Q. Who is homeless?
A. Anyone who, due to a lack of housing, lives:
- In a shelter
- In a motel
- In a vehicle
- In a campground
- On the street
- Doubled-up with relatives or friends due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason
Q. Where can homeless children and youth attend school?
A. Homeless children and youth can choose to attend either of the following:
- The school of origin: the school that the child or youth attended when permanently housed or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled
- The local attendance area school: any public school that nonhomeless students who live in the attendance area in which the child or youth is actually living are eligible to attend
Q. Can students experiencing homelessness be denied enrollment for lacking paperwork that is normally required for enrollment?
A. No. Under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, children and youth experiencing homelessness have the right to immediate enrollment, even if lacking paperwork normally required for enrollment, such as:
- Birth certificate
- Immunization or other health/medical records
- Previous academic records
- Proof of residence
- Proof of guardianship
Enrollment tip: In instances where paperwork is lacking, the following strategies may be used:
- Birth certificate: The school district can assist in getting a copy of the student’s birth certificate or accept a signed Affidavit for Missing Enrollment Documentation (see Appendix D).
- Immunization and/or other health/medical records: The school district can assist in getting copies of the student’s records and/or assist in getting any needed immunizations.
- Previous academic records: The school district can contact the student’s previous school/district and arrange for the immediate transfer of the student’s records.
- Proof of guardianship: The school district can accept a signed Caregiver Authorization Form (see Appendix D).
- Proof of residency: The school district can accept a signed affidavit stating that the family is staying in temporary accommodations.
According to federal law, while enrollment documentation is being gathered, the homeless student’s enrollment and full participation in school must continue uninterrupted.