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Immediate Enrollment Under McKinney-Vento: Keeping Students Safe

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Presentation on theme: "Immediate Enrollment Under McKinney-Vento: Keeping Students Safe"— Presentation transcript:

1 Immediate Enrollment Under McKinney-Vento: Keeping Students Safe
“…Through it all, school is probably the only thing that has kept me going. I know that every day that I walk in those doors, I can stop thinking about my problems for the next six hours and concentrate on what is most important to me. Without the support of my school system, I would not be as well off as I am today. School keeps me motivated to move on, and encourages me to find a better life for myself.” Carrie Arnold, LeTendre Scholar, 2002

2 Our Agenda Today Schools can play a pivotal role in supporting the safety of children and youth experiencing homelessness, including runaway youth, youth who have been put out of their homes, abducted children and survivors of domestic violence. This presentation will give an overview of homelessness, McKinney-Vento, and how we can make our school district a safe place.

3 Work with your colleagues to complete a monthly budget.
Warm-Up Activity Work with your colleagues to complete a monthly budget. Left side of the room: budget for a 2-parent household with 2 school-aged children and 1 preschooler Right side of the room: budget for a single-parent household with 2 school-aged children Try to cut costs as much as possible, while being realistic. You may find it helpful to begin the presentation with a group activity to help people understand that anyone can become homeless. One idea is for small groups to complete a monthly budget and compare it to the minimum wage. A sample budgeting handout is available at WEBSITE. You may prefer to show a brief awareness video. Many State Coordinators have developed awareness videos. The nonprofit organization Hear Us also has a video available through

4 Warm-Up Activity (cont.)
What did you find? How would your hypothetical family survive a serious illness, loss of job, car trouble, or any unexpected bill? How could your hypothetical family save money to buy a home or have a cushion for unexpected expenses?

5 How many children and youth experience homelessness?
Over 1.35 million children nationally # enrolled in school in our state/district (roughly X% (insert #) of all children and youth in state/district) 10% of all children living in poverty Over 40% of all children who are homeless are under the age of 5 Talk about trends and realities of family and youth homelessness in your state/district. Add your statistics.

6 Causes of Homelessness
Lack of affordable housing Severe poverty Health problems Loss of job Domestic violence Natural and other disasters Abuse/neglect (unaccompanied youth) Talk about prevalent causes of homelessness in your community, giving real examples of families and youth you have worked with.

7 Unaccompanied Youth-- Who Are They?
Definition: a McKinney-Vento child or youth who is not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian Studies have found that 20-50% of unaccompanied youth were sexually abused in their homes; 40-60% were physically abused Only about half of homeless youth are considered to have a chance of family reconciliation Let people know that the overall definition of “McKinney-Vento child or youth” is coming in a subsequent slide. There is no legal age limit on this group. It is very helpful to provide real examples of unaccompanied youth you know and to emphasize that school is an oasis of stability for homeless youth, many of whom excel academically and in extracurricular activities.

8 Unaccompanied Youth-- Who Are They? (cont.)
20-40% of youth in homeless situations identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (compared to 3-5% of adult population) Homeless youth are six times more likely to be in foster care 25-40% of youth who emancipate from foster care will end up homeless One study found that 1 in 4 gay male teens is thrown out of the house after coming out to his parents. The foster care system is not successful in preventing homelessness of teenagers in foster care (many of whom leave group home or foster home settings and are not pursued by child welfare) or those leaving foster care (many of whom have not been prepared to support themselves once their foster placement ends at age 18).

9 McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
Reauthorized 2002 by NCLB (Title X, Part C) Main themes: School stability School access Support for academic success Child-centered, best interest decision making This slide is a transition from the realities of homelessness to the legal effort to confront those realities and support children and youth who are homeless.

10 Eligibility— Who is Covered?
Children who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence— Sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, camping grounds due to lack of adequate alternative accommodations Living in emergency or transitional shelters Share details and examples of homeless situations prevalent in your community, to give context to the definitions.

11 Eligibility— Who is Covered? (cont.)
Awaiting foster care placement Living in a public or private place not designed for humans to live Living in cars, parks, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings Migratory children living in above circumstances

12 Local Homeless Education Liaisons
Every LEA must designate a liaison for students in homeless situations Responsibilities Ensure that children and youth in homeless situations are identified and enrolled in school, and have full opportunity to succeed in school Link with educational services, including preschool and health services Inform parents, guardians and youth of education, transportation and parent involvement opportunities Post public notice of educational rights Resolve disputes Participants must understand the role of the liaison and that the liaison is the “go-to” person for any questions or concerns regarding children, families and youth in homeless situations. They should know how to contact the liaison.

