Presentation on theme: "Coaching Homeless Students to Success presented by Pamela Jones, Instructional Facilitator Cherokee Elementary December 15, 2011."— Presentation transcript:
Coaching Homeless Students to Success presented by Pamela Jones, Instructional Facilitator Cherokee Elementary December 15, 2011
Introduction Video html html
Introduction Many teachers will have homeless students in their classroom at some point in their teaching career, which is why this topic is so important and why teachers need to have exposure to practices that help homeless students succeed in the classroom.
Objectives Discuss the prevalence of homelessness. Discuss statistics about homeless students. Define a homeless child. Identify the causes and factors that contribute to homelessness. Summarize the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Identify ways that teachers and school counselors can assist homeless children. Discuss local resources and programs for homeless children. Present facts and information in order to help teachers reach students who live without a place to call “home.”
Prevalence of Homelessness According to a study performed in 2007 by the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, 3.5 million people are likely to experience homelessness in a given year. Of the 3.5 million people, 1.35 million are children.
Statistics on Homeless Students 14% of homeless children are diagnosed with learning disabilities-double the rate of other children. 21% of homeless children repeat a grade. Within a single school year, 41% of homeless students attend 2 different schools, and 28% attend three or more.
Who are the Homeless? According to Title VII of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, homeless children and youth are defined as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The definition includes children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason children and youth who are living in motels, hotels, transitional or emergency shelters, cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, bus or train stations, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative accommodations children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings
What Causes Homelessness? According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, two trends are largely responsible for the rise in homelessness in the past years: a growing shortage of affordable rental housing and a simultaneous increase in poverty.
Other Factors that Contribute to Homelessness Lack of Affordable Health Care For families struggling to pay rent, a serious illness or disability can start a downward spiral into homelessness, beginning with a lost job, depletion of savings to pay for care, and eventual eviction. Domestic Violence People experiencing domestic violence often have to choose to stay in the abusive relationship or take their children and possibly face homelessness. Mental Illness Approximately 16% of the single adult homeless population suffer from some form of severe and persistent mental illness. Addiction Disorders People who are poor and addicted to drugs or alcohol have an increased risk of becoming homeless.
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act protects the educational rights of homeless children by mandating the removal of barriers that prevent these students from receiving a quality education. It ensures homeless children transportation to and from school free of charge, with their choice of what school they want to attend regardless of what district the family resides in. It further requires schools to register homeless children even if they lack the normally required documents, such as immunization records or proof of residence. To implement the Act, states must designate a statewide homeless coordinator to review policies and create procedures, including dispute resolution procedures, to ensure that homeless children are able to attend school. Local school districts must appoint Local Education Liaisons to ensure that school staff are aware of these rights, to provide public notice to homeless families (at shelters and at school), and to facilitate access to school and transportation services.
How Can Teachers Assist Homeless Children? Provide a predictable schedule and environment where children feel safe and sense of belonging Plan ahead Inform students if there are changes to the regular routine, such as a day when a substitute teacher will be taking the teacher’s place. This helps homeless students with the security and stability they need. Encourage homeless students by telling them that they are capable and having high expectations for their success Assess the student’s skills at the beginning of the school year or beginning of the time the child is placed in the classroom
How Can Teachers Assist Homeless Children? (Continued) Ensure that a full range of services is available to the student These services include tutoring, special education if needed, contact with the homeless student liaison, counseling, care from the school nurse, transportation to and from school, and food accommodations. Keep in contact with parents or guardians Parents or guardians can provide teachers with valuable information about what the student’s life is like outside of school. Also, consistent contact with parents or guardians helps them feel connected to the school, which is associated with increased attendance and higher academic achievement.
How Can Teachers Assist Homeless Children? (Continued) Be respectful and patient with the parents and students Use classroom management techniques of self-imposed time- outs, student-generated classroom rules, and class problem solving meetings Avoid penalizing homeless students for being late to class because of their transportation circumstances Attend workshops and meetings that inform teachers about the unique needs of homeless students
How Can Teachers Assist Homeless Children? (Continued) Make special homework accommodations For instance, a clipboard with pencils, paper and an attachable light can be a portable desk, making it easier for homeless students to complete their work. Also, homework assignments may need to be adjusted so that they do not require a computer, television, or special supplies or equipment. Maintain the student’s privacy Show sensitivity when asking students to bring photographs, toys, or food to class
How Can Teachers Assist Homeless Children? (Continued) Give the student an opportunity to view some of their life experiences in a positive way For example, a homeless student may have traveled more than other students. Help the child to see this in a positive perspective.
How Can School Counselors or Psychologists Help? Coordinate social services for these families Furnish individual and group counseling for homeless students Present awareness training for school personnel on poverty and homelessness Keep in contact with parents or guardians
Homeless Resource Center The Homelessness Resource Center (HRC) is committed to bringing together the community of organizations working to end homelessness. Each of these partners has a unique set of experiences, research, and knowledge around homelessness and provide for creative solutions. Separate we will not be able to resolve the problems of homelessness, but together as partners we can the way homelessness is viewed and bring about social awareness, policy enactment, and proven methods for serving our nations underserved populations. Take some time to explore each of the partners and discover what they offer in terms of working with people who are homeless and the training materials for the dedicate service providers
Conclusion Homelessness among students is a subject that many teachers will face. The most important thing for teachers to remember is that if they can remove even one frustration from a homeless child’s life, it can make a tremendous difference!
References McKinney-Vento Definition of 'Homeless.' How Many People Experience Homelessness? Why Are People Homeless? Helping the Homeless In and Out of School school-and-out school-and-out