True or False The only homeless students are those who sleep outside or in shelters.
FALSE Although there are many students and siblings who live in shelters, cars and outdoors, many families live doubled up in crowded conditions. M-V grasps that these families are in a precarious living situations and face tough issues: lack of privacy to do homework, hunger, lack of bedding and warm clothing, no utilities, fear of when they’ll be kicked out of the place they’re sleeping, chaos, and the need to take care of siblings and sometimes even parents.
What ages does McKinney-Vento cover? The McKinney-Vento Act applies to children and youth age 21 and under, consistent with their eligibility for public education services under state and federal law (FAPE).
True or False Once a student’s family becomes permanently housed, the district will continue to provide services to them.
TRUE According to the law, once a family is registered as homeless, services are maintained for them throughout the entire school year, even if they’ve found long-term housing. Further, the McKinney-Vento law states that homeless services should be provided on a case-by-case basis up until one full year after the family has been housed.
True or False Every school district is required to have a McKinney-Vento liaison.
TRUE The McKinney-Vento Act requires every Local Educational Agency (LEA) to “designate an appropriate staff person” to serve as liaison, whether or not it receives a McKinney-Vento subgrant.
True or False Students displaced by a disaster are not covered by the McKinney-Vento Act.
FALSE Students who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence due to a disaster (earthquake, hurricane, tornado, flood, chemical explosion, terrorist attack, etc.) are considered homeless under the McKinney-Vento Act.
The McKinney-Vento definition As defined in the McKinney-Vento Act, homeless children and youth are individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence.
This definition includes children & youth living in: Emergency or transitional shelters. Motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds. Shared housing due to loss of housing or economic hardship. o May include unaccompanied youth who are running away from home. o Does not include families who share adequate housing on a long-term basis due to preference or convenience. Hospitals secondary to abandonment or awaiting foster care placement. Cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, or similar situations. Public or private places not ordinarily used as sleeping accommodations. NOTE: Migratory status, in itself, does not qualify children as homeless; migratory children must be living in the circumstances described above to meet the federal educational definition of homeless.
What McKinney-Vento ensures Transportation to and from school of origin Right to immediate enrollment Local liaison in all school districts Expressly prohibits segregating a homeless child or youth in a separate school, or in a separate program within a school
Where does the funding come from? U.S. Dept of Ed. awards M-V funds to states by formula based on State’s proportion of Title I, Part A federal allocation o Minimum state award is either $150,000; ¼ of 1 percent; or, the amount the state received in FY2001. States must distribute no less that 75% of its annual M-V allocation to LEAs in subgrants o Subgrants awarded competitively based on need & quality of the application LEAs without a subgrant are still expected to fund and provide “comparable” services to homeless students in their district Source: US Dept. of Education, revised non-regulatory guidance for McKinney Vento. July 2004.
Allowable use of funds by LEAs 1) Tutoring and other academic enrichment programs 2) Expedited evaluations for various educational services 3) Professional development activities for educators and pupil services personnel working with homeless students 4) Health referral services 5) Defraying excess cost of transportation to enable students to attend the school of origin 6) Provision of early childhood education programs for preschool aged homeless children 7) Services to retain unaccompanied youths in public school programs 8) Before- and after-school, mentoring, and summer programs with educational activities Source: State Coordinators’ Handbook: The McKinney-Vento Subgrant Process
9) Payment of fees and costs associated with tracking, obtaining, & transferring records 10) Education and training for parents of homeless children and youth about rights & resources 11) Development of coordination between schools and agencies providing services 12) Provision of pupil services (including violence prevention counseling) and referrals for such services 13) Activities to address needs that may arise from domestic violence 14) Adaptation of space and purchase of supplies for non-school facilities to provide services listed above 15) Provision of school supplies, including those to be distributed at shelters or other appropriate locations 16) Other extraordinary or emergency assistance needed to enable homeless students to attend school
Rights of Homeless Students Homeless children and youth should have equal access to the same free and appropriate public education as housed children. Students may not be separated from the mainstream school environment because of their homeless status. ● Homeless children and youth should receive services comparable to their housed peers, including: ○ Transportation services. ○ Education services, e.g. Title I, special education, limited English proficiency, etc. ○ Vocational and technical education programs. ○ Gifted and talented programs. ○ Free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch programs.
