Policy 5060: Education of Homeless Children

The Board of Education recognizes its responsibility to identify homeless children within the district and facilitate their enrollment in school. The District shall provide homeless children attending the district's schools with access to the same free and appropriate public education, including preschool education, as provided to resident children.

Definitions:

Homeless child - A child who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence or who has a primary nighttime location in a public or private shelter designed to provide temporary living accommodations, or a place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings. This definition also includes a child who shares the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason; lives in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; lives in a car, park, public space or abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station or similar setting; has been abandoned in a hospital or is awaiting foster care placement; or is a migratory child who qualifies as homeless.

Homeless Liaison - The person who serves as one of the primary contacts between homeless families and school staff, district personnel, shelter workers, and other service providers. The Homeless Liaison coordinates services to ensure that homeless children enroll in school and have the opportunity to succeed academically.

Designator - The person who decides which school district a homeless child will attend. The Designator is the parent or guardian to a homeless child; or the homeless child, together with the Homeless Liaison designated by the school district if no parent or guardian is available; or the director of a residential program for runaway and homeless children, in consultation with the homeless child, where such homeless child is living in such program.

Designation of District of Attendance:

The Board of Education recognizes the right of the Designator to choose the school district of attendance for the homeless child. A homeless child has the right to attend school in either the district of origin (i.e., where he/she resided before becoming homeless), the district of current location (where the temporary housing is located), or a district participating in a regional placement plan. The Superintendent of Schools shall develop procedures necessary to expedite the homeless child's access to school when the Chappaqua Central School District is the designated district.

Admission

Upon the designation of the Chappaqua Central School District as the district of attendance, the District shall immediately admit the homeless child to school, even if the child is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, medical records, proof of residency or other documentation and even if there is a dispute with the child's parents regarding school selection or enrollment.

Homeless children shall be placed in District schools in accordance with current attendance zones. They shall have access to all District programs, activities and services to the same extent as provided to resident students.

Transportation

The district shall provide transportation for homeless students currently residing within the district as required by applicable law.

School Records

For homeless students previously residing in the District but now attending school out of the district, the Chappaqua Central School District shall, within five days of receipt of a request for records, forward a complete copy of the homeless child's records including proof of age, academic records, evaluation, immunization records and guardianship paper, if applicable, to the designated District.

Homeless Liaison

The Board of Education shall designate a district employee as liaison for homeless children at its annual organizational meeting. The Superintendent shall ensure that this person is aware of his or her responsibilities under the law. The liaison's responsibilities shall include, but not be limited to, ensuring that:

  1. Parents of homeless children are informed of the educational and related opportunities available to them, including transportation;
  2. Enrollment disputes involving homeless children are promptly mediated and resolved;
  3. School personnel, in coordination with shelters and social service agencies and other appropriate entities, identify homeless children, including homeless preschoolers;
  4. Homeless children receive educational services, including any preschool services to which they are eligible, as well as referrals to health care and other appropriate services;
  5. Arrangements are made for transportation to and from school;
  6. School records are forwarded promptly when required.

Determination that a Child is Not Homeless and a Nonresident

If, after investigation, it is determined that a child is not homeless and does not reside within the boundaries of the District, the Superintendent shall provide written notice to the parent/guardian within two business days stating that the child is not entitled to attend the District's schools, giving the basis of the determination and the date when the child will be excluded from attendance (a date at least 30 days from the date of the determination), and stating that the determination may be appealed to the Commissioner of Education. If an appeal is filed and a stay is requested, the District shall continue to enroll the student until the Commissioner rules on the stay request.

Information Collection

In accordance with Commissioner's regulations, the district shall collect and transmit to the Commissioner information necessary to assess the educational needs of homeless children within the State.

Ref:

  • 42 USC §§11431, et seq.
  • School Enrollment Guidelines on the McKinney-Vento Act, 67 Fed. Reg. 10,697-10,701 (March 8, 2002)
  • Education Law §§207; 305; 3202; 3205; 3209
  • Executive Law §§532-b; 532-e
  • Social Services Law §§17; 62; 397
  • 8 NYCRR §§100.2; 175.6

Adopted by Board: June 19, 2007