BookPolicy Manual Section5000 Students TitleHOMELESS STUDENTS Codepo5111.01 StatusActive AdoptedAugust 1, 2007 Last RevisedMay 7, 2012



Children who meet the Federal definition of "homeless" will be provided a free appropriate public education in the same manner as all other students of the County. To that end, homeless students will not be stigmatized or segregated on the basis of their status as homeless and will be assigned to the school serving those non-homeless students residing in the area in which the homeless child is actual living. The Board of Education shall establish safeguards that protect homeless students from discrimination on the basis of their homelessness.


Homeless children and youth are defined as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, and include those who meet any of the following criteria:

  1. share the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason


  2. live in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to a lack of alternative adequate accommodations


  3. live in emergency or transitional shelters


  4. are abandoned in hospitals


  5. are awaiting foster care placement


  6. 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, or


  7. live in a car, park, public space, abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station, or similar setting

Additionally, pursuant to Federal and State law, migratory children who are living in circumstances described in A-G above are also considered homeless.


Homeless preschool-aged children and their families shall be provided equal access to the educational services for which they are eligible, including preschool programs administered by the County.


The County shall remove barriers to the enrollment and retention of homeless students in schools in the County. Homeless students shall be enrolled immediately, even if they do not have the necessary enrollment documentation such as immunization and health records, proof of residency or guardianship, birth certificate, school records, and other documentation.


Homeless students will be provided services comparable to other students in the County including:

  1. transportation services;


  2. educational services for which the homeless student meets eligibility criteria including services provided under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act or similar State or local programs, educational programs for children with disabilities, and educational programs for students with limited English proficiency;


  3. programs in vocational and technical education;


  4. programs for gifted and talented students;


  5. school nutrition programs; and

  6. before and after school programs.

Homeless students have the right to remain in their school of origin or the local attendance area school, according to the child's best interest. The school of origin is the school that the student attended when permanently housed or last enrolled. The local attendance area school is any public school that non-homeless students who live in the attendance area in which the student is actually living are eligible to attend.


Homeless students have the right to dispute their school assignment, if their assignment is other than their school of origin. In determining the best interest of the student, the Board shall, to the extent feasible, keep the student in the school of origin, except when doing so is contrary to the wishes of the homeless student's parent or guardian or the unaccompanied youth. If the student is sent to a school other than the school of origin or a school requested by the parent or guardian, a written explanation, including a statement regarding the right to appeal, will be provided to the homeless student's parent or guardian or the unaccompanied youth.


The Board requires that these rights and the dispute process be communicated to the parent or guardian of the homeless student or unaccompanied youth.


In addition to notifying the parent or guardian of the homeless student or unaccompanied youth of the rights described above, the Board shall post public notice of educational rights of children and youth experiencing homelessness in each school.


At the request of the parent or guardian, or in the case of an unaccompanied youth, the local homeless liaison, transportation shall be provided for a homeless student to and from the school or origin as follows:

  1. If the homeless student continues to live in the County in which the school of origin is located, transportation will be provided in accordance with District policy/administrative guidelines.


  2. If the homeless student moves to an area served by another county board of education, though continuing his/her education at the school of origin, the county board of education of origin and the county board of education where the student resides must agree upon a method to apportion responsibility and costs for transportation to the school of origin. If the two county boards cannot agree upon such a method, the responsibility and costs must be shared equally.

The attendance director will serve as the Liaison for Homeless Children and will perform the following duties:

  1. ensure that public notice of the educational rights of students in homeless situations is disseminated where children and youth receive services


  2. ensure that parents or guardians are informed of educational and related opportunities available to their children, and are provided with meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children


  3. ensure that parents or guardians are informed of, and assisted in accessing, all transportation services for their children, including to the school of origin


  4. help unaccompanied youth choose and enroll in a school, after considering the youth’s wishes, and provide the youth with notice of his/her right to appeal the counties decision


  5. immediately assist in obtaining immunizations or record of immunizations or other medical records for those students who do not have them, and assure that students are enrolled in school while the records are being obtained


  6. ensure that homeless children and youths are identified by school personnel and through coordination activities with other entities and agencies


  7. ensure that homeless children and youths enroll in, and have a full and equal opportunity to succeed in, schools of that local educational agency


  8. ensure that homeless families, children, and youths receive educational services for which such families, children and youths are eligible, including Head Start and Even Start programs and preschool programs administered by the local educational agency, and referrals to health care services, dental services, mental health services, and other appropriate services


  9. ensure that enrollment disputes are mediated as outlined in paragraph (3)(E) of Subtitle B of Title VII of the McKinney- Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq.)

Additionally, the Liaison will coordinate and collaborate with the State Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth as well as with community and school personnel responsible for the provision of education and related services to homeless children and youths and other duties as assigned by the Superintendent.


© Neola 2010

Legal42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq., (McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act)Chapter 18-8-4, Code of West VirginiaWV State Board policy 4110

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