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Saint Paul Public Schools, District 625
360 Colborne Street
Saint Paul
MN
55102

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Information for Parents/Guardians

Coordinated Access

The number of families experiencing homelessness continues to rise in Ramsey County.  If you need help finding housing you can call the Coordinated Access To Housing and Shelter at 211.

Who Qualifies As Homeless In Our District?

Under McKinney/Vento legislation,  children and youth experiencing homelessness are individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence and includes:

  • Children and youth sharing the housing of other people due to loss of housing (doubled up), economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or campgrounds; are living in emergency or transitional shelters, are abandoned in hospitals or are awaiting foster care placement.
  • Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
  • Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations or similar settings; and
  • Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.

Rights of Students Experiencing Homelessness

Under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act, if you and your family live in a homeless situation, your child has the following educational rights:

  • To stay in school and attend the school they are currently attending
  • Enroll in school without a permanent address, immunizations, or other records.
  • Get free school meals without delay
  • Get transportation to school when feasible
  • Go to school with your peers and participate in extra-curricular programs/athletics.
  • Receive other educational services as needed.

If your child or your family is in a homeless situation and needs assistance, please contact your child's teacher, principal or a support staff at your child's school and ask for assistance.  You can also call us directly at 651-744-7173.

Dispute Resolution Procedures

Families and youth in homeless situations may be unaware of their right to dispute placement and enrollment decisions.  When disputes are raised, too often, students are kept out of school during the dispute resolution process.  This interruption in education can severely damage students’ academic progress. Saint Paul Public School Policy 503.01 requires that disputes regarding the educational placement of a student in a homeless situation will be expeditiously addressed through a dispute resolution process.  Parents or guardians and unaccompanied youth must be informed of the process and in the event of the dispute, the student must be immediately enrolled in the school of choice while the dispute is being resolved. 

If a family or youth in homeless situations attending school wants to pursue their right to a dispute or if the district disagrees with a parent, guardian or homeless youth regarding an issue related to the rights of a homeless student, the following steps must be taken:

The school district must immediately enroll the students and arrange for transportation and other services as appropriate.

With the involvement of the Title I Homeless Liaison, (Heather Alden, Heather.Alden@spps.org, Office: 651-744-7173 • Cell: 651-231-0404) attempt to discuss the issues to determine if more information is needed to resolve the issue.

If the issue cannot be resolved, a letter will be issued the parent/guardian or youth explaining the district’s position as to the homelessness-related dispute.  In this letter, it is important to include referrals the district Ombudsperson (Dana Abrams 651-767-8394), advocates or attorneys.

Either party may send a written request to the Minnesota Department of Education Homeless State Coordinator asking the State Coordinator (Roberto Reyes, 651 582-8302) to review such decision compliance with applicable law.  Such request must include any documentation related to the dispute resolution proceeding.

The State Coordinator may request any additional information from either party he or she deems relevant in resolving the issue. 

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