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Vista USD |  AR  6173  Instruction

Education For Homeless Children   

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Homeless means students who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and includes: (42 USC 11434a)

1. Children and youths 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 the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement.

2. Children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as regular sleeping accommodations for human beings.

3. Children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings.

4. Migratory children who qualify as homeless because the children are living in conditions described in (1) above.

School of origin means the school that the student attended when permanently housed or the school in which the student was last enrolled. (42 USC 11432)

Best interest means, to the extent feasible, continuing a student's enrollment in the school of origin for the duration of his/her homelessness, except when doing so is contrary to the wishes of his/her parent/guardian. (42 USC 11432)

Unaccompanied youth means a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian. (42

USC 11434(a))

District Liaison

The Superintendent designates the following staff position as the district liaison for homeless students: (42 USC 11432)

Homeless Liaison, Student Support Services

1234 Arcadia Avenue

Vista, CA 92084


The district's liaison for homeless students shall ensure that: (42 USC 11432)

1. Homeless students are identified by school personnel and through coordinated activities with other entities and agencies. The identification of homelessness shall be made through the use of the district's Residency Affidavit. The Residency Affidavit must be renewed every school year and any time the student experiences a residency change. The affidavit will determine the student's eligibility for McKinney-Vento services.

2. Homeless students enroll in, and have a full and equal opportunity to succeed in, district schools.

3. Homeless families and students receive educational services for which they are eligible.

4. Parents/guardians are informed of the educational and related opportunities available to their children and are provided with meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children.

5. Notice of the educational rights of homeless children is disseminated at places where children receive services, such as schools, shelters, and soup kitchens.

6. Enrollment disputes are mediated in accordance with law, Board policy, and administrative regulation.

7. Parents/guardians are fully informed of all transportation services.


Placement decisions for homeless students shall be based on the student's best interest. In determining a student's best interest, a homeless student shall, to the extent feasible, be placed in his/her school of origin, unless his/her parent/guardian requests otherwise. (42 USC 11432)

When making a placement decision, the Superintendent or designee may consider the age of the student, the distance of the commute and the impact it may have on the student's education, personal safety issues, the student's need for special instruction, the length of anticipated stay in the temporary shelter or other temporary location, likely area of future housing, school placement of siblings, and the time remaining in the school year.

Education for Homeless Children

The student may continue attending his/her school of origin for the duration of the homelessness and until the end of any academic year in which he/she moves into permanent housing. (42 USC 11432)

In the case of an unaccompanied youth, the district's homeless liaison shall assist in placement or enrollment decisions, consider the views of the student, and provide notice to the student of his/her appeal rights. (42 USC 11432)

If the student is placed at a school other than his/her school of origin or the school requested by his/her parent/guardian, the Superintendent or designee shall provide the parent/guardian with a written explanation of the decision along with a statement regarding the parent/guardian's right to appeal the placement decision. (42 USC 11432)

Once a placement decision has been made, the principal or designee shall immediately enroll the student in the school of choice, even if the parent/guardian is unable to provide the school with the records normally required for enrollment. (42 USC 11432)

The liaison shall immediately contact the school last attended by the student to obtain the relevant records. If the student needs to obtain immunizations or does not possess immunization or other medical records, the liaison shall refer the parent/guardian to the district's liaison for homeless students. The liaison shall assist the parent/guardian in obtaining the necessary immunizations or records for the student. (42 USC 11432)

Enrollment Dispute Resolution Process

If a dispute arises over school selection or enrollment in a particular school, the student shall be immediately admitted to the school in which enrollment is sought pending resolution of the dispute. (42 USC 11432)

The parent/guardian shall be provided with a written explanation of the placement decision, including an explanation of the parent/guardian's right to appeal the decision. He/she shall also be referred to the district liaison. (42 USC 11432)

The written explanation shall be complete, as brief as possible, simply stated and provided in language that the parent/guardian or student can understand. The explanation may include contact information for the district liaison, a description of the district's decision, notice of the right to enroll in the school of choice pending resolution of the dispute, notice that enrollment includes full participation in all school activities, and notice of the right to appeal the decision to the county office of education and, if the dispute remains unresolved, to the California Department of Education.

The district liaison shall carry out the dispute resolution process as expeditiously as possible after receiving notice of the dispute. (42 USC 11432)

The liaison shall provide the parent/guardian a copy of the district's decision, dispute form, and a copy of the outcome of the dispute.

If a parent/guardian disagrees with the liaison's enrollment decision, he/she may appeal the decision to the Superintendent. The Superintendent shall make a determination within five working days.

If the parent/guardian wishes to appeal the district's placement decision, the district liaison shall forward all written documentation and related paperwork to the homeless liaison at the county office of education.


approved: June 23, 2011 Vista, California