Valdosta City School District

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School Social Services » Homeless Educational Services

Homeless Educational Services

HOMELESS EDUCATIONAL SERVICES

 

Homeless Educational Services are designed to provide educational services with dignity and respect to students who meet the criteria for homelessness according to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.  Students are required by law to have access to all services, programs and activities provided by the Valdosta City School System. 

 

The Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program is authorized under Title VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq.) (McKinney-Vento Act). The McKinney-Vento Act was originally authorized in 1987 and most recently reauthorized in December 2015 by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The McKinney-Vento Act is the federal law that governs the educational rights of children and youth in homeless situations.

 

Under the McKinney-Vento Act, the term "homeless children and youths" means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and includes children and youths who are sharing the housing of others due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals; 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; who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and who are migratory children who live in one of the above circumstances.

 

Eligible children have the right to:

 

  • Receive a free, appropriate public education.
  • Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment.
  • Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents.
  • Enroll in the local school; or continue attending their school of origin (the school they attended when permanently housed or the school in which they were last enrolled), if that is your preference. (If the school district believes that the school you select is not in the best interest of your children, then the district must provide you with a written explanation of its position and inform you of your right to appeal its decision.)
  • Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if you request this.
  • Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to your children’s needs.

 

For information on the Georgia Department of Education Homeless Services visit:  https://www.gadoe.org/School-Improvement/Federal-Programs/Pages/Education-for-Homless-Children-and-Youth.aspx  To read the law in its entirety, you may visit https://naehcy.org/ For questions regarding the eligibility or education of homeless students, or dispute resolutions you may contact:    

 

Kiwana Kiser, MHRM

Case Manager for Homeless Children and Youth 

229-671-6037 kiwana.kiser@gocats.org 

 

Deanna W. Folsom, LCSW

Social Services/Coordinator & Homeless Liaison 

229-671-6067 dfolsom@gocats.org