I have an 18-year-old student who graduated last year, and she wants to go to college. She is undocumented, although she has been in the U.S. for most of her life. She is afraid to talk to anyone at a college for fear of being deported. Suggestions?

Answer: This is a sticky situation for this student. She’s not technically covered by FERPA if she’s just talking to a college representative.  That means that although the college representative shouldn’t call the authorities, there’s no assurance they won’t or...

A parent is planning to leave the country mid-January for about one month to help with a sick relative overseas. She has made arrangements with another family outside of our district for her son to live with during this time. Does this student qualify for McKinney-Vento services?

Answer: It does not sound like this family qualifies for McKinney-Vento services. This situation does not sound like a lack of fixed, adequate, and regular housing. Rather, the mother is leaving her housing temporarily to care for a relative. As a result, the child is...

We have three students, two brothers and a little girl, who need out of district transportation to the same area. So far this year, all three have been a part of our after school program getting help with homework, math, and reading. All of them need the help. But now the mother of the two brothers doesn’t want them attending the after school program. Do we now need to provide transportation for the two boys right after school and transportation for the girl after the after-school program? Can we tell the mother that transportation will be after our after school program at least until the end of the quarter when the after-school program ends?

Answer: I think you can maintain the same transportation arrangements at least until the end of the quarter. While the school can’t force a parent to participate in the after-school program as a condition of transportation to the school of origin, the school...

If a McKinney-Vento student is accepted to enroll in a school as a transfer student, can that transfer be revoked on the same bases that other students would have a transfer revoked? (In this case, the student stopped attending the neighborhood school last year, requested a transfer for this year, and has stopped attending the transfer school.)

Answer: This is a bit tricky, because on the one hand, the technical answer to the question is yes–but in practice, the answer is no. Here’s why: once the student begins attending the transfer school, that school becomes the student’s school of origin. The...

We have a student who has been verified as an unaccompanied youth. She is over 18 and has requested that her parent does not have access to her academic record. We do not have a procedure in place for this in our district. Is there something in the law that helps us define our next steps?

Answer: Under FERPA, all rights to inspect education records and consent for their disclosure pass to the student when the student turns 18. This means an 18-year old student controls access to her education records. There are several exceptions in FERPA that allow...

Due to mental health issues, a district has placed a student in a re-engagement program. The district contracts with this private program. The student remains enrolled in the district, but is attending this non-public program. She cannot attend the program without transportation. Is transportation required? And who pays for the transportation– the district, or the private program?

Answer: There are two separate issues here. One is whether the student should be transported to school. The answer to that is yes. The district has placed the student in this program, and transportation is a barrier to her enrollment and retention in the program....

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