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San Diego County Office of Education Ensuring Educational Stability for Students in Foster Care: Our Shared Responsibility Mindy Kukich, MSW Project Specialist,

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Presentation on theme: "San Diego County Office of Education Ensuring Educational Stability for Students in Foster Care: Our Shared Responsibility Mindy Kukich, MSW Project Specialist,"— Presentation transcript:

1 San Diego County Office of Education Ensuring Educational Stability for Students in Foster Care: Our Shared Responsibility Mindy Kukich, MSW Project Specialist, Foster Youth and Homeless Education Services Student Support Services Student Services & Programs

2 San Diego County Office of Education Learning Objectives Understanding:  Foster Youth Services programs  Laws that protect students in foster care  The legal obligation of all stakeholders  Recent legislative changes

3 San Diego County Office of Education Foster Youth Services Programs Education Code Sections  Provide support services to foster children who suffer the traumatic effects of displacement from family and schools and multiple placements in foster care.  Services are designed to improve the children's educational performance and personal achievement, directly benefiting them as well as providing long-range cost savings to the state. California Department of Education

4 San Diego County Office of Education Barriers to educational success Historically, constant placement and school changes have had a detrimental impact on the ability of foster youth to succeed. Funded by the Stuart Foundation, West Ed recently released At Greater Risk (Frerer, Sosenko & Henke, 2013). This report found that: 1. About one-quarter of foster youth had a disability, in contrast to about one-tenth of general population youth. 2. One-third of foster youth were of African-American descent, compared with one-tenth of general population students. 3. More than half (56 percent) of foster youth were girls. In contrast, one-half of general population youth were girls. 4.Foster youth were more likely than general population youth to attend schools with low performance ranks on California’s Academic Performance Index (API) and had lower English-Language arts achievement. 5.About one-half of foster youth attended schools in the bottom 30 percent of the school performance distribution; two-fifths of general population youth attended such schools.

5 San Diego County Office of Education Barriers to educational success 1.On the California Standards Test (CST) in English-Language arts, one-half of foster youth scored in the lowest two out of five performance levels. Among general population youth, one-quarter of students scored in the lowest two performance levels % of foster youth completed high school, compared with 53% of similarly disadvantaged youth and 79% of the general student population; 3.43% of foster youth enrolled in community college, compared with 46% of similarly disadvantaged youth and 59% of the general student population; 4.41% of the foster youth who enrolled in college remained enrolled in community college for a second year, compared with 48% of similarly disadvantaged youth and 62% of the general student population.

6 San Diego County Office of Education Local Control Funding Formula & inclusion of Students in Foster Care California is the first state to include students in foster care as a subgroup in their education accountability framework. School districts are required to develop and implement plans (Local Control Accountability Plans-LCAPs) specifying how the district will improve the educational outcomes of foster youth. County Offices of Education FYS is preserved as a categorical New State priorities for COE’s-EC CDSS an CDE are required to share data and to inform school districts which of their students are in foster care (WEEKLY) CDE is required to track and report the educational outcomes for students in foster care.

7 San Diego County Office of Education State Priorities under Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) Adds additional responsibilities COE’s identified as State priorities:  EC (a) (10) (A)= EC (a) (1): Working with the county child welfare agency to minimize changes in school placement.  EC (a) (10) (B) )= EC (a) (2): Providing education-related information to the county child welfare agency to assist the county child welfare agency in the delivery of services to foster children, including, but not limited to, educational status and progress information that is required to be included in court reports.  EC (a) (10) (C) )= EC (a) (3): Responding to requests from the juvenile court for information and working with the juvenile court to ensure the delivery and coordination of necessary educational services.  EC (a) (10) (D) )= EC (a) (4): Establishing a mechanism for the efficient expeditious transfer of health and education records and the health and education passport.

