HENRY COUNTY SCHOOLS
CHILDREN AND YOUTH
HOMELESS PROGRAM LIAISON
Revised May, 2014
HENRY COUNTY SCHOOLS
The Henry County School System will employ practices that
increase the awareness of the Homeless Education program. The
school/district shall notify parents/guardians of homeless children
and youth of available resources and assist them in accessing the
The Henry County School System shall conduct an annual
evaluation (Appendix F) of its Homeless Education program to
determine the effectiveness of the program. The system will adjust
practices and procedures as needed to improve the effectiveness of
implementation and student achievement.
For the purpose of identifying homeless children and youth, the
Henry County School System shall use the McKinney-Vento Act's
definition of homeless children and youth. The Act defines homeless
children and youth (twenty-one years of age and younger) as:
**Children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate
nighttime residence, and includes children and youth who are:
Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of
housing, economic hardship, or similar reason (sometimes referred
to as doubled-up);
Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping
grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
Living in emergency or transitional shelters;
Abandoned in hospitals; or
Awaiting foster care placement.
**Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that
is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used
as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.
**Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public
spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train
stations, or similar settings.
**Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are
living in circumstances described above.
The term unaccompanied youth includes a youth not in the
physical custody of a parent or guardian. This includes youth
living in runaway shelters, abandoned buildings, cars, on the
streets, or in other inadequate housing and children, youth denied
housing by their families (sometimes referred to as "throwaway"
children and youth), and school-age unwed mothers, living in homes
for unwed mothers, who have no other housing available.
The school of origin is the school that the child or youth
attended when permanently housed or the school in which the child
or youth was last enrolled.
HOMELESS EDUCATION PLAN
Purpose of the Program
Homeless children and youth will be provided the opportunity to
receive a free and appropriate public education regardless of their
residency status. The program will ensure that these students are
afforded equal access to academic and other services that will
allow them to meet the same challenging state achievement standards
as non-homeless students.
The program provides procedural guidelines to ensure that
homeless students are not denied enrollment due to the lack of
registration documentation at the time of enrollment. Homeless
children and youth, including preschool age children, will be
enrolled immediately pending obtainment of the necessary documents.
The school counselor will assist parents, guardians, or
unaccompanied youth in obtaining the proper documentation.
The homeless education program makes every effort to provide
homeless children and youth with a stable school environment by
enrolling students in the school of origin and providing them with
transportation to and from the school of origin. Provisions are
made for parents/guardians, or unaccompanied youth to request or
decline enrollment in the school of origin.
The program provides for a homeless liaison that will ensure
program implementation and coordinate efforts to ensure that
homeless children and youth, including preschool age children, are
provided the opportunity for academic success.
Identification & Registration Procedures
Homeless children and youth are often undetected. The district
will conduct awareness training sessions with the appropriate
school personnel to inform them of methods of identifying homeless
children without using stigmatizing terminology. The district will
use a Residency Questionnaire (Appendix A) to facilitate identity
of homeless children and youth and preschoolers. The parent,
guardian, or unaccompanied youth will complete the Residency
Questionnaire at the time of registration. The school counselor may
provide appropriate assistance to the parent, guardian, or
unaccompanied youth in answering the questionnaire if
A copy of the Residency Questionnaire must be submitted to the
Henry County Schools Homeless Liaison on the day of registration
for students identified as homeless. The school will maintain the
original form in the file separate from the student's permanent
record for audit purposes during the year. This file should be
housed in the school counselor's office. Currently enrolled
students who may become homeless may be identified through school
personnel observation as well as through referrals from outside
The parent or guardian may enroll a homeless child or youth with
or without (Appendix D) proof of residency, birth certificate,
social security number, immunization record, or school records. The
school counselor or principal's designee will provide the parent,
guardian, or unaccompanied youth appropriate assistance in
obtaining the necessary records and documents for enrollment.
Enrollment without the required immunization record will be pending
receipt or acquisition of immunization documentation. The existing
method of assigning a student number will be employed when a
student enrolls without a social security number.
An unaccompanied youth may enroll himself or herself. In this
case, the school principal or designee will immediately contact the
Henry County Schools Homeless Liaison to report the enrollment of
an unaccompanied youth. The school will provide the youth with
proper assistance in a language that the student understands. The
Henry County Schools Homeless Liaison (Appendix B) and school
personnel will assist the homeless unaccompanied youth in obtaining
eligible educational services.
The application process for free and reduced priced meals can be
expedited for homeless children and youth. The determination for
free meals may be made without completing the full application
process (source: U. S. Department of Agriculture:
Identification of Homeless Preschoolers
The Henry County Schools Homeless Liaison will collaborate with
local community service agencies (e.g. Head Start, Department of
Human Resources, Health Department, faith-based organizations and
the court system, etc.) and school personnel to identify homeless
preschoolers. The district will also include homeless preschoolers
and homeless children in the "Child Find" process as required by
the Individual with Disabilities Education Act. Appendix H is
posted at all schools, the Central Office, and other appropriate
The school system will make school placement decisions in the
"best interest" of the homeless child or youth. Students will be
given the opportunity to continue in the school of origin for the
duration of the homelessness when a family becomes homeless between
academic years or during an academic year; or for the remainder of
the academic year if the child or youth becomes permanently housed
during an academic year. Students may enroll in any public school
that non-homeless students who live in the attendance area in which
the student is actually living are eligible to attend.
The school system, through each school, provides helpful
information (Appendix G) to parents of homeless children. This
information is provided to all parents of children who meet the
criteria of homeless children based on their responses on the
Residency Questionnaire at enrollment as well as those who may be
identified after they are enrolled. The information provided may
include but is not limited to:
-referrals of homeless children and youth for medical, dental,
mental health, and other support services.
-students service programs related to violence prevention and
-programs addressing the unique needs for homeless children and
youth that may arise from domestic violence.
-providing transportation costs associated with keeping students
in the school of origin.
-paying fees and costs associated with tracking, obtaining, and
transferring records needed for enrollment of homeless children and
youth in school.
-providing school supplies for homeless children.
-providing extraordinary or emergency services to homeless
children and youth to enroll and retain such students in
-ensuring that homeless children and youth are not stigmatized
and/or alienated due to their homeless status.
-collaborating with other agencies to provide and/or improve
services for homeless children and youth.
If school enrollment decision is contrary to the wishes of the
child or youth's parent/guardian, the school will provide the
parent, guardian, or unaccompanied youth with a written explanation
of the decision, a statement of the right to appeal, and procedure
for appealing the placement decision. The complainant must file a
School Enrollment Dispute (Appendix C) with the school in which the
student is presently enrolled. The principal of this school will
notify the Henry County Schools Homeless Liaison of the dispute and
take steps to resolve the dispute.
When a dispute arises regarding school placement, the system
will immediately enroll the homeless student in the school in which
enrollment is sought by the parent, guardian, or unaccompanied
youth, pending resolution of the dispute. The Henry County Schools
Homeless Liaison will expeditiously take steps to resolve the
dispute (Appendix E). If the dispute cannot be settled by the
homeless liaison, the liaison will assist the complainant in
seeking technical assistance from the SDE liaison or other
appropriate service agency.