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Kristine Nadolski & Susan Piazza State Co-Coordinators Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction McKinney-Vento.

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Presentation on theme: "Kristine Nadolski & Susan Piazza State Co-Coordinators Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction McKinney-Vento."— Presentation transcript:

1 Kristine Nadolski & Susan Piazza State Co-Coordinators Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act Act

2 How long have you been the homeless liaison in your district? A- less than 1 year B- 1-3 years C- 3-5 years D- 5-10 years E- more than 10 years

3 National Data SY 2011-2012 Total Enrollment 1,166,436 students experiencing homelessness

4 Wisconsin Statistics on Homelessness 15,504 children were identified as homeless in Wisconsin public school districts during the 2011-12 school year 16,709 children were identified as homeless in the 2012-13 school year It is important to note that these numbers only reflect identified students enrolled in public schools, therefore, the actual number of children and youth experiencing homelessness in Wisconsin is presumably much higher

5 The McKinney-Vento Act Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act; reauthorized by Title X, Part C of ESEA Main themes of the McKinney-Vento Act –School access –School stability –Support for academic success –Child-centered, best interest decision making –Role of the local homeless education liaison

6 Barriers to Education for Children and Youth in Homeless Situations Enrollment requirements (residency, school records, immunizations, legal guardianship) High mobility resulting in lack of school stability and education continuity Lack of access to programs Lack of transportation Lack of school supplies, clothing, etc. Poor health, fatigue, hunger Prejudice and misunderstanding

7 Homelessness Defined The term “homeless” children and youth means: “Children who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence—” So, what exactly is a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence?

8 Fixed, Regular, and Adequate Fixed: –Stationary, permanent, not subject to change Regular: –Used on a predictable, routine, consistent basis –Consider the relative permanence Adequate: –Lawfully and reasonably sufficient –Sufficient for meeting the physical and psychological needs typically met in a home environment Can the student go to the SAME PLACE (fixed) EVERY NIGHT (regular) to sleep in a SAFE AND SUFFICIENT SPACE (adequate)?

9 Eligibility as defined by the McKinney-Vento Assistance Act Common homeless living situations defined as homeless include: Sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason (sometimes referred to as doubled-up) Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, camping grounds due to lack of adequate alternative accommodations Living in emergency or transitional shelters Awaiting foster care placement

10 Eligibility as defined by the McKinney-Vento Assistance Act Living in a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for humans Living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, etc. Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above. Unaccompanied youth living in the above circumstances

11 Unaccompanied Homeless Youth— Key Provisions Definition: Youth who meet the definition of homeless AND are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian (e.g. youth living with relatives on an emergency basis, youth living with a friend, runaway, or throwaway youth) Regardless of housing status (homeless vs. permanently housed), liaisons must help unaccompanied youth choose and enroll in a school. School personnel must be made aware of the specific needs of runaway and homeless youth

12 Scenario Your son has asked if his buddy can stay a few nights at your house. You discover that your son’s friend has not been home for several weeks due to “family difficulties.” *Is this a homeless situation? *What should the school do if notified about the situation?

13 Homeless Liaison - Responsibilities Every LEA must designate a liaison for students experiencing homelessness Responsibilities –Ensure that children and youth in homeless situations are identified –Ensure that students experiencing homelessness are IMMEDIATELY enrolled in and have full and equal opportunity to succeed in school –Link students experiencing homelessness with educational services; including preschool and health services

14 Homeless Liaisons – Responsibilities Inform parents, guardians, or unaccompanied youth of educational and parent involvement opportunities Post public notice of McKinney-Vento educational rights Ensure that disputes are resolved promptly Inform parents, guardians, or unaccompanied youth of transportation services, including to the school of origin

15 Homeless Liaison Toolkit from the National Center for Homeless Education

16 Access to Services Students who experience homelessness must have access to educational services for which they are eligible, including special education, programs for English language learners, gifted and talented programs, vocational technology programs, and school nutrition programs Undocumented children and youth have the same right to attend public school as U.S. citizens and are covered by the McKinney-Vento Act to the same extent as other children and youth (Plyler v. Doe)

17 Access to Services (cont.) USDA policy permits liaisons and shelter directors to obtain free school meals for students by providing a list of names of students experiencing homelessness with effective dates The 2004 reauthorization of IDEA includes amendments that reinforce timely assessment, inclusion, and continuity of services for homeless children and youth who have disabilities

