ADMISSION OF HOMELESS STUDENTS
The Board believes that all school-aged students, including homeless students and unaccompanied youth, have a basic right to equal educational opportunities. Accordingly, the District must enroll each homeless student or unaccompanied youth in the District in the school determined to be in the student's best interest. Enrollment is defined by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act as attending classes and participating fully in school activities.
A homeless student is defined as an individual who lacks fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence including:
1. sharing the housing with other people due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason;
2. living in a motel, hotel, trailer park or campground due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
3. living in emergency or transitional shelters;
4. abandonment in hospitals;
5. 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;
6. living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations or similar settings;
7. migratory students living in circumstances described above and
8. an unaccompanied youth who is homeless and not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.
In compliance with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, the District must make school placement determinations on the basis of the best interest of the student. The District presumes that keeping the homeless child or youth in the school of origin is in the child or youth's best interest, unless doing so is contrary to the request of the student's parent or guardian, or the unaccompanied youth. When considering the school of best interest, the District considers student centered factors related to the homeless child or youth's best interest including factors related to the impact of mobility on achievement, education, health and safety of the child or youth and gives priority to the homeless child or youth's parent or guardian or the unaccompanied youth.
The District complies with a request made by a parent(s) regarding school placement regardless of whether the student lives with the homeless parent(s) or is temporarily residing elsewhere.
The Board ensures that:
1. it reviews and revises Board policies and regulations to eliminate barriers to the identification, enrollment, retention and success in school of homeless students including barriers to enrollment and retention due to outstanding fees or fines, or absences;
2. the District does not segregate homeless children or youth into separate schools or separate programs within a school, based on the student's status as homeless;
3. it appoints a District liaison, able to carry out their duties, who ensures that homeless students are identified and enroll and succeed in school and ensures the liaison is trained in compliance with law;
4. it provides training opportunities for staff on identifying and serving homeless students;
5. homeless children or youth are immediately enrolled even if the child or youth is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment such as previous academic records, records of immunization and other required health records, proof of residency or other documentation, or if the student has missed application or enrollment deadlines during any period of homelessness;
6. homeless children or youth are provided with education, nutrition and transportation services that are at least comparable to the services provided to nonhomeless students and
7. homeless students and unaccompanied youth meeting the relevant eligibility criteria do not face barriers to accessing academic and extracurricular activities including: magnet school; summer school; career and technical education; advanced placement; online learning and charter school programs.
The liaison carries out all duties required by law, ensures compliance with the subgrant and coordinates services for homeless students with local social service agencies and programs, including those funded under the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act.
A student who ceases to be homeless may continue to receive services until the end of the period of time for which the service was originally intended to be provided, which may be the end of the school year or the end of a program cycle.
Information about a homeless child or youth's living situation is part of the student education record and is not considered directory information.
The District complies with the Ohio Department of Education's Plan and State and Federal laws for the education of homeless students.
[Adoption date: October 18, 2017]
[Re-adoption date: April 18, 2018]
LEGAL REFS.: The Elementary and Secondary Education Act; 20 USC 1221 et seq.
42 USC Sections 11431 et seq.
CROSS REFS.: AC, Nondiscrimination
JB, Equal Educational Opportunities
JEC, School Admission
JO, Student Records