Educating Homeless Children and Youth
The following are ways in which students are identified as homeless:
- No proof of address
- Staff and teacher awareness
- Home visits
- Student/parent self referral
- Agency referral
Only students who are identified as homeless are entitled to Homeless Fraud rights. If you feel a parent is fraudulently claiming to be homeless, please contact the Homeless Family Supports immediately. The Homeless Coordinator must be contacted in all disputes affecting homeless student rights.
A homeless student lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, which may include:
- Living in cars, parks, abandoned or condemned buildings, or public places not designed or used for sleeping (for example, outdoor open spaces, garages, bus or train stations, or other similar settings).
- Living in motels, hotels, trailers (does not include mobile home or trailer parks), or camp grounds due to a lack of alternative adequate accommodations
- Living with others due to a loss of housing (generally a temporary, makeshift arrangement).
- Living in emergency or transitional shelters
- Abandoned in hospitals or awaiting foster care placement
Migratory children qualify as homeless if they meet the above criteria.
McKinney-Vento School Section
If it is in the student’s best interest, they are allowed one of the two choices:
- Continued enrollment in their most current school for the duration of homelessness, or if they find permanent housing, until the end of the school year
- Enrollment int he school for their address
If the parent wishes to enroll the student in a school that does not meet the above criteria, the parent can be given information about the district’s permit process, open enrollment, or charter options.
*Exception to 1 and 2 above: School selection may be affected if the district places the student in an alternate school due to academic issues, behavior, or other reasons that support the best interest of the student. If you have concerns about enrollment, please contact the Homeless Family Supports right away.
For immediate enrollment, the student must be immediately enrolled even if lacking documentation such as a birth certificate, shot records, address verification, etc. Students lacking these documents must still provide them but should be given a grace period to turn them in to the school.
Exceptions to immediate enrollment may be affected if it is in the student’s best interest to wait for transcripts, special education placement, or alternative school placement. If there is a delay, contact the Homeless Family Supports immediately. Exceptions include:
- Records: The school mist immediately contact the last school for documents needed for enrollment such as grade level, birth date, transcripts, immunizations, etc. If a student lacks immunizations, the school should refer the family to medical services or to Homeless Family Supports.
- Address: The parent must provide a current address to the school so that proper school selection can be determined. The address can be verified by a letter or document from a shelter or housing program, motel receipt, an Affidavit of Non-Permanent Residence, or other documentation approved by the school or Homeless Family Supports. Please contact the Homeless Family Supports for guidance.
- Parent Contact Information: Parents are required to submit current contact information.
McKinney-Vento Nutrition Programs
Homeless students automatically qualify for free breakfast and lunch at schools that offer meals. The student’s name should be immediately sent to the cafeteria or placed on the appropriate list.