13 McKinney-Vento Act Key Provisions
Immediate enrollment without documents: attending classes and participating fully in school School stability: staying in the school of origin for the duration of homelessness and to end of year when permanently housed Transportation to the school of origin Eliminating barriers: to enrollment and retention Make sure people understand they must immediately enroll students experiencing homelessness, regardless of any and all document requirements. Emphasize the importance of school stability and explain rights to remain in the school of origin and receive transportation. Talk about eliminating barriers to immediate enrollment, attendance, and academic success, including transportation, access to needed services and integration.

14 McKinney-Vento Act Key Provisions
Unaccompanied youth: immediate enrollment without legal guardian; liaison support Preschoolers: connect with Head Start and other pre-K programs No discrimination: access to needed services and integration Title I: automatic eligibility and reservation of funds Dispute resolution: immediate enrollment; written notice; referral to liaison Talk again about the special needs of unaccompanied youth and explain the procedures your district or state uses to ensure the immediate enrollment of unaccompanied youth. Provide strategies for talking with youth about their situation and needs, while protecting their privacy and dignity. Remind participants to ask about preschool-aged children and connect them with preschool services. Emphasize the need to integrate homeless students in existing Title I programs and provide services for homeless students specifically, via the set-aside. Let people know how your local or state dispute resolution process works and where they can find more information or sample forms.

15 Possibility of child abduction
Safety Issues Survivors of domestic violence: 20% of violent crime against women is committed by an intimate partner Unaccompanied youth: many parents are abusive, neglectful, or unable/unwilling to parent their children Possibility of child abduction You can play a pivotal role in keeping children and youth safe! Give specific examples to help people understand the dangers faced by survivors of domestic violence and unaccompanied youth.

16 Safety Strategies-- Enrollment
Enroll children and youth experiencing homelessness immediately, as required by the McKinney-Vento Act. School is the safest place for children who are in danger! Talk with parents, students and the previous school about potential dangers, and develop a safety plan together. Talk to runaway youth about their home situation with care and sensitivity. Understand that youth may hesitate to admit that home is an unhealthy or dangerous environment for them. Give people examples of how to be sensitive and respectful to parents and youth. Consider a role-play.

17 Safety Strategies-- Support
Refer unaccompanied youth and domestic violence survivors to counseling resources, including school counselors and social workers. Provide a “safe place” and trained mentor at school for unaccompanied youth to access as needed. Add strategies that are appropriate to the resources available in your school district or state. Add references for community resources and groups with which you collaborate.

18 Safety Strategies-- Privacy
Never share any information about a student with anyone who cannot prove they have the legal right to receive it. Make everyone requesting any information about a student complete and sign an information request form, and maintain a record of all requests. Always check the database and paper records to see if there is a protective order or other restriction to access to school records and information.

19 Safety Strategies-- Get Help
Transfer school records through the State Coordinator’s Office if necessary to restrict information about where a student has enrolled in school. If you suspect a child has been abducted or reported missing, contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (www.missingkids.com; THE-LOST).

20 Group Activity Mrs. Williams arrives at school to enroll her daughter, Sandra. Mrs. Williams seems nervous and refuses to answer some of the enrollment questions. She says she does not have a permanent address right now. She also asks if the school has a security guard. Sandra just sits quietly with her mother.

21 Group Activity Would you enroll Sandra? How would you handle the practicalities, like entering her in the database and requesting records? What questions might you ask Mrs. Williams to learn about her situation and Sandra’s needs? To whom might you refer Sandra? To whom might you refer Mrs. Williams?

22 Local Resources Liaison Name and Contact Info State Coordinator Name and Contact Info Other local resources (helpful websites, preschools, youth programs, shelters, housing, medical clinics, nonprofits, etc.)

23 National Resources National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth National Center on Homeless Education National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty National Network for Youth

24 If you take only one thing with you…
Enroll children and youth experiencing homelessness immediately! If you turn away a child or youth, you may be sending them into a dangerous situation and breaking the law.


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