McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Protocol
School Staff: Please download the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act Student Reporting Form. This form may also be used for children in foster care.
Please see this Helpful List of Resources for those who are homeless or who are threatened with homelessness.
1.0 Homeless Education Assurances
The Plymouth Public School District recognizes that homelessness exists in our community. Children who have lost their housing may live in a variety of places, including but not limited to motels, shelters, shared residences, transitional housing programs, cars, buses, and campgrounds. Their lack of permanent housing can lead to potentially serious physical, emotional and mental consequences.
It is the policy of the Plymouth Public Schools to ensure that homeless children and youth are provided equal access to its educational programs, have an opportunity to meet high-quality academic standards and are not segregated on the basis of their status as homeless.
The Plymouth Public School District will:
1.1 establish safeguards that protect homeless students from harassment and/or discrimination on the basis of their homelessness;
1.2 ensure that all children and youth will receive a free appropriate public education and are given meaningful opportunities to succeed in our schools;
1.3 follow the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Act.
2.0 Definition of Children and Youth in Transition
The Plymouth Public Schools recognize the individual needs of its children and the stigmatization often associated with homelessness. Such students who lack permanent housing will be referred to as Children and Youth in Transition. Those children and youth are defined as otherwise legally entitled to, or eligible for an appropriate public education, including preschool, and who lack a fixed regular and adequate nighttime residence, including:
2.1 Children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, or campgrounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement.
2.2 Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a private or public place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
2.3 Children and youth who are living in a car, park, public space, abandoned building, substantial housing, bus station, or similar setting.
2.4 Migratory children and youth who are living in a situation described above.
A child or youth shall be considered to be in transition for as long as he or she is in a living situation described above.
3.0 Common Definitions
“Unaccompanied youth” – a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian, who is in transition as defined above. (The more general term youth also includes “unaccompanied youth.”)
“Enroll” and “enrollment” – attending school and participating fully in school activities.
“Immediate” – without delay.
“Parent” – a person having legal or physical custody of a child or youth.
“School of origin” – the school the child or youth attended when permanently housed, or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled.
“Liaison” – the staff person designated by the Plymouth Public Schools as the person responsible for carrying out the duties assigned to the liaison by the McKinney-Vento Act.
In collaboration with school personnel and community organizations, the liaison will identify children and youth in transition in the district both in and out of school. The liaison will train school personnel on possible indicators of homelessness, sensitivity in identifying families and youth as in transition, and procedures for forwarding information - including homelessness - to the liaison. The liaison will also instruct school registrars, including but not limited to secretaries, counselors, and administrators to inquire about possible homelessness upon the enrollment and withdrawal of every student and to forward information indicating homelessness to the liaison.
The liaison will keep data on the number of children and youth in transition in the district, where they are living, their academic achievement – including performance on the state-mandated assessment, and the reasons for any enrollment delays, interruptions in their education, or school transfers.
5.0 School Selection
Each child and youth in transition has the right to remain at his or her school of origin or attend any school within the attendance area in which the child or youth is actually living.