5055-RREGULATIONS REGARDING HOMELESS CHILDREN AND YOUTH
ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS REGARDING HOMELESS CHILDREN AND YOUTH
In accordance with federal law, the Meriden Board of Education (the “Board”) does not permit discrimination against, segregation of, or stigmatization of, homeless children and youth. The following sets forth the procedures to implement the requirements of law with respect to homeless children and youth. In the event of conflict between federal and/or state law and these regulations with respect to homeless children and youth, the provisions of law shall control.
- Enroll and Enrollment: includes attending classes and participating fully in school activities.
- Homeless Children and Youth: means children and youth twenty-one years of age and younger who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including children and youth who:
- Are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason.
- Are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations.
- Are living in emergency or transitional shelters.
- Are abandoned in hospitals.
- 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.
- Are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings.
- Are migratory children living in the above described circumstances.
- School of Origin: means the school that a homeless child or youth attended when permanently housed or the school in which the homeless child was last enrolled. School of origin may include preschool administered by the District and, when a homeless child or youth completes the final grade level served by the school of origin, school of origin also includes the designated receiving school at the next grade level for all feeder schools.
- Unaccompanied Youth: means a homeless child or youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.
- Homeless Liaison:
- The District’s Homeless Liaison is Supervisor of Language and Community Partnerships.
- The duties of the Homeless Liaison include:
- Ensuring that homeless children and youth are identified by school personnel and through outreach and coordination with other entities and agencies.
- Ensuring that homeless children and youth enroll in, and have full and equal opportunity to succeed in the District’s schools, including ensuring that such homeless children and youth have opportunities to meet the same challenging State academic standards as other children and youths.
- Ensuring that homeless families, children, and youths receive educational services for which such families, children and youth are eligible, including services through Head Start and Even Start, early intervention services under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and preschool programs administered by the District.
- Ensuring that parents and guardians of homeless children and youth and unaccompanied youth receive referrals to health care services, dental services, mental health and substance abuse services, housing services, and other appropriate services.
- Ensuring that parents and guardians of homeless children and youth and unaccompanied youth are informed of educational and related opportunities available to homeless children and youth, including extracurricular activities, and that parents and guardians of homeless children and youth are provided with meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children.
- Ensuring that public notice of the educational rights of homeless children under the McKinney-Vento Act is disseminated in locations frequented by parents, guardians, and unaccompanied youth in a manner and form that is understandable to them.
- Ensuring that enrollment disputes are mediated in accordance with the McKinney-Vento Act, including carrying out the initial dispute resolution process and ensuring that homeless students are immediately enrolled pending resolution of any enrollment dispute.
- Ensuring that parent(s)/guardian(s) of homeless children and youth and unaccompanied youth are fully informed of all transportation services, including transportation to and from the school of origin, and are assisted in accessing those services.
- Assisting homeless children and youth in enrolling in school and accessing school services and removing barriers to enrollment and retention due to outstanding fees, fines or absences.
- Informing parent(s)/guardian(s) of homeless children and youth and unaccompanied youth, school personnel, and others of the rights of such students.
- Assisting homeless children and youth who do not have immunizations or immunization/medical records to obtain necessary immunizations or immunization/medical records.
- Assisting unaccompanied youth in placement/enrollment decisions, including considering the unaccompanied youth’s wishes in those decisions, and providing notice to the unaccompanied youth of his or her right to appeal such decisions.
- Ensuring that high school age homeless children and youth receive assistance from counselors to advise such youths on preparation and readiness for college, including informing such children and youths of their status as independent students under the Higher Education Act of 1965 and that they may obtain assistance from the district to receive verification of this status for purposes of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Ensuring collaboration with community and school personnel responsible for providing education and related support services to homeless children and youth.
- Collaborating with and participating in professional development and technical assistance activities offered by the State Office of the Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth.
- Ensuring that school personnel providing services to homeless children and youth receive professional development and other technical assistance activities regarding the McKinney-Vento Act.
- Ensuring that unaccompanied youth are enrolled in school and that procedures are implemented to identify and remove barriers that prevent them from receiving credit for full or partial coursework satisfactorily completed at a prior school, in accordance with State, local, and school policies.
- With appropriate training, affirming that a child or youth who is eligible for and participating in a program provided by the District, or the immediate family of such a child or youth, is eligible for homeless assistance programs administered under Title IV of the McKinney-Vento Act.
III. Enrollment of Homeless Children and Youth:
- Enrollment of homeless children and youth may not be denied or delayed due to the lack of any document normally required for enrollment. However, administrators shall require the parent/guardian or unaccompanied youth to provide contact information prior to enrollment.
- To facilitate enrollment, administrators:
- May permit parents/guardians of homeless children and youth and unaccompanied youth to sign affidavits of residency to replace typical proof of residency.
- May permit unaccompanied youth to enroll with affidavits to replace typical proof of guardianship.
- Shall refer parent/guardian/unaccompanied youth to the Liaison who will assist in obtaining immunizations.
- Shall contact previous schools for records and assistance with placement decisions.
- Shall maintain records so that the records are available in a timely fashion when the student enters a new school or school district.
- School Selection:
- Standards for School Selection:
- The District is required to make a determination as to the best interests of a homeless child or youth in making a determination as to the appropriate school of placement.
- In making such a determination, the District is required to keep a homeless child or youth in his/her school of origin for the duration of homelessness when a homeless child or youth becomes homeless between academic years or during an academic year; or for the remainder of the academic year if the homeless child or youth becomes permanently housed during an academic year, to the extent feasible, unless it is against the wishes of the parent or guardian or unaccompanied youth. Otherwise, the homeless child or youth shall be enrolled in a public school that non-homeless students who live in the area where the homeless child or youth is actually living are eligible to attend.
