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Atascadero USD |  AR  6173.1  Instruction

Education For Foster Youth   

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Definitions

Foster youth means a child who has been removed from his/her home pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code 309, is the subject of a petition filed under Welfare and Institutions Code 300 or 602, or has been removed from his/her home and is the subject of a petition filed under Welfare and Institutions Code 300 or 602. (Education Code 48853.5)

Person holding the right to make educational decisions means a responsible adult appointed by a court pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code 361 or 727.

School of origin means the school that the foster youth attended when permanently housed or the school in which he/she was last enrolled. If the school the foster youth attended when permanently housed is different from the school in which he/she was last enrolled, or if there is some other school that the foster youth attended within the preceding 15 months and with which the youth is connected, the liaison shall, in consultation with and with the agreement of the foster youth and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the youth, determine, in the best interests of the foster youth, which school is the school of origin. (Education Code 48853.5)

Best interests means that, in making educational and school placement decisions for a foster youth, consideration is given to, among other factors, educational stability, the opportunity to be educated in the least restrictive educational setting necessary to achieve academic progress, and the foster youth's access to academic resources, services, and extracurricular and enrichment activities that are available to all district students. (Education Code 48850, 48853)

District Liaison

The Superintendent designates the following position as the district's liaison for foster youth: (Education Code 48853.5)

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services

5601 West Mall

Atascadero, CA 93422

(805) 462-4227

(cf. 6173 - Education for Homeless Children)

The liaison for foster youth shall:

1. Ensure and facilitate the proper educational placement, enrollment in school, and checkout from school of students in foster care (Education Code 48853.5)

2. Ensure proper transfer of credits, records, and grades when students in foster care transfer from one school to another or from one district to another (Education Code 48853.5, 48645.5)

When a student in foster care is enrolling in a district school, the liaison shall contact the school last attended by the student to obtain all academic and other records, within two business days of receiving the request. When a foster youth is transferring to a new school, the liaison shall provide the student's records to the new school within two business days of receiving the new school's request. (Education Code 48853.5)

(cf. 5117 - Interdistrict Attendance)

(cf. 5125 - Student Records)

(cf. 6146.3 - Reciprocity of Academic Credit)

3. When required by law, notify the foster youth's attorney and the representative of the appropriate county child welfare agency when the foster youth is undergoing any expulsion or other disciplinary proceeding, including, for a student with a disability, a manifestation determination prior to a change in the student's placement. (Education Code 48853.5, 48911, 48915.5, 48918.1)

(cf. 5144.1 - Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process)

(cf. 5144.2 - Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process (Students with Disabilities))

Enrollment

A foster youth placed in a licensed children's institution or foster family home within the district shall attend programs operated by the district unless one of the following circumstances applies: (Education Code 48853, 48853.5)

1. The student has an individualized education program requiring placement in a nonpublic, nonsectarian school or agency, or in another local educational agency.

(cf. 6159 - Individualized Education Program)

(cf. 6159.2 - Nonpublic, Nonsectarian School and Agency Services for Special Education)

2. The parent/guardian or other person holding the right to make educational decisions for the student determines that it is in the best interest of the student to be placed in another educational program and submits a written statement to the district indicating that determination and that:

a. He/she is aware that the student has a right to attend a regular public school in the least restrictive environment.

b. The alternate educational program is a special education program, if applicable.

c. The decision to unilaterally remove the student from the district school and to place him/her in an alternate education program may not be financed by the district.

d. Any attempt to seek reimbursement for the alternate education program may be at the expense of the parent/guardian or other person holding the right to make educational decisions for the student.

(cf. 6159.3 - Appointment of Surrogate Parent for Special Education Students)

3. At the initial placement or any subsequent change in placement, the student exercises his/her right to continue in his/her school of origin, as defined above.

a. The student may continue in the school of origin for the duration of the court's jurisdiction.

b. If the court's jurisdiction over a grade K-8 student is terminated prior to the end of a school year, the student may continue in his/her school of origin for the remainder of the school year.

c. If the court's jurisdiction is terminated while the student is in high school, the student may continue in his/her school of origin until he/she graduates.

d. To provide the student the benefit of matriculating with his/her peers in accordance with the established feeder patterns of school districts, a student who is transitioning between school grade levels shall be allowed to continue in the district of origin in the same attendance area. A student who is transitioning to a middle school or high school shall be allowed to enroll in the school designated for matriculation in another school district.

