Homeless Student Services
If school-aged children live in any of the following situations:
- in a shelter, motel, vehicle, or campground,
- on the street,
- in an abandoned building or other inadequate accommodations, or
- doubled up with friends or relatives because you cannot find or afford housing.
Then, these children have certain rights or protections under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 2001.
They have the right to:
- Go to school, no matter where they live or how long they have lived there. They must be given access to the same public education provided to other students.
- Continue in the school they attended before they became homeless or the school they last attended, if that is the family’s choice and it is feasible. If a school sends the child to a school other than the one requested by the family, the school must provide the family with a written explanation and offer the parent/guardian the right to appeal the decision.
- Receive transportation to the school they attended before the family became homeless or the school they last attended, if the guardian requests such transportation.
- Attend a school and participate n school programs with children who are not homeless.
- Enroll in school without giving a permanent address. Schools cannot require proof of residency that might prevent or delay enrollment.
- Enroll and attend classes while the school arranges for ht transfer of school and immunization records or any other documents required for enrollment.
- Enroll and attend classes in the school of their choice even while the school and family seek to resolve a dispute over enrolling the children.
- Receive the same special programs and services, if needed, as provided to all other students served in these programs.
- Receive transportation to school and to school programs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who is homeless?
A: Anyone who, due to lack of housing, lives:
in a shelter or abandoned in hospitals
in a motel
in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations
in a campground
on the street
doubled up with relatives or friends due to economic hardship or loss of housing
awaiting foster care placement
migratory children who qualify as homeless because of any of the above
Q: Where can homeless children and youth attend school?
A: The school in which the child or youth was last enrolled (school of origin).
The school in the attendance area where the child or youth is temporarily living.
Q: Can students experiencing homelessness be denied enrollment if the parent/guardian does not have proof of residency?
A: No. The parent/guardian may sign an affidavit stating that the family is staying in temporary conditions.
Q: What if the parent/guardian does not have the school records for a child experiencing homeless?
- Ask that the homeless child or youth be enrolled in school until the records arrive.
- Ask that a student’s immunization records be transferred over the phone from the sending school to the receiving school
- Contact the principal or homeless liaison with any concerns.
Useful Links for Educators and Parents
Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness
National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
National Center for Homeless Education
National Center for Homelessness and Poverty
For additional information or questions about enrolling a homeless student, please contact the Gobles Public Schools Homeless Liaison, Erin Rumery