Homeless Policy

Susquehanna County CTC



ADOPTED: October 16, 2007


1. Purpose

To comply with the McKinney-Vento Act (2002) Subtitle VIIB, Section 722 and ESEA Section 111(a)(1), any district receiving Title IA funds must include in its local plan a description of how the plan is coordinated with the McKinney-Vento Act. The LEA Homeless Plan must describe services provided to homeless students attending non-Title I schools.

2. Definition

Children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, and includes children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason;

Children who are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or awaiting foster care placement.

Children and youth who have primary nighttime residence that is a private or public place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.

Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings.

Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.

3. Policy Guidelines

A. Title I Services

The district assures that all homeless students will have access to Title I services. The district will set aside Title IA funds in its yearly federal consolidated application for homeless students needs.

B. Academic Standards

The district will ensure that homeless students are and will be provided school access and opportunities to meet the same high academic standards as all students are expected to meet.

    1. Segregation and Separation

        1. The district assures that local district policies and practices will not segregate or stigmatize homeless students in separate schools or in separate programs within schools.

    2. Homeless Policy Notice

        1. The district will assure that it will post public notice of educational rights of homeless children and youth.

    3. Homeless Liaison Contact

The Homeless Liaison appointed for the District is Dr. Kenneth Cuomo. Upon verbal notice of any homeless student in the district, the Homeless Liaison will implement the proper procedures as outlined by our homeless plan to ensure that the student/students receive the appropriate education without interruption.

The homeless policy will be displayed on the district’s website, along with being relayed to staff during staff meetings.

The Homeless Liaison may be contacted by the following:

Dr. Kenneth Cuomo

High School Principal

Elk Lake School District

Po Box 100

Dimock, PA 18816

Phone: (570) 278-1106 ext. 758

Fax: (570) 278-4838

Email: kenneth.cuomo@elklakeschool.org

    1. Homeless Child Identification

        1. Procedures for identifying homeless students will be relied on from staff and/or agencies that recognize the characteristics of a homeless student, or that may have been informed that a child is in a homeless situation. Upon an identification of a homeless situation, the individual shall immediately contact the Homeless Liaison both by verbal and written communication.

C. Enrollment

The district shall immediately enroll the homeless child or youth, even if the child or youth is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, medical records, proof of residency, or other documentation.

The district shall immediately contact the last school last attended by the child or youth to obtain relevant academic and other records.

If a child or youth needs to obtain immunizations, or immunization or medical records, the district shall immediately refer the parent/guardian to the liaison, who shall assist in obtaining necessary immunizations or medical records.

1. Transportation

In order to keep homeless students at their “school of origin” whenever possible, the district will provide transportation at the request of the parent or guardian (or in the case of an unaccompanied youth, the liaison), to and from school of origin. If the homeless student continues to live in the area served by the district in which the school of origin is located, the district must provide or arrange transportation.

If the homeless student moves to an area serviced by another LEA, though continuing his or her education at the school of origin, the LEA of origin and the LEA in which the student is living must agree upon a method to apportion responsibility and costs for transportation to the school or origin. If the LEA’s cannot agree upon such a method, the responsibility and costs must be shared equally.

Insofar as it is feasible, transportation for homeless children is integrated with regular transportation service. When it is in the child’s best interest to attend school in the original attendance area, and this district is different than the one in which the child or youth is residing, many Pennsylvania school districts are using the following to provide transportation:

        • Contracted vehicles (van, bus, etc.)

        • Nonpublic transportation routes

        • Cross district strategies by means of special

        • education vans

        • Inter-district cooperation

        • Public transit including taxi service

        • Vehicles transporting tuition students

2. Dispute Resolution

If a dispute arises over school selection or enrollment in a school;

      1. the child or youth shall be immediately admitted to the school in which enrollment is sought, pending resolution of the dispute;

      2. the parent or guardian must be provided with a written explanation of the school’s decision onthe dispute, including the right to appeal.

      3. the child, youth, parent, or guardian shall be referred to the local educational agency liaison designated under paragraph (1)(J)(ii), who shall carry out the dispute resolution process as described in paragraph (1)( c) as expeditiously as possible after receiving notice of the dispute.

      4. In the case of an unaccompanied youth, the homeless liaison shall ensure that the youth is immediately enrolled in school pending resolution of the dispute.

3. Dispute Resolution Steps

      1. If disputes or complaints of non-compliance do arise regarding the education of homeless children and youth, the following system will be used.

      2. The Pennsylvania Department of Education recommends that the person having the complaint first contact the school or school district (i.e. the local school district liaison for homeless students, the principal, or superintendent) to present their concerns to the people closest to the situation and most likely to be able to resolve it quickly.

4. Fiscal Responsibilities

    1. If Step A is not successful or is not possible under the circumstances, contact should be made with the Homeless Project Site Coordinator, or, the Department of Education will accept complaints directly through the Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program at phone number (717) 783-6468.

    2. Individual cases may be referred to the Department’s Office of Chief Counsel and the Office of Deputy Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education as needed (by the State Homeless Coordinator).

    3. The Department of Education will deliver a response within 20 business days of the receipt of the complaint. (The complaint may arrive in the form of a copy of the school/district letter or on the Dispute Letter Form if given directly to a Site Coordinator of the Homeless Children’s Initiative).

Fiscal responsibilities apply to all homeless students, whether in regular or special education classes.

  1. Upon identification of a homeless student as defined in section II, the district will apply the following:

    1. For homeless individuals in temporary shelters, the educating district will send a PDE-4605 Determination of District of Residence for Student in Facilities or Institutions in Accordance with Section 1306 of School Code to the presumed district ofresidence;

    2. If PDE-4605 is acknowledged by the resident district, the district will enter the child on its rolls as a nonresident student from the acknowledging resident school district. The educating district will bill the resident district for tuition and will report membership data according to PDE child accounting procedures; and

    3. If PDE-4605 is disclaimed and a district of residence cannot be determined, the child will be considered a ward of the state.The educating district will enter the child on its rolls as a nonresident ward of the state and will report membership according to PDE child accounting procedures.The Department of Education will pay tuition to the educating district based on membership reported to Child Accounting.

  2. In cases when the education of the child is provided by the district of origin, where that is the district the child attended when permanently housed, that district will continue to educate a homeless student for the period of temporary displacement and should maintain the homeless student on its roll as a resident student.

In cases when the student becomes permanently housed during the academic year and continues in the school of origin, which is not in the district of new residence, the educating district will continue to educate the formerly homeless student, if requested by the student’s parent or guardian, until the end of the academic year and should maintain the homeless student on its roll as a non-resident student. The educating district should advise the new district of residence of its financial responsibility for this student and send a tuition bill.