18 Other Services and Supports In addition to access to educational programs, homeless students are eligible for additional services and supports, including: –School supplies –Fee waivers –Tutoring programs –Before/After school programs –Referral to community and social services –Transportation to/from the school of origin –Title I, Part A services and supports

19 Identification Strategies Provide awareness activities for school staff (registrars, secretaries, counselors, social workers, nurses, teachers, bus drivers, administrators, etc.) Coordinate with community service agencies, such as shelters, meal programs, drop-in centers, public assistance and housing agencies, and public health departments Provide outreach materials and posters where there is a frequent influx of low-income families and youth in high-risk situations, including motels and campgrounds Educate school staff about “warning signs” that may indicate an enrolled child or youth may be experiencing homelessness

20 Immediate Enrollment Students experiencing homelessness are entitled to immediate enrollment (defined as attending and fully participating in school) even if they do not have: –School records, –Medical records including immunization records, –Proof of residency, –Guardianship papers, –Birth certificate, or other documents normally needed. –After enrollment, the homeless liaison will assist the parent, guardian or unaccompanied youth in obtaining necessary documents.

21 School Selection Students experiencing homelessness may attend either: –The local attendance area school: Any public school that students living in the same attendance area are eligible to attend –The school of origin: The school the child or youth attended when permanently housed; or The school in which the child or youth was last enrolled

22 School Selection Best interest: Keep students experiencing homelessness in their school of origin, to the extent feasible, unless this is against the parent’s, guardian’s, or unaccompanied youth’s wishes Ideally, the parents/guardians/youth and school agree; if not, IMMEDIATELY ENROLL, pending dispute resolution process. If a student is sent to a school other than that requested by a parent, guardian or unaccompanied youth, the district must provide a written explanation of its decision and the right to appeal.

23 Feasibility What to consider in school selection: –The age of the child or youth –The distance of a commute and the impact it may have on the student’s education –Personal safety issues –A student’s need for special instruction (e.g., special education and related services) –The length of anticipated stay in a temporary shelter or other temporary location –The time remaining in the school year Question G-4, U.S. Department of Education Guidance

24 Feasibility The placement determination should be a student-centered, individualized determination There is no time or distance limit placed on transportation to school of origin; consider the unique situation of the student and how the transportation will affect the student’s education

25 School Selection Students may continue attending the school of origin the entire time they are homeless, and until the end of any school year in which they move into permanent housing Students who become homeless and do not find permanent housing in between school years may continue attending the school of origin for the following school year

26 School of Origin—Key Provisions –School of origin has to do with school stability, not feeder school pattern. –A student transitioning from one grade level building (e.g. elementary to middle) does not have a legal right under McKinney-Vento to attend the feeder school based on the use of the word “school” of origin, rather than “district” of origin. –Districts may use discretion depending on case by case scenarios

27 Why is it so important for a child to stay in the school of origin? It is a “rule of thumb” that it takes a child four to six months to recover academically after changing schools. High mobility impedes students’ academic and social growth Highly mobile students frequently fare poorly on standardized tests Therefore, the default position is that remaining in the school of origin is in students’ best interests

28 Transportation Districts must transport homeless students to and from the school of origin, at a parent’s or guardian’s request (or at the liaison’s request for unaccompanied youth) If the student’s temporary residence and the school of origin are in the same district, that district must arrange transportation If the student is living outside the district of origin, the district where the student is living and the district of origin must determine how to divide the responsibility and cost, or they must share the responsibility and cost equally

29 Transportation Districts may consider other safe transportation options besides school busses, in keeping with state and local pupil transportation guidelines Consult with pupil transportation directors about transportation options

30 Transportation Options Re-route school buses Provide passes for public transportation Reimburse parents or unaccompanied youth for gas –For a sample gas reimbursement agreement, see – In cross district cases homeless liaisons collaborate to determine appropriate and cost effective arrangements Use approved taxi or van services

31 Comparable Transportation Districts must provide homeless students with services comparable to those offered to other students in the school, including transportation

32 Scenario A student attends district A (school of origin). Student becomes homeless and lives in district B. District A and B share transportation costs so that student may continue to attend school of origin in District A. The family finds permanent housing in district C. 1)Is student still eligible to attend school of origin in District A? 2)Is student eligible for transportation to school of origin in District A?

