HOMELESS EDUCATION INFORMATION
Stafford County Public Schools (SCPS) is dedicated to educating all children and youth experiencing homelessness. Our Homeless Liaison is responsible for ensuring that students experiencing homelessness are identified, enrolled in school and receive equitable access to high quality education and support services. We understand the challenges facing these students and have programs in place to make certain they have the resources necessary to succeed.
Definition of Homelessness
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), defines "homeless children and youth" (school age and younger) as: children and youth who lack a fixed (permanent and not subject to change), regular (used on a nightly basis) and or adequate (sufficient for meeting both the physical and psychological needs typically met in a home environment) nighttime residence.
Included in the definition is anyone, due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason lives:
- In emergency or transitional shelters
- In motels, hotels, campgrounds
- In cars, parks, public places, bus or train stations, or abandoned buildings
- Doubled up with relatives or friends
- In these conditions and is a child or youth not in the physical custody of an adult (unaccompanied youth)
Unaccompanied Homeless Youth is defined as a school-aged person who is not in the physcial custody of a parent or legal guardian and who lives in inadequate or a temporary setting. This would include runaways living in homeless situations and those denied housing by their families.
What Families Experiencing Homelessness Need To Know:
- Children and youth have a right to attend school.
- You do not need a permanent address to enroll your student in school.
- Your child cannot be denied school enrollment when school records or other enrollment documentation are not immediately available.
- Children and youth experiencing homelessness can stay in their school of origin or enroll in any public school that students living in the same attendance area are eligible to attend, whichever circumstance proves to be in the student's best interest.
- The Liaison must provide you with a written explanation if a placement or eligibility dispute occurs. You may appeal the decision. Contact your local Homeless Liaison for assistance in handling a dispute.
- Your student is entitled to free breakfast and lunch at school.
- Your child has the right to participate in extracurricular activities and all federal, state, and local programs for which he or she is eligible.
- Your child may have the right to transportation services to and from the school of origin if determined in their best interest.
- Homeless unaccompanied youth have these same rights.
- McKinney-Vento status provides stability at the school for the duration of the school year. If housing instability continues beyond that school year, you must apply for requalification the following school year.
SCPS Policy: Section 2000 - Student Services
Title Residency for School Admission Code 2102
When the person living in the school division is a homeless child or youth, as set forth in VA Code § 22.1-3 (A) (6), who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate night
time residence. The division shall comply with the requirements of the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2001, as amended (42 USC § 11431 et seq.) to ensure that homeless children and youths shall receive the educational services comparable to those offered to other public school students.
Phone : 540.376.8855
Homeless Education Specialist
Community Resource Navigator
610 Gayle St. Building T10
Fredericksburg , VA 22405