This public notice provides information about the rights of children, youths, and unaccompanied youth that are homeless to attend a public school or public charter school. An unaccompanied youth is a youth that does not live with a parent or guardian. This notice includes information to help you know if you or someone you know is considered homeless and is eligible for services from our school district. Children or youths that are homeless have rights that include the right to attend public schools. If you need assistance understanding this letter, please contact:
Charlotte Kinzley, Homeless/Highly Mobile Support
Who is “homeless”?
Children or youth (including children of migrant workers) who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence are homeless. Fixed means the home is connected to the ground and is not easy to move. Regular means a place where the child sleeps every night. Adequate means the home meets modern standards of living. Children who are sharing someone else’s housing because they lost theirs or because they cannot afford their own housing are homeless. Children and youths who are homeless may be living in:
o trailer parks (this does not refer to a mobile home (trailer) park, this refers to a type of camping ground for fifth
wheel camper trailers or other types of movable campers);
o camping grounds because they do not have an adequate home; o emergency or transitional shelters;
o or are abandoned in hospitals.
Children and youth who are homeless may have a place they usually sleep that is a public or private place not meant to be a regular place for people to sleep. They may also be living in:
o public spaces;
o abandoned buildings;
o substandard housing (housing that does not meet modern standards of living); o bus or train stations;
o or other similar settings.
What are the education rights of children and youth that are homeless?
Our schools provide the same educational services to all students without regard to their living situation. Children and youth who are homeless also have rights that include:
o Based on what is best for the child or youth, the child or youth can continue to attend the “school of origin” or be immediately enrolled in any public school where the student now lives. This includes any school that students who are not homeless attend that is in the area where the child or youth now lives.
o Being given services without delay, such as transportation and meal programs. o Other appropriate services and programs, such as programs for:
children with disabilities;
career and technical education; and preschool.
o Help in school through the district’s federally funded Title I program. A student that is homeless can receive Title I services even if the student is not attending a Title I funded school.
o School activities for parents or guardians.
o Participation in athletics, fine arts, or other extra-curricular activities.
o Being treated the same as students who are not homeless by school personnel;
What is the “school of origin”?
‘School of origin’ means the school the child or youth attended before becoming homeless or the school the child or youth last attended, including a preschool. When the child or youth completes the final grade level of a school of origin, then ‘school of origin’ means the school the child or youth would attend at the next grade level. The district must consider what is best for the child or youth when making a decision about which school the student will attend. Placement at the school of origin must be a choice unless doing so is not what is best for the student or is against the wishes of the parent, guardian or unaccompanied youth.
What if there is disagreement about school placement?
If the district places a student in a school that is not the school of origin or a school requested by the parent, guardian or unaccompanied youth, then the parent, guardian or unaccompanied youth may appeal (ask to change) the placement decision. The student will be immediately enrolled in the school that the student or parent asked for while an appeal is being considered. The district homeless liaison listed on this notice will provide information and assistance to appeal a placement decision.
No Child or Youth Should Be Denied Access to a Free and Appropriate Public Education