• HOMELESS CHILDREN

    The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility under McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) and Education
    Law Section §3209, as amended in 2017, to identify homeless children within the district, encourage their enrollment and eliminate existing barriers to their education which may exist in
    district practices. The Board will provide that homeless children attending the district’s schools access to the same free and appropriate public education, including preschool education, as other children.


    A homeless child is a child who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence or who has a primary nighttime location in a public or private shelter designed to provide
    temporary living accommodations, or a place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. This definition also includes a child who shares the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason; lives in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; lives in a car, park, public space or abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station or similar setting; has been abandoned in a hospital; is awaiting foster care placement; or is a migratory child who qualifies as homeless. An unaccompanied youth is a homeless child not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. To assist in determine eligibility for services under the McKinney-Vento Act, the district shall use a housing questionnaire for all enrolling students, and those reporting a change of address, which asks for a description of the student’s current living arrangements. A housing questionnaire may be accessed in this policy at 5151-R. A homeless child has the right to attend school in either the district of origin or any school that permanently housed students who live in the attendance area in which the homeless student is actually living are eligible to attend. Such schools include publicly-funded preschools administered by the district or the State Education Department (SED).


    1. the public school where he/she attended when permanently housed (i.e., before becoming homeless); or

    2. the public school where he/she was last enrolled, or

    3. the public school he/she was entitled or eligible to enroll in when the child became homeless, if that child became homeless after such child was eligible to apply, register, or enroll
    in a public preschool or kindergarten, or he/she is living with a school-age sibling who attends school in the district; or

    4. the designated receiving school at the next grade level for any feeder school, where the child has completed the final grade in the feeder school.

    The homeless child is entitled to attend the designated school on a tuition-free basis for the duration of his or her homelessness. If the child becomes permanently housed, the child is entitled to continue attendance in the same school building until the end of the school year and for one additional year if that year constitutes the child’s terminal year in such building. If a
    homeless child completes the final grade level in his/her school of origin, the child may also attend the designated receiving school at the next grade level for all feeder schools. The
    Superintendent of Schools shall develop procedures necessary to expedite the homeless child's access to the designated school. Such procedures shall include:


    1. Admission: Upon designation, the district shall immediately admit the homeless child to school, even if the child is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment, such as
    previous academic records, medical records, proof of residency or other documentation (however, the district may temporarily exclude a child from attendance if there are actual symptoms of a communicable disease that poses a significant risk of transmission to others), and even if there is a dispute with the child’s parents regarding school selection or enrollment. During a dispute, the student may continue attending the school until final resolution of the dispute, including all available appeals. 

    Homeless children will have the same opportunity as other children to enroll in and succeed in the district’s schools. They will not be placed in separate schools or programs based on their status as homeless. The district shall eliminate barriers to identification, enrollment and retention of homeless children, including barriers to enrollment and retention due to outstanding fees, fines or absences

    2. Transportation: The district shall provide transportation for homeless students currently residing within the district as required by applicable law.

    3. School Records: For homeless students attending school out of the district, the district shall, within five days of receipt of a request for records, forward a complete copy of the homeless child's records including proof of age, academic records, evaluation, immunization records and guardianship paper, if applicable.

    4. Coordination: The district shall coordinate with local social services agencies and other entities providing services to homeless children and their families for the provision of services to
    homeless children, and shall coordinate with other school districts on issues of prompt identification, transportation, transfer of records, and other inter-district activities. This shall
    include ensuring the provision of appropriate services to homeless students with disabilities who are eligible for services under either Section 504 or IDEA.


    A portion of the district’s Title I, Part A funds shall be set aside for homeless children and youth to provide educationally related support services and services not ordinarily provided
    to other students. Information about a homeless child’s living situation shall be treated as a student education record, and shall not be considered directory information under FERPA. See
    policy 5110, Student Records, for more information. The Superintendent shall also designate a McKinney-Vento liaison for homeless children and ensure that this person is aware of his or her responsibilities under the law. The liaison’s responsibilities shall include, but not be limited to, ensuring that:


    1. parents of homeless children are informed of the educational and related opportunities available to them, including transportation and are provided with meaningful opportunities to
    participate in the education of their children;
    2. parents and guardians and unaccompanied youth are fully informed of all transportation services available to them, and are assisted in accessing them;
    3 enrollment disputes involving homeless children are promptly mediated and resolved;
    4. school personnel in coordination with shelters and social service agencies and other appropriate entities identify homeless children, including homeless preschoolers;
    5. homeless children receive educational services, including Head Start and preschool services to which they are eligible, as well as referrals to health care and other appropriate
    services;


    In accordance with Commissioner’s regulations, the district shall collect and transmit to the Commissioner information necessary to assess the educational needs of homeless children
    within the State.

    Cross-ref: 5111, School Admissions
    5141, Student Health Services
    5110, Student Records
    Ref: 42 USC §§11431, et seq.
    School Enrollment Guidelines on the McKinney-Vento Act, 67 Fed. Reg. 10,697-10,701
    (March 8, 2002)
    Education Law §§207; 305; 3202; 3205; 3209
    Executive Law §§532-b; 532-e
    Social Services Law §§17; 62; 397
    8 NYCRR §§100.2; 175.6

    March 2006
    First Reading: October 9, 2018
    Adoption: November 13, 2018
    Reviewed at Consultation and Collaboration Meeting- 6/7/23