Homeless Youth

Definition of a Homeless Child/Youth

  • A homeless child or youth ages 3-21;
  • A child who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence and includes the following:
    • A child who is sharing the housing of others (includes doubled-up families) due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; is living in a motel, hotel, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative accommodations; is living in an emergency or transitional shelter; is abandoned in a hospital
    • A child who has a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for humans beings
    • A child who is living in a car, park, abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station, or similar setting; or
    • A migratory child/youth who qualifies as homeless because of the living circumstances described above
      • Includes youth who have runaway or youth being forced to leave home.

To facilitate the enrollment of homeless children and youth, the following practices will be utilized for students who have been identified as homeless by the coordinator:

School Records

For students transferring out of the district, copies of records may be provided directly to the student or the student’s parents. In addition, students transferring into the school district may provide copies of records or other evidence of placement directly to the district. The school district will not require that such records be forwarded from another school district before the student may enroll. The school will then request the official records from the previous school.

Immunization Requirements

Homeless students will not be denied enrollment for lack of immunization records if

  • they have a statement signed by a licensed physician stating that immunization would be injurious to the student or to any member of the student’s family or household
  • they provide an affidavit stating such immunization would conflict with their religious beliefs (unless a emergency or epidemic exists)
  • they are in the process of being immunized and offer a statement regarding same, or
  • they have transferred from another school and that school confirms the student’s immunization record.

The district will make a reasonable effort to locate immunization records from the information provided or will arrange for the student to receive immunizations.

Waiver of Fees and Charges

Fees and charges which may present a barrier to the enrollment or transfer of a homeless child or youth may be waived at the discretion of the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee.

Enrollment Requirements/Placement

Enrollment requirements which may constitute a barrier to the education of a homeless child or youth may be waived at the discretion of the Superintendent or his or her designee. If information regarding the grade level of the student is unavailable due to missing or incomplete records, the principal will assure that assessments and/or other reasonable means will be used to determine the appropriate grade placement for the child.

Residency

For the purpose of school attendance, a homeless child or youth’s residence is either (1) where the child or youth is residing or (2) the child’s or youth’s school district of origin. A child’s or youth’s school district of origin is the school district where the child was last enrolled or last attended when permanently housed. The deciding factor is the best interests of the child or youth. If possible, the child or youth will not be required to change attendance centers within the district every time the child changes residence within the district unless the change results in the child no longer being classified as homeless.

Transportation

Transportation will be provided to the child or youth as required by law.

Special Services

All services which are available to resident students are made available to homeless children or youths enrolled in the school district. Services include, but are not limited to, special education, talented and gifted programs, vocational education, English for Speakers of Other Languages programs, health services, and food and nutrition programs. The segregation of a homeless child or youth from other students enrolled in the district is prohibited.