33 Resolution of Disputes—Key Provisions When a dispute over enrollment arises, the student must be admitted immediately to the school of choice while the dispute is being resolved (providing the student meets the entrance requirements for the school of choice and there is space in the grade level) Liaisons must ensure unaccompanied youth are enrolled immediately while the dispute is being resolved If a student is sent to a school other than that requested by a parent or guardian, the district must provide a written explanation to the parent or guardian of its decision and the right to appeal

34 The Title I, Part A Set-aside Districts must set aside Title I, Part A funds (or use local or state funds) to: –Serve students experiencing homelessness not attending Title I schools –Provide services comparable to those provided to children attending Title I schools Districts may provide students experiencing homelessness with services that are not ordinarily provided to other Title I permanently housed students and are not available from other sources.

35 Title I Eligibility Children and youth experiencing homelessness are: –Automatically eligible for Title I services, including services provided through school wide or targeted assistance programs –Eligible to receive Title I services for the remainder of any school year in which they become permanently housed –Eligible to receive Title I services, even if not attending a Title I school, through the Title I set-aside

36 Permissible Title I, Part A Funding: Used only when not available from other sources – supplement not supplant… Partial list: Clothing/shoes (school uniform/dress code/gym uniform) Cap and Gown Fees to participate in the general education program School supplies Birth certificates necessary to enroll in school Medical/dental services (glasses, hearing aids, immunizations) Counseling for issues affecting learning Outreach services to students living in shelters, motels, and other temporary residences Extended learning time or tutoring support Activities/services supporting parent involvement

37 Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 Signed into law on January 17, 2014 Included policy changes regarding serving children and youth experiencing homelessness through Title I –Funds may be used to support the local liaison position –Funds may be used to provide transportation to school of origin Governs the spending of FY2014 Title I dollars, and FY2012 and FY2013 Title I carryover funds

38 2014 Guidance Use of Title I Funds * According to the 2014 Omnibus Spending bill, Title I funds may be used to: offset the excess cost of transporting children and youth experiencing homelessness to/from the school of origin, effective July 1, 2014 Fund all or part of the homeless liaison’s salary, even if that person has no Title I duties There is no official guidance regarding excess cost of transportation. LEAs may consider that transportation offices can calculate a per pupil amount for transportation when rerouting a school bus provided by State and local funds, including special transportation. However, using taxicabs, private shuttle busses, gas cards, or reimbursing for mileage may all be considered “excess cost.” This is currently only for 14-15 funds

39 Prohibited Use of Title I, Part A Funds Includes but not limited to… “Extras” such as yearbook, letter jacket, class ring Rent Utilities Clothing for parents

40 McKinney-Vento Legislation into practice: Fundamentals of a quality homeless program Getting administrative buy in: –Developing district policies –Obtaining funding Determining best practices: –What is needed in your district/school? –Effective and efficient targeted training –Identifying stake holders, developing community partnerships.

41 Determining Best Practices (continued) Collaborating with shelters and community agencies including the local Continuum of Care Reaching out to faith based organizations Exploring transportation options Collaborating with neighboring school districts Pursuing business partnerships Soliciting and managing donations

42 Helpful Resources National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) 800-308-2145 National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP) 202-638-2535 http://www.nlchp.org National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY) 202-364-7392 http://www.naehcy.org

43 Contact Information Kristine Nadolski, Wisconsin DPI EHCY Coordinator 608-267-7338 Susan Piazza, Wisconsin DPI EHCY Coordinator 608-267-1284 WI DPI EHCY Program website

44 Enrollment Simulation This video simulation was created by NYS-TEACHS to highlight something often encountered but rarely examined - the way discussions about homelessness impact whether students in temporary housing are properly identified and enrolled in school. The simulation demonstrates the powerful effect of speaking with sensitivity, and conversely how the lack of sensitivity can derail a conversation with a parent. Conversation choices can make an enormous difference between whether the school district gets the information it needs to make a decision about eligibility under McKinney-Vento and ultimately whether the district is able to carry out its mandates properly under McKinney-Vento.

45 Thank You

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