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501.16 Homeless Children and Youth

The board will make reasonable efforts to identify homeless children and youth of school age within the district, encourage their enrollment and eliminate existing barriers to their receiving an education which  may exist in district policies or practices. The designated coordinator for identification of homeless children and for tracking and monitoring programs and activities for these children is the Superintendent or designee.


A homeless child or youth ages 3-21 is:


  • A child who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate night-time residence and includes the following:


  • A child who is sharing the housing of others (includes doubled-up families) due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; is living in a motel, hotel, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative accommodations; is living in an emergency or transitional shelter; is abandoned in a hospital, or is awaiting foster care placement.


  • A child who has a primary night-time residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for humans beings;


  • A child who is living in a car, park, abandoned building, substandard housing, bus or train station, or similar setting;


  • A migratory child/youth who qualifies as homeless because of the living circumstances described above; or


  • Youth who have runaway or youth being forced to leave home.



So that enrollment of homeless children and youth of school age may be facilitated, the following policy areas are modified as follows:


School Records: For students transferring out of the district, records may be provided directly to the student or the student's parents. In addition, students transferring into the school district may provide cumulative records directly to the district. The school district will not require that such records be forwarded from another school district before that student may enroll. The school will then request the official records from the previous school.


Immunization Requirements: Homeless students will not be denied enrollment for lack of immunization records if:


  1. they have a statement signed by a physician stating that immunization would be injurious to the student;
  2. they provide an affidavit stating such immunization would conflict with their religious beliefs;
  3. they are in the process of being immunized; or
  4. they are a transfer student from another school.


The school district will make a reasonable effort to locate immunization records from the information provided or will arrange for the student to receive immunizations.


Waiver of Fees and Charges: Fees and charges which may present a barrier to the enrollment or transfer of a homeless child or youth may be waived in the discretion of the superintendent.


Enrollment Requirements/Placement: Enrollment requirements which may constitute a barrier to the education of the homeless child or youth may be waived in the discretion of the superintendent. If the school district is unable to determine the grade level of the student because of missing or incomplete records, the school district will administer tests or utilize other reasonable means to determine the appropriate grade level for the child.


Residency: For purposes of a homeless child or youth, residence for the purpose of attending school is where the child actually resides or the child's school district of origin. A child's school district of origin is the school district where the child was last enrolled. The deciding factor is the best interests of the child. As much as possible, the child will not be required to change attendance centers within the school district every time the child changes residence unless that change results in the child no longer being classified as homeless.


Transportation: Policies or practices regarding transportation of students which might cause a barrier to the attendance of a homeless child or youth may be waived by the superintendent.


Special Services: All services which are available to resident students are made available to homeless children or youths enrolled in the school district. Services include special education, talented and gifted programs, vocational education, English as a second language programs, health services and food and nutrition programs.


The contents of this policy will supersede any and all conflicting provisions in board policies dealing with the seven policy areas discussed above.


Legal Reference: The McKinney-Vento Act and Title I Part A, as Amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 11431 et seq..  281 I.A.C. 33.


Cross Reference:

501 Student Attendance

503.3 Fines - Fees - Charges 506 Student Records

507.1 Student Health and Immunization Certificates

603.3 Special Education

711.1 Student School Transportation Eligibility



Approved 2-18-03         Reviewed 4-21-08, 11-19-13, 1-21-14  1-28-19      Revised  11-19-13, 1-21-14 1-28-19