Education for Homeless Children and Youths
EDUCATION FOR HOMELESS CHILDREN AND YOUTHS
The Board believes that all students should have stability in school attendance and services and that this stability should not be denied as a result of the homelessness. To this end, it is the Board's intent to remove barriers to the enrollment and retention of homeless children and youths in school. Special attention will be given to ensuring the enrollment and attendance of homeless students not currently attending school. Homeless students will be provided District services for which they are eligible, including Title I, similar state programs, special education, ELL education, vocational and technical education programs, gifted and talented programs, and school nutrition programs. Homeless students will not be segregated in a separate school or in a separate program within a school.
(cf. 5111 – Admission)
(cf. 5112.1 – Exemptions from Attendance)
(cf. 5112.2 – Exclusions from Attendance)
Homeless Student Liaison
The Superintendent shall designate at least one staff person to serve as a homeless student liaison to fulfill the duties set forth in law. The liaison shall work to identify homeless children and facilitate each homeless child's access to and success in school. The liaison will: assist parents, students, and unaccompanied youth in enrolling and attending school; mediate disputes concerning school enrollment; assist in making transportation arrangements; assist in requesting the student's records; provide information and give referrals on services and opportunities; and assist any homeless child who is not in the custody of a parent or guardian with enrollment decisions. The liaison will also be responsible for periodic review and evaluation of this policy and recommending changes to reduce barriers for homeless children enrolling in and attending school.
Homeless Student Defined
Note: Homeless student is defined in the No Child Left Behind Act. Districts must ensure that all students who fall within the federal definition are served by the policy.
A homeless child is defined as a child or youth between the ages of 5 and 21 who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. This definition may include a child or youth who is living on the street, in a car, tent or abandoned building or some other form of shelter not designed as a permanent home; who is living in a community shelter facility; or who is living with non-nuclear family members or with friends, who may or may not have legal guardianship over the child or youth of school age.
School Enrollment and Attendance
Note: For purposes of the enrollment procedures below, “school of origin” is defined in NCLB as the school the student attended at the time of becoming homeless. If the student became homeless at a time when the student was not in school, including summer break, the last school attended shall be the school of origin.
The District, in consultation with the child's parent or guardian, will consider the best interest of the child in determining whether the child should be enrolled in the school of origin or the current neighborhood school. To the extent feasible, homeless students will continue to be enrolled in their school of origin while they remain homeless or until the end of the academic year in which they obtain permanent housing, except when contrary to the wishes of the parent or guardian. Instead of remaining in the school of origin, parents or guardians of homeless students may request enrollment in the school in which attendance area the student is actually living, or other schools.
(cf. 5116 – School Attendance Boundaries)
(cf. 5117 – Interdistrict Attendance)
The school selected shall immediately enroll the homeless child, even if the child is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, immunization and health exam records, proof of residency, or other documentation. However, the District may require a parent or guardian of a homeless student to submit contact information.
(cf. 5141.3 – Health Examinations)
(cf. 5141.31 – Immunizations)
The District must provide a written explanation, including a statement regarding the right to appeal, to the homeless student's parent or guardian, or the homeless student if unaccompanied, if the District sends the child or youth to a school other than the school of origin or other than a school requested by the parent or guardian. If a dispute arises over school selection, the child shall immediately be admitted to the school in which enrollment is sought by the child's parent or guardian or by the child, if unaccompanied, pending resolution of the dispute. The child, parent or guardian shall be referred to the Homeless Student Liaison, who will carry out the dispute resolution process as expeditiously as possible.
In the event that it is in the best interest of the homeless child or youth to attend the school of origin, transportation to and from that school may be provided at the request of the parent or guardian or, in the case of an unaccompanied student, the Homeless Student Liaison. Policies or practices regarding transportation of students which might cause a barrier to the attendance of a homeless child or youth may be waived by the Superintendent.
Any records ordinarily kept by the school, including immunization records, academic records, birth certificates, guardianship records and evaluations for special services or programs of each homeless child shall be maintained so that appropriate services may be given to the student, so that necessary referrals can be made, and so that records may be transferred in a timely fashion when a homeless child or youth enters a new school district. Copies of records shall be made available upon request to students or parents.
UNITED STATES CODE
McKinney-Vento Homeless Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2001, 42 U.S.C. §§ 11431, et seq.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g
(Adapted from AASB policy of 1/03)
KETCHIKAN GATEWAY BOROUGH SCHOOL DISTRICT