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The McKinney-Vento Act And Boulder Valley School District October 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "The McKinney-Vento Act And Boulder Valley School District October 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 The McKinney-Vento Act And Boulder Valley School District October 2008

2 The McKinney-Vento Act is federal legislation designed to address the problems that children and youth experiencing homelessness have faced in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school. is federal legislation designed to address the problems that children and youth experiencing homelessness have faced in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school. The program was originally authorized in 1987 as part of the first significant federal legislative response to homelessness. It was most recently reauthorized as Title X, Part C of Title 1, No Child Left Behind in The program was originally authorized in 1987 as part of the first significant federal legislative response to homelessness. It was most recently reauthorized as Title X, Part C of Title 1, No Child Left Behind in 2002.

3 Who are McKinney and Vento? Stewart B. McKinney was an independent-minded, liberal republican congressman from Connecticut who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1970 and served for nine terms. McKinney was regarded by his peers as a fighter for the causes of the forgotten. Stewart B. McKinney was an independent-minded, liberal republican congressman from Connecticut who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1970 and served for nine terms. McKinney was regarded by his peers as a fighter for the causes of the forgotten. Bruce F. Vento was elected by the state of Minnesota to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1977 and served until He earned a host of awards for his leadership and legislative contributions to improving the lives of individuals experiencing homelessness. Bruce F. Vento was elected by the state of Minnesota to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1977 and served until He earned a host of awards for his leadership and legislative contributions to improving the lives of individuals experiencing homelessness.

4 The intention of McKinney-Vento legislation is to remove all barriers to enrollment, retention, which includes attendance, and academic success that children and youth who are experiencing homelessness might face.

5 The McKinney-Vento Act defines experiencing homeless as lacking a “a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” A fixed residence is one that is stationary, permanent, and not subject to change. A fixed residence is one that is stationary, permanent, and not subject to change. A regular residence is one which is used on a regular (i.e., nightly) basis. A regular residence is one which is used on a regular (i.e., nightly) basis. An adequate residence is one that is sufficient for meeting both the physical and psychological needs typically met in home environments. An adequate residence is one that is sufficient for meeting both the physical and psychological needs typically met in home environments.

6 Because the circumstances of homelessness vary with each family’s or unaccompanied youth’s situation, determining the extent to which the family or youth fits the definition must occur on a case-by-case basis. McKinney-Vento issues require a case- specific inquiry. International law defines adequate as follows: “Adequate shelter means... adequate privacy, adequate space, adequate security, adequate lighting and ventilation, adequate basic infrastructure and adequate location with regard to work and basic facilities - all at a reasonable cost.”

7 Federal law requires all school districts to identify or locate children and youth experiencing homelessness. Federal law requires all school districts to identify or locate children and youth experiencing homelessness. The Act requires all LEAs (Local Educational Agencies, ie. school districts) to designate staff to serve as local homeless liaison. The Act requires all LEAs (Local Educational Agencies, ie. school districts) to designate staff to serve as local homeless liaison. BVSD’s designees, part of the Department of Student Success, Title 1 are: The McKinney-Vento Team of Catalina Mendez, Homeless Liaison and Wendy Gaylord, LCSW, McKinney-Vento Advocate

8 CDE requires tracking of children and youth experiencing homelessness, McKinney-Vento students, by nighttime residence using the following categories: Sheltered Sheltered Doubled up due to economic hardship Doubled up due to economic hardship Hotel/Motels Hotel/Motels Unsheltered Unsheltered CDE also requires tracking of whether a student is: Accompanied by parent or guardian Accompanied by parent or guardian Unaccompanied by parent of guardian Unaccompanied by parent of guardian

9 The Act requires school districts to disseminate public notice of the education rights of children and youth in homeless situations where such children and youth receive services, such as schools, family shelters, and soup kitchens.

10 Services and Rights: Immediate Enrollment The McKinney-Vento Act requires schools to enroll students experiencing homelessness immediately, even if the student is unable to provide documents that are typically required for enrollment. Enroll means permitting the student to attend classes and participate fully in school activities. Although the Act does not define immediate, the standard dictionary definition is “without delay.” Therefore, the student must begin attending classes and participating fully in school activities without delay. Generally, that would mean the same or the following day.

