Information for Staff
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.
How to Refer a Student to Project REACH
Project REACH accepts referrals from the designated homeless contact at each school. Students can be referred to our team by competing a homeless enrollment form and faxing it to us. Please remember a form is needed for any family living in one of the following .
- Those living in emergency, domestic abuse or transitional shelters
- Those living temporarily with other family members or friends because they do not have a place of their own
- Those living in their car, outside or in a public place
- A child staying in emergency foster care (short term, this does not include foster placement)
- An unaccompanied youth who is not in physical custody of a parent or legal guardian
If you have a family or student in one of these situations that would like services from our team, please complete a referral at www.projectreachref.spps.org One of our team members will contact the family and set up services including transportation, free meals, school supplies etc. Thank you in advance for assisting the homeless families at your school connect with the REACH team.
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.
District Policy for Students Experiencing Homelessness
Adopted: Students in Homeless Situations: Saint Paul Public Schools Policy 530.10
The Board recognizes that maintaining school of origin enrollment and a regular/mainstream environment has a positive impact on the academic achievement of students in homeless situations. Therefore, every effort must be made to eliminate, to the extent possible, any barriers that limit equal access to education programs and services, or limit the opportunity for students in homeless situations to reach high standards.
General Statement of Policy
Children and youth in homeless situations are to be provided services comparable to those received by other students including transportation to and from their school of origin to the extent possible. The district will designate a liaison for students in homeless situations who will ensure that the rights of homeless students are protected and they have the opportunity to reach the same high academic standards expected of all students.
Immunizations, guardianship, residential status or other documentation will not be barriers to immediate enrollment of students in homeless situations. Where appropriate, the enrolling school or office will refer the parent or guardian to the district homeless liaison for assistance in obtaining appropriate documentation. The district homeless liaison will also assist unaccompanied youth with placement/enrollment choices.
To the extent feasible, students in homeless situations will remain in their school of origin and transportation will be provided. They have the right to stay in their school of origin for the entire time they are homeless, or until the end of any academic year in which they move into permanent housing, unless a parent or guardian chooses otherwise.
D. Dispute Resolution
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 a dispute, the student must be immediately enrolled in the school of choice while the dispute is being resolved.
LEGAL REFERENCE: McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistant Act, 2002
- If a homeless child misses their bus in the morning but still gets to school, can they ride the bus home?
- If a student is expelled from riding the bus, can they still receive transportation if they become homeless and reside out of district?
- Are homeless children exempt from the district immunization policy?
- Do preschool children qualify for services under McKinney/Vento?
- Who should I call in the program if I know about a family that is doubled up and living with friends or family members?
- Can homeless children get transportation if they attend after school activities?
- If a child moves into permanent housing, do they qualify for services for the remainder of the year?
- Do families living in transitional housing qualify for services?
- Does the Title I Homeless staff help find housing for families?
- Does the homeless program still use program vans?
- Why do some homeless students arrive or dismiss early at times?
- What should I do if a homeless child gets sick during the day and needs to go home?