- The District must presume that keeping the homeless child or youth in the school of origin is in the child’s or youth’s best interest unless doing so is contrary to the request of the child’s or youth’s parent or guardian, or in the case of an unaccompanied youth, the unaccompanied youth. In considering the child’s or youth’s best interest, the District must consider student-centered factors related to the child’s or youth’s best interest, giving priority to the request of the parent or guardian or unaccompanied youth.
- Procedures for Review of School Selection Recommendation:
- The Principal or his/her designee of the school in which enrollment is sought review an enrollment request in accordance with the standards discussed above, and shall make an initial recommendation regarding same. If the Principal or his/her designee's recommendation is to select a placement other than the school desired by the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the homeless child or youth or the unaccompanied youth, then the Principal or his/her designee shall refer the matter to the Superintendent or his/her designee for review of the recommendation and the reasons therefor, and shall notify the District’s Homeless Liaison of same.
- The Superintendent or his/her designee shall review the matter and consult with the District Homeless Liaison concerning same. If the Superintendent or his/her designee agrees with the recommendation of the Principal or his/her designee, and a dispute remains between the District and the parent(s) or guardian(s) of a homeless child or youth or an unaccompanied youth about a school selection and/or enrollment decision; the Superintendent or his/her designee shall provide the parent(s) or guardian(s) of a homeless child or youth or an unaccompanied youth with a written explanation of the District's decision regarding this matter, and the right to appeal such decision to the Board.
- Dispute Resolution Process:
- The District’s Homeless Liaison shall be responsible for promoting objective and expeditious dispute resolutions, and adherence to these administrative regulations.
- If the parent(s) or guardian(s) of a homeless child or youth or an unaccompanied youth disputes the school placement decision or enrollment, the District must immediately enroll the homeless child or youth in the school in which enrollment is sought, pending resolution of the dispute. The homeless child or youth shall also have the right to all appropriate educational services, including transportation to and from the school in which enrollment is sought, while the dispute is pending.
- If necessary, the District Homeless Liaison shall assist parent(s) or guardian(s) of a homeless child or youth or an unaccompanied youth with completion of the necessary appeal paperwork required to file for an appeal to the Board, and provide the parent(s) or guardian(s) of a homeless child or youth or an unaccompanied youth with a copy of Section 10-186(b).
- Not later than ten (10) days after receipt of an appeal to the Board by a parent(s) or guardian(s) of a homeless child or youth or an unaccompanied youth, the District shall hold a hearing before the Board concerning such appeal, and such hearing shall be shall be conducted in accordance with Section 10-186(b).
- If the Board finds in favor of the Superintendent or his/her designee, a parent or guardian of a homeless child or youth or unaccompanied youth may appeal the Board’s decision to the State Board of Education within twenty (20) days of receipt of the Board's written decision, in accordance with Section 10-186(b). If necessary, the District Homeless Liaison shall assist a parent or guardian of a homeless child or youth or unaccompanied youth with filing the necessary appeal paperwork to the State Board of Education. The homeless child or youth or unaccompanied youth shall remain in his or her school of origin pending resolution of the dispute, including all available appeals.
- Homeless children and youth shall be provided with services comparable to those offered other students in the selected school including:
- Title I services or similar state or local programs, educational programs for students with disabilities, programs for students with limited English proficiency, and preschool programs.
- Transportation services.
- Vocational and technical education.
- Programs for gifted and talented students.
- School nutrition programs.
- Before and after school programs.
- The District shall coordinate with local social service agencies, other service providers, housing assistance providers and other school districts to ensure that homeless children and youth have access and reasonable proximity to available education and support services.
- The District shall provide transportation comparable to that available to other students.
- Transportation shall be provided, at a parent or guardian or unaccompanied youth’s request, to and from the school of origin for a homeless child or youth. Transportation shall be provided for the entire time the child or youth is homeless and until the end of any academic year in which they move into permanent housing. Transportation to the school of origin shall also be provided during pending disputes. The Liaison shall request transportation to and from the school of origin for an unaccompanied youth. Parents and unaccompanied youth shall be informed of this right to transportation before they select a school for attendance.
- To comply with these requirements:
- Parents/guardians, schools, and liaisons shall use the district transportation form to process transportation requests.
- If the homeless child or youth is living and attending school in this District, the District shall arrange transportation.
- If the homeless child or youth is living in this District but attending school in another, or attending school in this District and living in another, the District will follow the inter-district transportation agreement to determine the responsibility and costs for such transportation. If there is no inter-district transportation agreement, the District shall confer with the other school district’s Homeless Liaison to determine an apportionment of the responsibility and costs.
- If no mutually agreeable arrangement can be reached, then the District shall:
- arrange transportation immediately;
- bring the matter to the attention of the State Coordinator for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth; and
- ensure that such disputes do not interfere with the homeless child or youth attending school.
An unaccompanied youth, as defined in section I.D., above, is entitled to knowledge of and access to all educational, medical, or similar records in the cumulative record of such unaccompanied youth maintained by this District.
VII. Contact Information
- Local Contact: for further information, contact:
Dr. Evelyn Robles-Rivas
Supervisor of Language & Community Partnerships
Meriden Public Schools
22 Liberty Street
- State Contact: for further information or technical assistance, contact:
Louis Tallarita, State Coordinator
Connecticut Department of Education
450 Columbus Boulevard
Hartford, CT 06103
Public Act 19-179, An Act Concerning Homeless Students’ Access to Education
10-186 Duties of local and regional boards of education re school attendance. Hearings. Appeals to state board. Establishment of hearing board. Readmission. Transfers
10-253 School privileges for children in certain placements, non-resident children and children in temporary shelters
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 11431 et seq., as amended by Every Student Succeeds Act, Pub. L. 114-95.
Adopted: November 19, 2019
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