McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
In compliance with the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, Quaker Valley School District makes every attempt to identify all children within the District that may be experiencing homelessness. Under McKinney-Vento all school districts are responsible for identifying students experiencing homelessness and connecting them with the resources need to ensure academic success. You may qualify for certain rights and protections under the federal McKinney-Vento Act.
Children who are experiencing homelessness may qualify for assistance with free school lunch, school supplies/materials, tutoring, and transportation so that they can remain in their school of origin throughout the duration of their homeless episode. Additionally, the district partners with local community agencies such as the YMCA, Union Aid Society, the Laughlin Center as well as several other faith-based organizations to provide additional supports and resources.
Who is considered homeless? Children or youth living in a shelter, transitional housing, hotel/motel, vehicle, campground, on the street or doubled up with friends or family due to a lack of alternate resources are considered homeless. An unaccompanied homeless youth is a child or youth that is not in the care of their parent or legal guardian and meets the definition of homeless under McKinney-Vento.
Where can students experiencing homelessness attend school? The law indicates that homeless students have the right to remain in their school origin (the school they attended at the time of the homeless episode or last school attended) through the end of the school year in which they find permanent housing, provided it is in the child/youth’s best interest.
If through consultation between the school and the family and/or unaccompanied youth it is determined that remaining in the school of origin is not in the student’s best interest, then the student has the right to immediately enroll in the school that non-homeless students living in the attendance area in which the child/youth is actually living are eligible to attend, even if they do not have all of the required documentation. Additionally, unaccompanied homeless youth have the right to immediately enroll in school, even if they do not have a legal guardian present.
What supports can school districts provide to homeless students? Homeless students are eligible for supports and services to remove barriers to educational success. This may include transportation to the school of origin, free meals, referrals to physical/mental health providers, clothing to meet school requirements, access to school supplies and resources, assistance with credit recovery, tutoring supports, expedited evaluations and assistance to participate in school activities including parent engagement opportunities, sports, club, etc.
Homeless Dispute Process: If at any time there is a disagreement about homeless status or best interest for school placement, the district will notify the family in writing of their determination that the family/unaccompanied youth is ineligible for McKinney-Vento services. At this time, the district will provide the family/unaccompanied youth with the ability to dispute their determination. Throughout the dispute process, the child/youth, including unaccompanied youth, will continue to be educated in the school of origin or immediately enrolled in the school they are seeking enrollment until the dispute process is finalized. Transportation will continue throughout the dispute process. All disputes will be sent to the ECYEH Regional Coordinator who will issue a determination. If any party is unhappy with the determination, they can elevate the dispute to the state coordinator.
If you believe you know of families or individual students that may qualify for this service, please contact Mr. Mike Lewis, Director of Student Services at [email protected], or 412-749-3632.
For more information go to: directory.center-school.org/homeless or access the basic education circular (BEC) through PDE at: https://www.education.pa.gov/Policy-Funding/BECS/uscode/Pages/EducationforHomelessYouth.aspx
Visit the National Center for Homeless Education
Toll-free Helpline number: 1-800-308-2145
State Coordinator: 717-772-2066