The liaison may, in consultation with and with the agreement of the foster youth and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the youth, recommend that the youth's right to attend the school of origin be waived and he/she be enrolled in any school that students living in the attendance area in which the foster youth resides are eligible to attend. All decisions shall be made in accordance with the foster youth's best interests. (Education Code 48853.5)

Prior to making any recommendation to move a foster youth from his/her school of origin, the liaison shall provide the youth and the person holding the right to make educational

decisions for the youth with a written explanation of the basis for the recommendation and how this recommendation serves the youth's best interests. (Education Code 48853.5)

The role of the liaison shall be advisory with respect to placement decisions and determination of the school of origin. (Education Code 48853.5)

If the liaison, in consultation with the foster youth and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the foster youth, agrees that the best interests of the youth would be served by his/her transfer to a school other than the school of origin, the principal or designee of the new school shall immediately enroll the foster youth. The foster youth shall be immediately enrolled even if he/she: (Education Code 48853.5)

1. Has outstanding fees, fines, textbooks, or other items or monies due to the school last attended

(cf. 5125.2 - Withholding Grades, Diploma or Transcripts)

2. Does not have clothing normally required by the school, such as school uniforms

(cf. 5132 - Dress and Grooming)

3. Is unable to produce records normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, proof of residency, and medical records, including, but not limited to, immunization records or other documentation

(cf. 5141.26 - Tuberculosis Testing)

(cf. 5141.31 - Immunizations)

(cf. 5141.32 - Health Screening for School Entry)

If the foster youth or a person with the right to make educational decisions for the foster youth disagrees with the liaison's enrollment recommendation, he/she may appeal to the Superintendent. The Superintendent shall make a determination within 30 calendar days of receipt of the appeal. Within 30 calendar days of receipt of the Superintendent's decision, the parent/guardian or foster youth may appeal that decision to the Board. The Board shall consider the issue at its next regularly scheduled meeting. The Board's decision shall be final.

(cf. 9320 - Meetings and Notices)

If any dispute arises regarding the request of a foster youth to remain in the school of origin, the youth has the right to remain in the school of origin pending resolution of the dispute. (Education Code 48853.5)

Transportation

Upon request, the district may provide transportation for a foster youth to and from his/her school of origin when the student is placed in emergency foster placement only.

(cf. 3540 - Transportation)

(cf. 3541 - Transportation Routes and Services)

Transfer of Coursework and Applicability of Graduation Requirements

When a foster youth transfers into a district school, the district shall accept and issue full credit for any coursework that the foster youth has satisfactorily completed while attending another public school, a juvenile court school, or a nonpublic, nonsectarian school or agency and shall not require the foster youth to retake the course. (Education Code 51225.2)

If the foster youth did not complete the entire course, he/she shall be issued partial credit for the coursework completed and shall be required to take the portion of the course that he/she did not complete at his/her previous school. However, the district may require the foster youth to retake the portion of the course completed if, in consultation with the holder of educational rights for the foster youth, the district finds that the foster youth is reasonably able to complete the requirements in time to graduate from high school. Whenever partial credit is issued to a foster youth in any particular course, he/she shall be enrolled in the same or equivalent course, if applicable, so that he/she may continue and complete the entire course. (Education Code 51225.2)

In no event shall the district prevent a foster youth from taking or retaking a course to meet the eligibility requirements for admission to the California State University or the University of California. (Education Code 51225.2)

When a foster youth in grade 11 or 12 transfers into the district from another school district or transfers between high schools within the district, he/she shall be exempted from all coursework and other graduation requirements adopted by the Board that are in addition to the statewide coursework requirements specified in Education Code 51225.3 and the high school exit examination, unless the district makes a finding that the student is reasonably able to complete the additional requirements in time to graduate from high school while he/she remains in foster care. (Education Code 51225.3, 60851)

The Superintendent or designee shall notify any student who is granted an exemption and, as appropriate, the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the student, if any of the requirements that are waived will affect the student's ability to gain admission to a postsecondary educational institution and shall provide information about transfer opportunities available through the California Community Colleges. (Education Code 51225.3)

(cf. 6146.1 - High School Graduation Requirements)

(cf. 6162.52 - High School Exit Examination)

Grades/Credits

Grades for a student in foster care shall not be lowered if the student is absent from school due to either of the following circumstances: (Education Code 49069.5)

1. A decision by a court or placement agency to change the student's placement, in which case the student's grades and credits shall be calculated as of the date he/she left school

2. A verified court appearance or related court-ordered activity

(cf. 5121 - Grades/Evaluation of Student Achievement)

Eligibility for Extracurricular Activities

A foster youth who changes residences pursuant to a court order or decision of a child welfare worker shall be immediately deemed to meet all residency requirements for participation in interscholastic sports or other extracurricular activities. (Education Code 48850)

(cf. 6145 - Extracurricular and Cocurricular Activities)

(cf. 6145.2 - Athletic Competition)

Regulation ATASCADERO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

approved: June 5, 2012 Atascadero, California

revised: April 23, 2013