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2940 Homeless Children and Youth

2940-Homeless Children and Youth

Washington County School District - Approved 3-21-2006

1.    Purpose

The School District will ensure that each homeless child and youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as other children and youth.

2.    Policy

The School District will comply with the "Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program, Title VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Non-Regulatory Guidance," updated July 2004.

3.    Procedure

3.1. School Enrollment

3.1.1. The McKinney-Vento Act defines "homeless children and youth" as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.  The term includes:

3.1.1.1. Children and youth who are:
o    Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (sometimes referred to as doubled-up);
o    Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
o    Living in emergency or transitional shelters;
o    Abandoned in hospitals;
o    Awaiting foster care placement; or
o    Unaccompanied youth.

3.1.1.2. Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.

3.1.1.3. Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and

3.1.1.4. Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.

3.1.2. A school selected on the basis of a "best interest determination" must immediately enroll the homeless child or youth, even if the child or youth is unable to produce the records normally required for enrollment (such as previous academic records, medical records, proof of residency, birth certificates, or other documentation).  The enrolling school must immediately contact the school last attended by the child or youth to obtain relevant academic or other records.

3.1.3. In determining what is a child or youth's best interest, an LEA must, to the extent feasible, keep a homeless child or youth in the school of origin, unless doing so is contrary to the wishes of the child or youth's parent or guardian.  If a State receives funds under the McKinney-Vento program, every district in that State-whether or not it receives a McKinney-Vento subgrant from its SEA-is prohibited from segregating home less students in separate schools or in separate programs within schools, based on the child's or youth's status as homeless.

3.1.4. If a child or youth needs to obtain immunizations, or medical or immunization records, the enrolling school must immediately refer the parent or guardian to the LEA homeless liaison, who must assist in obtaining the immunizations or records.  The records must be maintained so that they are available in a timely fashion when the child enters a new school or school district.  To facilitate immediate enrollment, timely transfer of records from school-to-school should also take into account procedures for state-to-state record transfers.

3.2. Immunization

3.2.1. Students who meet the requirements of homeless under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Act will have 30 days to meet the immunization requirements.

3.3.    Injuries.

3.3.1. If an unaccompanied youth (under policy 2940 Homeless Children and Youth) has a medical emergency, the school can contact the local emergency room.  Medical professionals should be familiar with the rules to treat minors and will respond appropriately to medical emergencies.  Liability for injuries is based on a party's failure to exercise reasonable care.  By exercising reasonable care in creating a safe environment and responding appropriately to medical emergencies, the school can help protect itself from liability.

3.4. Transportation

3.4.4. Under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Act, homeless children and youth are entitled to receive transportation and other services that are available to non-homeless students, and ensure transportation is provided, at the request of the parent or guardian (or, in the case of an unaccompanied youth, the liaison) to and from the "school of origin" in accordance with the following requirements:

3.4.4.1. If the homeless child or youth continues to live in the area served by the LEA in which the school of origin is located, that LEA must provide or arrange for the child's or youth's transportation to or from the school of origin.

3.4.4.2. If the homeless child or youth continues his or her education in the school of origin, but begins living in an area served by another LEA, the LEA of origin and the LEA in which the homeless child or youth is living must agree upon a method to apportion the responsibility and costs for providing the child with transportation to and from the school of origin.  If the LEAs cannot agree upon a method, the responsibility and costs for transportation are to be shared equally.

3.5. Free and Reduced Lunch

3.5.1. The application process for free and reduced priced meals can be expedited for students experiencing homelessness.  Schools that have determined a student is homeless and is eligible for subsidized meals may make this determination without completing the full application process.