resources through community outreach
  • Increase school staffs' awareness of and sensitivity to homeless families and their plight
  • Ensure that homeless students are not segregated from their non-homeless peers.