Kids Without Homes:A School District Responds Wichita Falls ISD Homeless Education Training
Contact Information • Federal Programs Director • Jan Banner • Office Phone: (940) 235-1026x15025 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Name: Debbie Gonzalez, LBSW • Office Phone: (940) 235-1032x16036 • Email: email@example.com Homeless Education Coordinator / School Social Worker
Troubling Statistics The younger the child, the more likely he or she is to live in poverty. Percentage of Texas Children Living in Poverty
Homeless Statistics in Wichita Falls Number of students identified as living in a Homeless situation in 2008-2009: 306 Number of students identified as living in a homeless situation in 2009-2010: 515
Number of students identified as living in a homeless situation in: 2010-2011 493 Number of students identified as living in a homeless situation in 2011-2012 490
Why do people become homeless? Poverty Lack of affordable housing Loss of job Economic hardships
Who is homeless? The Federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act Says that children and youth wholack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence are homeless.
The McKinney-Vento Act The definition of homeless children and youth includes “unaccompanied youth” not living with a parent or legal guardian.
Who is homeless?? • Families living in doubled-up situations • Families living in a hotel/motel • Families or Children living in shelters-Faith Mission, Children’s Home, Teen Shelter, First Step • Families moving from place to place • Unaccompanied youth
Who is homeless? • Families staying in locations not designed for ordinary sleeping accommodations such as a car or the park • Children who have been informally placed outside their home, not living with a biological parent.
Increasing Awareness Life is difficult for our homeless students Stress Factors include: • Transient / unstable lifestyle • Living in crowded conditions • Frequently changing schools • Inadequate personal hygiene • Shabby or unclean clothing • Poor health / nutrition • Emotional and social difficulties
Federal Law The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act defines and protects the rights of homeless students to enroll in, attend, and succeed in our public schools
Texas Education Code Chapter 25 of the Texas Education Code specifies that a student who is homeless is entitled to admission in any Texas school district
The McKinney-Vento Act • Educational Stability What you must know about the law: • Transportation • Immediate Enrollment
The McKinney-Vento Act • Immediate Enrollment Key Provisions of the Law • Choice of Schools • Transportation • Services • Dispute Resolution
Making a Difference • Direct Assistance • Indirect Assistance Ways You Can Assist Our Students in Homeless Situations
Identifying students in homeless situations Identification The law requires all school districts to identify students in homeless situations. Identifying students in homeless situations is also an important way to create greater awareness of homelessness in the school district and community.
Identification Student Residency Questionnaires (SRQ) SRQ’s are designed to assist with identification of students who might be in homeless situations. All students, OLD and NEW, must fill out an SRQ form.
Identification As we all know, living situations may change several times for some of our kids during the school year. School Staff are the eyes and ears when it comes to Identification. When you hear that a living situation might have changed, go talk to your campuses homeless contact.
Assisting our Homeless Students • Professional development • Identification • Immediate assistance • Continuing care • Expanding outreach • Effective communications You can make a difference!
Online Resources • Correspondence list for Administrators TEA Online http://www.tea.state.tx.us/ • Subscribe to TEA listservs at: • http://www.tea.state.tx.us/list/
Online Resources USDE Online http://www.ed.gov/ Main web page links to: • NCLB legislation • NCLB regulations • NCLB policy guidelines • Federal Register Notes • NCLB resources • Grant competitions