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Students Experiencing Homelessness - McKinney-Vento Act

All school-aged children experiencing transitions in housing or homelessness are entitled to the same free and appropriate public education that is provided to non-homeless students. Schools are required to remove barriers to the enrollment, attendance, and academic success of homeless students.
Students between the ages of 0 and 22*, who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, and includes:
A. has a primary nighttime residence that is a shelter designated to provide temporary living accommodations such as shelters, motels/hotels, domestic violence shelters, and transitional housing.
B. lives in a car, park, abandoned building, public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
C. lives temporarily in a trailer park or camping area due to the lack of adequate living accommodations.
D. lives “doubled-up" with another family, due to loss of housing, stemming from financial problems.
E. is abandoned at a hospital.                                                                   
F. resides in a home for school-aged, unwed mother or mother-to-be, if there are no other available living accommodations.
G. is awaiting foster care in limited circumstances but does not include placement in a foster family, foster family agency or group home.
H. is placed by the state in an emergency shelter due to lack of alternative housing.
I. is an abandoned, runaway or pushed out youth or migratory child living in any of the circumstances described above.
*Extended beyond compulsory attendance age to address the needs of a student with special education needs.
  • Immediate Enrollment in School. Students experiencing homelessness, including unaccompanied homeless youth*, must be enrolled immediately (the day they arrive) even they do not have records normally required for enrollment such as birth certificate, proof of residency, immunization or health records, or previous academic records. If the student needs immunizations, the school nurse will assist in obtaining them.
  • Educational Placement Decisions Based on School of Origin and the Child's Best Interest. Educational and school placement decisions must be based on the child's best interests, and consider, among other factors, educational stability. Students experiencing homelessness have the choice of attending their school of origin, to the extent feasible, or to attend the school of attendance (neighborhood school) where they spend their nights. The school of origin is defined as the school the child or youth attended when permanently housed or the school in which the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled.
  • Equitable Access to School Services. Students experiencing homelessness must have equitable access to academic resources, services, enrichment, and extracurricular activities that are available to all other students.
  • Timely Transfer of Educational Records. Within two business days of enrolling a student experiencing homelessness, the school must contact the previous school to request the child's educational records. The student must be enrolled while the educational records are being obtained. If the student transfers out of the district, the school must forward the student's educational records within two business days.
  • Transportation to the School of Origin. At the parent/guardian's request, a student experiencing homelessness must be provided transportation to and from his or her school of origin.
  • Unaccompanied Homeless Youth. An unaccompanied youth who is 14 years or older must be permitted access to his or her educational records and may provide consent for release of records to others.
  • Option for Eligible 11th and 12th Graders to Meet Modified Graduation Requirements. A student experiencing homelessness may qualify for exemption from coursework and other district graduation requirements that are in addition to the state graduation requirements if both of the following apply:
    • (1) The student transfers between schools any time after the completion of the student's second year of high school. The year of school based on either the number of credits earned or length of time of enrollment, whichever will make a student eligible; and,
    • 2) The district determines that the student is not reasonably able to complete district graduation requirements by the end of the student's fourth year of high school.
  • Dispute Resolution Process. If a dispute arises over school selection or enrollment in a school, the child or youth shall be immediately admitted to the school in which enrollment is sought, pending resolution of the dispute. In the case of an unaccompanied youth, the homeless liaison will ensure that the youth is immediately enrolled in school pending resolution of the dispute.
Schools must immediately enroll students experiencing homelessness students, regardless of the lack of:
• Academic Records   
• Proof of Residency  
• Medical Records  
• Immunization Records
The enrolling school shall immediately contact the last school of attendance to obtain missing records. 
McKinney-Vento Liaison:
Laura Strachan
Director of Pupil Services
1 Maverick Way
Carlsbad, CA 92009
760-753-6491, x5585