It is the intent of the School to ensure that each child of a homeless individual and each homeless child has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, as provided to other children.
Children who meet the Federal definition of “homeless” will be provided a free and appropriate public education in the same manner as all other students of the School. To that end, homeless students will not be stigmatized or segregated on the basis of their status as homeless and will be assigned to the school serving those non-homeless students residing in the area in which the homeless child is actually living. The School shall establish safeguards that protect homeless students from discrimination on the basis of their homelessness.
Homeless children and youth are defined as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, and include those who meet any of the following criteria:
- share the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason;
- live in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to a lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
- live in emergency or transitional shelters;
- are abandoned in hospitals;
- are awaiting for foster care placement;
- have a primary night time residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinary used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings; or
- live in a car, park, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station, or similar setting.
Additionally, pursuant to Federal and State law, migratory children who are living in circumstances described in 1-7 above are also considered homeless.
Access to Services
The School shall remove barriers to the enrollment and retention of homeless students in schools in the School. Homeless students shall be enrolled immediately, even if they do not have the necessary enrollment documentation such as immunization and health records, proof of residency or guardianship, birth certificate, school records, and other documentation.
Homeless students will be provided services comparable to other students in the School including:
- transportation services, if applicable;
- educational services for which the homeless student meets eligibility criteria including services provided under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act or similar State and local programs, educational programs for children with disabilities, and educational programs for students with limited English proficiency;
- programs in vocational and technical education;
- programs for gifted and talented students;
- school nutrition programs; and
- before-and after-school programs.
In addition to notifying the parent or guardian of the homeless student or unaccompanied youth of the rights described above, the School shall post public notice of educational rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness in each school.
The Superintendent will appoint a Liaison for Homeless Children who will perform the duties as assigned by the Superintendent. Additionally, the Liaison will coordinate and collaborate with the State Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth as well as with community and school personnel responsible for the provision of education and related services to homeless children and youths.
The homeless liaison will assist, to the extent feasible, the homeless students and their parents(s) or guardian(s) or unaccompanied homeless students in their efforts to provide documentation to meet State and local requirements for entry into school.
All records for homeless students shall be maintained so that they are available in a timely fashion and can be transferred promptly as necessary.
No Board policy, administrative procedure, or practice will be interpreted or applied in such a way as to inhibit the enrollment, attendance, or school success of homeless children.
42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq. (McKinney – Vento Homeless Act)