The School Board of Miami-Dade County
Bylaws & Policies
Unless a specific policy has been amended and the date the policy was revised is noted at the bottom of that policy, the Bylaws and Policies of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools were adopted on May 11, 2011 and were in effect beginning July 1, 2011.
 

5111.01 - HOMELESS STUDENTS

Each child of a homeless individual and each homeless youth shall have equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as provided to other children and youths. Homeless children and youth are individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, and include those who meet any of the following criteria:

 A.share the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason;

 B.live in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to a lack of alternative adequate accommodations;

 C.live in emergency or transitional shelters;

 D.are abandoned in hospitals or awaiting foster care placement;

 E.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;

 F.live in a car, park, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station, or similar setting; or

 G.migratory children (as such term is defined in 20 U.S.C. 6399), who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances as described above.

Homeless students shall not be stigmatized or segregated on the basis of their status as homeless. The District shall establish safeguards to protect homeless students from discrimination on the basis of their homelessness. The District shall remove barriers to the enrollment and retention of homeless students. Homeless students shall be enrolled immediately, even if they do not have the necessary enrollment documentation such as immunization and health records, proof of residency or guardianship, birth certificate, school records, and other documentation.

The District's Homeless Liaison shall assist, to the extent feasible, the homeless students and their parent(s) or unaccompanied homeless students in their efforts to provide documentation to meet State and local requirements for entry into school. No School Board policy, administrative procedure, or practice will be interpreted or applied in such a way as to inhibit the enrollment, attendance, or school success of homeless children.

Homeless students will be provided services comparable to other students in the District including:

 A.transportation services;

 B.educational services for which the homeless student meets eligibility criteria including services provided under Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act or similar State and local programs, educational programs for children with disabilities and gifted students, and educational programs for students with limited English proficiency;

 C.programs in vocational and technical education;

 D.school nutrition programs; and

 E.before- and after-school programs.

Homeless students have the right to remain in their school of origin, (i.e., the school that the child attended when permanently housed or last enrolled) and the right to dispute their school assignment, if their assignment is other than their school of origin. These rights and the dispute process shall be communicated to the parent of the homeless student or unaccompanied youth. According to the child's or youth's best interest, a homeless student will either remain in the school of origin for the duration of homelessness, or be enrolled in the school in the attendance zone where the student currently resides.

In determining the best interest of the student, the District shall, to the extent feasible, keep the student in the school of origin, except when doing so is contrary to the wishes of the homeless student's parent or the unaccompanied youth. If the student is sent to a school other than the school of origin or a school requested by the parent, a written explanation, including a statement regarding the right to appeal, will be provided to the homeless student's parent or the unaccompanied youth. Each school in the District shall post a public notice of educational rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness.

At the request of the parent or the local Homeless Liaison, transportation shall be provided to and from the school of origin as follows:

 A.If the homeless student continues to live in the District in which the school of origin is located, transportation will be provided.

 B.If the homeless student moves to an area served by another district, though continuing his/her education at the school of origin, the district of origin and the district in which the student resides must agree upon a method to apportion responsibility and costs for transportation to the school of origin. If the districts cannot agree upon such a method, the responsibility and costs must be shared equally.

Guidelines for providing services to homeless students are detailed in The Homeless Children and Youth in Transition Policy and Procedures Manual, incorporated by reference. Pertinent forms, contact numbers, and policies are explained in detail and included in this handbook. The Superintendent will appoint a Liaison for Homeless Children and Youth who will perform the duties as required by law, as well as additional duties that may be 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.