To support the enrollment, attendance, and success of all students, the Catalina Foothills School District strives to identify and provide necessary supports to students and families experiencing homelessness.
McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act is a federal law aimed at providing homeless children and youth with an equal opportunity to succeed in school. The intent of the law is to break the cycle of poverty and to address the problems that homeless students face in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in schools. The McKinney-Vento law applies to all public and charter schools.
The McKinney-Vento Act identifies homeless students as "children who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence" due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason. This includes preschool age children, school age children, and youth living on their own (unaccompanied youth - not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian).
PLEASE NOTE: If your living arrangement is both temporary and result of economic hardship, you may qualify for services under the McKinney-Vento Act. The purpose of this law is to provide academic stability for students whose families are in transition.
Children and youth on their own may qualify for assistance under the Mckinney-Vento Act if they or their family lives in any of the following situations:
- Temporarily sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or similar reason
- Living in motels, hotels, or campgrounds due to lack of adequate accommodations
- Living in emergency or transitional shelters, such as group homes, runaway shelters and domestic violence shelters
- Living in cars, parks, public places, abandoned buildings, or similar settings
- Abandoned in hospitals
- Living in housing that is substandard or inadequate
Students who qualify under McKinney-Vento have the right to:
- Be given access to the same public education provided to other children, including preschool education.
- Continue in their school of origin or school of residence, if feasible.
- Enroll and attend classes while the school arranges for the transfer of school and immunization records or any other documents required for enrollment.
- Receive transportation, if feasible, to the school of origin.
- Automatic enrollment in the National Free and Reduced Lunch Program.
- Based on need, receive services including Title I, English Language Learner, and Special Education.
How does McKinney-Vento define "school of origin"?
"School of origin" includes either (1) the school the child attended during his or her last permanent residence, or (2) the school in which the child was last enrolled.
How does McKinney-Vento define "school of residency"?
"School of residency" is the school assigned to the attendance area where the student is currently living.
Who determines whether or not a student is eligible for McKinney-Vento services?
Every school district must designate a Homeless Liaison. The Liaison helps to ensure that students who are homeless are able to enroll so that they may succeed in school. The Homeless Liaison can also help connect the family with resources, if necessary. Most importantly, it is the Homeless Liaison who ultimately determines if a student is eligible for McKinney-Vento services.
What if our family disagrees with a decision made by the school district?
In the event of a disagreement, the district has a Dispute Resolution Process. The student may enroll in school until the dispute is resolved. The Homeless Liaison can guide you through the Dispute Resolution Process.
Can McKinney-Vento Students enroll in any school they want?
No, students who are eligible for McKinney-Vento services only have two options for school selection:
1. School of Origin (defined above)
2. School of Residency (defined above)
Any student may request to enroll in any school of their choice under "open enrollment", however, enrollment is not guaranteed and the student/family must provide their own transportation. McKinney-Vento does not provide transportation for open enrollment.
I qualified for McKinney-Vento services last year. Does this mean I automatically qualify every year?
No. McKinney-Vento eligibility expires at the end of every qualifying year. Everyone must re-apply after July 1st to determine eligibility for the upcoming school year.
What if a McKinney-Vento student needs transportation to their School of Origin?
Catalina Foothills School District must provide transportation for students who wish to remain in their schools of origin, even if they move out of the district, as long as it is feasible and in the child's best interest. Your child's site McKinney-Vento liaison can help set this up. We often use district school buses, vans, or mileage reimbursement. McKinney-Vento transportation for Catalina Foothills School District is coordinated through the Special Services Department, 520-209-8081.
We are here to support you. For more information, please contact Dr. Erin Matyjasik, 520-209-8081