11 Services and Rights: Free Lunch and Breakfast Any child identified as experiencing homelessness is automatically eligible for free school meals. They do not have to complete an application. At BVSD we notify District Nutritional Services once eligibility has been determined.

12 Services and Rights: School Stability The McKinney-Vento Act allows for students to remain in the school of origin, defined as the school the student attended when permanently housed or the school in which the student was last enrolled, for the duration of their homelessness and for the remainder of the school year if they secure permanent housing.

13 Services and Rights: Transportation Transportation is provided for McKinney eligible students in circumstances where not having it would be a barrier to enrollment, retention, which includes attendance, and academic success.

14 Services and Rights: Referrals School district liaisons are required to provide referrals for health, mental health, dental, and other appropriate services in the community as well as for other appropriate services which may include housing, shelter, job training, public assistance, food and nutrition, and legal assistance.

15 Services and Rights: Waiver of Fees Enrollment is defined to include attending classes and participating fully in school activities. Enrichment programs and other supplemental services are school activities. Furthermore, the law requires that children and youth in homeless situations have a full and fair opportunity to succeed in school. Enrichment programs clearly support that requirement. The McKinney-Vento Act prohibits segregating students experiencing homelessness. Fees are waived for McKinney eligible students because inability to pay fees would provide a barrier to access programs and possible segregation.

16 Other issues: Absences The McKinney-Vento Act requires schools to identify and remove all barriers to enrollment and retention in school for children and youth in homeless situations. Zero tolerance rules for absenteeism can be such barriers, particularly when they result in class failures, exclusion from school, or court involvement. Frequently, students in homeless situations will miss school due to their living situations. Absences caused by homelessness should not be counted against students. The McKinney-Vento Act requires that zero tolerance rules address the realities of homelessness and not create a barrier to enrollment and retention in school. Sports and other extra-curricular activities are school activities which must comply with the McKinney-Vento Act’s requirement to remove barriers. They must exempt homeless students from sports participation rules that students cannot meet due to their homelessness and mobility, such as attendance rules.

17 How we work: A referral from any source is made directly to the McKinney-Vento Team. The referral form is in BVSD’s common folder in both Spanish and English and has been circulated to numerous collaborating agencies. A referral from any source is made directly to the McKinney-Vento Team. The referral form is in BVSD’s common folder in both Spanish and English and has been circulated to numerous collaborating agencies. We make a determination of eligibility based on an interview with the family or student. In some cases determination can be made from information given by the referral source. We make a determination of eligibility based on an interview with the family or student. In some cases determination can be made from information given by the referral source. After hearing the needs of the family/student we make appropriate referrals, often including calls to collaborating agencies. After hearing the needs of the family/student we make appropriate referrals, often including calls to collaborating agencies. We enter eligibility in IC, notify District Nutritional Service and the school principal and request transportation if needed. We enter eligibility in IC, notify District Nutritional Service and the school principal and request transportation if needed. Follow up is case dependant. Follow up is case dependant.

18 Statistics from school year new cases since July 25, new cases since July 25, BVSD Schools 34 BVSD Schools Referrals Referrals 60% directly from schools 60% directly from schools 33% from collaborating agencies 33% from collaborating agencies 6% from Ed Center employees 6% from Ed Center employees 1% directly from parents 1% directly from parents

19 What we need from you: Help disseminating information about McKinney-Vento rights and services including posting of posters. Help disseminating information about McKinney-Vento rights and services including posting of posters. Help identifying and referring McKinney eligible students Help identifying and referring McKinney eligible students Implementation of systems in each school to ensure waiver of fees in a sensitive and confidential way. Implementation of systems in each school to ensure waiver of fees in a sensitive and confidential way. Implementation of systems in each school which ensure that Implementation of systems in each school which ensure that all barriers to enrollment, retention, which includes attendance, and academic success that children and youth who are experiencing homelessness might face are removed.

20 Bibliography Austin, Joyce & Lundin, Carol, Opening Doors - The Men for Whom The McKinney-Vento Act Was Named, retrieved from THE 100 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON THE EDUCATION RIGHTS OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN HOMELESS SITUATIONS, retrieved from


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