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5.27 Homeless Students

5.27 Homeless Students

Chapter 5.00: Students

5.27*

HOMELESS STUDENTS

POLICY

I. Homeless children who live within the county shall be admitted to school in the District, and shall have access to free public education including preschool, shall be given the opportunity to meet local and state academic achievement standards, and shall be included in state and district assessments and accountability systems.

II. Definitions

A. Homeless Child – 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;

4. Have a primary nighttime residence that is

a. A supervised shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations;

b. An institution providing temporary residence for persons who are to be institutionalized; or

c. A public or private place not designed or normally 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; or

6. Are migratory children who qualify as homeless because the children are living in circumstances described in II.A.1. through II.A.5.

B. Unaccompanied Youth – A child or youth who is not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.

C. Certified Homeless Youth – a minor, homeless child or youth, including an unaccompanied youth, who has been certified as homeless or unaccompanied by a school district homeless liaison, the director of an emergency shelter program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or designee, the director of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional living program funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or designee, a licensed clinical social worker, or a circuit court.

D. School of Origin – The school that the student attended when permanently housed or the school where the child or youth was last enrolled.

E. Enroll and Enrollment – Attending school and participating fully in school activities.

F. Immediate – Without delay.

G. Parent – Parent or guardian of a student.

H. Liaison – The staff person designated by the District as the person responsible for carrying out the duties assigned to the liaison by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.

I. Designated Receiving School – Includes the next level school, elementary form prekindergarten, middle from elementary, high from middle, that a homeless child or youth, whole homelessness continues into the next school year, may attend when that next level school is the district designated school for those students in the homeless student’s school of origin.

J. Eligible School – The school of origin, the school zoned for the address where the student is temporarily residing, or another school which students residing in that attendance zone are eligible to attend.

III. The District shall identify homeless students as defined by federal and state law.

IV. The District shall seek to remove barriers to the enrollment and retention of homeless children and youth, even if they cannot produce records or otherwise meet enrollments including: previous academic record; immunizations or other health records; birth certificate; proof of residency; guardianship; uniform or dress code requirements; outstanding fees, fines, or absences; other required documentation.

V. The District shall ensure the immediate enrollment of homeless students.

A. The District shall assist homeless children to provide documentation to meet state and local requirements for entry into school.

B. A homeless child shall be given a thirty (30) day school day exemption to provide proof of age, certification of a school-entry health examination, proof of immunization, and other documentation required for enrollment.

C. Provide appropriate credit for full or partial coursework satisfactorily completed by homeless children and youth while attending a prior school.

D. The eligible school selected shall immediately enroll the homeless child or youth, even if the child or youth missed an application or enrollment deadline during any period of homelessness.

VI. Each homeless student shall be provided access to the services that are available for all other students including transportation, school nutrition programs, before and after school programs, extracurricular activities, and education services for which the child meets the eligibility criteria such as public preschool programs administered by the district, exceptional education, gifted education, career and technical programs, preschool programs, Title I, and limited English proficiency programs.

VII. Homeless students shall be given meaningful opportunities to succeed in school

VIII. Homeless students shall be allowed to remain in the school of origin feasible unless this is contrary to the request of the child’s or youth’s parent or guardian, or (in the case of an unaccompanied youth) the youth.

IX. Homeless students and/or parents shall have the right to dispute school assignment if placement is other than the school of origin. The District shall ensure that unaccompanied youth and the parents of homeless students are notified of the right to remain in the school of origin and of the dispute process.

X. If requested by the parent of a homeless child or by the liaison on behalf of an unaccompanied youth, the District shall be responsible for providing transportation to and from the school of origin throughout the duration of homelessness. The District shall share the responsibility for transportation if a homeless student begins living in another district in a homeless status and continues to attend the school of origin.

XI. Homeless students shall not be stigmatized, segregated, or separated in any educational program based on their homeless status.

XII. The District shall follow the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.

XIII. The District will coordinate district programs and collaborate with other school districts, community service providers and organizations, including:

A. Local social services and other community agencies to provide support to homeless students and their families;

B. Other school districts regarding homeless student-related transportation, transfer of school records, and other inter-district activities, as needed;

C. Housing authorities; and

D. ESE.

XIV. The District will consider student-centered factors to determine a placement that is in the student’s best interest when considering placement in a school other than the child or youth’s school of origin.

XV. The District assures that records will be maintained for each homeless child or youth, including immunization or other required health records, academic records, guardianship records and evaluations for special services.

XVI. Unaccompanied homeless high school youth will receive counseling to prepare and improve their readiness for postsecondary education.

XVII. When the district determines that a placement other than the school of origin is in the best interest, the district will provide the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied homeless youth with a written explanation; in a manner and form understandable to the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth; and information on the right to appeal the placement determination.

XVIII. During a school selection dispute, the child or youth will either remain enrolled in the student’s school of origin or shall be immediately enrolled in the eligible school in which enrollment is sought, either the school zoned for the address where the student is residing or another school which students residing in that attendance zone are eligible to attend, pending final resolution of the dispute including all available appeals; the parent or guardian of the child or youth or, in the case of an unaccompanied youth, the youth shall be provided with a written explanation of any decisions related to school selection or enrollment made by the school or the district, including the rights of the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth to appeal such decisions; the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth shall be referred to the district’s designated homeless liaison to carry out the dispute resolution process as expeditiously as possible.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY:

1001.41, 1001.42, 1003.21 F.S.

LAWS IMPLEMENTED:

382.002, 743.067, 1000.21, 1001.43, 1003.01, 1003.21, 1003.22, F.S.

McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, P.L. 100-77

Every Student Succeeds Act 2015, P.L. 114-95

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION RULES:

HISTORY:

Adopted:

01/20/2009

Revision Date(s):

12/10/2013, 04/14/2015, 08/14/2018

Formerly:

New

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