District and/or Building Liaisons Ensure homeless youth are identified o Place posters in schools, local businesses (laundromats, stores, motels) o Residency questionnaires o Training/awareness of school staff Ensure homeless youth are enrolled immediately and have an equal opportunity to attend school. Collaborate with educational services/agencies. o Preschools, Community Programs, Federal Programs, Health Services Resolve disputes o Admit student immediately where enrollment is being sought. Inform parents, guardians, and/or youth of transportation and other services that are available to them.
Quick Facts 2011-12: Over 1,168,354 identified homeless students were enrolled in public schools in the U.S. Living situation breakdown: 15% in shelters, 75% doubled up, 6% hotels/motels, 4% unsheltered ~1 in 4 students has a family that struggles to pay for basic needs e.g. rent, food, and utilities. It takes an average of 4-6 months to recover academically after changing schools. Families with children represent nearly half of the 20,000 homeless people in Washington State. Many low-income children in the state enter kindergarten lacking basic language and behavioral skills; more than a third never graduate from high school.
National data The 1,168,354 homeless students enrolled in the 2011-2012 school year is the highest number on record, and a 10 percent increase over the previous school. Source: Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program SY 2011-12 CSPR Data Collection Summary
Washington State 46% increase from 2007-08 to 2011-12. ~1 in every 38 students in our state is homeless. Source: OSPI Office of Homeless Education website.website
Tukwila SD Total District Enrollment (May 2012): 2,903 Number of students on Free & Reduced Lunch: 2,242 (77.2% of total district enrollment) Number of identified M-V students: 240 o K-5: 1286-8: 479-12: 63 16% in shelters, 71% doubled up, 9% hotels/motels, 4% unsheltered
Northshore SD Total District Enrollment (May 2012): 19,961 Number of students on Free & Reduced Lunch: 3,504 (17.6% of total district enrollment) Number of identified M-V students: 151 o K-5: 806-8: 319-12: 38 27% in shelters, 54% doubled up, 2% hotels/motels, 17% unsheltered
King County effort to “Count Me In” 776 youth and young adults were counted as homeless or unstably housed on January 24, 2013. 447 were staying in shelter or transitional housing programs. 329 were identified through in- person surveys administered at agencies and places that homeless youth frequent. o From the surveys, 114 were unsheltered & 215 were unstably housed.
Possible “red flags” at enrollment Lack of continuity in Education o Attending many different schools o Lack of records needed to enroll o Inability to pay fees Poor health/nutrition o Lack of immunization records Transportation and attendance problems o Erratic attendance and tardiness o Numerous absences Reaction/Statements by Parents, Guardians, or Child o Inability to contact parents o Exhibition of anger or embarrassment when asked about current address o Mention of staying with grandparents, other relatives, friends, or in a motel, or comments, such as: “I don’t remember the name of the last school.” “We’re staying with relatives until we get settled.” “We’re going through a bad time.” “Our address is new; I can’t remember it” “We’ve been moving around a lot.”
Possible “red flag” behaviors of current students Chronic hunger and tiredness Erratic attendance/tardiness Personal hygiene/tattered clothing Consistent lack of preparation for school Extremes in behavior Resistant to parting with personal possessions
Specific At-Risk Populations Low SES Recent economic hardships LGBT students Minority students Students from families with substance abuse and/or domestic violence Single parent, female headed families Youth in Foster Care Reconstituted families Students with weak or zero support networks
Effects of homelessness Truancy Testing & test scores Learning loss Lack of participation in school activities Increased behavior issues
Transportation...is the NUMBER ONE barrier that homeless children and youth faced in attempting to enroll in and attend school regularly. Source: US Dept. of Education, revised non-regulatory guidance for McKinney Vento. July 2004.
Legal/Ethical Considerations Does the ASCA Ethical Code (e.g. maintaining confidentiality) trump the legal aspects of McKinney-Vento? NO! M-V is federally funded and part of NCLB. Therefore, we must identify and report students in need of services to our building/district liaison.
