1. “Enrollment” means attending classes and participating fully in school activities.
2. “School of origin” means the school that a student attended when permanently housed or the school in which the student was last enrolled.
When the student has completed the final grade served by the school of origin, the term “school of origin” shall include the designated receiving school at the next grade level for all feeder schools.
3. “Homeless student” means individuals who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence and includes:
a. Students who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals;
b. Students 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;
c. Students who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations or similar settings; and
d. Migratory students who qualify as homeless because the students are living in circumstances described in a-c.
4. “Unaccompanied student” includes a student not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.
Assignment to School
The district shall, according to the student’s best interest, continue the student’s education in the school of origin for the duration of their homelessness; or enroll the student in a district school that non-homeless students, who live in the attendance area in which the student is actually living, are eligible to attend.
In determining the best interest of the student, the district shall:
1. Presume that keeping the student in their school of origin is in their best interest, unless doing so is contrary to the request of the student’s parent or guardian;
2. Provide a written explanation, including a statement regarding the right to appeal, if the district sends a homeless student to a school other than the school of origin or a school requested by the parent or guardian;
3. Ensure that the district’s liaison helps with placement or enrollment decisions for an unaccompanied student and considers the request of the student, and provides a notice of the right to appeal on placement and enrollment decisions.
The district shall immediately enroll the student in the school selected even if the student is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment, such as academic records, medical records, proof of residency or other documentation.
The district shall immediately contact the school last attended to obtain relevant academic and other student records.
If the student needs to obtain immunizations, or immunization or medical records, the district shall immediately refer the parent or guardian to the district’s liaison, who will help in obtaining necessary immunizations or records.
A student shall be granted enrollment even if he or she has missed application or enrollment deadlines during any period of homelessness.
Any records ordinarily maintained by the district, including immunization or medical records, academic records, birth certificates, guardianship records and evaluations for special services or programs, shall be maintained so that the records are available, in a timely fashion, when a homeless student enters a new school or district, consistent with state and federal law.
If a dispute arises over school selection, enrollment, or eligibility, the student shall be immediately admitted to the school requested, pending resolution of the dispute.
The parent or guardian of the student shall be provided with a written explanation of the district’s decision regarding school selection, including the rights of the parent, guardian or student to appeal the decision through the McKinney-Vento Act dispute resolution and appeal process, including final appeal to the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) State Coordinator.
The student, parent or guardian shall be referred to the district’s liaison, who shall ensure the resolution process is carried out as expeditiously as possible. In the case of an unaccompanied student, the district’s liaison shall ensure the student is immediately enrolled in school pending the resolution of the dispute.
Each homeless student shall be provided with services comparable to services offered to other students, including the following:
1. Transportation services;
2. Education services for which the student is eligible, such as:
a. Title I;
b. Special education;
c. Programs for English learners;
d. Career and technical education;
e. Talented and gifted programs.
3. School nutrition programs.
The district shall coordinate the provision of services to homeless students with local social service agencies, and other agencies or programs providing services to homeless students and their families. Services will also be provided in cooperation with other districts on inter-district issues such as transportation, transfer of school records and issues concerning appropriate credit for full or partial course work completed at a prior school to ensure that homeless students have access to available educational and related services.
The district’s liaison shall ensure that:
4. Homeless students are identified;
5. Homeless students enroll in and have a full and equal opportunity to succeed in district schools;
6. Homeless families and students have access to and receive educational services through Head Start, Early Intervention and preschool services;
7. Homeless families and students receive educational services for which they are eligible, and referrals to health care services, dental services, mental health service and other appropriate services;
8. Parents of homeless students are informed of the educational and related opportunities available to the students and are provided with meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their students;
9. Public notice of the educational rights of homeless students is distributed where such students receive services (e.g., schools, shelters, public libraries and soup kitchens);
10. Enrollment disputes are mediated through McKinney-Vento Act dispute resolution procedures;
11. The parents of homeless students, or any unaccompanied student, is fully informed of all transportation services, including transportation to the school of origin, and is assisted in accessing transportation to the school selected;
12. School personnel, service providers and advocates working with homeless students and their families are informed of the liaison’s duties.
All homeless students are automatically eligible for Title I services, regardless of their current academic performance.
The district’s liaison shall coordinate and collaborate with the ODE state coordinator, community and school personnel responsible for the provision of educational and related services to homeless students.