The No Child Left Behind Act and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act require that homeless children and youth have full and equal access to an appropriate public education and that they experience success in school.
Homeless students shall have access to the same educational programs and services provided to other District students. Students shall not be discriminated against, segregated, or stigmatized based on their status as homeless. The District administration shall make reasonable efforts to identify homeless children within the District, encourage their enrollment, and eliminate existing barriers to their attendance and education. Students enrolling in the District who are, or become, homeless students should notify the District of that fact so the District can better ensure that the student’s rights under federal and Pennsylvania law are explained to him/her and to his/her parents. “Homeless students” are defined as individuals lacking a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence, which includes the following conditions:
- Sharing the house of other persons due to loss of housing or economic hardship.
- 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.
- Awaiting foster care placement.
- Living in public or private places not designed for, or ordinarily used as, regular sleeping accommodations for human beings.
- Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, transportation stations or similar settings.
- Living as migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.
The District’s local liaison for homeless children and youth is Mrs. Michelle Austin, who can be reached at 724-659-4661 ext. 137. The local liaison serves as the primary contact between homeless families and school staff, district personnel, shelter workers and other service providers. The local liaison coordinates services to ensure that homeless children and youth enroll in school and have the opportunity to succeed academically.