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1 The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act Effective Education Regarding Homeless Children and Youth in Tennessee Shelby County Schools.

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Presentation on theme: "1 The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act Effective Education Regarding Homeless Children and Youth in Tennessee Shelby County Schools."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act Effective Education Regarding Homeless Children and Youth in Tennessee Shelby County Schools

2 What Is the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act? The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act was created to address the problems that homeless children and youth have faced in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school. Under this program, State Educational Agencies (SEA) must ensure that each homeless child and youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education. 2

3 EXTRA: Finding Strength While Homeless 3

4 A Brief History Regarding the McKinney- Vento Act 1987 The Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act is signed into law, requiring states to review and revise residency requirements for the enrollment of homeless children and youth The McKinney Act is amended, requiring states to eliminate all enrollment barriers, and provide school access and support for academic success for students experiencing homelessness; McKinney funds may now be used to provide direct educational services for eligible students The education portion of the McKinney Act is included in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), adding preschool services, greater parental input, and emphasis on interagency collaboration The Act is reauthorized as the McKinney-Vento Act (Title X, Part C of ESEA), strengthening legislative requirements and requiring all school districts to appoint a local liaison to ensure the law is implemented effectively at the local level. 4

5 5 The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act Requirements include educational access, stability, and success for homeless children and youth. Responsibilities are outlined for local liaisons and state coordinators.

6 6 What Is the Definition of a Homeless Student? The McKinney-Vento Act defines “Homeless Students” as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.

7 7 The term also includes children and youth who are: Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (sometimes referred to as doubled-up) Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations Living in emergency or transitional shelters Abandoned in hospitals Awaiting foster care placement What Is the Definition of a Homeless Student?

8 Fixed Residence Definition “Securely placed or fastened… not subject to change or fluctuation” “…distinguished from an occasional lodger or visitor” “A fixed residence is one that is stationary, permanent, and not subject to change.” 8

9 9 Unaccompanied Youth Definition Homeless unaccompanied youth often face unique barriers in enrolling and succeeding in school. An unaccompanied youth is an individual who is not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian and who meets the criteria for homelessness.

10 Identifying Homeless Children and Youth: Best Practices Homeless children and youth are difficult to identify for many reasons, and thus often go unnoticed by school personnel. In order to identify homeless children both in and out of school, the district can coordinate with community service agencies. Note: Avoid using the word “homeless” in initial contact with school personnel, families, or youth. For many people, the word “homeless” conjures up stereotypical images. 10

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12 Two ways to identify displaced students: 1. School identification 2. Information provided by parent or guardian 12 Identifying Homeless Children and Youth: Best Practices

13 Common Signals of Displacement 1. Lack of continuity in education 2. Poor health/nutrition 3. Transportation and attendance problems 4. Poor hygiene 5. Lack of privacy/personal space after school 6. Social and behavioral concerns 7. Reaction/statement by parents, guardian, or child 13

14 After Identifying the Student Immediate school enrollment is required. If a dispute arises over school selection or placement, the district must admit a displaced child or youth to the school in which enrollment is sought by the parent, pending resolution of the dispute. 14

15 Rights of Eligible Children and Youth The right to remain in the school of origin The right to receive transportation to the school of origin The right for academic success The right to immediate enrollment in school, even if lacking documentation normally required for enrollment Kinds of documentation that may be lacking: Birth certificate Immunization records Previous academics Proof of guardianship or residency 15

16 Immunization If immunizations or immunization medical records are missing, the liaison must assist in obtaining them, and the student must be enrolled in the interim. Potential health risks are minimal. Only students lacking immunizations are potentially at risk. With the exception of kindergarteners, all homeless students have been in school somewhere and thus probably have had immunizations despite their current lack of records. 16

17 Points To Ponder and Question When is doubled up not homeless? Why did the family move in together? Was the move-in because of crisis or by mutual choice? Is the living arrangement meant to be permanent? Where would the family live if not doubling up? Is the living situation fixed, regular, and adequate? If there is a dispute, a referral will be made to Student Services. 17

18 Schools are responsible for enrolling displaced children and youth. A school selected on the basis of a “best interest determination” must immediately enroll the child, even if the child is unable to produce the records normally required for enrollment. Those records consist of: Previous academic records Medical records Proof of residency Birth certificates 18 Our Responsibility

19 If a child needs to obtain immunizations or medical/immunization records, the enrolling school must immediately refer the parent or guardian to the district’s Federal Programs office, which will guide and assist in obtaining the immunizations or records. 19

20 How Do We “Get It Right” Regarding Identification and Enrollment? StepResponsible 1. Identify the student and enroll the student in PowerSchool. School 2. Confirm Federal Programs’ awareness of the identified student. School and/or Federal Programs 3. Determine eligibility of the identified student (see Affidavit). Federal Programs 4. Deliver services to the eligible student. Federal Programs 5. In cases of eligibility dispute, refer the case to Student Services. Parent/guardian and/or School 6. In cases of eligibility dispute, finalize eligibility determination. Student Services 20

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22 For More Information National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) / National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP) 22

23 State Contact Information Paula Gaddis Migrant, Homeless & Private Schools Project Director Tennessee Department of Education

24 Contact Information for Federal Programs, Grants & Compliance 3782 Jackson Ave Memphis, TN LOC 8097 Manager of Grants & Special Populations Theresa Utley – Federal Program Specialists Kevin Potts – / Clarence Bayes – / 24

25 Questions/Comments 25

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