to download the "Parent's Guide to the Rights of Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness"
The McKinney-Vento law says that homelessness includes individuals who do not have a fixed, regular and adequate home because they have lost their own home. This means: Individuals who have lost their own home, suffering a financial hardship or similar reason; Individuals who are sharing the housing of others; Individuals who are living in hotels or motels or in campgrounds or trailer parks that are not viewed as year round homes because they do not have accommodations, such as heat or running water; Individuals who are living in emergency shelters or who have been abandoned in hospitals; Individuals who are living in cars, parks or public spaces. A child may stay in the school he or she was in before becoming homeless or enroll in a school where the child is living for the time being; A parent or guardian may make this choice of schools with the best interests of the child in mind; The child must receive the transportation he or she need.;
Parents or guardians can expect to enroll their child in school without delay, even if they do not have paperwork, such as the child’s birth certificate or medical records; The child has the right to receive free meals; The child must receive the same special programs and services that other children receive, including special education, migrant education and vocational education; The child must receive the same public education other children receive, including preschool. The child cannot be separated from other students in a different school or different program because he or she is homeless; The child may attend the school you choose, even if there is a dispute while the dispute is in the appeal process; After being placed in permanent housing, the child may stay in his or her original school for the rest of the school year and receive transportation to that school. This will provide stability for the child. To help a student have stability, a parent or guardian should keep in touch with the school district’s local contact person to update this person on changes that may occur with the child; Parents or guardians should inform district contacts when they foresee a change in student’s transportation needs; Parents or guardians should make sure their student is going to school regularly;
Families should ask the district contact person about help available in the community. Parents may ask for more support for your child’s education, if needed. This includes school supplies and support in learning, such as tutoring. Your district contact person can help you: Parents or guardians should get school records sent to another school; Families should get birth certificates and vaccination records. They should get information about help in the community, such as health, dental and mental health care and other services; Parents should make sure the student has the needed academic support; Families should refer the student for early education services, including Head Start and intervention services; Make sure to connect the student with after-school programs and activities; Finally represent your needs as an unaccompanied youth; and manage disputes about whether you or your child qualify for these services. Questions about serving a student that is considered by definition to be homeless, please contact Sandy McCullough at (216) 642-5870.