8 San Diego County Office of Education Guiding principles of AB 490*  Everyone shares the duty to promote the educational progress of children in out of home placements.  Mandates that educators, school personnel, social workers, probation officers, caregivers, advocates, and juvenile court officers all work together to serve the educational needs of children in foster care. In all cases, educational placement decisions must be made in the best interests of the foster student. *EC 48850(a)

9 San Diego County Office of Education Guiding principles of AB 490 (cont’d)  For foster youth to meet state academic achievement standards;  For youth to maintain stable school placements;  Placement of youth in least restrictive educational programs; and  Access to the academic resources, services and extracurricular and enrichment activities available to all students. EC 48850(a); WIC 16000(b)

10 San Diego County Office of Education Let’s Talk about Stable School Placements… The educational impact of a school change is significant. Each time a student changes school:  They can lose 4 to 6 months of academic progress.  They must adjust to different curricula, expectations, friends & teachers.  They suffer disruptions in valuable education services.

11 San Diego County Office of Education School Stability - School of Origin Definition of “School of Origin”  School the student attended when permanently housed, or  School in which the student was last enrolled.  School student attended within the past 15 months with which he/she is connected. EC (e)

12 San Diego County Office of Education School Stability - School of Origin At the initial detention or placement, or any subsequent change in placement…the LEA shall allow the foster child to continue his or her education in the school of origin for the duration of the jurisdiction of the court. EC (d) (1) Amended in AB

13 San Diego County Office of Education School Stability - School of Origin If the jurisdiction of the court is terminated prior to the end of an academic year, the child shall be allowed to continue his or her education in the school of origin for the duration of the school year. EC (d) (2) Amended in AB

14 San Diego County Office of Education and more School Stability… If a child is in high school, is reunified and their case closes; they retain the right to remain in their school of origin until graduation. EC Amended in SB 1563 (2012 )

15 San Diego County Office of Education School Stability - School of Origin To ensure that the child has the benefit of matriculating with his or her peers in accordance with established feeder patterns of school districts, if the child is transitioning between school grade levels, the LEA shall allow the child to continue in the school district of origin in the same attendance area, or if the child is transitioning to middle or high school, and the school designated for matriculation is in a another school district, to the school designated for matriculation in that school district. EC (d) (3) Amended in AB

16 San Diego County Office of Education School Attendance and School of Origin: District Responsibility A pupil who is a foster child who remains in his or her school of origin is deemed to have met the residency requirements for school attendance in that school district. EC (a) (2) Amended in AB 1573 (2012)

17 San Diego County Office of Education School Attendance and School of Origin: District Responsibility What does this mean?  The school and district of origin is responsible for the entire education of that pupil with one major exception: Non Public schools.  The school and district of origin is entitled to all funds associated with that pupil’s education: IDEA Title I N&D ADA

18 San Diego County Office of Education School Selection for Students  Students in foster care have the right to maintain stable school placements  Educational placement decisions must be made in the best interests of the child  In making out-of-home placements, the placing agency must consider proximity to the child’s present school and the impact the placement will have on the child’s educational stability - WIC

19 San Diego County Office of Education School Selection Cont.  When a student in foster care is moved from one foster home to another, the student has the right to remain in his/her school of origin for as long as they are under the jurisdiction of Juvenile Court, if it is in their best interest to do so.  The person holding the educational rights and the foster student, in consultation with the AB 490 educational liaison, determine whether it is in the student’s best interest to remain in the school of origin. EC

20 San Diego County Office of Education School Selection Cont.  If the AB 490 educational liaison wishes to recommend that it is not in the student’s best interest to remain in the school of origin, the liaison must provide the person with educational rights with a written explanation.  If a dispute arises, the student has the right to remain in the school of origin until the dispute is resolved or until the end of the school year. EC

21 San Diego County Office of Education AB 490 School District Foster and Homeless Educational Liaison - EC County offices of education and school districts must have an identified educational liaison for foster students who will:  Ensure checkout from school and proper school placement (responsibility shared with placing agency)  Ensure IMMEDIATE enrollment of foster youth, even without academic or medical records, immunization records, proof of residency, school uniform, or fees/materials owed to prior school  Assist with timely transfer of grades, credits, and records when students transfer schools  Complete school transfers within two business days

22 San Diego County Office of Education Immediate Enrollment for Youth in Foster Care  “Enroll” and “Enrollment” are defined to include attending classes and participating fully in school activities  Students in foster care must be immediately enrolled  No prior records are needed, but should be obtained by the enrolling school as quickly as possible  This includes birth certificates, social security numbers, immunization records, transcripts, and other records EC

