Pemiscot Co. Special School District

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R 2260 Admission of Homeless Students

Identification

For purposes of Board policies and regulations homeless students include students under age twenty- one (21) who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence and include students who:

  1. are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in hotels, motels, or camping grounds 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. Have a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping area for human beings,
  3. are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
  4. Are a migratory child or youth who qualifies as homeless because the child or youth is living in circumstances described in subdivisions 1-3 of this section.

Enrollment

A homeless student will be enrolled without undue or unreasonable delay. A homeless student will be enrolled even if their previous academic records, immunization records, proof of residence, or other documents are not immediately available

Coordinator

The Board of Education has appointed _the Superintendent_ as coordinator of programs for homeless students. The responsibilities of the coordinator will include but not be limited to:

  1. Establish practices designed to ensure the school enrollment and success of homeless students;
  2. Assist with the enrollment of homeless students and provide assistance with obtaining academic and medical records;
  3. Make school placement decisions based on the best interest of the child and wishes of the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth;
  4. Inform parents, guardians, or unaccompanied homeless students of the educational and related opportunities available to them;
  5. Ensure that homeless students and their families have access to educational services including Head Start, Even Start and other preschool programs administered by the District;
  6. Ensure that referrals are made to health care, dental, mental health and other appropriate services;
  7. Ensure that homeless students are not isolated or stigmatized because of their status as homeless;
  8. Handle enrollment disputes and ensure that disputes over the placement of homeless students are resolved in a timely manner;
  9. Provide/arrange transportation and inform the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied homeless youth of the transportation services the school district must make available and assist homeless students  in accessing transportation to and from school; and
  10. Disseminate public notice of the educational rights of homeless students in places where homeless students receive services.

All school personnel, District service providers and locally known advocates working with homeless families will be informed of the identity of the Coordinator and the Coordinator duties.

Disputes Over School Selection or Enrollment in a School

If a dispute arises over school selection or enrollment in a school the following protocols will apply:

  1. The homeless student will be immediately admitted to the school in which enrollment is sought, pending resolution of the dispute;
  2. The parent or guardian of the homeless student will be provided with a written explanation of the District's decision regarding school selection or enrollment, including the rights of the parent, guardian, or student to appeal the decision; and
  3. The homeless student, parent, or guardian will be referred to the Homeless Coordinator  who will carry out the complaint resolution process described in the next section of this Regulation as expeditiously as possible after receiving notice of the dispute.

Complaint Resolution

Any homeless student or their parent/guardian may file a complaint regarding placement or access to educational programs by submitting a written complaint to the Coordinator of Homeless Programs.  If the coordinator is unable to resolve the complaint within five (5) school days, unresolved complaints will be forwarded to the Superintendent who will meet with the complainant upon request.  Within five (5) school days of this meeting or within five (5) school days of rejection of such meeting, the Superintendent will prepare and forward a written decision.  Thereafter, the complainant may appeal to the Board of Education within five (5) school days of receipt of the Superintendent's decision.  Thereafter, the complainant may forward the complaint to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Director of Federal Grants.

Policy Dissemination

Copies of the Board of Education's Policy on Homeless Students will be presented to the County Welfare Office, County Office of the Division of Employment Security, the Juvenile Officer and to local law enforcement authorities.

Identification

Homeless students will be identified by referrals from community organizations and District personnel and by review of the District's enrollment forms.


Board Approved Date: November 12, 2015