540 - Education for Homeless Children & Unaccompanied Youth Policy

 

PACT Charter School

Original Creation Date: 2008
Last Approved By: PACT Charter School Board of Directors
Last Approved Date: December 12, 2008
Year Reviewed: 2015-2016


Homeless students in the district will have access to the education and other services needed to ensure that an opportunity is available to meet the same academic achievement standards to which all students are held.

A liaison for students in homeless situations will be designated by the Administration to carry out duties as required by law.

The district will work to ensure that homeless students are not stigmatized nor segregated by their status as homeless.
 

Definition of Homeless Children or Youth

Children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and includes those who are:

  • sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason;
  • living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of adequate alternative accommodations;
  • living in emergency or transitional shelters;
  • awaiting foster care placement;
  • living in a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
  • living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings;
  • residing in a migratory situation and children who qualify as homeless because of living circumstances as described above.


Definition of Unaccompanied Youth

  • Youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.

 

Homeless Education

The Homeless Education Program is designed to serve homeless children and youth at PACT Charter School, District number 4008.
According to the best interest of the homeless student, the district either:

  • continues the student’s education at PACT Charter School for the duration of homelessness and, if the student becomes permanently housed during an academic year, for the remainder of that academic year; or
  • works with the public school that non-homeless students who live in the attendance area where the student is living (with or without parents) are eligible to attend.


Right of Appeal

If the district sends the student to a school other than PACT Charter School if requested by the student’s parent or guardian, it shall provide the parent or guardian with a written explanation, including a statement of the right to appeal the placement. If the student is an unaccompanied youth, a notice of the right to appeal is provided to the student.

NCLB: Title X, Part C, Sec. 722(g)(3)(A), (B)

 

Support Components

The School Social Worker will be the liaison for homeless students and unaccompanied youth. The liaison for homeless students will provide enrollment support and coordinate services within the school district, and through the community, agencies to ensure that each homeless child or youth enrolled at PACT Charter School has equal access to education at PACT Charter School.

 

Records and Enrollment

Homeless students will enroll, attend classes, and participate fully in school activities. If critical enrollment records, including immunization and medical records, are not immediately available for homeless children, the Liaison and school staff will work with these children and other agencies to obtain them promptly.

Parents or guardians of homeless students or unaccompanied youth shall request enrollment at PACT Charter School by following the application and lottery process.

 

Attendance

School staff will monitor attendance, ensure that families know that transportation is available, and work with parents to address any attendance issues.

 

Transportation

Homeless students and unaccompanied youth will be provided transportation services comparable to those of other students. Reasonable individual accommodations will also be considered. Transportation requirements will be coordinated through the Liaison, the Transportation Director and administration.


If it is in the best interest of the homeless student to attend PACT Charter School, transportation is provided to and from school at the request of the parent/guardian or, in the case of an unaccompanied student, the Homeless Coordinator. If the student’s temporary housing is outside the PACT Charter School district, transportation will be provided to and from the closest available bus stop or to the school (at the school’s discretion). Transportation may come in the form of negotiated gas cards, reimbursement, school bus, eligible public transit (such as public bus or cab), or other reasonable transportation as determined by the school.

 

For the school to reasonably provide the requested transportation, the parent or guardian must submit a completed Homeless Transportation Request Form giving the school at least five calendar days notice of change in residence. If the student is unaccompanied, the Homeless Coordinator will work with the student to communicate housing changes at least five days in advance with the Transportation Director.

 

Success in School

In-service training may be provided to assist staff in such areas as identification of homeless students, awareness of the rights and needs of homeless students, and strategies for working with homeless students and families.

Supplemental services and programs will be identified and made available. Assessment of educational needs may be expedited to help provide appropriate programs and services. Eligible homeless students will be enrolled in available school food programs.

 

Dispute Resolution

School District Placement of Children and Youths in Homeless Situations
Note: Unlike traditional public school districts, PACT Charter School accepts all applicants who complete a valid application through the enrollment and lottery process. If the administration recommends placement outside of PACT Charter School, all parties will agree, or institute the following appeals process.

For all three levels of the dispute resolution process, the child/youth would continue to attend the school in which they are enrolled while the dispute process is being carried out. The first level of appeal is to the district homeless liaison, if unresolved, the case is appealed to the Administrator, and if the dispute continues to be unresolved, the final appeal may be made to the School Board.

 

Level I

If a school district seeks to place a homeless child or youth in a school other than PACT Charter School or the school requested by the parent, the child's/youth's parent shall be informed of their right to appeal the decision made by the school district and provided:

  • Written notice of the decision made by PACT Charter School, explaining why the school sought to place the child/youth in a school other than PACT Charter School, or the school requested by the parent;
  • Written information of the parent's right to appeal;
  • A written description of the dispute resolution process; and
  • A written summary of the McKinney-Vento law.

If a parent wishes to appeal the decision related to a student's placement:

The parent must file a request for dispute resolution with the homeless liaison. If the homeless liaison is unavailable, Administration may initiate the dispute resolution process.

The homeless liaison must log the complaint, including the date and time, with a written description of the situation and the reason for the dispute, and forward a copy of the complaint to the liaison's immediate supervisor. Within three (3) working days of receipt of the complaint, the liaison must decide on the claim and inform the parent in writing of the result.

If the parent wishes to appeal the decision, the district homeless liaison shall provide the parent with an appeals package containing:

  • the parent's grievance,
  • the judgment rendered at Level I, and
  • any additional information from the parent and/or homeless liaison.

 

Level II

If the dispute remains unresolved after a Level I appeal:

The parent may appeal the decision to the Administrator using the appeals package provided at Level I.
The Administrator will arrange for a personal conference to be held with the parent within three (3) working days of the parent's receipt of the Level I appeals package.
The Administrator will provide a decision in writing to the parent with supporting evidence and reasons, within three (3) working days of the personal conference with the parent.
A copy of the appeals package, along with the written decision, is to be shared with the district's homeless liaison.
If the dispute remains unresolved, the process then moves to Level III.


Level III

If the dispute remains unresolved:

The Administrator shall forward all written documentation and related paperwork to a School Board representative for review, within three (3) working days of notifying the parent of the decision rendered at Level II.

At the next regularly scheduled or special meeting of the school board, the board shall accept or reject the recommendation. The parent and/or the district's homeless liaison acting on behalf of the parent may exercise the option of presenting information relative to the complaint at the meeting, as appropriate to the structure and agenda of the meeting.

The School Board's determination shall be the final resolution for placement of a homeless child.

 

Legal References:

McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2001, P.L. 107-110, 42 U.S.C. Sections 11431-11435.
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, P.L. 107-110, Title I, Section 1115.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. Section 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99 (2000).

 

 

Connect With Us

PACT Charter School
7250 East Ramsey Parkway
Ramsey, MN 55303 

Phone: 763-712-4200
Absence line: 763-712-4200, ext. 2
Fax: 763-712-4201

 

MAP & DIRECTIONS

Office Hours

School Year
7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. 
Teachers leave @ 3:30 p.m. 

Non-School Fridays
7:30 a.m. - Noon

School Breaks
Monday | Wednesday: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Tuesday | Thursday: 8 a.m. - noon
Closed Holidays and Fridays

 

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