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SERVICES FOR HOMELESS STUDENTS 3240

1. PURPOSE:
Federal law requires equal access to education for homeless children and youths. In accordance with the law and in order to facilitate the education of homeless children, Sevier School District will provide equal access to public education to homeless students and their families.

2. Definitions

2.1 Homeless Child

2.1.1 “Homeless child” means a child or youth. A child is “homeless,” under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act, if the child lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This includes:
2.1.2 Children who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;
2.1.3 Children who 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;
2.1.4 Children who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
2.1.5 Migratory children living in circumstances described above. “Migratory child” means a child who is, or whose parent, spouse, or guardian is, a migratory agricultural worker, including a migratory dairy worker, or a migratory fisher, and who, in the preceding 36 months, in order to obtain, or accompany such parent, spouse, or guardian in order to obtain, temporary or seasonal employment in agricultural or fishing work:

2.1.5.1 Has moved from one school district to another; or
2.1.5.2 Resides in a school district and migrates a distance of 20 miles or more to a temporary residence to engage in a fishing activity.
42 U.S.C. § 11434a(2) (2002)

2.2 Unaccompanied Youth

2.2.1 “Unaccompanied youth” means a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian, who is homeless as defined above.
42 U.S.C. § 11434a(6) (2002)

2.3 School of Origin

2.3.1 “School of origin” means the school that the child attended when permanently housed or the school in which the child was last enrolled.
42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(3)(G) (2002)

3. Services for Homeless Children

3.1 The District shall serve homeless children according to their best interests.

3.1.1 The District shall provide a homeless child with services that are comparable to services offered to other students in the school in which the child is enrolled, including:

3.1.1.1 Transportation services;
3.1.1.2 Educational services for which the child meets the eligibility criteria;
3.1.1.3 Programs in vocational and technical education;
3.1.1.4 Programs for gifted and talented students; and
3.1.1.5 School nutrition programs, including free breakfast and free lunch.

4. Contact Information
The District may require the parent or guardian of a homeless child to submit contact information.
42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(3)(H) (2002)

5. Enrollment

5.1 Under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987, Title VII, Subtitle B, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 11431 through 11435, homeless students are entitled to immediate enrollment and full participation even if they are unable to produce records which may include medical records, birth certificates, school records, or proof or residency normally required for enrollment.

5.1.1 A homeless student shall:

5.1.1.1.1 be immediately enrolled even if the student does not have documentation required under Utah Code sections 53G-9-402,303, 304, 53G-8-502, and Utah Code section 53G-6-302 through 213;
5.1.1.1.2 be allowed to continue to attend his school of origin, to the extent feasible, unless it is against the parent/guardian's wishes; be permitted to remain in the student's school of origin for the duration of the homelessness and until the end of any academic year in which the student moves into permanent housing; or transfer to the school district of residence or charter school if space is available as defined under Utah Admin. Rules R277-616-1I.

5.1.2 The school shall immediately contact the last school attended to obtain relevant academic and other records.

5.1.3 Determination of residence or domicile may include consideration of the following criteria:

5.1.3.1 the place, however temporary, where the child actually sleeps;
5.1.3.2 the place where an emancipated minor or an unaccompanied child/youth or accompanied child's/youth's family keeps its belongings;
5.1.3.3 the place which an emancipated minor or an unaccompanied child/youth or accompanied child's/youth's parent considers to be home; or
5.1.3.4 such recommendations concerning a child's domicile as made by the State Department of Human Services.

5.1.4 Determination of residence or domicile may not be based upon:

5.1.4.1 rent or lease receipts for an apartment or home;
5.1.4.2 the existence or absence of a permanent address; or
5.1.4.3 a required length of residence in a given location.

5.1.5 If there is a dispute as to residence or the status of an emancipated minor or an unaccompanied child/youth, the issue may be referred to the USOE for resolution.

5.1.6 The purpose of federal homeless education legislation is to ensure that a child’s education is not needlessly disrupted because of homelessness. If a child’s residence or eligibility is in question, the child shall be admitted to school until the issue is resolved.

6 Enrollment in School of Origin

6.1 In determining feasibility of educating a homeless student in his or her school of origin, the District shall consider the best interests of the student with regard to such relevant factors as:

6.1.1 Continuity of instruction
6.1.2 Age and grade placement of the student
6.1.3 Distance of the commute and its impact on the student’s education or special needs
6.1.4 Personal safety of the student
6.1.5 Student’s need for special instruction, such as Section 504 or special education and related services
6.1.6 Length of anticipated stay in a temporary shelter or other temporary location
6.1.7 Likely area of the family’s or youth’s future housing
6.1.8 Time remaining in the school year
6.1.9 School placement of siblings

6.2 Services, including transportation, which the District is required to provide, shall not be considered in determining feasibility.

7. Admissions
The school shall notify the District homeless liaison (Director of Student Services) within one school day of admission of a homeless student.

8. Enrollment Disputes

8.1 If a dispute occurs, the student will remain in the school without loss of services pending resolution. The parent or guardian will do the following:

8.1.1 Submit the complaint in writing to the principal of the school.
8.1.2 The principal has10 working days to respond to or resolve the written complaint.
8.1.3 The parent may appeal the school’s response (or failure to respond) in writing to the Sevier School District Homeless Liaison (Director of Student Services) who can be contacted at 435-896-8214.
8.1.4 If the complaint is not resolved in a satisfactory manner at the District level, the parent may appeal the decision to the State Homeless Coordinator 801-538-7975.

9. Transportation of Homeless Students

9.1 Homeless children and youth are entitled to receive transportation and other services that are available to non-homeless students. Upon request of the parent or guardian (or in the case of an unaccompanied youth, at the request of the homeless liaison) and evaluation of the “best interest of the child”, transportation may be provided to and from the “school of origin” in accordance with the following requirements and what is feasible:

9.1.1 If the homeless child lives in a district other than that in which the school of origin is located, the district of origin and the district where the homeless child is living shall agree upon a method to apportion the responsibility and costs for providing the child with transportation to and from the school of origin.
9.1.2 If the districts are unable to agree, the responsibility and costs shall be shared equally.

42 U.S.C. § 11432(g)(1)(J)(iii) (2002)

 

Approved: 12/13/11
Revised: 02/24/16