23 San Diego County Office of Education Credit Protection for All Students “Each public school district and county office of education shall accept for credit full or partial coursework satisfactorily completed by a pupil while attending a public school, juvenile court school, or nonpublic, nonsectarian school or agency. The coursework shall be transferred by means of the standard state transcript.” - EC  A State approved manual and policy has been created and trainings will be occurring through out the State.  Partners include CDE, CDSS and CSBA

24 San Diego County Office of Education Transportation for Students in Foster Care  California Education Code does not contain funding provisions for transportation for students in foster care. ◦However, it neither requires nor precludes a district from providing transportation. ◦If transportation is included as a “Related Service” on a student’s IEP, than LEA must provide this service.  School districts and county welfare agencies must work together at the local level to reach an agreement on transportation for foster youth who remain in their school of origin.  CWS can assist in accessing additional funding under Fostering Connections for transportation costs for foster parents (including FFA’s) and kinship providers (Fostering Connections).  SDCOE, FY&HES-ACF grant for transportation.

25 San Diego County Office of Education Limitations of California Education Code Sections:  Applies to school aged children only (K-12)  District run Pre-K  Does not trump waiting lists for: ◦Magnet programs ◦6 to 6 programs ◦Charter schools lotteries ◦Neighborhood schools that are full  Does not pay for transportation  Does not supersede health and safety issues or school discipline issues  Does not expedite IEP assessments

26 San Diego County Office of Education CIF Eligibility for Students in Foster Care California Education Code requires that a foster child who changes residences pursuant to a court order or decision of a child welfare worker be immediately deemed to meet all residency requirements for participation in interscholastic sports or other extracurricular activities.

27 San Diego County Office of Education School Discipline- AB 1909 (2012) Suspensions:  Preceded by informal conference unless emergency situation.  Generally allowed only when other means of correction fail to bring about proper conduct.  Sometimes allowed upon first offense for certain acts.  No more than 5 consecutive school days.  No more than 20 school days per school year.  Can be extended when student is facing expulsion.

28 San Diego County Office of Education Foster Children: Placement; Suspension & Expulsion; Notifications (Amended) (c) Requires the educational liaison (if designated by the superintendent of the local educational agency) to notify the foster child's attorney and the appropriate representative of the county child welfare agency of:  The meeting to discuss whether a student will be on an extended suspension pending the governing board’s decision regarding expulsion.  An expulsion hearing, per EC § , notice should be provided at least 10 calendar days prior to the hearing.  The meeting of a student’s Individualized Education Program team to make a manifestation determination regarding an act that does not require an expulsion recommendation. Cal. Educ. Code § (d). -EC 48911(g) AB

29 San Diego County Office of Education Juveniles: Educational Decisions & Special Education-AB 2060 (2012) Requires: ◦The court, after limiting a parent's educational rights in dependency or wardship proceedings, to determine if there is a responsible adult who is a relative, non-relative extended family member, or other adult known to the child and who is available and willing to serve as the child's educational representative before appointing an educational representative or surrogate who is not known to the child.

30 San Diego County Office of Education Juveniles: Educational Decisions -cont’d An appointed educational representative or surrogate parent to: ◦meet with the child, ◦investigate the child's educational needs and whether those needs are being met, ◦and present recommendations to the court or attend court to participate in any portion of a hearing that concerns the child's education. W&I Code 319 and 361 Amended in AB

31 San Diego County Office of Education Pupils: Foster Children: Special Education Current law requires a pupil who is placed in a licensed children' s institution or foster family home to attend programs operated by the local educational agency unless:  the pupil is entitled to remain in his or her school of origin,  the pupil has an individualized education program requiring placement elsewhere,  or the pupil's parent or guardian, or other person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, determines that it is in the best interests of the pupil to be placed in another educational program.

