School Board of Charlotte County
Bylaws & Policies
 

5111.01 - HOMELESS STUDENTS

The School Board recognizes the special needs of homeless children and the need to eliminate barriers to their education. Florida law requires that all children have access to a free public education. Under federal law (McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2001), homeless children must have access to appropriate public education, including preschool, and be given a full opportunity to meet state and local academic achievement standards. They must be included in state- and district-wide assessments and accountability systems.

Definitions:

 A.A homeless child or youth is defined as one who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; and includes children and youth who: 1) are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; 2) are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; 3) are living in emergency or transitional shelters; abandoned in hospitals; or awaiting foster care placement; 4) have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings; 5) are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and 6) are migratory children who qualify as homeless because the children are living in circumstances described in 1) through 5); (Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, Section 725(2), Public Law 107-110 )

 B.The term "unaccompanied youth" means a student who is not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian;

 C.The term "school of origin" means the school that the student attended when permanently housed or the school where the child or youth was last enrolled;

 D.The terms "enroll and enrollment" mean attending school and participating fully in school activities;

 E.The term "liaison" means the staff person designated by our Local Educational Agency (" LEA") and each LEA in the state as the person responsible for carrying out the duties assigned to the liaison by the McKinney-Vento Act.

The School Board shall:

 A.Ensure that all homeless children and youth are afforded the same free; appropriate public education; and receive comparable services (such as transportation services; educational services, including special education and related services and programs for English language learners; vocational and technical education programs; gifted programs; school nutrition programs (free meals); Title I, Part A; and before- and after-school programs offered to other children and youth, and are given meaningful opportunities to succeed in school;

 B.Identify homeless students based on the McKinney-Vento Act definition shown above;

 C.Provide access of homeless preschool-aged children and their families to educational services for which they are eligible, including preschool programs administered by the School District;

 D.Seek to remove barriers and provide exemptions as needed to the enrollment and retention of homeless children and youth, such as guardianship, transportation, immunization, residency, birth certificates, school records, and other documentation;

 E.Ensure the immediate enrollment of homeless students;

 F.Ensure that homeless children and youth are not stigmatized, segregated, or separated in another educational program, on the basis of their status as homeless;

 G.Ensure the rights of homeless students to remain in their school of origin including the provision for inter-LEA transportation in accordance with McKinney-Vento;

 H.Ensure that homeless parents or guardians or unaccompanied youth are aware of their rights and the process to dispute school selection, if other than the school of origin;

 I.Follow the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.

The Superintendent will appoint a Liaison for Homeless Children who will perform the duties as assigned by the Superintendent. Additionally, the Liaison will coordinate and collaborate with the State Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth as well as with community and school personnel responsible for the provision of education and related services to homeless children and youth.

42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq.

Adopted 5/11/10