A parent has arrived at your school and states that she and her children are currently in a homeless situation. What questions do you ask? What procedures should you follow? What are the parent’s rights? What steps do you take if homeless status is in question? question? Scenario
Who is Homeless? Individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; AND who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (doubled-up population) living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds living in emergency or transitional shelters awaiting foster care placement unaccompanied youth (Brief) – youth not in the physical custody of a parent or legal guardian
Why Do Parents Become Homeless? Substance abuse Could not pay rent/evicted Overcrowded/argument Domestic Violence
McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act, Title X, Part C of the No Child Left Behind Act
Procedures Identification: school staff, Truancy, community agencies, HS/VPI, Ex. Ed. Complete MFD/Tracking Form Enrollment Must be immediate Attend classes Free Lunch Request for transportation made to Homeless Ed. Office (780-6288) Notification Cafeteria Manager Homeless Ed. Office (fax MFD & Determination of Housing Status forms to 819-4424) Teacher School Social Worker Records Are NOT required upon enrollment Transfer of records must occur expeditiously
Enrollment Schools immediately enroll students experiencing homelessness even when lacking:Schools immediately enroll students experiencing homelessness even when lacking: –Proof of residency –Guardianship –Birth certificates, school records, or other documents –Medical records, including immunization records –Required dress code items, including uniforms Immediate enrollment is defined as attending classes and full participation in school activitiesImmediate enrollment is defined as attending classes and full participation in school activities
School Selection School placement in: School of origin, if the parent wishes and it is feasible School in area of current residency Right to attend school of origin for duration of homelessness If permanently housed during the academic year, right to remain in current school for remainder of the academic year
Transportation Provided by the local education agency (LEA) Inter-district Transportation Agreement GRTC bus cards Gas cards Transportation may be arranged by contacting the RRHEP office @ 780-6288
Access to Comparable Services Homeless students are entitled to receive educational services for which any other student is eligible, including: Free/Reduced Lunch (cafeteria mgr. memo) Title I/Exceptional Education School Supplies (teacher/school social worker memo) Summer School Head Start/Even Start and VPI Preschool Programs MV Social Worker servicing (3) high schools: Armstrong, Wythe, and Huguenot
Identify and Document Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness How to?
Possible Signs of Homelessness History of attending many schools Erratic attendance and tardiness Multiple families at the same address or the address of a low income motel in the area Resistance to parting with personal possessions
Families are reluctant to identify themselves as homeless! Using the word “homeless” may be uncomfortable for a family. The educational definition is broad and includes situations the family may not initially consider as homeless. Terms such as “being in transition” or “temporarily housed” should be used initially. Introduce a statement such as: “The description of your current living arrangement may meet the definition of homelessness we use in schools. If it does, there are some additional ways we can help your child.” ID Tips
When staff recognizes that a family may be experiencing homelessness, it is important that such a discussion is conducted in a private space to maintain confidentiality. Initial questions may include: “Can you tell me more about your recent moves?” “How long did you live at your last address?” “What brought you to our area/school zone?” Sharing in a Respectful Manner
We’re on the web! There you will have access to all of our forms, the RPS Homeless Policy, news, updates, and informational briefs. http://web.richmond.k12.va.us/Programs/RRHEP.aspx Mary Herrington-Babb, Program Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org Alia Butler Adlich, McKinney-Vento Social Worker (Armstrong, Huguenot, Wythe) email@example.com Tamika Massie, Program Assistant firstname.lastname@example.org Office Phone: 780-6288 Fax: 819-4424 How Can We Support You?