32 San Diego County Office of Education Pupils: Foster Children: Special Education–cont’d amended (a) (3) Requires a written statement be provided to a LEA by a parent, guardian, or educational rights holder if he/she makes a determination that it is in the best interest of a foster pupil to be placed in an educational program other than a program operated by the LEA, as specified. The written statement shall include:

33 San Diego County Office of Education Pupils: Foster Children: Special Education–cont’d A declaration that the parent, guardian, or educational rights holder is aware of all of the following: A. The pupil has a right to attend a regular public school in the least restrictive environment; B. The alternate education program is a special education program, if applicable; C. The decision to unilaterally remove the pupil from the regular public school and to place the pupil in an alternate education program may not be financed by the LEA; and, D. Any attempt to seek reimbursement for the alternate program will be at the expense of the parent, guardian, or educational rights holder.

34 San Diego County Office of Education Pupils: Foster Children: Special Education–cont’d Additional Provisions and clarifications: States that for purposes of ensuring a parent, guardian, or other person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil is aware of the information described above, the LEA may provide him/her with that information in writing. Clarifies that a pupil with exceptional needs, including a pupil residing in a LCI or foster family home shall not be referred to, or placed in, a NPS unless his/her IEP specifies that the placement is appropriate.

35 San Diego County Office of Education Pupils: Foster Children: Special Education–cont’d Additional Provisions and clarifications: Prohibits an LCI from referring a pupil to, or placing a pupil in, an NPS Stipulates that an LCI shall not, instead of may not, require that a child be identified as an individual with exceptional needs as a condition of admission or residency EC , , 56157, 56342, SB 121 (2012 )

36 San Diego County Office of Education Recent and New Legislation

37 San Diego County Office of Education AB-643 Public Schools: Pupil Records: Confidentiality (Stone) An act to amend Sections and of the Education Code, relating to public schools. This bill explicitly adds child welfare authorities to the existing exceptions to the requirement for parental consent for release of school records. It will align state law with the recent (January 2013) changes to FERPA.

38 San Diego County Office of Education High School Graduation: Local Requirements: Foster Children (AB 167 (2010), Amended in AB 216 (2013): State law: outlines a course of study a pupil is required to complete while in grades 9 to 12, in order to receive a diploma of graduation. allows the governing board of a school district to adopt rules specifying additional coursework requirements. requires a school district to exempt a pupil in foster care from all coursework and other requirements of the district that are in addition to the statewide coursework requirements if the pupil, while he or she is in grade 11 or 12, transfers to the district from another school district or between high schools within the district.

39 AB 490 IMPLEMENTATION

40 San Diego County Office of Education AB 1806 (Bloom) Pupil services: homeless children or youth. Grants students who are homeless all of the entitlements contained in AB 1909 SB 576 and AB 167/216 1.AB1909: Notice of pending expulsion/manifestation determination 2.AB 576: Partial credit and course enrollment 3.AB 167/216: State minimum graduation requirements

41 San Diego County Office of Education AB 2276 (Bocanegra D) Pupils: transfers from juvenile court schools. 9/30/2014-A. CHAPTERED Requires a pupil who has had contact with the juvenile justice system to be immediately enrolled in a public school, in accordance with specified provisions. Requires a county office of education and county probation department to have a joint transition planning policy that includes collaboration with relevant local educational agencies relating to pupils who are being released from juvenile court schools.

42 San Diego County Office of Education AB 1432 (Gatto D) Mandated child abuse reporting: school employees: training. 9/29/2014-CHAPTERED Requires the State Department of Education, in consultation with the Office of Child Abuse Prevention in the State Department of Social Services, to develop and disseminate information to all school districts, county offices of education, state special schools and diagnostic centers operated by the State Department of Education, and charter schools, and their school personnel in California, regarding the detection and reporting of child abuse, to provide statewide guidance on the responsibilities of mandated reporters, and to develop appropriate means of instructing school personnel in the detection of child abuse and neglect and the proper action that school personnel should take in suspected cases of child abuse and neglect.

43 San Diego County Office of Education AB 1455 (Campos D) Pupils: bullying: counseling services. 8/21/2014-CHAPTERED Authorizes the superintendent of a school district, the principal of a school, or the principal's designee to refer a victim of, witness to, or other pupil affected by, an act of bullying committed on or after January 1, 2015, to the school counselor, school psychologist, social worker, child welfare attendance personnel, school nurse, or other school support service personnel for case management, counseling, and participation in a restorative justice program, as appropriate.

44 San Diego County Office of Education Questions?


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