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Back-to-School Training Resources

Training school staff is essential in order for children and youth experiencing homelessness to be identified, and to receive the educational protections and services to which they are entitled. In response to many requests, we are pleased to offer these resources designed for liaisons to use when training school staff – for example, teachers, bus drivers, and principals.

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Q & A FROM OUR INBOXES

I have a homeless youth staying with me. He’s finishing this year at his school of origin, but he wants to go to the school my daughter goes to on open enrollment outside our district. If he still qualifies for McKinney-Vento next year, can he enroll in my daughter’s school?

Answer: The student would be eligible to enroll in the school with your daughter under the same conditions and subject to the same requirements of any other student who is openly enrolling in the school. McKinney-Vento students have the right to immediate enrollment...

Are students staying with their grandparents after their mother was sentenced to 90 days for committing a felony eligible for McKinney-Vento protections? There has been no transfer of custody to the grandparents or a child welfare agency. The student’s mother is expected to spend 90 days in detention followed by an unknown number of days in mandatory rehabilitation.

Answer: Yes, these students are eligible under the McKinney-Vento Act. They qualify because they are staying with others (grandparents) temporarily due to a reason that is similar to loss of housing. 42 USC 11434a(2)(B)(i). Read more Q&A from Our Inbox

We are having difficulty finding anything that specifically states that the “school of origin” is considered the school building and not just the district. We have the information on feeder schools, but are looking for something that says the school of origin is the school building.

Answer: The McKinney-Vento Act uses the terms “school” and “local educational agency” very clearly, distinctly, and intentionally.  The definition of “school of origin” does not include the phrase “local educational agency.” It only includes the word “school,” per...

We currently have a McKinney-Vento family who has been enrolled in school, but told by the school that students cannot attend because they are not up to date on immunizations. My understanding is that ‘enroll’ means the student is permitted to attend class and participate fully in school activities. Am I correct?

Answer: Yes, you are correct! The McKinney-Vento Act is clear that immediate enrollment is required for McKinney-Vento students, even if the students are not up to date on immunizations. 42 USC 11432(g)(3)(C)(i)(I). As a liaison, you would work with the family and...

For the FAFSA, is it true that the reason a student is couch-surfing does not matter but the fact they are is what we need to document? We could have a student that didn’t want to live under their parent’s rules and decide to leave the home. Does this change the situation or is this not something we need to focus on?

Answer: Per federal guidance, the determination process must focus only on whether a youth meets the legal definition of being unaccompanied and homeless, or at risk of being homelessness, rather than the reasons for the applicant’s homelessness. See DCL ID: GEN-15-16...

Early Childhood

Infants are at greater risk of living in homeless shelters than any other age group in the United States. Early childhood programs prevent the harmful life-long effects of homelessness on education, health and well-being.

PreK - 12

In the 2016-17 school year, public schools identified more than 1.3 million homeless students. Schools provide basic needs, caring adults, stability, normalcy, and the skills to avoid homelessness as adults.

Higher Education

The majority of well-paying jobs created today require education beyond high school. Post-secondary attainment is increasingly necessary to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness, and live a healthy, productive life.

Unaccompanied Youth

Unaccompanied homeless youth are young people experiencing homelessness who are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. 4.2 million youth and young adults experience homelessness each year.

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