Multicultural considerations Family Structure & Cultural Norm o Doubling Up Systemic inequities o Specific at-risk populations Cultural competency
Special Education: IEPs & IDEA Child find requirements o Highly mobile homeless children often fail to remain in one school long enough to be appropriately diagnosed with a disability. All IDEA laws and evaluation timelines still apply to homeless students o LEAs use M-V subgrant funds for expedited evaluations. School of enrollment should make a timely request of school records from previous school attended
Interview with Tukwila SD M-V Liaison Common FAQ’s o MV Qualifications, Housing information, What do to between 211 and getting housing? Misconceptions o Residency forms are a GUIDE to qualification. o Doubled up--Is the family choosing to split costs or truly doubled up? Liaisons can make sure that students are enrolled immediately, have school supplies, transportations, and are having their basic needs being met. Liaisons can not be the “housing fairy” or find immediate solutions for every family. o HUD definitions of homeless will make things harder for families. SC’s should know… o The best interest of the child. o Use “M-V” instead of “homeless” to avoid stigmatizing the student’s situation. o Classification is required annually. o A student may not be able to attend just because they are M-V either: 1. School of Origin 2. Neighborhood School 3. School you were at when becoming M-V (may not be School of Origin. SC’s serve as the go-between. Educate school staff about M-V. Teachers may need to know what is going on the help better understand what the student is going through. Be empathetic to the family who in many cases are just trying to survive. KNOW YOUR M-V LIAISON! Especially in bigger districts where you might not have as much contact. Kathleen Gantz, Parent Involvement Coordinator & M-V Liaison
Interview with Northshore SD M-V Liaison Common FAQs o What is M-V? o What does the law do? o How do kids qualify? Misconceptions o Students who don’t show outward signs of distress (hygiene, sleep deprived etc.) are not experiencing homelessness. How homeless students are tracked in NSD o Marked in eSIS, double checked with district list. o Elementaries may be tracking on their own (not in eSIS). o Not required at building level but encouraged. Must report data to track at district. Dr. Christopher Bigelow, Director of Student Services & McKinney-Vento Liaison Transportation o NSD does not use taxis for transportation. o Drivers who are solely for M-V, using “old fleet” of driver’s ed cars. o Transportation is biggest cost, most complicated issue. School Counselors should know… o To simply listen. Be aware of what you overhear. o Students are not being identified. MS/HS kids are NOT going to come forward to access services.
Strategies for classroom teachers Be familiar with the signs of homelessness and refer students that you identify to your school or district liaison. Stabilize the child’s needs (food, school supplies, clothing, other community resources. Provide consistency and structure Pair a peer buddy with the student to help him/her become oriented with the classroom and school. Provide students with personal space for belongings (e.g., cubbie or locker). Avoid taking away possessions. (Children in unstable situations often find “security” in their possessions.) Communicate with parents Make appropriate referrals (MV Liaison, counselor, nurse, social worker, etc.) (Source: OSPI Amanda Goes to School, NASP, Wisconsin DPI)
OSPI: “Amanda goes to School” Published March 2011 Comprehensive Guide for Educators for responding to the rights and needs of homeless students in WA State. Comprehensive Guide o Background, o Guidance in building Foundation, Framework, and Community o Guidance in Identification o Resources: The “5 in 5” o Law Appendices
Resources in the school & community Building and/or district M-V liaison School-Family-Community Partnership facilitator (school level and/or district level) Community based organizations o YMCA/YWCA, Faith-based, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, United Way, Salvation Army 2-1-1 hotline & directory
Online Resources OSPI Homeless Education - http://www.k12.wa.us/HomelessEd/default.aspx/http://www.k12.wa.us/HomelessEd/default.aspx/ National Center for Homeless Education - http://center.serve.org/nche/legis/mv.phphttp://center.serve.org/nche/legis/mv.php National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) - http://www.naehcy.org/ http://www.naehcy.org/ Building Changes - http://www.buildingchanges.org/http://www.buildingchanges.org/ Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - http://www.gatesfoundation.org/What-We-Do/US- Program/Washington-State/Homelessness-and-Family-Stabilityhttp://www.gatesfoundation.org/What-We-Do/US- Program/Washington-State/Homelessness-and-Family-Stability APA’s Guide, “Helping People Without Homes” - https://www.apa.org/pubs/info/reports/end-homelessness.pdf https://www.apa.org/pubs/info/reports/end-homelessness.pdf National Association of School Psychologists - http://www.nasponline.org/educators/HCHSIIHomeless.pdf http://www.nasponline.org/educators/HCHSIIHomeless.pdf
HB 2373 & SB 6074 Enacting provisions to improve educational outcomes for homeless students. Updates to RCW 28A.300.540 & 28A.175.010 Changes in reporting to OSPI Strongly encourages yearly staff-wide training Strongly encourages distribution of brochures with information on M-V to ALL parents
WA State M-V contact information Ms. Melinda Dyer OSPI - Education of Homeless Children & Youth 360.725.6050, firstname.lastname@example.org Listing of WA State District Liaisons http://www.k12.wa.us/HomelessEd/ContactList.aspx